Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Gift of the Year

So today we have the last day of the year. Could there be any excuse if I didn't greet all of You? To be short, I just wanna send You all those classical regards and a few original ones. And here is my last gift this year.

Perhaps most of You have already seen or heard this song. But today Queen’s first new studio recording in ten years and Paul Rodgers’ first in 7 years, named "Say It's Not True," is officially out . Why Oueen, why here, You can ask. It is because of the "We Are the Champions".

‘Say It’s Not True’ comes as an enhanced CD single release carrying the full video shown at the December 1st 46664 Johannesburg concert. All royalties from world sales will be donated to Nelson Mandela’s AIDS cause, 46664. And that's the true spirit of giving gifts. And that's the true spirit of sports. Be happy: go in for sports and give gifts from the heart.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

FIFA 08 is still in gamers' hearts

Although almost three months from the first FIFA'08 release have passed, this game still sinks in high popularity. It is even still in some selling top-fives! And my poll which had got 129 Your votes, shows FIFA amuses most of You perfectly. 103 (79 %) of poll participants declared they "of course" still play this year version of FIFA. The second in popularity rank was an answer which said "I'm already waiting for FIFA'09". It gained 12 of Your voices (9%).

The army of FIFA lovers may widen cause 6 persons (4%) stated they were looking forward to buy their copies of the '08 (or maybe they'd like to find a copy under Christmas tree?).

8 voters, however, are unhappy with FIFA'08. 5 of them (3%) think it is boring and 3 (2%) do not like FIFA "as a race". (if You do not see clearly, click on the table)

What the conclusions could be drawn analyzing the results? First of all, of course here we have a little trick, cause if people come to the site about FIFA'08, they perhaps are acquainted with the game and have their own opinion about it. What is more, probably the majority of us search in the internet the things we like, not the things we hate.

On the other hand, almost the tenth of voters are already waiting for the next year version of FIFA, so there is a great possibility they are not satisfied with the game or it made them satisfied for a very short time. Therefore FIFA'09 creators should try to extend the term to keep gamers satisfied leastwise till Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Managing small and poor club - Tips for manager mode (2)

Last time I tried to provide some tips for those who take rich and well-known clubs in manager mode of FIFA 08. Today I’d like to touch Cinderella growing up to Princess strategy - when You take a team from the last league and almost without budget and lead it to champion.

If You choose this way, Board of Directors will be rather calm and gentle, leastwise in the beginning. You will be asked to avoid fall to lower league (if You play in the very last league, a request probably will be to stay in the top half of the table or something like that), to win derby matches or to extend a contract with a team star (if the footballer from the semi-amateur club can be called this way).

However, Your aim presumably will be to bring Your club to the top. To set things clear, to the top in the supreme national league. Therefore You must improve not only Your gaming skills but management and administration of the club.

I don't want You to imagine me as a pure materialist, but the thing which is really essential when trying to climb this mountain is money. As a poor and unknown club, Your team won't have it. What are the solutions?

First of all, I should mention that even if everything went in the right way and You made Your club developing fast, Your budget wouldn't increase in the same tempo. I believe the mentality of sponsors in FIFA 08 (in FIFA 07 too) is programmed to estimate their proposals not for club results but for manager rating -
manager prestige (a number near Your selected face in manager mode central)

Your budget can be increased by
enlarging Your club's stadium (this action also needs money, but not so much in the beginning cause clubs from last leagues don't have big ones) and setting tickets price to high status. However, before making a decision go to the Office - Financial prediction and learn whether these actions will pay You back. I believe (but the only evidence is my own experience in playing FIFA'08) it depends even on the population of the town if more fans will come to the enlarged stadium. And it is proved that the the number of coming fans is tightly related to the fan support (those numbers and flag icon in the manager mode central). You should examine both fan support level and the numbers in Financial prediction before deciding whether it is useful to raise tickets price.

However, these operations have their restrictions. You cannot enlarge stadium to higher level than 10 (and it costs approximately 25 or 30 million, if I'm not wrong) and raise ticket price more than

Therefore the best solution for making money is the one I've already stated.
Free agents market. There You can buy players for comparative low prices (cause You ought to pay only his salary) and then sell them to others clubs for their real market value and earn nice sums. It is more worthy than to send Your scout for searching new talents because as Your a club is undeveloped, a scout will have little rating and will be bring not very good footballers. However, scouting is also the way to get talents who will either good enough to play in Your team or expensive enough to sell them. I just want to highlight working with free agents is more efficient.

So You should upgrade negotiator who is strongly related with the success in the bargain with free agents. Upgrading and
other staff is also highly welcome. Even if You don't notice the improvement in playing Your manager prestige will increase.

In the end, I also want to remind You don't be afraid of veterans or players with intermediate skills.
As I have mentioned before, bear in mind that numbers and figures don’t show real situation even in videogames.

On the other hand, it is worth sometimes to examine Team management-Player growth. There You might find out that some of Your leaders have reached the peak of their skills and his numbers will drop in a few seasons. Then You will have to decide if it is worth to sell it and get younger player for the same or even less sum but with more talent and brighter future.

All in all, think like real businessman. Be active in buying and selling, comparing players and their contracts. Otherwise, do not forget that if You want some success the most important thing You should do is to football.

If You have got some more tips about the manager mode, You are highly welcome to share them in comments.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Tips for manager mode (1)

I regularly notice that lots of people are searching for some advice about manager mode of the FIFA’08. I’ve posted a few ideas in my blog posts but now I want to shape some structure of this kind of tips and get as far as I know of this topic.

As it was mentioned here, there are different strategies of playing manager mode, but we can extinguish two most opposing ones:

1) When You take a team-Cinderella (from the last league and almost without budget) and grow it up to the Princess (champion of national league and cup and European tournaments leader).

2) When You take a well-known (perhaps yours favorite) club, buy a few your beloved players and struggle to survive pursuing everything the Board of Directors requires.

Of course, we can create a lot of in-between variants, but every strategy is the combination of those mentioned ones. Naturally, the situation can change if You get team-Cinderella and then bring it to the leaders. Every year the expectations of the Board grow and suddenly You will find Yourself trying to meet with heightened standards. But it’s obvious. Let’s better talk about some specific tips for those two “pure” strategies and then everyone will be able to take from the list the tip he or she needs.

Firstly, when You take a rich and very reputable club, be sure You will be able to reach high results immediately. The Board of the club normally doesn’t like to wait till You get familiar to the team and find optimal strategy and formation. If You lose a few matches in turn, Your season with the team could end at the very beginning. Therefore I highly recommend either to take lower difficulty level, or to take less ambitious club, or to summon up all Your skills.

By the way, here is one more tip for the start of playing with teams like Barcelona, Manchester United and so on. It maybe a little bit psychological but it works at least for me. I usually try not to change the formation or strategy of the team radically, no matter that my heart shouts me to pick Ronaldinho or Rooney right now. I do it step by step, because it seems Team Chemistry (those two gearwheels with percents) is very sensitive to that.

Despite the fact You are managing a rich club money still can be problem: You have best players, You want better ones; Board of Directors requires to sell or to buy someone; some contracts expire; etc. At the beginning You’ll be able to enlarge Your stadium (but this action also needs money) and set tickets price to high status. But these ways have their finishes and they usually appear soon enough.

Money is one of the reasons You must raise Your manager prestige (that number near Your face in the game), so attempt to win every match and meet Board’s objectives. Sometimes You’ll have to sell a few Your stars, but I know how it hurts. So I suggest You to look through the market, especially a free agents list. There You can buy players for comparative low prices (cause You ought to pay only his salary) and then sell them to others clubs for their real market value and earn nice sums.

Here is one more tip. Sometimes it is worth not to be too quick to get rid of players who are getting old and their abilities drop, especially defenders who doesn’t need as much speed as those in the front lines. Bear in mind that numbers and figures don’t show real situation even in videogames. Veterans have experience and the whole line (defenders, midfielders or forwards) is used to play and share position with them (Team Chemistry). What is more, think how often You realize whole of Your defenders potential. And finally, veterans demand lower salaries.

If You have got some more tips about the manager mode, You are highly welcome to share them in comments.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

A POLL: Are You still playing FIFA 08?

It's about two months since FIFA 08 was released in Europe and Australia and about one and a half since it appeared in USA.

Was it enough time for this game or it was not? Do You and Your friends still play it or You got fed up with it? Maybe You already look forward for FIFA 09? Or maybe You hadn't try to play this version yet? Finally, maybe You wouldn't play FIFA'08 even if Your life depended on that?

State Your opinion, answer in the poll on the top of the blog.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why we play FIFA?

Anonymous (perhaps a girl, I'd dare to guess) had commented one of my posts:

I don't get you guys - what is so special in that Fifa stuff??? My boyfriend keeps playing it constantly. I don't think it is interesting to spend ur spare time sitting in front of computer and playing imaginary matches. Do u guys feel like real football players then? Is it an attempt to make childish dreams come true or what?

The comment is angry enough, I should notice. However, it is very valuable because rises philosophical question why one plays FIFA. And offers some answers or, to say more accurately, gives one widely spread point of view towards sports simulation games.

Dear Anonymous, I can't claim You are absolutely wrong cause there is a vast diversity of FIFA gamers around the world and some of them in deed feel like real football players and others try to make childish dreams come true while playing. EA Sports even included Be a pro mode which is a way to make imaginary football player carrier.

However, I want to give a wider context about playing the game.

First of all, a lot of people like football, goes to watch matches to stadiums or play in Sunday leagues.

But it doesn't mean all of them wants to be real footballers. It's just their hobby, their way of spending leisure time. Those who want to have alternative life go to Second life, not FIFA.

What is more, playing FIFA series is more similar to working as a coach or as a club manager, not a footballer. Except Be a pro, in other game modes gamer controls the whole team: outside the stadium he/she buys, sells and sets position for players, works on their contracts, administrates training calendar, etc.; inside the stadium he/she manages the whole team, sets strategy and so on. All in all, trying stay in Your point of view, dear Anonymous, we should say that playing FIFA should occupy those who had childish dreams to be football club managers or coaches. However, they should prefer game "Football manager" or "FIFA manager" then.

To go further, in my opinion, playing football simulators is just one more way of loving this sport. To feel it's majesty from other corner or from above. From a special kind of inside and outside to set things more clear (if they get clearer, of course).

So, being afraid of going too far, I am going to finish. Just want to mention one more personal feature of playing FIFA. Doing that means nothing but the relaxation for me sometimes. It's an area where I can just play, make those figures on a screen running, passing and shooting without any attempts to intervene in my mind, therefore I can be with my thoughts. However, to be honest, when I'm playing in this way, my team loses more games than wins:)

Monday, November 19, 2007

New winners! Congratulations!

Finally , the second voting for FIFA'08 best episodes TOP3 has finished.

And here we have the winners....

3 place. Zhenia and his clip, which got the 4th number, now gets the third place and like those in higher places will participate in the next top.


2 place. 7th start position, 7 votes and Wepeeler with his "Goal of the Month October" gets the second place.

1 place.Florentherzog and his "Del Piero goal" won second time in turn! (One more time and will begin to believe it's the best goal scored in FIFA'08 ever...:)

The new contest will be announced soon and You can participate in it by sending Your clips or links to them to or pasting their links here in comments.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vote for the TOP till Monday

Let me remind You, that the voting for the FIFA 08 BEST EPISODES ends on Monday, so You still can vote here.

The voting is expired. Look for newer voting.

Three clips here are the winners of last top and we have a few new competitors. So, please vote now and let me remind You (once more) that You can participate in the contest by sending Your clips or links to them to or pasting their links here in comments.

Which three episodes are the best?
8th free polls

First three - winners form las week:

1)Florentherzog - Del Piero goal

2)Florentherzog - Nasri goal

3)Björn Olsson Rooney scores - difficult angle

Zhenia sent some clips by email






And two goals from Wepeeler

7)Goal of the Month October

8)Koorany's GotM October 2007 2nd Entry


Friday, November 9, 2007

More than a month of playing. What can I say? (3) - Enchanced AI

More than a month has gone since I played FIFA'08 for the first time and the time has come to analyse whether some of my hopes and wishes were fulfilled or not.

Here I am again after a week of holidays. Let's analyze the improvement of Artificial Intelligence in FIFA'08 (if it was improved, of course).

Enhanced AI — New defensive and positioning logic requires greater tactical expertise to break down the opposition. New AI ensures players are in the right place at the right time. Player and team traits differentiate the stars,
EA Sports claimed before releasing the game. And what shows the experience?

The AI had been improved, in fact. My wish of no
guaranteed situations to score became true, at least I hadn't discovered them. In this FIFA version finally I am not able to get the ball with a side midfielder or forward and run straight to the end line and then turn square to the goal and then just beat the keeper, like in FIFA'07. I haven't even found some particular points from which one can score every time if he doesn't fail with the strength yet!

However, to say the truth, I'm a little bit afraid that didn't happen because I usually play on 3th or 4th level. "Where does this fear come from?" One can ask. And I'll answer. I played one match on Amateur level recently. And won 8-0 in first game. But this fact doesn't show that I'm a great FIFA'08 gamer (unfortunately for me). It was just because You can run straight, turn left or right in front of defenders
a few times and then kick the boal. 50 percent at least that it will be a goal...

On the other hand, that trick with running straight to the end line succeeded almost every time in FIFA'07, no matter of the level...


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Poll results: which FIFA is better?

The poll table had been hanging on the top of this page about a month. 104 voters declared their opinion and now we have heavyweight conclusion about Fifa'08, I think.

Almost three quarters claim FIFA'08 is the best. 14 of them remember FIFA'07 with nostalgia and only two think of FIFA '06 as the best member of FIFA series. Four voters are angry with the EA cause it's products for football are, in their opinion, getting worse for many years.

What the conclusions could be? First of all, to my mind, a rule the newer - the better played it's role. And it is rather logical. More new features and better graphics and better movement of players and so on couldn't make FIFA fans unsatisfied.

However, a quarter of voters liked previous products more than the new one and it is a serious signal for creators that not everything is perfect (I wrote about it a little here and here and in older posts. What is more, I'll write about it in the feature too). Imagine that somebody had bought FIFA'08 because he/she loved FIFA'07 and was disappointed in it. There will be a little miracle if he/she still buy FIFA'09. (mmm...maybe next generation FIFA would be far more attractive?...)

On the other hand, it is obvious that in spite of some criticism, the majority of gamers like new FIFA'08 version. And if it is so, no arguments are required.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Let me remind You, that the voting for the FIFA 08 BEST EPISODES ends on Monday, so You still can vote here.

Three clips here are the winners of last top and we have a few new competitors. So, please vote now and let me remind You (once more) that You can participate in the contest by sending Your clips or links to them to or pasting their links here in comments.

Which three episodes are the best?
8th free polls

First three - winners form las week:

1)Florentherzog - Del Piero goal

2)Florentherzog - Nasri goal

3)Björn Olsson Rooney scores - difficult angle

Zhenia sent some clips by email






And two goals from Wepeeler

7)Goal of the Month October

8)Koorany's GotM October 2007 2nd Entry


Monday, October 29, 2007

FIFA best episodes top3 winners. Congratulations!

Today we have the first FIFA'08 best episodes top 3 winners. Björn Olsson's "Rooney scores - difficult angle" (1st clip) and Florentherzog with "Nasri goal" (5th clip) both share 2-3 places and the first and the hottest goes to... Florentherzog again for "Del Piero goal" (6th clip).

Congratulations! These three winners will participate in voting for the next top which starts tomorrow.You still can participate in the contest by sending Your clips or links to them to or pasting their links here in comments.

Now let's watch replies - winners again:

2-3 place. Björn Olsson Rooney scores - difficult angle

2-3 place. Florentherzog - Nasri goal

1 place. Florentherzog - Del Piero goal


Sunday, October 28, 2007

A month of playing. What can I say? (2) - Custom formations

The month has gone since I played FIFA'08 for the first time and the time has come to analyse whether some of my hopes and wishes were fulfilled or not.

Custom Formations feature was something great for me. Design your own unique strategy to create the perfect formation and tactics. Set each player’s exact position in the formation, and assign specific attacking and defensive runs to unlock the opposition, they said and I imagined that I'd be able to play with 4 forwards or to make my side forwards to become midfielders when defending.

And I really got some awesome opportunities, but some limitations remained. For example, I couldn't place more than 7 defenders in one formation.
However, this problem was wider discussed here. Today I want to talk about one more disadvantage (at least in PC version) of the Custom Formations, which is really irritating not only for me, I know.

When You make Your own formations of the team and go to Manager mode, forget about any improvements of Your lines. They simply are not allowed! You can buy and sell players, climb to the stronger league but Your strategy options are restricted to the situation which was before You'd chosen the team...

What is more, there is very short list of default formations for Your team
in FIFA'08. That's the way how the word "custom" becomes an antonym to the word "creation"


Saturday, October 27, 2007

A month of playing. What can I say? (1) - Manager mode

The month has gone since I played FIFA'08 for the first time and the time has come to analyse whether some of my hopes and wishes were fulfilled or not.

First of all, I want to observe Manager Mode Improvements. The creators had promised:

1)new features include pre-season friendlies to test your team before a campaign

Hm...pre-season friendlies was new and interesting feature. However, what if do not want to play 4 pre-season games? If I want only one or even no one, cause I've been playing with the same team for the third season and just want to start playing new season ASAP? I'm left with my own troubles, then. Yes, a gamer can choose less games then four, but, for example in Spanish league, he/she loses a chance to get new players, cause the traffic season is being organised during friendly matches time...

2)new training options to hone your squad of players and dynamic board expectations that change depending on your successes … or failures

Sometimes it is great. You go to Your manager office, open the calendar and set some trainings. Sometimes one or two of Your players even gain some skills through training. However, almost always a major part of the team gets tired and then not only play worse but also the possibility of injures increases...


Monday, October 22, 2007


And the day has come! Now we will launch the first voting for our competitors in the first FIFA BEST EPISODES TOP 3.

The voting is expired. Look for newer voting.

Björn Olsson was the first who provide his clips so first four episodes:

1) Rooney scores - difficult angle

2)Rooney free kick

3)Scott Carson (goalkeeper) scores

4)Cristiano Ronaldo goal

Florentherzog participates with two episodes from FIFA PS3 version:

5)Nasri goal

6)Del Piero goal

James F. sent me three goals by email and wrote this style of shooting he likes most but I can choose one of the clips cause they're so similar. So I've chosen this one:

7)Pirlo goal


And I also couldn't miss the chance to participate in the first FIFA 08 top like this

8) The keeper holds the penalty

The results will be summed up and the TOP3 will be published on next Monday. Everybody who have great videos from their FIFA 08, post link to them here in comments or send me a link or the clip itself to .

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Don't miss Your chance! The first voting for the best FIFA'08 episodes top starts on Monday. So You still have enough time to start participating in contest by posting links of Your episodes here or sending episodes or links to them by email to

Björn Olsson was the first one who sent me some clips and here we have one of them - Wayne Ronney scoring from really difficult angle (other Björn's episodes will also be on the voting list, so if You have something better, share it).


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some tips about saving FIFA 08 replies

Today I'd like to share with You some tips about saving Your best episodes in FIFA'08:

1)Although the ability to export game's episodes in format which lets You to watch the clips on casual video players is great, this feature isn't perfect yet. The quality of the exported clips can be described only as semi-satisfying and it will be a compliment. However, You can improve the quality by going to MY FIFA - GAME SETTINGS - SYSTEM and adjusting the options there. Pay maximum attention to Output Video Resolution and Output Video Quality. Here we have my visual example way:

Both low

Both medium

Both high

Keep experimenting with these two and other options by Yourself, but have in mind that low quality doesn't recompense high resolution and vice versa:)

2)This one could look too simple but I should say that I lost some of my great moments just because I hadn't think of it. When saving, be sure that the end of Your episode is before the cursor in the saving bar - don't rewind it to the beginning of the episode. I'd saved a few of my first beautiful episodes in this style and when I wanted to watch them, I saw only the scene how my guys rejoice the goal. Only then I noticed that the most important thing is that blue line.

3)When You are watching Your recorded clips, You can choose the point of viewing. For example, if You want to see only how the goalkeeper behaves in the episodes above, You can focus only on him. You can save Your clips with different angle of viewing too - just select it before exporting.

4)And the last tip - once saved Your episodes don't boast and take part in the top FIFA'08 episodes contest:)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


A new feature starts a new stage of history today! From now on we will have the FIFA best episodes TOP here! This is the first top made from a few games I played today but I know You have more beautiful, more amazing and more stunning clips. So please put a link here in comments or send a link or even a file by email:

What is more, if you have possibilities provide clips from every console the FIFA'08 is available. It will be a great opportunity for all of us to compare how differs FIFA on PS3 , Xbox or PC.

And here we have the first fifa08pc top ever:


Monday, October 15, 2007

North America likes FIFA 08

As I've mentioned last week, it is very interesting how FIFA'08 appearance in North America have changed the game's sales results. So now, thanks to video games blogger, we can analyze the stats of the online sales and compare week 40 and week 41.

Nintendo Wii players in North Amercia didn't put FIFA'08 in tops and in Europe this game version got third place while it had been first last week.

EA Sports should say thanks to Xbox 360 players in America, cause they've bought enough copies to put FIFA Soccer 08 in the third place there. Europe gave FIFA third place too (second place a week before).

However, thanks a lot should be said to PlayStation players in both continents. FIFA Soccer version for PS3 debuted in the first place in North Amercia and got second one in Europe (first place last week).

A version for PS2 won first place on both sides of the Atlantic. It remained the most popular game in Europe for PS2 for the second week. There are some FIFA'08 fans among Playstation Portable players too. But the most of them live in Europe because this kind of FIFA was in tops only here - it got the same second place in week 40 and week 41.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Manager mode. What is your way?

Manager mode is one of the most essential things in FIFA series because it ties You to the game and makes You play over and over again and than come back and play again. I think manager mode takes about 80 or even more percent of my playing FIFA and I guess I'm not the only one who spends so much time on that.

However, there are different strategies of playing manager mode. The most opposing ones are:

1)You take a team-Cinderella (from the last league and almost without budget) and grow it up to the Princess (champion of national league and cup and European tournaments leader).

2)You take a well-known (perhaps yours favorite) club, buy a few your beloved players and struggle to survive pursuing everything the board of the club requires.

There are a lot of in-between variants of playing manager mode, but every strategy has more or less features of those two just mentioned.

Me, for example, took a team of Hereford from the fourth English league (officially - Football League Two) last year in FIFA'07 and brought to the "Cinderella" in four seasons. However, then I got bored of the same country, same opponents and same players of my team.

Therefore, this year I've taken a team of Las Palmas from the Spanish Segunda. It should take only two years while I'd be able to play in European tournaments, I hope.

And what is Your choice and Your favorite strategy?Do you like teams-Cinderellas or teams-whales?

I want to illustrate my journey with Hereford in FIFA'07 by one of my forwards S.Fleetwood who had only 56 OVR when I started with that team, and after three seasons had 71. As the player growth predicted, he would have gain 72 of fourth seasons but I simply hadn't enough patience...


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

FIFA'08 coming to USA

Only hours, not days left till the FIFA' 08 will appear in US. It's very interesting if Americans will buy it widely because it's a country preferring other sports. America has it's own football, therefore another football is called soccer and FIFA is FIFA Soccer'08 :)

The amazing days are coming not only for those who finally will be able to sink in this great football (soccer) game features. It also will be very interesting how the FIFA'08 coming to US will change is sells.

According to online sales, quoted by video games blogger, in the week 40 of this year (by the way, the week 40 (Oct. 1 - Oct. 7) was the first full-length week for new FIFA version even in Europe because the game was released in the middle of the week 39) , FIFA'08 got these results (only tops where FIFA is, are mentioned) :

Nintendo Wii

North America: 1. Carnival Games (Global Star), 2. Wii Play (Nintendo), 3. Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party (Konami).

Japan: 1. Dragon Quest Swords: Kamen no Joou to Kagami no Tou (Square Enix), 2. Dragon Ball Z Sparking! Meteor (Bandai), 3. Wii Sports (Nintendo)

Europe: 1. FIFA 08 (EA Games), 2. MySims (EA Games), 3. Super Paper Mario (Nintendo),

Xbox 360
North America: 1. Halo 3 (Microsoft), 2. Halo 3: Limited Edition (Microsoft), 3. BioShock (2K Games).

Japan: 1. Halo 3 (Microsoft), 2. Halo 3: Limited Edition (Microsoft), 3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Spike).

Europe: 1. Halo 3 (Microsoft), 2. FIFA 08 (EA Sports), 3. Halo 3: Limited Edition (Microsoft).

PlayStation 3
North America: 1. Heavenly Sword (SCEA), 2. NBA 2K8 (2K Sports), 3. Resistance: Fall of Man (SCEA).

Japan: 1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Spike), 2. Agarest Senki (Compile Heart), 3. Minna no Golf 5 (SCEI).

Europe: 1. FIFA 08 (EA Sports), 2. Resistance: Fall of Man (SCEE), 3. MotorStorm (SCEE).

PlayStation 2
North America: 1. Guitar Hero II Bundle (Activision), 2. Madden NFL 08 (EA Sports), 3. Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix).

Japan: 1. Dragon Ball Z Sparking! Meteor (Bandai), 2. Bakumatsu Koihana: Karyuu Kenshiden — Limited Edition (D3 Publisher), 3. Clannad (Interchannel).

Europe: 1. FIFA 08 (EA Sports), 2. SingStar Rock Ballads (SCEE), 3. SingStar ’90s (SCEE).

PlayStation Portable
North America: 1. Jeanne D’Arc (SCEA), 2. Star Wars Battlefront II (LucasArts), 3. Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (SCEA).

Japan: 1. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Square Enix), 2. Gundam Battle Chronicle (Bandai), 3. Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki SC (Nihon Falcom).

Europe: 1. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (Square Enix), 2. FIFA 08 (EA Sports), 3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (Rockstar).

Chart Track, encompassing the UK, Ireland and Denmark statistics, claimed that "It's FIFA’s turn to shine as Microsoft’s ‘Halo 3’ loses some of its opening week glitz with a 79% drop in sales. EA’s ‘FIFA 08’ claims No1 in the All Formats Chart for week 40, completing a hat-trick of Week 40 No1s as it also topped the All Formats Chart for week 40 in both 2005 and 2006."

All in all, good enough start, I think. And, despite this blog doesn't advertise the FIFA '08 (as one can see it from my posts), You can buy it here from Amazon, just scroll a little bit down and look left.

In the end, here we have the cover of the FIFA'08 which will be released in USA and Mexico. What is more, You'll see Spanish cover too.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Netherlands: find 11 discrepancies

If You play with Netherlands national team in FIFA 2008, You'll find eleven differences at once. And even more will wait You if You analyze the whole squad. Here we have starting lines of Netherlands national team in FIFA'08 on the left (players on bench had never been heard too) and the official Netherlands squad for the upcoming EURO 2008 qualifiers against Romania and Slovenia on the right.

Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United FC), Maarten Stekelenburg (AFC Ajax), Henk Timmer (Feyenoord).

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Sevilla FC), Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa FC), Urby Emanuelson (AFC Ajax), John Heitinga (AFC Ajax), Kew Jaliens (AZ Alkmaar), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburger SV), Mario Melchiot (Wigan Athletic FC), André Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers FC).

Midfielders: Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Nigel de Jong (Hamburger SV), Hedwiges Maduro (AFC Ajax), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid CF), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV), Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar).

Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool FC), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AFC Ajax), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool FC), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid CF), Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC), Arjen Robben (Real Madrid CF).

It seems EA Sports and Netherlands football association don't love each other somehow. We can recall that one of greatest teams of the world was simply absent in FIFA'07 and FIFA'06. In recent game versions adequate squad of this team was only in FIFA World Cup 2006.
However, thank God or destiny, You can improve Your squad with international selections in FIFA 2008...

Friday, October 5, 2007

International selection and deflection in FIFA 08

There is one more great feature in the FIFA 08. You can feel like a real couch and manage Your international teams in the international selections option. For example, if You don't like Ronaldinho, You can throw him away (it's a misguided example, isn't it?) from Brazilian national team and choose another player from more than thousand Brazilian footballers. Or, if You'd love to, You can return Figo to Portugal national team. And maybe another Portuguese player from more than two hundred.

However, international selections, as almost everything, has a feature to disappoint You. First of all, You can choose a team only from about 40 national teams while FIFA associates five times more football federations. What is more, somehow You can't put some players to the team, as, for instance, Romario...The Ro-Ro (Romario and Ronaldo) attacking combo can't be restored even in video game.

On the other side, we still have Ronaldinho. Let's watch some skill moves he can do, made by Hoesrr.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

POLL: which FIFA is better?

As I've mentioned before, FIFA series like no other EA game has strong competitors. For example, nowadays the cutthroat competition between FIFA and PES is taking part. One loves PES for it's reality, other adores FIFA for it's features, etc.

However, it is more interesting for me which FIFA version is better? Do You like Your new FIFA '08 or FIFA'07 was more astonishing? Maybe EA Sports disappoints You every year when a new game is released?

Have Your say here in comments and vote in the poll on the top of this page.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Formation with(out) restrictions

The time has come to talk about custom formations in FIFA 2008. As we know, the creators bring us a new feature this year - we can design our own formation of the team. Here I've got three my first formations which are made of a half of curiosity, a quarter of experience and a quarter of humor.

You can edit the existing traditional formations and contemplate how to fit your own design of the eleven to your team strategy and players' skills. However, while playing with my created formations I discovered some disadvantages. First of all, the players don't cover the square as efficient as while playing with classical formations (let it be 4-4-2, 4-1-2-1-2, etc.). Perhaps I should experiment more with the possibilities of this feature.

On the other hand, I discovered some restrictions of the game itself. For example, I couldn't place more than 7 defenders in one formation.

One could think it had happened because of the requirement to have at least one player at each line. But my further experiment had broken this theory. No forwards, as you see:


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My new FIFA 2008. What have we got?

STOP! What a history of the past? A new history has stared started! I got my FIFA 08! Unfortunately, I had not much time to play and explore new features but I already have some comments. I have played only two kick-offs with MU and tried two new features: Be A Pro (when You choose one player to play) and Zone Play (when You choose one or more lines of formation to play). That was interesting, however, as I had worried, it is difficult, a little bit boring and unusual not to be able to control the whole team. What is more, I didn't like one more thing. No matter what position your selected player is playing in, with pressing E you can control the keeper. A little bit unfair, isn't it?

I explored some more sad details. Anyway, it is only a few notes as for the first time. And now You can watch my first goal in FIFA 08 scored by Tevez:

PS. When it comes to FIFA games history, I promise to write it whole someday if You want.

Monday, September 24, 2007

FIFA game history (1995-1997 versions)

After the FIFA'94 success, EA developed the FIFA'95 exclusively for Sega's 16-bit console (Mega Drive, to be accurate). New version had the same engine with only minor retouches and the most essential change was the first time adding about 200 club teams to the series. Players could then play England, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, United States, Spain and Brazil leagues, tournaments and playoffs. Also new, a battery backup allowed to save up to four competitions in the cartridge, replacing passwords. And, of course, a football lottery was brought to the FIFA. The Penalty Shootout training mode was added.

FIFA'96 came with the tag- line "Next Generation Soccer" and that was the truth. The version of 1996 is the first FIFA game to feature real-time 3D graphics on the 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC, using technology called "Virtual Stadium". The game's commentary was also revolutionary at the time. Famous British commentator John Motson commented all the incidents and happenings on the pitch in real-time and his phrases varied enough not to make gamers bored. Another one great feature appeared then. It was the first time in the FIFA series when players had real names and positions. There were ranking, transfer and team customization tools. Thats is more, FIFA' 96 boasted eleven leagues, 59 International teams and even International tournaments such as the World Cup.

Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo Entertainment System versions, however, had the simply engine of FIFA'95 with updated teams and graphics (the 32X version features 3D enhanced graphics).

The main changes in FIFA'97 was the inclusion of 6-a-side indoor soccer mode and practicing possibilities. Gamers could choose between action or simulation styles, with fouls, injuries and offsides available to toggle on or off. All player moves was copied from David Ginola using the MotionBlending technology. Full interactive replays were included. It was the historical version of the FIFA series, cause commentator Andy Gray debuted in it. The same guy who comments matches in FIFA'06 and '07.

Hmm, but maybe the most vivid image would the scene from the game itself. Here we go: 6 on 6 and normal match in FIFA'97: