Once again, I am talking about FIFA. My love-hate relationship with this game has been tried and tested since FIFA 98.
I’ve broken many a controller (back in my angrier teenage years) and laughed uncontrollably in ironic disbelief when my Goalkeeper catches the ball, throws it to a defender, it hits the back of their head and goes in. Moments like this helped invent the ‘rage quit’.
But occasionally, you find that one game mode you fall in love with, you don’t mind it screwing you around sometimes because it does it with everyone. That mode for me is Pro Clubs.
What is Pro Clubs?
I’ll sum it up quickly.
- You create an Online Pro (I created Tony Yeboah)
- You join a ‘Club’ with your mates, or random people (we created The Cesc Pistol)
- You can join games, and choose to play as JUST your Pro or play as everyone else who isn’t a Pro player. (FYI the basic AI players are very slow, but get the job done.)
- You play against other Clubs in league and cup games, progressing through divisions
- The better your match rating, the more skills points you earn and the better your Pro become
That’s basically it.
Fifa 18 Pro Clubs Review
I’m afraid it’s not really ecstatic news my little Pro Clubbers! The cons are either continued or more than last years. I think FIFA 18 this year isn’t as highly rated as last years, but annoyingly we still purchase it because who wants to play as Rooney in a United shirt anymore, that’s soooo last year!!!
So read below for the Pro’s and Con’s of Pro Clubs this year including customisation info, gameplays, structure and how cool some of Tony Yeboah’s goals look.
- The Game-mode idea is just brilliant. That will always be a ‘Pro’, well done Fifa I’m hooked. Now impress me and build on it, just because you cannot make money from this one. It’ll still be nice to see more additions.
- 3 Pro Templates – definitely something I have enjoyed in this new FIFA. Basically, this means you don’t have to keep coming out of the lobby and change your player when one of your “one dimension” mates wants to play as a CAM and nowhere else like he has bordering FIFA Autism. I have created a Right Winger, a CAM, and a Striker. The beauty also, is that you can change the height and weight of the players. You can have your short, whippet-like winger and a strong, tall CAM as a target man. This new feature certainly helps the flow of the game when organising which position to play.
- More Cup Windows – Cup windows within the game mode are useful anyway, it helps you ‘trial’ new positions and players without the worry of losing your high division games. Playing cup games doesn’t add to your pro’s or team stats. This is a good thing if you’re trialling a new formation. This year though, there seems to be a constant flow of Cup windows, FIFA 17, unfortunately, left it till the weekend for cup games.
Now they are the 3 positives I can find from this, maybe I’m too passionate about my favourite game mode but I’ve been playing it since it started. I originally played the same format on NHL 07 and was hugely excited when it came to FIFA. As mentioned before though, there are a few kinks that need ironing out, more than there should be for a game that has had years to develop.
- Tackling – this is one of my main issues with the game and has been an issue for many years. Fortunately, I’m not at the stage in life where I’m smashing a controlling anymore, but it does happen often enough that I have a good moan like an old man in a pub staring into his pub of the bitterest bitter known to his bitter world. So basically, it seems that if you’re skilful enough to time your tackling well against a game which often promotes skilful dribbling and everyone can play like Lionel Messi, you’ll get penalised for the tackle in the following ways
- The ball will bounce off your tackling leg, AND GO STRAIGHT TO THEIR PLAYER.
- The ball will bounce off your tackling leg, AND GO STRAIGHT TO THE SAME PLAYER WHO YOU TACKLED SO HE’S IN ON GOAL
- You will tackle the player, JUST THE PLAYER, NOT THE BALL, DESPITE THE BALL BEING NEARER TO YOU THAN THE PLAYER
- You push the boat out and slide tackle, AND THE BALL GOES STRAIGHT TO THEIR PLAYER WITH HIM EVEN NEEDING TO RUN FOR IT.
- Inconsistency – Unfortunately this is all too common with FIFA game modes. The main inconsistencies for Pro Clubs seem to come from the AI players when intercepting and running. Now it could just be me (it probably is) but I’ve spoken to numerous Pro Clubbers who experience the same thing, it can’t be a coincidence when everyone has the same issues. AI players and Pros will intercept everything one game, and nothing the following game. I have been sad enough to even record replays that show the ball can easily be intercepted but isn’t. (can anyone else hear my blood boiling while I type?)
- Passing – now over the years FIFA has increased new and funkier ways of passing, swerve ones, driven ones, low ones, high ones, swervey-driven-low ones, ones as big as your head, ones with a dash of onion etc, etc. But it seems, that during gameplay, simply pressing A to pass to a player 4 FIFA feet in front of you, will often miss, leading to the inevitable counterattack that leads to you losing another goal.
- Goalkeepers – unfortunately, this part of the rant can be considered the cousin of inconsistency, one game your keeper is Buffon (which is tremendously rare), the next 704 games, your keeper is Dean Jenkins the unemployed painter/decorator from Basildon (who is 45 years old according to the mid-game stat that goes on random players).
- The Tactics – this is more of an issue I have noticed with players who are not very good (so if you adopt these things, that’s right, you’re not very good). I find it becomes increasingly difficult to score against a team with 5 defenders (perfectly normal I suppose) but then insist on Parking the Bus before the ball is kicked. Now, this isn’t illegal, but it ruins the speed and flow of a game. FIFA 18 is struggling to get a good name this year without the need for poor players to exploit the games inability to make it fair for people.
FIFA’s reviews, in general, haven’t been as good as previous years. I feel they have capitalised on the market share for too long and this could be the year they start listening and making some good changes. We only buy it because it’s new and we all love football/gaming. I know I’ve ranted tremendously about a game mode, but realistically, I’m still going to play it because the feeling of playing football with your mates at 10 pm at night while you’re in your pants with a beer is pretty spectacular, and scoring/winning is even better. It’s a great game mode that all people should try and play. It’s just the game engine this year that seems to be the main cause. Hopefully, I’ll adjust to the new FIFA and the update on Clubs will be better.