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FIFA'09 Discussion


Angry the Clown
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A Fifa 09 demo is now available on the UK Xbox marketplace (and I believe the US one too). Not that I’ve enough knowledge about the sport to know – or frankly care - who any of the players are in this game, I must admit I am very impressed with this year’s effort. It’s very fast with some exceptionally fluid animation. What with some excellent games (and hiring of brilliant people :)) EA have done a lot to successfully capture my attention in 2008.

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I make no secret of my lack of enthusiasm for the sport itself (outside of kick abouts with friends and Sensi), but the demo really was a joy to play. Definitely one of the most enjoyable Fifa experiences in many years [and in the 90s I went through most of them annually as my brother is a football nut and may just prove the excuse I need to buy 09 to satisfy him whenever he visits. I know he’ll love the online feature that updates player stats in accordance with their performance in the real world].

 

What will immediately strike you is just how smooth and natural it looks and feels. You know how in the past animation felt pre-determined and the ball weight and animation left a lot to be desired? Not so this time. I was pulling off all sort of moves and genuinely left smiling from the sense of really feeling as if I was in complete control of my actions on the pitch. There's an instant sense of satisfaction in that respect.

 

I've popped over to GAF, NTSC UK and rllmuk to see what the more avid and knowledegable football fans (who not doubt religiously compare Fifa and Pro Evo every year) have to say and most seem to have been left impressed by the demo. As I understand it, signs of improvement with the development team's approach were first present in Euro 98 (compared to Fifa 08) and this just seems to improve upon that even further.

 

Great juggling skills tutorial:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=q83QXzvZXvw

Edited by Doctor Hoo
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Adidas Live Season video:

http://www.eurogamer.net/tv_video.php?playlist_id=13977

 

Clan system detailed:

 

EA Sports has added an online clan system to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of FIFA 09.

 

The "Clubs" (it'll never catch on) support up to 50 players, giving you a pool from which to draw the strongest team for the ten-a-side Be A Pro online matches.

 

Those not picked can either sulk or cobble together another squad to go off and take part in other, simultaneous matches.

 

Clubs will initially be sorted by their points total (not sure how you earn those) and placed in one of many divisions. The season then opens and everybody goes bananas in an effort to be crowned the best of the best.

 

Club Managers (clan leaders) will also be free to scout and poach other players. There's no word on the intricacies of this, though.

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=234391

 

What platform are you chaps thinking of buying it for? I may be leaning toward the PS3 here once I check out the demo of that version. I think I may favour the Playstation pad for comfort (playing the Xbox demo I just couldn't help but feel the pad was too "chunky" for this sort of thing).

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360 for me.

 

Love the demo. I played a little FIFA 08 and a lot of Euro 08 and I'm pretty sure I just saw *loads* of great new animations. I'm really excited for the full game now!

 

I didn't notice it playing too differently from Euro 08 but it felt a little more fluid. There seem to be a lot of new and different ways for players to reach for balls now, which lead to some more pass/shot deflections, but that could just be my imagination. It's been a while.

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By the way, I should add that my initial comments were in response to actually leaving all the 'assist' functions on. You can switch these on, off, or switch them to 'semi' mode' via the controller settings menu before a match (pass assistance, through pass assistance, shot, cross and lob pass assistance) for absolute control over the ball. They all default to assistance so be sure to go in and change them as you see fit. Switch all assistance off and you can basically take my earlier comments about that fantastic sense of control and double the level of satisfaction you get from playing it.

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Played a few rounds of the PS3 game, its glorious. Second game against RM had a hard time breaking down their back four, had a lovely cross from J. Cole land at the feet of Drogba who burried it into the woodwork. In the 90th minute though Anelka just burried into the net for a 1 - 0 victory. I hope they update the teams one last time before final because they still have SWP as being in our club when he's moved back to Citeh. Is it October yet?

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This is a tough one to call. There is a slight frame dropping issue in the PS3 demo – one that is noticeable in the animated transition sequences before, during and after the game, but it does not seem to affect the actual gameplay itself. There’s also less anti-aliasing in the PS3 version which is most noticeable around the edges of the players’ attire.

 

That said, I do definitely feel more at home with the PS3 pad – even when using the analogue sticks. I seemed to have a better success rate during play with the Sixaxis and it was just more comfortable overall. On both versions I still have to re-configure the button mapping however as I really don’t care for things like square/X being the default for shooting…etc (circle/B is far better I think).

 

Further comparison is required along with experimentation on the button layout with both versions before I make a decision over which version I'd consider going for, but I'm certainly in the mood to buy the game before the year is out.

 

...had a hard time breaking down their back four, had a lovely cross from J. Cole land at the feet of Drogba who burried it into the woodwork. In the 90th minute though Anelka just burried into the net for a 1 - 0 victory.

 

I wish I knew what any of that meant.

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I understood 1-0 victory but everything else is just noise. My knowledge of football players and tactics essentially amounts to my shouting "hey you, pass the ball to him... and then score a goal" at the screen. The management menu seems to have a half dozen team formations I've never even heard of from previous football games.

 

Incidentally, I like how in the management menu, during play, there's a little energy bar to show you how each player is doing. I've no idea if that is new to these games or not, but it's nice regardless. There's a wealth of things to configure in this game which is really great. There doesn't appear to me much you can't change to your liking.

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That was actually one reason I was curious to see what version everyone was considering as I like the idea of getting a little LCVG team together. Time zones really do make it difficult for me to join in gaming sessions though.

 

I'd be willing to do some late night weekends on this side of the pond. :rock

 

BTW, I will most likely be getting the 360 version. I've always used the sticks so the better D-pad on the PS3 isn't a factor for me.

 

In general, does the D-pad offer better control?

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In general, does the D-pad offer better control?

 

It can certainly aid precision (the new limited edition 360 pads Europe is getting with the revised d-pad is actually coming as a promotional tie in with Pro Evo Soccer this year). I was doing OK even with the PS3’s analogue sticks though so in the end it may really be an issue of comfort for me. Re-mapping the controls on the 360 demo is something I will try over the weekend.

 

I noticed there’s actually better lighting and so on the in the 360 demo. I don’t know if the cosmetic differences are merely because the PS3 version might have been further behind in development or what. I’d be keen to know if the finished game yield’s no visual differences graphically and in frame rate between the two.

Edited by Doctor Hoo
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I find benefits to both D-Pad and analogue really. Having mentioned the forthcoming European pad with the revised d-pad I'm actually keen to see if it's any good (not so much for Fifa but primarily because the best way of playing Sensible Soccer on the 360 at the moment is actually with an arcade stick).

 

I think I have solved my primary comfort issue with playing it on the 360 though. I didn't like tapping LB to select a player (as far as I can tell this is the only way to quickly take control of whoever is nearest to the ball). Due to the shape of the 360 pad that's not a button in a position I like to tap frequently so I moved that -Player Run/Modifier- to LT and it's much more comfortable.

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I think I have solved my primary comfort issue with playing it on the 360 though. I didn't like tapping LB to select a player (as far as I can tell this is the only way to quickly take control of whoever is nearest to the ball). Due to the shape of the 360 pad that's not a button in a position I like to tap frequently so I moved that -Player Run/Modifier- to LT and it's much more comfortable.

 

I have that same issue. In the previous games there were four control schemes to pick from and I used one that had player switching on a trigger, but for some reason there are only two control schemes in the demo and "New Alternate" isn't what I remember.

 

But since you can remap, whatever :)

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1v1 was perfectly solid in FIFA 08 and Euro 08, though the lack of a rematch option (you had to setup a new game each time) was a little annoying.

 

Better than the rematch option in the last NHL, I guess, which simply sent the host back to a public lobby on his own (after a private match!) :)

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