The beautiful game. (The tired looking man).

My eyes are a bit weary and the coffee I’m rubbing into the sockets seems to be penetrating just enough to let me operate a keyboard at 40%. Apologies if this don’t read good. There’s a reason for my lethargy this morning, and that reason is FIFA’s Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs.

These two features from FIFA 13 are going to be the death of me due to the following reason:

1. Loss of job. 
Ultimate Team has a web app and a phone app. These applications sync in with the xbox/pS3/PC game and allow you to build your Ultimate Team (FUT), bid on players in the online auction, sell players and commodities. The lot. At one point last week I found myself playing FIFA whilst simultaneously checking the iOS app for a Golden Right Back.

Doing this at work is NOT a good idea. It’s got that Ebay pull. Keeping your eye on the clock as it ticks away and you pray to the gods that no one else has spotted that player you want with 40 seconds to g…. NNNOOOOOOO!!!

2. Lack of sleep.
To call FUT addictive is to call crack cocaine a little powdery time waster. On the surface it’s easy to look at it and dismiss it as a way of EA to syphon a bit more cash from you via micro-content and in game purchases. Whilst that’s true, it’s quite possible to build up your wedge of in-game cash by working the auction house (buy high, sell low!! – no wait..) and  by winning games both on and off line. In fact, the little money I’ve spent has wielded scant reward in terms of star players yet the sheer joy of opening a pack of cards harks back to the days of spending our pocket money at the corner shop buying up Panini stickers and trading cards.

Got. Got. Got. Need. Need. Oooh a shiny one!!

This need for the best players is only beaten by the need to tinker with your team. Building 100% chemistry and keeping your players fit, and happy. These pre-madonnas don’t like to play out of position and they much prefer playing with team mates from the same league or the same country. Thinking about it, perhaps someone needs to have a word with the Kick It Out campaigners on this one?

And then there’s Pro Clubs.

Pro Clubs is FIFA’s other online community. A place where chums from all walks of life can gather in their private (or public) club, pull on a virtual shirt in the form of your very own Virtual Pro, and take to battle on the field of play.

As a team member for the sedate Olympion Argos, my role is playmaking midfielder. A dream I’ve held for many years and one that, frankly, never materialised in real life; and like real life, it’s not actually materialising in-game either! Arse.

Still, there’s a reason for that. Your pro can only get better by doing things in game and online. The more games you play with your friends, the better your pro will get. It’s often the simplest ideas that are the best, and this hook along with many a laugh with your friends online can keep your head buried in game before someone mentions over the voice comms, “er… it’s 1.23am“.

Every. Single. Night.

So forgive me if I look like an unused extra from The Walking Dead, but my goodness, this years FIFA 13 is a bit good.

(Picture lovingly borrowed from the internets)

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