New England Soccer Today

Goodbye and Hello


Long-term relationships are not my thing. Actually, I suck at them. There, I said it. Sure, I get attached at the start, but it’s never long before I get bored and start searching for something more appealing. Something more exciting.  Out with the old, in with the new.

On Tuesday, I’ll yet again swap one plaything for another. Goodbye, old flame. And hello, hot and gorgeous.

If soulless objects could become sentient, as they famously do in motion pictures such as Toy Story or Terminator, then my copy of FIFA 14 has successfully spent the last few weeks guilt tripping me about what it is to come.

It will have known that Tuesday isn’t just another Tuesday; it is, in fact, the North American release date for its successor, FIFA 15. Alas, there won’t be any tears or fights. I’ll just come home, remove the old disk from my Playstation 3, and replace it with EA’s latest and greatest edition of the best soccer video game currently on the market.

It’s been a long time coming. A year, in fact. FIFA 14 provided me with a great deal of enjoyment. But there has come a time in each of my FIFA relationships where I’ve gotten bored or dissatisfied. Over the last few weeks, manually relegating and promote teams in the Career Mode setting has become pretty irritating. Another bugaboo: not being able to download the most recent rosters. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the outdated kits.

If my copy of FIFA 14 had vocal chords, it would probably say one thing to the incoming FIFA 15: “He’s going to throw you away just like he threw me away, and the ones before me too!”

The sad thing: FIFA 14 is right. It, just like FIFA 13, FIFA 12, and each of its predecessors, will have a shelf life of one year before I get bored and anxiously await FIFA 16. It’s a vicious cycle.

Don’t mistake this for American consumerism. OK, maybe it is, in some ways. While I confess to wanting the latest and greatest, I’m also seeking more of the standards I’ve come to expect from EA.

FIFA’s developers are renowned for accuracy and an unparalleled game-playing experience that makes you feel like you’re actually scoring a goal, managing a game, or sitting in the stands. It’s not just about the graphics or the attention to detail that’s put into the game, it’s also about the creation of a new universe where you, the humble button clicker, is in full command.

At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, FIFA 14’s universe will be outdated and obsolete. Tossed aside like yesterday’s newspaper. And rightly so, as I and countless others are excited about what’s coming next.

Beyond sharper graphics, updated rosters, current kits, a new soundtrack (definitely the most underrated list of songs each year), FIFA 15 is boasting that it has further blurred the line between real and artificial. Some new features include:


  • More expression—Players’ emotions will be clearer and more apparent in this version. For example, when a player is fouled or misses a chance, his facial expression will be acrimonious. This is a huge improvement from the traditional blank, stoic faces players maintained throughout matches in past editions.


  • Home field advantage redefined—If you’re a Premier League fan, you’ll be ecstatic to know that all 20 top-flight venues are included in FIFA 15. Developers also collected real game-day stadium sounds and adapted them to FIFA 15.


  • Improved goalkeeping—Developers have not only personalized the movements of goalkeepers with pinpoint accuracy, but they’ve also come out with new methods for making saves and organizing defenses.


  • Aggression—FIFA 15 is said to be the most physical soccer game to date, with gameplay resembling the tempo and speed seen in real-life matches.

I don’t consider myself a gamer, but I relish the opportunity to play the latest iteration of the world’s most popular soccer game. Ninety percent of the video games I own have FIFA written somewhere on the cover. Needless to say, I’m excited for Tuesday.

I must admit, though, that I get self-conscious when I play. My Playstation 3 is hooked up to my family television, which means I am basically allowing my parents to nag me about spending too much time playing and not enough time getting work done. I have yet to play in front of my girlfriend,, either, and maybe never will. With FIFA it’s dangerous and I suppose, a little embarrassing. I will never treat her like I’m going to treat FIFA 14 on Tuesday. I swear!

Nevertheless, the prospects of FIFA 15 look pretty great – at least until another fateful Tuesday rolls around next September.

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