Football Blog: Tangerine Flavoured

Sunday, June 7, 2020


There's a new game coming out soon that has the dominance of the FIFA series in its sights. It's been given the working title of 'Soccer Top 6 Superstars' and it aims to reflect the reality of contemporary football in a way that will take computer football to the next level of accuracy.

The fundamental gameplay differs little from FIFA or Pro-Evo so this preview looks at the unique points of difference that make this game such a nailed on facsimile of the genuine article.

Let me take you through some of the features it will have.

*New more realistic competitions*
If you choose to play as anyone other than about 6 or 7 teams, then you've got literally no hope of winning anything ever, even if you play it all night for 3 weeks straight and get really good at it. Even the League Cup. 

In international mode, all the world's leagues are there but there's barely any purpose in most of them.

*New transfer realism*
As soon as you get any good, then the incredible AI generated realism will kick in and whoever is any good in your team will get bought for a price the AI will not let you refuse and added to the teams that you already can't beat!

This amazing level of accuracy will be added to by the fact that, whilst you are allowed to spend the money you recieve, you won't be able to buy any of the obviously good players in the game and should a coding glitch allow you stumble across a wonderkid or unknown talent, then after a few months the same thing will happen until you end up buying a rank average striker from Derby County or a player on the fringes of the Danish national side who isn't very good at all. 

*New progress algorithm*

One of the most powerful features is how the computer generated teams improve over time. Each season the best clubs will get between 50 to 150% more resources and spawn more new players of a higher quality as a result of being able to afford better youth facilities. Thus the game will get harder over time and it will become increasingly pointless playing as anyone other than the top few teams. The challenge for anyone not choosing Chelsea will be to maintain their engagement beyond the first few weeks of owning the game. 

*Better crowd realism*

Crowd animations have had a full overhaul and Premier League grounds are now full of middle aged people (who get older each season that passes.) Crowd noise for meaningless midtable games is suitably muted, to the point where many matches can now be played out to a backdrop of listless grumbling. If you look and listen carefully, you'll be able to see stewards bundling out supporters with banners and hear announcements reminding fans 'this is an all seater stadium' if they get carried away and start enjoying themselves.

Never has a computer game portrayed the football experience with such relentless accuracy. 

You'll be able to look baffled in the comfort of your own home as the stadium announcer proclaims 'another sell out crowd at the Emirates!' whereas the screen will show empty seats all around.

*Increased precarity*

Whilst the game doesn't simulate the effects of the Covid19 pandemic on football finances, a new mode is available in which you can take control of a league 1/2 side - you can choose two paths - either 'ambition mode' in which it's almost impossible to achieve anything without the club going bust, the game data wiping itself and you having to start all over again or 'know your place mode' in which you get to play games but accept that finishing 19th in the Championship is the limit of your ambition.

A similar mode ('Aston Villa mode') is available for run of the mill Premier League clubs. Finishing eight twice triggers a cut screen of supporters clapping half heartedly with a resigned look on their faces. 

*More pointless stats* 

To distract from the fundamentally terrible premise of a game that offers the player no prospect of glory, there is a new 'media mode' in which well spoken, clean shaven university trained media types will shower you with completely asinine facts like 'This is the fifth time Rotherham have faced a team with both an A and an E in their name whilst wearing their away kit on a Tuesday night and their record is W2 L2 D1

Similar pre match cut screens will feature horrifyingly empty discussion about how 'the new stadium really is a springboard to a new level, just look at the catering facilities and the tunnel club Ron' which will leave you feeling nauseous and less optimistic about the future of humanity than Nietzsche on a down day.

*More pointless camera angles*

You'll have unrivalled access to seeing the game as you've never seen it before. Sock Cam and Nose Cam will give you a 'on the pitch' feel, whilst the build up to matches and half time will feature Lav Cam so you can see which of the players are feeling nervous or have just overdone the (officially branded) energy drinks. 

Again, this will add a whole new perspective on the whole pointless charade, allowing you to appreciate the stunning mediocrity of it all like the all seeing god you are. 

You can also look forward to Ray Winston shouting "Go on, spunk your money on this you muppet, what else have you got eh? Nothing! Nothing! Bet on this shit or I'll break yer fackin' legs" between each game just to give the reality cake a final tasty icing. 

*Club owner mode*

The game will also allow players into the boardroom where you'll be able to choose to play as one of the following characters

- the property speculator with a record for cutting corners on safety.
- the international arms or drugs baron
- the oligarch who got rich on post communist corruption and now owns the basic means of existence for half the eastern bloc
- the chancer (you won't actually have any money, but everyone will think you have so you'll have to win things quickly!)
- the shady international conglomerate (no one knows what you do, but you have a private jet with a logo on it, so they assume you must do something important) 
- the community led supporters trust chairman

If you choose the latter option, the game goes straight to the following cut screen, whilst a distorted voice on a loop repeats 'Alan, it's a money game these days and good intentions never won a trophy' for 23 days. You can switch off the computer, in fact, you can trip the electricity in your house but it will keep playing regardless. Wherever you go. In your sleep. Even if you can't take it anymore, your funeral will be accompanied by this noise, which will then haunt all who attend. It'll be like 'the Ring' but worse. For god's sake, don't be so niave. I beg of you...

Once you've chosen your 'owner personality' the game offers you a series of options, a selection of which are listed below: 

- Sign player you don't need and will probably dump in the reserves for £200k a week just to show you can and to impress fellow lizard people at illuminati meetings (yes/no) 

- Sue the nan of a young fan who turns up at the ground in some unofficial merchandise and admits, in tears, to your hired goons (aka supporter experience operatives) in the underground bunker you drag him to that 'my nan knitted the scarf for my sixth birthday' (yes/no) 

- sign letter to UEFA asking for 'more Champions League games' and 'more money for playing them' and go on the radio to decree that 'whilst we respect the traditions of football immensly' the FA Cup is getting in the way of things and the trophy should be put on a rocket and sent into space and never spoken of again. (yes/no)

- Start up 8 companies and spend your time selling things to yourself to avoid the tax man/bailiffs. Give £50 to a local youth charity in a photo opportunity with a massive cardboard cheque to assuage your conscience. (yes/no) 

- install metal detectors in the main stand to catch out the old boy who brings a thermos flask. Follow this up with a mealy mouthed statement on the club's website about 'need to balance the interests of supporters with the needs of our official catering partners in order to protect much needed revenue streams' (yes/no) 

- consider having old man silenced as he's written to the local paper in a display of rank ingratitude complaining that 'To be honest I don't like going anymore, it's twice as expensive as it used to be and nowhere near as much fun' (silence him/threaten him/sell his seat to foreign daytrippers who will but stuff at the gift shop and post 'on brand' selfies

In terms of reality, this new offering is unparalleled.

The question is, why the fuck would anyone shell out good money for a game deliberately designed to be like this?

See what I did there? 

Soccer Top6 Superstars will be available for Xbox, Playstation and all other major platforms from August 21. 

A companion TV series entitled 'Football' airs on Sky and BT at the same time. 

Next week's game 'ECB Middle Manager 21' where the player has to dream up increasingly bizzare ways to piss about with cricket in case anyone asks the question 'What do the ECB pay all those people to do?' 


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Buy the book (proceeds to Blackpool Foodback)

Yet another bad owner. Where do they breed them?

This is Brooks Mileson. He owned Gretna FC. If you don't know who he is or what the score is with Gretna, it might be worth giving it ...