Another year comes to a close…
Well the year has finally come to an end and over the last 12 months there has been an incredible amount of new FIFA content, announcements, feedback, articles, videos and screenshot from all over the world and in our FIFA Review of 2011 we look back at the very best bits to hit FIFA Soccer Blog.
2011 didn’t exactly start with a bang for FIFA news and the announced mass server closures meant some fond FIFA memories of old would be lost forever. Things quickly picked up though and straight after our Retro: FIFA 98 Review the very first FIFA 12 details were announced by Dave Rutter and the term “revolution” would end up sticking with the series all year long.
Some worrying rumours about Andy Gray also began to surface…
In February FIFA 11 received its post transfer window roster update as expected and we grabbed EA soundtrack regulars Hadouken for an exclusive interview. Not to be left out the FIFA Manager series also received big news as they launched the Your Feature campaign which would see many community ideas make the final release later in the year.
March started well as details of a new FIFA 11 patch to fix issues with Virtual Pro AI and Ultimate Team surfaced. Meanwhile we spent some time reminiscing about FIFA World Cup 2010 which as it turned out was one of our favourite FIFA games of all time.
In a bumper news month EA SPORTS also announced that they were ditching in-game manuals and the Ultimate Team Web App FIFA 11 Beta began. It was only a disappointing night for FIFA at the Gaming BAFTA’s which soured a solid month of updates.
FIFA on handheld devices was the hot topic at the beginning of April and rumours of FIFA 12 on the 3DS and the code named NGP were rife. The Official FIFA 12 Forums also opened for business and the revolution bandwagon gathered even more pace after a David Rutter interview with IGN.
In a minor Twitter gaff Clive Tyldesley confirmed his involvement in FIFA 12’s commentary and Andy Gray’s birth was coming under increasing pressure.
A dear friend Phil Wride left EA at the start of May but the words on everyone’s lips were “Impact Engine” as OXM published the first details of FIFA 12’s new collision system.
FIFA 12 was officially announced on the 3DS in May, although the fan fare was dampened slightly after we later discovered that there would be no online play as previously promised by EA.
The end of May was utterly fantatastic for FIFA 12 as the first official details on the all new gameplay elements the Impact Engine, Pro Player Intelligence, Precision Dribble and Tactical Defending all hit FSB. Screenshots and a trailer followed and Team FSB were Guildford bound for the first play test of the year.
June was off to a flyer as the FIFA 12 E3 Trailer hit the web and the Ultimate Edition of FIFA 12 was announced. This was followed closely by the first community reaction to FIFA 12’s in the form of our Gameplay Impressions taken from our two day trip to EA Guildford.
E3 2011 brought the biggest wave of news in June and the announcement of the EA SPORTS Football Club topped the billing at the EA Press Conference. During E3 2011 week, the FIWC Final also took place and Francisco Cruz was crowned champion in Los Angeles.
To cap a fine month for FIFA 12 the release date was announced as September 30th, Arabic Commentary was confirmed and we got a fantastic behind the scenes look at how the commentary duo of Alan Smith and Martin Tyler were settling in to their new partnership.
July was the month of Career Mode as Team FSB headed to Guildford once again to sample FIFA 12’s managerial simulation. We released a list of the new Career Mode Features as well as two impressions articles (Dave’s view / Tom’s view) on how the reinvented mode was shaping up.
The first “shaky cam” gameplay video then hit the internet followed by the “unprecedented” EA SPORTS deal with Man City which caused quite a stir at the time, although future deals with other English clubs would eventually dampen the discontent.
July was rounded off very nicely with the release of the FIFA 12 official covers graced by Rooney, Wilshere and co.
With the FIFA 12 release date looming EA SPORTS launched their Season Ticket service in August which would give subscribers free DLC and the much desired early access to FIFA 12.
Pint Shot Riot were the first band to be confirmed on the FIFA 12 soundtrack and we grabbed an exclusive interview with them and later All Mankind who would also grace FIFA 12’s audio.
The biggest event in August was of course Gamescom where for the first time the public would get hands on time with FIFA 12 and subsequently open gameplay footage would hit the web. Aside from watching FIFA 12 videos the Demo date was also revealed and we broke the news on the demo details thanks to an early morning German adventure for Asim.
Eclipsing all other Gamescom news though was the surprise announcement of the rebirth of FIFA Street which I don’t think any of us saw coming and the first FIFA Street trailer and details hit FSB soon after.
FIFA 12 release month was upon us but it was also the month of lists as we revealed the Teams, Stadia, Trophies and Gameplay Sliders which would all grace FIFA 12 in just four weeks time. Even though the release was still some way off it didn’t stop the first official review score leaking with GamesMaster awarding FIFA 12 – 94%.
New FIFA 12 screens and trailers were litterally pouring out of EAC now and as well as the hilarious US TV Advert FIFA 12 Ultimate Team and Creation Centre also went live, albeit a little later than first advertised.
Then before we could blink it was Goodbye FIFA 11 and hello FIFA 12 as the game launched first in the US and then three days later in Europe becoming the UK’s third biggest game launch of all time.
It was starting to get cold outside, but on FSB things were hotting up nicely as our mammoth, six part FIFA 12 Review released with us awarding FIFA 12 a more than respectable 8/10.
We also asked you all to get involved with flagging up bugs in FIFA 12 and worryingly our post amassed some 263 comments, but luckily the first patch was already on it’s way, to amend some of the glitches.
FIFA 12 was grabbing all the headlines by outselling PES 25/1 in the UK but FIFA 11 bit back in October by winning the title of Best Sports Game at the Golden Joystick Awards.
Not to be outdone by it’s bigger brothers, FIFA Street also had a good month as we brought you an exclusive Developer Interview with Sid Misra and a host of pretty new screenshots. The novel FIFA 12 Scarf World Record attempt also launched and we ran a competition to get your names amongst the footballing elite.
FIFA Football kicked things off in November and was announced as a PS Vita launch title as we got some new details on the handheld gameplay. We also got the first glimpse of the timed FIFA 12 exclusive on the Xperia Play and the trailer certainly raised a few eyebrows.
The feedback train was also in motion and our Career Mode: The Road To Success parts one and two were posted for the reading pleasure of Simon Humber and his team.
FIFA 12 Patch number 2 also landed in November and it was massive curing many bugs, for many modes although sadly it caused a few of it’s own too.
FIFA Street was back with a bang with the superb Mash-up Trailer and the quite incredible announcement of Lionel Messi as the the new FIFA cover star signing a multi-year deal with EA SPORTS which we then analysed meticulously. After that we became the Messi Soccer Blog with goal competitions, screens and the Messi Cup all stealing the limelight.
With EA SPORTS in a festive mood the hilarious FIFA 12 Xmas Advert was released which would later propel FIFA 12 once again to the number one spot in the UK chart between Christmas and New Year.
The FIWC 2012 opened for business at the start of December with all six online qulifiers announced and PS3 FIFA players were certainly being spoilt as the $400,000 Virgin Gaming Challenge also launched, as envious Xbox 360 owners looked on.
As the middle of the month rolled round we saw the impressive FIFA Football Trailer and an exclusive Messi inspired FIFA Street pre-order bonus was revealed after some questionably titled images leaked.
With Christmas drawing ever nearer it was time for FSB to wind down with our 2011 Awards and a Community Survey from EA SPORTS allowed you to have your final say on football gaming before the year came to a close.
See you all on January 1st 2012…