FIFA just isn’t fun anymore

Since the days of Nintendo World Cup on the NES, I’ve been an avid gamer of soccer football games. Pass, pass, move, call for the ball press A and B together for a banana shot that KOs the keeper (if he is brave enough to get to it) and goes in, one-nil!

Rinse and repeat.

Nintendo World Cup
Banger

I graduated from Nintendo World Cup and moved on as consoles gained more power, so did my tactics and style of play.

Internation Superstar Soccer Football

Internation Superstar Soccer
Nostalgic

Now here was a game, that took skill, patience and rewarded the player with the satisfaction from well-worked plays, not to mention the satisfaction of local multiplayer, being able to see the devastation on your opponents face as you tore through their defence, there aren’t many #feels like that in gaming.

Sega WorldWide Soccer Football

Sega Worldwide Soccer on Sega Saturn
Classic

After that magical summer of Euro 96, came this beauty of a title from Sega.

Sega Worldwide Soccer wasn’t without its faults, for example, you could score from the kick-off by simply holding the long pass button and aiming directly upwards towards your opponents goal, obviously, this flaw would lead to some absolutely ridiculous scorelines, however GamePro at the time gave Worldwide Soccer a positive review, commenting that “Not since FIFA amazed 3DO owners has another soccer game looked so good and played so well.”

Diving in FIFA

World Cup 98 cover N64
Diving around

After Sega WorldWide the impeccable ISS64 then came this little beauty, now I don’t remember a lot about this individual title but the standout feature that I’ll always talk about when reminiscing about games will always be an 85th-minute dive in the box vs my brother for a penalty to win the game. Yes, a dive!

Was it dirty? Yes. Was he fuming? Yes. Was I laughing and filled with glee at just cheating my way to the win? Hell yes!

Are you starting to notice a theme here?

  • Banana kicks from 40 yards that were unstoppable goals in Nintendo World Cup
  • Well worked goals, rewarding your play and providing a satisfying feel in ISS.
  • Diving in FIFA World Cup to win penalties and free-kicks and potentially getting sent off / getting your opponent sent off.

These games were fun to play! You’ll think about moments in these games years later, where you’ll feel something, joy at your first taste of gaming football, satisfaction and glee (or despair) at foul play and this leads me to the issues with FIFA 17.

Fun has been sent out on loan

Maybe it’s the annoying mistakes from defenders, the switching to players that I didn’t want the AI to do,  the ridiculous bounces that the opposition gets, the lack of pace in matches, the annoying lag that will appear from seemingly nowhere to hinder smooth attacks, keepers that won’t rush out when called, or that won’t stay put when required.

Perhaps it’s the lack of movement off of the ball, knowing where your opponent is going to pass the ball but never being able to get to it, who knows? What I do know is that there is no fun in it anymore, as if in this year’s version of the game, the soul has been sucked out of it, it used to be that you could throw FIFA on, smash out a few games and will always have that inkling in your mind to play just one more. I personally, just don’t get that feeling anymore.

The hope is that in FIFA 18, some of the above issues can be addressed, I’m all for well done, true to life gaming but I can’t help but feel that there needs to be an element of fun injected into the series.

 

 

Pro Evolution Soccer
Pro Evo

 

 

I’ve already tried convincing the regulars that I play with to make the switch to PES just to mix it up, but FIFA seems to have a hold over their minds and wallets, maybe it’s the licensing, the fact that players have real to life names, stadiums don’t have made up names and we don’t see teams like West London Whites playing in place of true to life teams.

 

I’m hopeful for FIFA 18 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of what I consider to be relegation form in the future which could open the door to other franchises wedging their way through the locker room door.

 

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