FIFA 15

 “Everyday is a chance to get better.”

Every year we have Christmas (or Hanukkah or whatever). Every year we have Labor Day. Every year we have “Flag Day”. And since 1993 at around September, we get a fresh edition of FIFA Saga from the loaded hands of the sports branch of Electronic Arts.

Trip Hawkins, our average genius directly from Harvard was Director of Strategy on Apple Computers (you see? Guilty at charge YET AGAIN) and it was probably there that he came out with the idea of releasing the same product year after year and shove you the idea that it was something new.

So, 22 years later, you really don’t need me to tell you what FIFA is all about. It’s an excellent football (soccer) game, and between the mainstream (which includes FIFA and PES saga and not much more) most likely the best.

Why?

First of all, they have had the licenses of every league they got since their third installment, FIFA ’96 (arguably, the best from 16 BITS era, and the one I –as a retro gamer- treasure the most). This improves a lot the experience of “simulating” leagues. You pick a real team –maybe even one you root for- with real players and try to play somewhere close to real football. PES saga, even know that resembles a lot to FIFA, still has Man Blue. What the f*** is that? Also, Juan Román Riquelme does not look like Evo Morales. Sorry Kojima, but someone played you.

Second, I really like PES saga. Last editions came out a little undone, but are perfectly playable games. You just remember to take the “Y” button of the pad or the match will transform in a battle of “through balls”. A friend of mine came home and crashed for a few days. Him, a PES player mostly, myself, a FIFA player. We played FIFA together against the CPU. He wouldn’t stop pressing the “Y”. I wouldn’t stop cursing the hell out of him and I quote myself: THIS IS NOT F****NG PES. That’s how I beat my brother in law (PES player also) in FIFA. He plays FIFA alright but he just can’t get enough of that sweet unusable “Y”.

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You see, in FIFA, the through ball is exactly like in real life. The ball passes if there is room for it. If not… bummer. Lost ball.

I like FIFA saga the most for that kind of details. I believe they make the game more of a simulator and less an arcade. Gameplay is soft as a kitten as the players make exactly what you ordered them to do. Skill moves may be tricky but that’s what’s supposed to be always. I play football a lot, all the way back since I’m five years old. I still can’t make the Hocus Pocus. And I’m pretty sure I will never. Fine. That’s how life is. I’m good at hurting.

DIFFERENCES

Like I already stated, all the FIFAs since 2011 with the arrival of the Impact Engine (for XBOX ONE is the Ignite Engine) are pretty much the same. However they have minor cosmetic changes (like iPods) and if we are lucky, new leagues, tournaments, and general improvements. FIFA 15 lost Brazilian league and got the Turkish League again since their departure after FIFA 11. The cut of Brazilian league is a real pity. Brazilian teams are a big source of great players in real life and by extension, in the game. My head hunters are crying.

Another difference between FIFA 15 and his predecessor it’s the new feature in “Ultimate Team” mode where you can acquire players via loan for a limited amount of matches.

As I previously said, visual aspect it’s almost the same, but now, Premier League is fully licensed, so, all the teams have its own real stadium aiding to the distinction match after match.

What I really enjoyed was the difficulty curve. Since 2011 installment something was happening with the change of level. The difference between “Semi-pro” and “Professional” was huge. In “Semi-pro” level, your players were training against some dummies that could hardly run. Much less, fight back. The middle line of the field was Viet-Nam for the opposite team, and they were just grasping flowers when the shootout begun. So you, in desire for a challenge, dial up the difficulty. And from a moment to the other, opposite team turned into a wild bunch of Cristiano Ronaldos waiting to rape you in an alley. With footballs. It was so bizarre. Apparently, my friend Trip (?) realized this conundrum and worked it out. Now, the curve of difficulty is softer. Professional is harder than semi-pro as it should be, but is not in another dimension of hardness. World Class is harder than Professional but again, the curve is understandable. That is an improvement. Plaudits.

Conclusions

You know that moment when you drunk uncle starts ranting about politics in New Year’s dinner? It’s always the same, and you are all betting on the hour he will begin his ranting. Well, FIFA is that exact thing. It happens every single year, and we are all betting which thing EA will improve and what thing they will f*** up. But we love it anyway. It’s our drunk uncle.

Oh… music? It feels like elevator music. It´s fine. There was only one FIFA Road to World Cup ’98 (and just one FIFA 2007).

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Hernán started his journey in the gaming world in the year 1991 with his Family Game (the FAMICOM made in China). Later on, he made the pass to Sega Genesis that would be combined with a PC 486 won over a contest. In the year 2000 he got around a more powerful computer (64 mb Nvidia Board!) which led him to madness with games as first “Hitman”, Max Payne, Metal Gear Solid and Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed.

Today, he is the proud owner of a more powerful PC (no that much power though), an XBox 360, a Wii, a PSOne, a Sega Genesis, a PSP, and a Nintendo DS.

While gaming, he developed a passion for writing that led him through a couple of webs (NintendoLatino.com) and a couple of magazines. He is also a writer in an online cinema magazine called “Revista 24 Cuadros”.