FUT United is back. Here’s what you need to know.
FUT United is back. Here’s what you need to know.
In Part 1 of Making FIFA Street we take a look at the games vision and overall structure.
At the start of the year we tweeted (partly in jest) that we were going to spam the internet with FIFA Street articles, until EA committed to making another. And this my friends, is the start!
At first, I was simply going to re-review FIFA Street and nothing more. But after spending some thoroughly enjoyable time with it over the last few weeks, it got me thinking. “What would I do if I could re-make FIFA Street?” And quickly realised a re-review wouldn’t suffice.
Part 1 – Street Vision
Part 2 – Gameplay
Part 3 – World Tour
Part 4 – Online
Part 5 – New Opportunities
Part 6 – Graphics and Design
In this 6 part series, I’ll take you through my thoughts on the overall structure of FIFA Street, World Tour mode, core gameplay, online, a bunch of new ideas, and some aesthetics too. But of course, your feedback and discussion is crucial too, so hit the comments on each piece and share your own thoughts. Let’s go.
So before we delve in to how the next FIFA Street could look, a very quick history lesson. Back in 2005 EA released the original FIFA Street; their first stab at this genre which arrived to fairly lukewarm commercial and critical success. Then came FIFA Street 2 just a year later, and following that there was the absolute abomination that was FIFA Street 3 in 2008.
Yes, this did happen….
And then incredibly almost THREE years ago now in 2012, EA released their revamped version of the FIFA Street franchise (if you call it FIFA Street 4 they get very upset) which aimed to add gritty realism, as opposed to cartoon caricature. And it’s of course the game I’ll be discussing primarily in this series.
But apart from providing you with quiz question answers, there is a point to this albeit brief tour through FIFA Streets of old. Because without any of us really noticing, EA markedly changed the entire design and structure of the series for FIFA Street (2012).
FIFA Street at least as I see it, has always been about real footballers, doing real things, in somewhat unreal street scenarios. That’s the games USP. If you look back to FIFA Street 2 on YouTube for example, it’s always the likes of Beckham, Raul, Ronaldinho, etc taking centre stage. And rightly so.
And yet, for the most recent FIFA Street, we were tasked almost exclusively to build our own street experience around not only ourselves, but our friends too. All through a fairly exhaustive set of creation and customisation tools. Which on the surface is absolutely fine (choice is great) but it was a real departure for me at least, from what made FIFA Street great.
In the previous games your job was to cobble together a band of very real, but very diverse street professionals. Starting with the fairly average, until you eventually progressed to recruit the very best players in the world. The more notoriety your street team had, the better players you could attract, and winning events allowed you to hand pick certain players from rival street teams.
I remember a time very early on in a FIFA Street 2 campaign, where I managed to recruit current FIFA Legend Jay-Jay (so good they named him twice) Okocha. Who at the time, was an absolute revelation for my humble street team. He was by no means the “best” player in the game, (he was at Bolton) but he set my team on fire. And that memory sticks with me even now.
As I’ve alluded to, there’s nothing actually wrong with the idea of having all your mates in a street team, taking them on a world tour and conquering the game’s best teams, cities and tournaments. But it doesn’t half wear thin once you hit a certain tipping point in FIFA Street.
When I first started replaying FIFA Street I loaded up an old World Tour save I had open, in which I was probably three quarters of the way through in terms of completion. I had a team containing myself, my friends and oddly, Gareth Bale. Upon reviewing the stats, I quickly realised that all of my virtual buddies were markedly better than the Welsh Wizard. And therefore, there was no real reason at all to play him. I had a real world “star” in my little street team from Bristol, and yet he was completely useless to me, with the game only partially completed.
Now EA probably just got the stat balancing and progression wrong in FIFA Street, which is easily remedied for any subsequent game going forwards. But the bigger issue with your mates being as good as Messi, is that there is no fear factor what so ever when you come to play in the premier end-game tournaments. And that is a huge problem when you think about building tension, and atmosphere in a football game which requires it in spades to be even remotely successful.
FIFA Street’s heritage as I’ve mentioned is rooted in real players coming together to play street football, and that’s the exact model I’d like to see from any new FIFA Street going forwards. When you first load up World Tour mode, you should receive enough real players to make up a full street team from the games pool of stars. Just like, opening your starter pack in FUT for example.
Then as you beat teams and win tournaments you would get the chance to recruit better players (a similar system was in Euro 2008 as well) at relevant milestones in the game. And you continue to build out your street team from there. Once your squad is full, you’d then have to release someone to make space for any new recruits. Which could create some truly nail-biting decisions, should you become lovingly attached to anyone, like Okocha from FIFA Street 2.
It would also remove the current boredom factor with self-created teams too (and i’m not even talking about online yet). Because as much as I love my mates, playing through the entirety of a World Tour mode with the exact same names and faces just isn’t fun. And because the upgrades points for skills and stat boosts are so easy to come by in FIFA Street, their abilities all start to blur anyway.
With a constant steam of new recruits, you’d always be tempted to try new formations, line-ups and tactics to suit best whichever team you had at the time. And that would of course continue to evolve as your journey progresses. And in-fact why not allow FIFA Street Legends to be recruited too.
World Tour mode is already split logically in to Regional, National, Europe and World stages in its design, each of which become progressively more difficult as you move through. And at each level the quality of players on offer to your street team should be relative. If you think about it in a FUT context you could have something like.
Regional – Bronze Players
National – Silver Players
Europe/Continent – Gold Players
World – In Form/Hero/Special Players/Legends
A similar bronze, silver, gold model is already in place as you can see, only based around consumables.
That’s a very simplistic breakdown but you get the idea. The most interesting dynamic to this model would probably come from the difference in quality that exists naturally within each of FUT’s player bands.
There are some banging Silver players, and there are some dreadful ones. Some have good base stats, but have poor weak foot, or skill abilities. Some have incredible long shots, and so on. So when presented with new players to join your street team, the game could create some really interesting dilemma’s.
Do you simply pick the best rated player, or do you go with the guy with 5* skills? Do you pass up on a better striker, because you keeper is awful and needs replacing? Or do you just find a hidden gem who ‘feels’ great to control. Imagine getting a street team together where you could play with Bendtner, Willems, Mahrez and David Luiz.
The stuff dreams are truly made of.
Now it’s not rocket science or new to suggest how or why the Ultimate Team model could be both brilliant and neatly applied to FIFA Street. You could have multiple street squads, a version of chemistry, contracts, kits and so on. But above all that, this real player based model would get FIFA Street firmly back to its core roots, and at the same time provide us with an immeasurable amount of player diversity to experiment with above and beyond anything the current games custom creations can muster (mostly afro’s).
And if a new FIFA Street game should be anything, it should be creative and diverse.
In Part 2 I’ll be delving in to FIFA Street Gameplay and how it needs to be improved on for any future title. But for now, share your thoughts on Part 1 below.
The 3rd Friday of February brings another round of upgrades.
After batch 1 and batch 2, we’re over the halfway point of winter upgrades for FIFA 16 with batch 3 today.
As you almost certainly know by now, this year we’re getting more upgrades than usual because they’re being spread across the entire month of February, and batch 3 brings the following changes, +1 for Özil, Koscielny, Hart, HandanoviÄ, Jonas, Carvajal and Barkley, +2 for Mario Gomez and Hatem Ben Arfa, and +3 for Chris Smalling, plus a bunch more.
To see more detail on these and the previous upgrades, you can find them on the site now. You can also download the latest excel file to see how In-forms have been effected by the upgrades. Or just look at the table below. Your choice.
News. Now in video form.
Episode 24 of the Futhead Podcast.
iTunes link – RSS Feed
Although there are no BPL players due to the FA Cup there are still multiple names to shout about such as Ibra, Miranda and Muller.
Formation: 3-4-2-1 – Part one: http://www.futhead.com/16/squads/9826357/
Part two: http://www.futhead.com/16/squads/9826399/
Keylor Navas – GK – 79 OVR
When Real Madrid fail to win it is usually the opposing side which picks up an IF however on this occasion RM have Navas to thank for the point and without him they would have lost the match. He made 4 saves in total which does not sound like a lot but the quality of the saves are what count as shown by picking up an 8.5 match rating. Lux is also worth mentioning who picked up a 9/10 however because his side lost I just couldn’t take the risk.
Raphaël Guerreiro – LB – 76 OVR
The first of several Ligue 1 IF’s this week is Guerreiro who was involved in two Lorient goals during a 4-3 win with both a goal and an assist. The defensive options were few and far between and so a 7 from the Portuguese defender could well be enough.
Miranda – CB – 84 OVR
Miranda has been outstanding throughout the season so far and could have picked up an IF on numerous occasions. This is probably his best chance though after scoring one of Inter’s three goals along with picking up the MOTM award in their 3-1 home win against Sampdoria.
Gregory van der Wiel – RB – 78 OVR
Van Der Wiel is the first of two PSG players selected this week during a 4-1 home win against Reims. The first of which is clearly VDW after claiming both a goal and an assist in the match before claiming an 8/10 from L’equipe. No prizes for guessing the second PSG player.
Morales – LM – 77 OVR
Morales has been playing well in recent weeks and was very unfortunate to get snubbed a few weeks ago. He put it yet another top performance on Friday when Levante managed a 3-0 home win against Getafe. He was heavily involved in all three of the goals with one goal, one assist and winning the penalty.
Ryad Boudebouz – CAM – 76 OVR
When one of the big leagues are not playing it is often the case that great performances are taken notice of without the need of multiple goals and assists. Boudebouz falls under that category after picking up an 8/10 from L’equipe for him performance in Montpellier’s 3-2 away win against Angers.
Thomas Müller- CAM – 86 OVR
I tried to be clever with Muller last week and it failed to pay off, this time however there is no doubt about it with him being a straight forward selection. He claimed Kickers POTW with the top mark possible after scoring the first and second Munich goals in a 3-1 home win.
Kevin Volland – RM – 80 OVR
Volland, just like Boudebouz is included for his match rating which was the second highest in Germany this week with a 1.5. On paper he just has one assist to his name however that is only half the story. In a week like this I would expect to see Volland included.
Domenico Berardi – RW – 80 OVR
Berrardi was this weeks player of the week in Italy after picking up both a goal and an assist during Sassuolo’s 3-2 home win against Empoli. Team mate Defrel also stands a chance however Berardi should take preference here.
Edin DÅ¾eko – ST – 81 OVR
Although the Bosnian striker put in a real contender for miss of the season during Roma’s 5-0 home win against Palermo in general he had a great game. He was directly involved with four of Roma’s five with both two goals and two assists. Although it was actually his team mate, Salah of which claimed MOTM because the winger is in the current side it rules him out of this one.
Zlatan IbrahimoviÄ‡ – ST – 89 OVR
Ibra was snubbed a couple of weeks ago and I can understand that however if he is snubbed again this time around I would be very surprised. The big man from Sweden once again ran the show for PSG in a 4-1 home win with he picked up both two goals and two assists to help claim a 9/10 from L’equipe.
Laurent Henkinet – GK – 64 OVR
Waasland recorded a surprise 1-0 win at home to Anderlecht this weekend and what makes it even more impressive is they were down to 10 men for the majority of the game. Had it not have been for Henkinet of whom made 8 saves in total the result could have been significantly different however and thus he makes my side.
Adam Mójta – LB – 63 OVR
Mojita helped Podbeskidzie to a very impressive 4-1 home win against Lech Poznan by assisting three of the four goals. A defender which contributes to three goals in a shock win should not be missing out that is for sure.
Andrew Tutte – CM – 65 OVR
Bury actually found themselves two down after just 17 minutes however when Eastman saw red after 33 minutes the game was Bury’s for the taking. Tutte played a big part in the turn around which saw a 5-2 win for the home side scoring the 2nd, 3rd and 5th goals.
Otávio – CM – 73 OVR
I will be honest this spot was very hard to decide on and in fact I could have pondered over it for quite some time. In the end I just went with Otavio however who scored once and assisted another two in Guimares’s 3-3 draw away at Braga. He was POTW in Portugal and although they are far from confirmed an IF with the BPL not playing I wouldn’t be surprised to see one.
Ruud Boymans – ST – 72 OVR
Boymans was this weeks player of the week in Holland for his two goals in FC Utrecht’s 2-1 home win against Willem including a late winner in the 85th minute. With the love that the Dutch league has been receiving in recent weeks I just had to include Boymans.
John Guidetti – ST – 74 OVR
Celta Vigo picked up their first league win in five attempts on Saturday and The man which can be put into an Eminem song (check his page) was largely behind that, scoring two of the three Vigo goals. He claimed an 8/10 from Marca and with just striker managing a hat trick it should be enough.
Nicky Ajose – ST – 63 OVR
Ajose was the man of the moment for Swindon this week after playing a massive part in them picking up three points via a 3-2 home win against Blackpool. The League 1 striker scored all three Swindon goals which included an 88th minute winner.
Benjamin Hübner – CB – 70 OVR
Other than the two obvious selections from the Bundesliga there was not a lot to choose from however with no BPL I can’t see there being less than three IF’s from the German leagues. This is why I have selected Hubner who scored one of two Ingolstadt goals in a 2-0 home win against Werder Bremen.
Esteban Cambiasso – CDM – 78 OVR
Let’s be honest who doesn’t want an IF Cambiasso? The Argentine veteran could in fact be picking one up this week after grabbing both a goal and an assist from CDM in a 4-0 win for Olympiakos.
Aaron Mooy – CM – 74 OVR
With the way that Mooy is currently playing I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him signed by a bigger club in the summer. He scored twice and assisted another this weekend during Melbournes 4-1 home win.
Hans Vanaken – CAM – 76 OVR
Vanaken was one of the early additions to the side and although the Belgian league was snubbed last week I can not see the same again this time around, especially with no BPL. Vanaken was involved in three of six Brugge goals in a 6-0 demolition of Westerlo with two goals and an assist.
Lisandro López – ST – 77 OVR
It is very rare that I would even consider a striker which had scored once however this is not like many situations. Lopez came on as a sub to score an unbelievable equiliser in acing Clubs 1-1 draw with rivals Independiente. The goal is well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.
The final set of winter upgrades.
We’ve already had loads of upgrades from batches 1, 2 and 3, but with today being the final Friday of February, we’re now seeing the last set roll out.
Players getting stat bumps in this final round include +1 increases for Insigne, Griezman, Perisic, Draxler, Podolski and Sagna, +2 for Diarra, Douglas Costa, Moussa Sissoko and Neymar and plus 3 for Navas. For the full list, check out the upgrades page on futhead.com.
With each previous week, if a player you thought deserved an upgrade didn’t recieve one there was “always next week” but that’s no longer the case with this batch being the last one. Feel free to kick and scream in the comments if someone missed out.
To see more detail on these and the previous upgrades, you can find them on the site now. You can also download the latest excel file to see how In-forms have been effected by the upgrades. Or just look at the table below.
One week of FIFA happenings jammed into 5 minutes.