Season One Finale

FIFA 19 Career Match 0-0 SHU V NFO, 1st Half.pngThe league table above shows the task at hand, claw back 4pts with 4 games to play, and overturn Norwich and Villa to claim the 6th position and final play-off spot.
Much easier said than done. Another season in the EFL Championship could well see me lose my job at Forest, as the board expect promotion.

That was the picture heading into last nights session, what entailed was a late night 6 game session that may be the most tense, realistic, enjoyable and smile-inducing session I’ve ever played on a football video game.

My run of good results continued with some blisteringly good football, winning 3 matches on the bounce whilst seeing Villa and Norwich both drop points, heading into the final game of the season, I was up against an in-form Bolton side, who had won their last 3 games, Villa and Norwich played each other on the final day, I needed to win to guarantee a play-off spot, lose or draw and either Villa or Norwich win, and it was another season in the Championship for us.

The 3 wins on the bounce included a 4-0 away win at QPR. It was joyous, Loftus Road is replicated beautifully in FIFA 19, the broadcast camera angle is a slightly closer to the pitch view, making it more intimate, but also making space on the pitch more difficult to hunt out and play into.
The atmosphere was electric, the QPR fans loudly singing “Come On You R’s”, closely followed by a din from the away end shouting “Nott’m Forest FC, by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen”.
The QPR fans booed their team off the pitch at full-time as my players celebrated wildly.

The sense of occasion was also added to throughout these run-in games by the intelligent commentary commenting on the situation, and by the live score updates from Alan McInally, which I had chosen the key games involving Villa and Norwich, So I knew what had to be done all the way.

You can see a few of the goals from those 3 matches below:

I was now in that 6th and final play-off spot, Villa and Norwich are 2 points behind me in 7th and 8th respectively, and play each other in the last game.
I needed to win, I didn’t. late on in the game Bolton went 1-0 up, I switched to a very aggressive and attacking style, meanwhile scores from the Norwich vs Villa game filtered through that it was 1-1, more high up the pitch pressing and attacking play saw me get done on the counter attack, twice for a 3-0 defeat. My turn to be booed off by the fans.

I was sweating on seeing that final score from the other match……… 1-1.
I’d secured a play off place by a single point.

FIFA 19 Career (In Menus)_2.pngMy opponents were West Brom, who finished 3rd.
I scraped through the home leg with a 2-1 win, only grabbing the winner late on. The away leg was a more comfortable affair, packing the midfield and stifling West Brom’s play proved effective as they created very little, I managed to capitalise on an error and grab a winner too, 3-1 on aggregate and into the play-off final at Wembley

FIFA 19 Career (In Menus).png33OkBMkSo from being 17th in January, to playing for a place in the premiership, this season has been a topsy-turvy one, but most enjoyable.
FIFA 19 is standing up as a fantastic game, so rich in presentation, immersion and realism, but with solid, fun and sim-like game play to match.

You can watch the goals from the Play off match vs West From below, Mondays post will be a detailed highlights package from the play-off final vs Derby County.

The Premier League awaits.

37 thoughts on “Season One Finale

  1. notgreg October 18, 2018 / 10:23 am

    Paul – by the skin of your teeth! So have you played the playoff final yet?

    Technical query: do you have a text expansion app running on your Mac? I do, and I love it, and I think I see the signs of it on yours. I think you’ve got a shortcut so you can type, say. “nott” and the app will expand it to “Nott’m Forest”. It’s the only reason I can think of for the Forest fans to sing “Nott’m Forest FC, by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen”. Unless Tommy was the chant consultant in FIFA19?!

    (I used to use TextExpander but they went to a subscription model, so I switched to aText.)

    Like

  2. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 10:28 am

    NG – No, not yet, I finished last nights session about half past midnight, then had to edit the videos and screenshots and write the post, so left it there.
    Will play the Play-off final on Sunday evening, ready for Mondays post.

    I don’t use any text expander or predictor apps at all, I manually typed the Nott’m bit as its just easier and shorter than Nottingham, and god forebid I ever use ‘Notts’ again.

    It was a tense run-in to the end of the season, going to the final day, with the drama of losing and relying on other results actually made it all the more enjoyable, and the presentation perfectly captured that, it made it feel like a proper tense last day of the season, adds so so much to your career mode experience when you feel part of a living breathing football world.

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  3. notgreg October 18, 2018 / 10:43 am

    Paul – oh, I see… it’s just that the Forest fans would never chant their abbreviated name, so I thought I’d Sherlocked the fact that you were using a text expansion app. (You should trial one. They’re great. E.g. ML instantly becomes Master League and the like.)

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  4. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 10:46 am

    Sorry Watson, although you’d probably not hear the distinction between Nottingham and Nott’m in a chant anyway.

    Reminds me of the days when I used to change a colleagues auto-correct dictionary in MS Word on his work PC, many a fun ‘alteration’ where ‘Profits’ became Prostrate and such like.

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  5. notgreg October 18, 2018 / 10:58 am

    Paul – if several thousand people chanted ‘Nott’m’ I think it would definitely sound different from ‘Nottingham’. The most likely way of chanting ‘Nott’m’ would be something like ‘Nottum’, two syllables, whereas ‘Nottingham’ in a football chant is gloriously drawn out and long ‘Nooooooting-ham FOREST!’ It’s as unlikely as Sheffield Wednesday fans chanting ‘Sheff Weds’ and the like. Nott’m is purely a written-down abbreviation, not a spoken one. You’re glad I broached this topic for discussion, aren’t you?

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  6. #1 October 18, 2018 / 11:03 am

    Paul – it’s all looking and sounding great. I like the variation in goals and the commentary is light years ahead from pes. Seems like Dennis is a key man for you and involved in nearly every goal? Love the developing storyline, how gutted will you be if you don’t make it into the prem?

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  7. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 11:07 am

    #1 – So far its more than holding up, it’s actually a joy to play.
    The variation in goals is a big part of that, as in real football anything can happen. Bobbles, mistakes, bad touches, Deflections etc. Makes for a very varied set of matches.

    Dennis is a threat. Great finisher and pacy, he actually suffered a dip in form the last 4 matches, should have had more goals than he did.

    If I lose the play off final I’ll be devastated. Another 46 game slog next season would be a chore, but the game is so good I’d be happy to do so.

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  8. Shed October 18, 2018 / 11:11 am

    I like the way the debate sparked from that chant is about grammar and not the Forest fans claim to their team being the greatest the world has ever seen…by far.

    Paul – Great post. You really built the suspense there. I also like the Sky Sports News ticker with that drink-driving charity shop worker and her shouty Scotman co-host.

    FIFA 19 does look stunning in those clips. The goals seem to lack a little something though. Would you say that have that satisfying oomph when you knock one in the onion bag?

    Good luck in the final. Looking forward to your full big match treatment.

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  9. notgreg October 18, 2018 / 11:15 am

    Paul – I remember missing out on playoff promotion in Football Manager 2005 after a similar long slog and an FM-playing work colleague at the time being surprised i didn’t simply reload and play it again until I won. What would be the point of playing any game if we did that? It’d be like fast-forwarding to the end of the film and just watching that. It really is about the journey to the goal as much as the goal. The playoff final has to have meaning, and part of that is the possibility of being consigned to another long slog in the division if you lose. You’ve got the bandwidth to broadcast it live… Even if we can’t watch live (I’ll be at work Sunday) we could watch as-live.

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  10. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 11:22 am

    Shed – I don’t think Forest fans could ever seriously claim they have the best team, mind you every teams fans uses that chant at one point or another, even heard it at the MK Stadium , I doubt City, or Juventus, or Barca or quaking in their boots.

    I guess you have to play the game to get a sense of the feeling when shooting, but it feels superb.
    The ball and players have proper weight to them this year, I can’t just turn on a sixpence with a clunky DMF, i’ll more times than not, lose the ball, either through being tackled, or by taking a poor touch and letting it run away, this translates over to shooting too.

    You can feel the thud, or contact with a shot, it does feel meaty and satisfying when it smacks the back of the onion bag.
    The new driven low shot is great too, as one of the goals above showed, you can choose where to put the shot with precision, either roll it into the net low like a pass, or piledriver a daisy cutter.

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  11. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 11:25 am

    NG – There is an option in the EAFC catalogue to ‘cash in’ a reward using your game points to be able to reply career mode matches, I haven’t touched it, and never would, as you rightly say, the sense of achievement is in the journey, not just the last match.

    If I lose, I’ll rebuild and play another Championship season, if I keep my job. No restarts and no shortcuts.

    I may record the whole Play off final match and upload it, I’m just wary that most people dont like to watch videos more than a few minutes long.

    I guess I could put the whole match up and also a highlights package to cater for both.

    Like

  12. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 11:26 am

    PS: Has no one noticed the easter egg hidden in todays post at all? Free PES 5 Strategy guide to the first person to mention it.

    Like

  13. notgreg October 18, 2018 / 11:38 am

    Paul – I’ve spotted it now, but as I’ve already got a Guide (in good nick, too, I wonder if anyone ever read these guides back in the day) I’ll let someone else claim the prize.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lloyd October 18, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    Paul – the dude in the forest shirt looks like you!!

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  15. Lloyd October 18, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    Pes 5 on the screen behind the presenters. Boom!!

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  16. prsgame October 18, 2018 / 2:00 pm

    ever since I hit the top at Xmas I’ve been really struggling. Be interesting if you ever start another season Paul where you are up there from the beginning to see if you notice any irregularities in the AI play.
    I’ll be tough pressed to stay top. Both my strikers broke their elbows in consecutive games and are out for 2 months. That’s a little artificial feeling.

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  17. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    Lloyd – well done !!! If you want the PES 5 strategy guide, drop me a message.

    Like

  18. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    PRS – I guess its the games way of trying to reel you in a little, keep things interesting, a change or tweak in formation cans sometimes help break a bad spell.

    PES has a similar thing whereby if you win too many games on the bounce, or are doing too well, it will reign you in and turn things against you.

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  19. prsgame October 18, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    Yep well used to that in PES.
    Guess it surprised me in FIFA this time because I’m playing it like a Master League. Last time I had a FIFA Villa were in premier and I was happy with mid-table.

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  20. FIFAFX October 18, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    I checked the league tables at the end of the season and in the Championship you had Derby, Villa, Stoke etc at the top, and in the Premier League the top four were Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, so all realistic placings.

    Mind you Everton did win the FA Cup, they beat us in in the quarters, so always better to lose to the eventual winners.

    Liverpool won the Europa League, beating AC Milan in the final, and PSG won the Champions League.

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  21. Darryl6464 October 19, 2018 / 7:04 am

    Paul – good luck on Sunday and very wise move as the temptation would have been there to play the play off final late on. I always think to play these games as a one game session adds to the occasion. Loftus Road is my favourite ground in the game.

    Really struggling in the Championship with Fleetwood on World Class (no sliders) as I should be doing as a newly promoted side. Currently played 9, W 2, D2, L 5. Huge step up in class and am conceding a lot of goals. The commentary team kindly keep posting I have the worst defensive record in the league. Loving it.

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  22. FIFAFX October 19, 2018 / 10:36 am

    Darryl – I was tempted but it was almost 1am, it had been a long day, and I had to write the post so saved it and looking forward to sundays game as an occasion.

    There are a slew of youtube videos from pro Players that go into depth about defending, tactics, controls, dribbling etc, I found them very useful, if you’re interested I can post a few links.

    Like

  23. Darryl6464 October 19, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    Paul – the links would be really useful thanks. I thought I was starting to get a grip of defending but the CPU on world class doesn’t half exploit your weaknesses. What I also like is the differences between good and weaker teams. In the past teams like Barnet all used to play like Barcelona on steroids. This makes winning games against lesser teams more crucial, especially now I am in the relegation zone. Best footy game I have played? Maybe too early to call but the signs are good.

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  24. FIFAFX October 19, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    Will collate a few and post them up Darryl.
    That’s the biggest plus point for me over PES. The variation in teams abilities and not just teams but players within teams.

    It was so noticeable playing A Rotherham side bottom of table with worst defence in the league. Vs a mid table side. Vs a team pushing for the title.
    All completely different experiences and adds that element of immersion to the games. Knowing a dropped 3 points against a weaker side could be detrimental as it’s hard to get results against the better sides.

    If I go up this season it will be interred to see how this scales up with the premier league sides.

    Like

  25. Uncle turf October 19, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    That’s one of those things that FIFA does well and pes doesn’t even bother. Had it been master league you could have seen your players running round celebrating only to find you’d missed out on promotion, or vice versa – a downbeat ending yet the other result was favourable. It’s light years behind in terms of real time and that news from around the grounds experience.

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  26. FIFAFX October 19, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    Turf – There are of course things PES does well over FIFA, but in terms of match day experience, immersion, and actually feeling like a game matters, the two are non-comparable.

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  27. Darryl6464 October 19, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Paul – totally agree as I was playing a match v Leeds and all you could here was the Leeds fans as they had a big following all behind the goal It was none stop throughout the game. Leeds were up for the game and blew me away with thier pace and directness in the first 15 minutes. Then on the last game before bed I played Oxford away who were bottom of the league. They were 2-1 up but I then I equalised and they fell apart with me winning 4-2. You could see thier players arguing amongst themselves. But go on Metacritic and users rate the game as 2.4 on average. That is a complete joke!

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  28. FIFAFX October 21, 2018 / 12:30 am

    Darryl – those reviews and all the review I’ve seen of Fifa are from FUT players who want speedy instant turn fast non stop game play. This Fifa is a sim. It’s realistic and kudos for EA for sticking to it. It’s the offline gamers game and god speed to that. Fuck all the online fanboys and their 100000 skills on every goal. They’re not football fans. Just egotistical teenagers who want to be gangsters. Fuck them all.

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  29. Darryl6464 October 21, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Paul – totally agreed. I am currently locked in a relegation battle with me dropping in and out of the relegation zone. It is as tense as it gets. With 26 games played I am 2 points clear in 20th.

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  30. FIFAFX October 21, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Another 20m matches t go then Darryl, all to play for.
    Anything can happen within those potential 60pts.

    I was 21st in January, before going on a 12 mat h unbeaten run to secure 6th place.

    Like

  31. notgreg October 21, 2018 / 11:16 pm

    Paul/Darryl/anyone interested – I was sent an email by Sony over the weekend offering me a code to get FIFA19 Standard Edition for £31, which is very good for this time of year. (It’s a personalised code for me as a PS+ member, non-transferable, before anyone leaps in.)

    I can’t deny being tempted, especially with all the praise it gets here and on the PES forums too. I nearly pulled the rigger and took the weekend (busy working weekend) to think about it, but I wouldn’t play it. If this coming week’s PES2019 patch resets the game to nuPES standard I might have a different view though.

    But we dilute our experience at our peril. prsgame is the exception.

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  32. notgreg October 21, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Pulled the trigger, of course. *chortle*

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  33. FIFAFX October 21, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    NG – as good as FIFA 19 is, and it’s very good, just finished tomorrow’s post, I think you’d be foolish playing it right now.

    You are in a very good place with PES and enjoying it, and of course we know they both different enough games with their own quirks to make it difficult to ply both at same time. You have no need to play both, so don’t.

    That being said, would be a shame if you didn’t sample this FIFA at some point.

    Like

  34. FIFAFX October 21, 2018 / 11:33 pm

    I wasn’t sure if manhandling a manual labourer was a thing in Coventry so left the ‘pulled the rigger’ in just in case.

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  35. Darryl6464 October 22, 2018 / 7:15 am

    NG – I concur with what Paul says and that it wouldn’t be right to play it now but you must try it at some point.

    I have a meeting at 10.00 am but am considering how to sneak out to check if Paul got promoted.

    Like

  36. FIFAFX October 22, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Haha its worth making an escape for Darryl 😉

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  37. #1 October 22, 2018 / 9:11 am

    NG – don’t to both or flip flop now. No need to rush. Just read my posts from last year’s game on the chronicles to see how that would pan out for you (assumption but I think you’re the same as me in regards to flip flopping). A wasted year for me, won’t be trying that again. It’s one or the other.

    Like

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