So I'm revisiting FIFA 11 after my review. Straight to the point: I hated it at first. It took me forever to get my game working. I'm an Arsenal fan, and as such, I like passing, flowing games. To me the most beautiful goal is not the one scored after a dazzling run (even though Nasri has just scored two of those on the last game, against Fulham). In my book, the most beautiful goal is that scored after a full passing move that ends up with a simple yet effective finish. Fifa 11, at first, didn't allow me that. Then I got used to its system.
"But wait!" you say "Are you retracting your negative review?"
No... Not by a long shot. You see, the thing is after playing hours and hours on Semi-Pro and then Pro and turning my Virtual "Me" into a pretty good player, the game then forces you to play for achievements in World ****difficulty, or Online. Since I have no interest in online play, I say: to hell with it, let me try to work my game in WC difficulty. Needless to say, it didn't work.
FIFA 11 still has annoying bugs and glitches that make you feel like you've been playing the beta of a game. Yet the worst thing is still its unrealistic gameplay. It troubled me at first in Pro difficulty, now, at World **** it's just plain horrible. Teams rated one star have midfielders and strikers run my defense ragged with skill moves they under no circumstances would be able to perform, their defense is so well coordenated it's like they're being controled by a multi-tasked overlord in the sky and unlike your team, they always, always have a perfect solution to everything you're able to throw at them. Your best players will likely be on he ground with a short injury at least once every match and a defender will forget his duties to complain about a foul not given (which in turn prevents you from being able to control him).
The defense is psychic. They read not the move itself or the possibility of a move. I'd be willing to bet that on higher difficulties, the opponents are hotwired to react not to the action your players perform, or the possible outcomes of a move, but to the button you press. It's pretty friggin lame to try to dribble past an oposition player only to see him (in 90% of the time) beat you to the move you started. That's not good reaction timing, that's a next gen console reading my mind. They know which way your ball is going the second you press your button, which is bad enough in a flowing move, but is even worse when something (probably an opposing player) makes your player lose his balance for a second, at most, but is more than enough time to see the man you want to get the ball to miles ahead of where your pass was aimed, and the opponent that was marking him is now at the very spot where you're sending the ball. This is worse at free kicks in the defense or near the middle, where in the short time it takes for the camera to change from behind the player to the Tele camera I use, there's already a player rushing in for a clean interception. Add that to an opponent which apparently shares a mind, it's so perfectly integrated. (just to make it clear: we're still talking about one star teams)
And if attacking isn't bad enough with these problems, forget about trying to form a cohesive defense with the absolute worthlessness of the full backs. Their only purpose on the field is to be on the midfield line when you need to defend and on the defense when you need an offensive option. Add to that, the useless use of the L1 button, which, on most cases will change your cursor to a player further away from the ball. Once, playing as Arsenal against Aston Villa (and that on pro difficulty), I had a corner poorly cleared from the right which resulted on the ball innevitably reaching the attacker on the left. I desperately pressed L1 to reach, Clichy, only to see (in order) Sagna, Fabregas, Koscielny, Vermaelen, my Virtual Pro, then at last Clichy at my command. Meanwhile, no one did squat to try to clear it.
This whole thing (and there's probably more, I'm just not thinking about it right now) just made me think: I'll probably eventually get better used to World ****difficulty. But should I get used to it? Is it too much to ask, for instance, that when a one star team is facing a four star team in a league, the World ****of it mean they have the brains to be thankful for a point and put five center backs on their team, parking the figurative bus in front of their goal? Is it too much to ask that their attack would be better at World **** by making sure that if you f-ed up and gave them a shot at goal they'd capitalize on it? Is it too much to ask their midfield, again in World **** to be smarter and closely packed, instead of on crack and everywhere?
My answer: No, I shouldn't do that. There's just no joy to be had on that dragging experience. I've always played against my cousin (and he's the champion on his neighbourhood) and it's always a close contest. I consider myself to be a decent player, and on my old days of Pro-Evo, five stars was a piece of cake for me. Then, it demanded skill. Here, it demands patience.
I have patience for strategy, adventures and even RPG games. For FIFA? I don't think so...
Alright, rant over. 'Till next time.