January 19, 2015

What I Learnt From FIFA 15



My instalment of videogame updated into the newest finally. So let me share my experiences with all of you.


Some of the faithful readers of the humour column will remember my little piece on managing Bayern on FIFA 11. In it, I told you how I have butchered Bayern virtually beyond recognition, even playing 4-4-2 (that admission nearly got me fired from the blog).


Guess what? I got myself a shiny new PlayStation 4 and, what was the second game I bought? That is right, folks. FIFA 15. I got it right after I picked up Grand Theft Auto V. Do not judge me. Who are you, Jack Thompson?


Anyways, I digress. The thing is I got FIFA 15 and, being somewhat of a renegade that does not play online, I immediately started Career Mode. Naturally, I chose Bayern as my team. What have I found so far?


 Back to treble tactics


I’m happy to report that I am using 4-2-3-1 as my main tactical scheme for the team. Given the fact that Thomas Müller has an overall rating of 86, compared to his rating of 80 back in FIFA 11 makes it much easier to exploit his raumdeuter abilities behind Lewandowski.


I also reverted to 4-2-3-1 because I was politely warned that I had to change formations in the new game if I wished to continue writing for The 4-2-3-1 Illuminati Bayern Group Bayern Central. I probably should not have said that.


My pieces in this blog have always been adamant in reminding everyone that having two holding midfielders is basically putting the soul of the team in defensive midfield. FIFA 15 is making me feel that firsthand. Whether it is Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xabi Alonso, Javi Martínez, Sebastian Rode or even Thiago, you can actually feel them pulling the team together.


Then you remember it is a video game, get a bit scared, and go back to hammering Hertha Berlin.


 Bayern’s font looks awful


The font that Bayern use for the names and numbers of the players, as well as the Bayern München print in the back of the shirts is beautiful. It is simple, understated, but unmistakably Bayern. Its simplicity should have made it an easy one to recreate for the video game.


Just as I butchered the team in the 2010 iteration of the game, EA butchered the font. “Bloated” it is more like it.


Call me OCD, but there are tons of things wrong here. First off, the actual name of the player is not in the correct font. Secondly, the numbers look bloated and caricaturesque. Thirdly, Lahm has a nice butt.


This probably nags me more than it should, but I often find myself shaking my head when a replay shows the back of players’ shirts. After all, this is a game that professes a constant strive for realism. This sort of detail makes gamers feel at home with the game, and I am sorry, but this does not cut it for me. Fix it, EA.


 I sold Mitchell Weiser


“Use this for your Man Crush Monday” gets you sold in my book.


Let us face it: Bayern blew their money on Mitchell Weiser. In my perfect virtual administration of the club, selling him was first in the order of the day when I started the game. I was happy to let him go for €475,000.


Maybe they will use him for Man Crush Monday in Italy’s Serie B.


I read more emails than I play games


FIFA is not only realistic in the likeness of the players and the feel of the game. It is also realistic in the boring office parts of the job. I get an average of 10 emails per game week, be it from scouts (who I constantly have to relocate to find players I will not buy anyway), players who feel I am not giving them enough playing time (Starke, sadly), and the board telling me I must win the Champions League Champions Cup.


Oh, and yes, it is called the Champions Cup. Dumb UEFA sold the Champions League naming rights to Konami for their ridiculous PES series, so EA had to make do with making it a cup.


Well, I get intimidated when players ask me for more playing time. When I get that sort of email, the player gets a place in the startelf for the next game. I am weak, and probably a bad manager.


I am still the boss, and the next time you write to me begging to play a bit… I will probably just give you what you want.


Yes, injuries


Bayern have had a bad first half of the season in the injuries department. FIFA thought it would recreate that for me too. Bastian Schweinsteiger got injured in a pre-season game and was out for three months. Same went for Mario Götze and Javi Martínez. Dante is currently injured.




I mean, I have suffered enough with the real injuries. Can’t my videogame fantasy be a bit brighter and better? No. Sincerely, EA Sports.


My techniques may be challenged in the game also.

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