Sunday, March 2, 2008

FIFA08 Player ratings

In anticipation of what I expect to be another pretty uneventful week for United news with the team training in San Antonio, I thought we might take this opportunity to look at another aspect to the sport that is critical to the ongoing development of the league, as well as to the confidence of each and every player in it. Ah but of course I am talking about FIFA08, the latest installment in EA Sports' FIFA series.

Unfortunately, I only own the stripped down version of the game for the Wii, which eliminated the franchise mode that makes most EA Sports games so rewarding. Although they almost make up for it by adding the Table Football mini game. Anyway, regardless of which system you're playing it on, there are some player ratings that surprised me.

Starting with DC United... Gomez at 78, Moreno at 76, Fred and Boswell at 71, Olsen and Emilio at 69. Obviously you need to take into account that this game was released back in October, and developed much sooner. But Moreno is 7 points higher than Emilio? That's got to be a mistake. But I have an even bigger problem with the so-called reserves. Nolly at 59, North at 56, and Arguez at 56 seem way too high when you look further down and see Burch at 55 and McTavish at 53. Where is the love for the defense!?

And this disparity becomes even more obvious when you look at the league as a whole. The top 13 players in MLS are Beckham at 84, Angel at 82, Donovan at 80, Gomez, Blanco, and Ruiz at 78, Schelotto and Johnson at 77, Moreno, De Rosario, Reyna, Twellman, and Cunningham at 76. There are a few in there (cough Reyna and Cunningham cough) that I certainly don't think belong, and I disagree with the order somewhat, but for the most part, that's not a bad list of the top players in MLS. Except when you consider that once again there is no defense at the top. Where is Michael Parkhurst on this list?

Then I guess we should at the highest rated defensemen. The top defenders in MLS are Conrad and Xavier at 73, Boswell at 71, Hejduk and Pope at 69, Curtin, Suarez, Bornstein, and Barrett at 68, and Parkhurst and Marshall at 67. Chad Marshall? That dude doesn't even start for the Crew anymore. Jim Curtin? Wasn't he just traded for a draft pick not in 2009, but in 2010? Do the people who come up with the player ratings even watch the MLS?

So here's the question then... Is the game wrong to have MLS defenders rated so much lower than the forwards and CAMs? Or does the defense in MLS really suck that much?


Fullback said...

You've got to remember that the ratings were for rosters as of 8/24/07 (I think that's the date). That means the skill sets were probably coded in around late June or July. Where were McTavish and Burch in the early summer months? Emilio hadn't really started his charge to the Golden Boot in earnest.

As to MLS defending--it's getting better, but it's not quite fully baked yet. Individual defending--yes, team defending--not so much. Also, the attackers seem to have higher ratings across most of the leagues in the game. Perhaps that's the developers' way to encourage attacking, high scoring games, not the more realistic 1-3 goal games. (Maybe the American version does this specifically to appease the notoriously goal-conscious American sports fan--conspiracy!!!! ;-)

Now, all of that said, player ratings are the least of that game's problems (Wii version). What about the tactics resetting to Counter/Pressing every time you start a game in tournament mode? Or the announcers going on about a great save when the ball goes out for a corner?


I much prefer the 'manager-mode' style games like FM, but I do pull out FIFA every once in a while, hoping against hope that one of my boys will score a real beauty and do that crazy robot/Riverdance hybrid celebration and make my daughter laugh.

Catherine-Lucia said...

I am so video-game illiterate that I have absolutely no clue as to what you are talking about.

However. Ahem.

Nobody ever shows any love to the defense...nobody ever shows any love for the MLS...and aint nobody ever shown any love for MLS defenders...

Therefore, I conclude: THIS IS WAR.

lol. I am so bored today...

Catherine-Lucia said...

By the way, could they have worse pictures of Ronaldinho and Ochoa on the cover? (That is Ochoa, right?)

Shatz... said...

FB- Yeah the Wii version I guess is a nice change of pace just because of the controller. But I will be buying FIFA09 for XBOX instead, no doubt.