As a hipster, I’m pretty sure your sports game of choice can’t be Madden, or anything as mainstream as NBA 2k, or anything related to baseball. Until they come out with Jai Alai 13, real hipsters are just out of luck. I guess if you want to be ironic, you could Wii the crap out of Tiger Woods PGA Tour. For the Pop Culture Hipster, it’s FIFA all the way. It’s just mainstream enough to actually have EA give a shit about making it a good game, and obscure enough where you can listen to the commentary and act like a complete douchebag know-it-all when you talk about
football soccer with your friends.
Anyways, let’s get to the review.
I’ll be honest with you, the single player isn’t the main draw of this game for me. Much of it remains the same from FIFAs past. The menus interface is smoother, but the core modes, Be a Pro, Manager, and Player/Manager pretty much remains steady. There are a few graphical touch ups, but not a lot of new depth is there. Everything is just made smoother and easier to manage. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, the only reason I play single player is to stat up my player, which leads you to the big draw of the game, at least for me.
In FIFA 12, you get to create your own player and boost their stats by performing to a certain level or attaining a certain number of set goals. Creating a great player takes time and effort, or if you’re impatient like me, creating a fake team of 5’5″ soccer playing midgets with asthma and playing them over and over again to spam your stats. There was one game where I personally scored 26 goals and had 17 assists. For those of you keeping track at home, Barcelona beat FC Midgets by a score of 43-0. What’s the point of all of this?
Online Pro Clubs.
You have the option of creating a club with your friends (or some randoms if you have no friends) and use your personal player to lead your fake team to victory. As you play teams, you earn or lose points to raise you to the next level, which unlocks a new stadium. You start off on a dirt patch in some third world country and you eventually end up in a Premier League type arena. You can also go to the EA website and take a few pictures of yourself. You can then download your face and put it on your player. I look like a burn victim. I blame it on the poor lighting of the original pictures I took, but it could also be just a ton of denial on my part. Anyways, here’s the meat of the review.
As “Los Liiiiiiiinks” (if you don’t understand it, you need to watch this video) we decided to test our mettle. From game one, we knew we were screwed. Our passes were going all over the place. At the time, we blamed it on our low stat characters, now, we just know that the game hates us. FIFA 12 is definitely a more balanced game that previous iterations. They’ve condensed the speed so there is less of a gamebreaking emphasis placed on that stat. However, you still have assholes who try to min/max their players by creating the aforementioned 5’5″ midget, but with blazing speed, or a 6’10” behemoth who heads everything in. Well, if you can’t beat them, join’em.
If you haven’t played previous versions of FIFA, you don’t know the fistful of assholes that is the AI player. Most AI players simply don’t realize the fact that they’re on your team. In versions past they set up beautiful passes and settle the ball right in from of the penalty box for the opposing player to take unchallenged shots. In FIFA 12, I would argue that the AI is worse.
In all honesty, it’s not that they’re as incompetent as years past, it’s just that they show such tantalizing potential. They’ll make one brilliant play, and then, seconds later, they’ll try to juke their way past 5 players while refusing to pass to you. Oh, and let me tell you, the AI is a fucking ballhog. I will be spamming the ‘call for pass’ button as I’m streaking wide open down the field. No, nothing. Apparently my midfielder who’s black with a blonde afro (yes, seriously) has better things to do than to create scoring chances. However, when I’m being triple covered, Afroman decides to launch a 30 yard crossfield pass to me, which I of course fail to get even a touch on, which the game penalizes me for. Fuck you Afroman. Also, apparently EA’s sense of AI realism is to make the AI more like real players. All this means is, “Hey, I’m more than just an AI! I make human mistakes too!”. This means that you’ll be onsides for 5 minutes and the second you stray offsides, a beautiful through ball is headed your way. Fuck you Afroman.
OH, and the new physics engine. For the most part, it’s great, but there are some times when I’m being humped into submission by the center back that I wish they took another month or two with it. If you want a good laugh, you’ll want to take a look at this video. That about sums up the physics engine.
At the end of the day, I miss the finely tuned antics of Martin Tyler and Andy Gray, talking about their umbrellas and what not. The game is definitely an improvement from years past, but the frustration of playing your ass off only to have your AI and the other team of assholes playing you to a 0-0 draw leaves me empty and wanting. But hey, I guess that’s