FIFA 12 – Three (less obvious) Improvements

Much is said of FIFA 12′s new ‘Impact’ gameplay engine and how the player will be able to execute a variety of tackling styles etc.  But first, we want some improvements to the technical side of the game – like menus!

Ye Olde Menu

The FIFA series has had pretty much the same menu screen for the last four games.  Whereas it does the job, our eyes are bored of the bland titles, our ears are bored of the obscure music and do not get us started on the stupid dotty-circle-loading icon! I know it’s a tedious task but change it up EA Sports, give the job to an intern or something.

The arena feature is unique to the EA Sports brand and is used in a number of their different sports games – it’s genius.  However, I can remember a certain FIFA World Cup 2006 having a much better arena screen, which allowed a multiplayer kickabout as the game loads.  Why was this ever taken away from us and substituted with some dodgy striker vs. goalie mini-game?

Let it snow…actually – don’t!

The FIFA series is famous for its realism – genuine kits, sponsors, commentary, terrace chants, emblems etc, but when it comes to the weather system, is it really worth it?  Despite what Andy Gray says in the repetitive commentary (another area for improvement), nobody in the world LOVES playing football in the snow and there’s certainly nobody who likes playing in the snow on a video game.

All too often the player finds themselves squinting after a white ball, which is being passed about by Real Madrid wearing their sheet-white home kit in the snow.  Just get rid of the snow.  Snowbody is going to miss it – sorry, that was embarrassing.

Introducing the End of the Introduction Scenes

There’s no denying FIFA’s excellent gameplay, albeit with a few annoyances.  Every match has the potential to contain a certain pass or skill move you may never have seen before, every shot from the halfway line has that slight percentage of creeping under the bar and that’s what we play these games all year round for.  Sadly, the same cannot be said for the pre-match intro scenes.

We’ve all seen these jittery surrogates shake hands a million times, we’ve seen the virtual referee ‘warm-up’ over and over again – there’s nothing that EA Sports can do to make the intro scenes better, other than to remove them altogether and spare players the misery of waiting those extra 40 seconds before kicking-off.  There’s nothing worse than starting another online game to redeem yourself after a loss and being forced to watch a glitchy ceremony, as you hopelessly smack the controller to somehow skip the scene .

Full Time

There’s a whole host of subtle problems with FIFA 11 (random online points system, Extra Time Only? The inability to change shorts/socks colour, annoying substitution animations, manic goalkeeper behaviour, the nest of cooperative gameplay bugs and so on…) but we all still play it religiously.  We’re not slagging off EA Sports here, we are merely shining a light in the shadows created by positive reviews of enhanced gameplay and Ultimate Team game modes. We love FIFA, we just want to love it a bit more!

See this post on The Sport Report with accompanying video.

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