Feely and I got to talking about this last night. I think it spurred out of my fervent belief that Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” was either borrowed from an RPG or very much must be the background music for some gigantic boss meeting. This is unarguable.
Anyway, I wanted new games, didn’t want to buy stuff and find myself bored with it, and was hypnotized by the constant GameFly ads. I’ve only gotten games for a few weeks, but I figured posting my current game queue is easy content, and I wanted to talk about some things I rented.
Games I’ve played and returned
FIFA World Cup ’06: This is a perfectly normal EA game; bright and colorful and easy to pick up and not as detailed as you’d like. I had fun for the times I played it (qualified out of about three different regions, though I didn’t play all of them thru), but there were a few problems
– the slowdown, which you can read more about on just about any review. The reviews seemed to think it happened because too many people were on the field, and I’m sure that’s a factor, but it seemed to me the arena shadowing was a far bigger problem. In places where there’s a lot of overhang, slow down happened much more. If this was a PC game, you could’ve just flipped off that option in graphic display and never noticed the difference, so someone totally should’ve taken it out here.
– qualifying wasn’t as detailed as I’d hope. Outside of CONCAF, you pretty much start with the last group stage in the region. In real life, a team from a less soccer renown country has to get thru some playoffs just to get that far. The fun of being, say, the Solomon Islands, isn’t really there if you’re treated the same as New Zealand, and a game like this could use all the replay value it could get.
– There’s really not much to do; you can qualify and play in the world cup, you can play out some historic scenarios, and you can play some single games. I understand why there isn’t a career-type mode here (they want you to buy the Other game for that), but it seems behind the times not to include something which allows you to progress thru years and develop talent.
– Teams didn’t play that much different; some were better than others, but I felt like I could play the same way (and use the same tactics) with just about any of them. Maybe that’s different on a harder difficulty level.
NCAA Football ’07: I think I’m done with this series in general and most football games. I’m so bored with this; there’s so little new here, so little thought about adding new (the Dynasty mode has changed less than ever this year), very little overhauled that needs to be overhauled (the Race for the Heisman mode is not a bunch of mini games wrapped around career games, but tedium and boredom for no reward) and the very essence of the worst of sports games – updated the rosters, slapped a new year on it, and ship it out. I’ve tried to justify it as “they didn’t realize they’d be doing a PS2 version (instead of PS3) this year and just slapped something together – they’re finally going to take the Big Step Forward next time”, but I’m sick of paying for the game I already own.
And yet, I’m purchasing Madden on Tuesday. So who’s the idiot?
World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 (PS2): This (which I believe is either last year’s version and about to be replaced), I’ve had for at least two weeks and completely obsessing about (until this last week, when there’s been no time.) Although I’m sure I don’t completely understand what I’m doing and am missing a few options, the Master League mode is fun to go thru. For the first couple of seasons, there was a perfect balance between the skill of my team, the difficulty level of the game, and my own ability which made each single game quite the fight. Somewhere near the end of season 2, my team and I got better, and so things are rarely in doubt of late. I’d turn up the difficulty, but I just want to win the Treble to finish the game.
My main complaint here, besides the lack of a tutorial about how you’re supposed to run the team, is the in-game cut screens. There’s no slow down like in FIFA, but I hate hate hate how I’d be in the flow of a game, and then play halts for a minute while the game loads the cut screen, shows the cut screen, and reloads the action. It’s nice that you animated people substituting in and out of the game, but after the 5th game, I have absolutely no need to see it (and I’ve been trying to time my subs NOT to see it of late.) Besides, pausing the action is inherently anti-soccer. If my guy gets taken down in the offensive zone and the ref calls a free kick, I’d like to have the option to play it out like soccer’s actually played, and quickly set up the kick before the defense re-assembles.
There always should be an option to turn off cut scenes, and nothing should interrupt the flow of the action in video game soccer unless it would in actual soccer (an injury, a card, I guess.)
(To say something good about a game I do like: I love how your guys get called away to play for their home country elsewhere. It’d be nice if you had some warning, or even got to follow their action, but it’s nice touch.)
This game is fun, but it could be better. And I’m sure I’d be thinking about this much more like NCAA if I’d play, say, any of World Soccer Winning Eleven 1 thru 8.
my current queue
In my defense (always a bad sign when you have to open with that), I signed up, realized there was only about 5 games I wanted, and then just started throwing things onto the list. And they don’t let you rent PS games; I’m sure there’s some stuff in the back library I haven’t played but would.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (PS2) (may get pushed back a bit to get a portable game instead)
Pokemon Emerald (GBA)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)
Big Brain Academy (DS)
The Warriors (PS2)
Kingom Hearts (PS2)
Mega Man X: Command Mission (PS2)
Age of Empires: Age of Kings (DS)
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
Final Fantasy IV (GBA)
Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
Blitz: The League (PS2)
Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus (PS2)