Season one of my PC modded Crystal Palace Career Mode has come to an end, it has been a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable season, largely thanks to the PC platform and customization options it affords the player.
FIFA 18 and 19 were both very good, enjoyable games with 19 specifically aimed much more towards the simulation crowd, and although EA’s updates over the course of last year tweaked the game to a more online-friendly audience (don’t they always) they still stayed fairly true to their simulation philosophy.
FIFA 20 has built upon this, with a slower, heavier feel to players, the game has taken on new levels of realism, and coupled with the OS Sports slider settings, and the various PC Mods, most notably the FIFER realism mod and game play patch, the game feels harder, more realistic, and better than ever.
If you recall, my board objectives were fairly achievable, finish mid-table, reach last 16 of the FA Cup and grow a youth player, I achieved all of these with a 10th placed finish in the league, reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals and am on track for developing several youth players.
The final league table is shown below, just out of sight Spurs finished top and won the league by GD over Liverpool, only one goal in it, so I was pleased to pick up a superb result on the final day of the season.
I have now setup a productive youth infrastructure, I have two 3 star level youth scouts scouting in England and France, and my youth academy is currently full with 15 players, there are a few with very high potential who I have aligned to two saved training plans, and I alternate between these throughout the season, to maximize their growth.
One young player I have a keen eye on is David Boateng, a CDM, who has grown several OVR points, only rated 64 still but after having played him in a few cup matches and the pre-season Audi Cup tournament, he stood out, and I see him as a potential long-term replacement for Kouyaté.
I mentioned in comments here and over on PES Chronicles Blog that I recently had one of the most intense and enjoyable matches I’ve ever experienced on a footy video game, the match in question was away to Liverpool, at Anfield.
One MASSIVE thing the realism mod does well is makes the differentiation between teams much more apparent, I can pick off a Norwich, or Brighton, but playing against a Man City, Liverpool or Spurs is a whole different ball game, their star players stand out, dictate play and cause constant threat, as was the case against Liverpool, Van Dijk was an immovable force, and Salah and Mané ripped me apart down the wings, I had to concentrate 100% for the full 93 mins and felt physically tired after the match, this is still only on professional level remember.
Its a wonder how i even managed to score in that game, which was so one sided it was untrue, but amazingly we snatched a 2-1 win, very rewarding, here are the goals:
My end of season prize money was £24 mil for finishing 10th, which is pretty spot-on to what real life clubs get for finishing 10th, I was allocated £16 mil of that to my transfer funds, plus the FA Cup prize money, a fee received for selling McArthur, a surplus CM and Prize money from winning the aforementioned Audi Cup tournament, meant I have around £35 mil to spend to boost the squad for next season.
The realism mod also tweaks transfer fees to reflect real life, so £35 mil barely buys you one decent player, and I’d like to bring in a CF, a CB and a GK, some wheelin’ and dealin’ to be done.
I did manage to sign a decent 80 rated RB from Benfica, Almeída, in a player plus £18 mil cash deal.
The board were happy with my progress and have extended my contract another year and set me the task of achieving a Europa Cup qualification place, so top 6, maybe a bit over expectant?
Before I start season two I wanted some new kits, Yes, custom kits are a thing in the PC version of FIFA, thanks to the amazing Frosty Editing Toolsuite, but are complex in their creation, kits are split into Jersey / Shorts / Socks files and each one must have 3 separate files, a kit design, a coeff file (embroidery pattern for the fabric) and a 3D normal file (a bump map to give the textures height and an embossed look), so 9 files for each kit, and with a Home, GK, and away kit, that’s 27 files, not counting the separate file needed for the Mini-Kits which is shown on the kit selection screen.
But alas, all done and here are my first attempts at custom kits within FIFA 20, and the clobber we will wear for next season. I have changed the kit make from Puma to Nike, so my next task is figuring out how to change the animated adboards at Selhurst park, so I can replace Puma with Nike.
Season two now starts in earnest, with an opening day fixture at home to Sheffield Utd, then Norwich away, I would be looking to get at least 4 points from these opening two games to get off to a good start.
Lastly, some highlights from the back end of our first season: