Yesterday, which was actually Tuesday, which is a minor detail*, I received my Pottermore Email, got paid and bought FIFA 12. I can't emphasis enough how important the getting paid part was. I've basically been living in constant threat of overdraft since a week ago Friday**. So, I got my paycheck, deposited and have since spent the majority of it and still need to buy gas.
Pottermore wasn't initially in my plans for yesterday, but I woke up to the Email, so I planned to devote some time I would have otherwise spent on FIFA 12. I ended up being foiled though, because every time I clicked the link I wasn't allowed on due to overwhelming demand.
I did eventually get logged onto Pottermore this morning and I'll tell you more about that later. As for now I start with FIFA 12.
I spent many hours playing the Demo for FIFA 12. I was uncertain in the Demo rather the gameplay had been made worse or if it had been made better and I was just resisting change. I'm still having that quandary. I feel a little better about now that I've played some games against actual people though. The new things are still confusing, but at least against another human, they're having some of the same issues and not doing the ridiculous things the computer does.
The new "Tactical Defending" system is the cause of most of my problems. It's really hard to get used to. I just don't know if it's an actual improvement. It so far has just caused me to make lots of mistakes and allow stupid goals. It think there might just be too many buttons one needs to push in a specific and ever-changing order to do it right. It is hard to actually make a tackle and that is really frustrating particularly against the CPU, which simply will pass it around and around never allowing you to get close.
I'm not sure about the changes to the attacking side either. I feel better about them than I do about those on the defensive side. The changes aren't really that dramatic either and really are more a product of the different defending and new physics engine. I think it is now easier to score goals without using the "finesse" shot button. I've also found that you can't really cross the ball anymore the way one has been able to in basically every FIFA title up to this point. I've found that you really have to take your time while on the attack in this game and about sums up how this game is different in this phase.
The Career Mode seems to have been improved. The first thing that really made me happy was starting the MLS career on January 1st. That's a small thing, but before when starting as the Crew's manger, I always had to wait until July to make any Transfers. The transfer window is more active and enjoyable in this year's game as well. The CPU will make you offers for players that you haven't put up for sale. Sometimes it'll way over value a player and you get to decide whether or not to keep that player or not. It also no longer seems like it's just a mode that's just a fancy play now mode. Player's have mood, the media publishes stories that may or may not be accurate, you get to say something to the media during certain weeks, and there is a good way to measure a player's form. Also, there is a new system of Youth Scouting. I really like in-depth game modes in sports' games and this definitely qualifies as being in-depth.
Ultimate Team hasn't gotten any dramatic changes. It is built into the game this year, so you don't have to download it. Changes are really just ascetic and help to make more information more information immediately visible. I discovered earlier today that games that get disconnected are not being immediately rewarded as wins or losses, but are being reviewed. I think that's excellent, because often times disconnects aren't anyone's fault, but a product of EA's servers being shit and I hated losing DNF over that.
I think the graphics in FIFA 12 are excellent. They're considerably improved from last year and FIFA 11 wasn't at all bad graphically. I think the new physics engine has some bugs, but it is a step in the right direction. The commentary has been improved as well. They talked somewhat specifically about the Crew***. Also I heard a second commentary team randomly while playing Ultimate Team; mind blown.
I finally managed to actually get into Pottermore this morning. Every few clicks an error message would pop up about the servers, which got annoying. It is interesting, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I was willing to be persistent with it so I could get a wand and get sorted, but after that I found the errors too frustrating.
My wand is Red Oak with Unicorn Corn, 14 1/2 inches****.
I was most excited about sorting. I mean I wasn't as excited about this whole thing as a lot of other people, but getting sorted, I mean... c'mon. I think the quiz does a pretty good job without being too bogged down and academic.
I was very happy when after the Quiz I was put into Hufflepuff house. I would've been alright with anything besides Slytherin, but Hufflepuff was by far my first choice. I still haven't been in the common room though, because after sorting I got an error and couldn't get back in.
I'm hoping it'll be more cooperative soon. I'm questioning whether or not it's really ready to be out of Beta testing by the end of next month.
Thanks for reading
*Long time readers will know that any post with a day of the week in the title won't actually be posted on that day
**I actually did by $ .98, but managed to avoid the fee by transfering funds from my now small savings account.
***"Does this Crew do for you?" seems to be their only line, but still
****I won't have to be insecure about the size of my wand
Edit: I meant to shake you all down for donations for Extra Life in this post. It's coming up and I needs some donations.
You can donate here.