TIPS AND STRATEGIES.
By Marc G. Haddad
The following is a two part match commentary: some tips on gameplay, and
a few general winning strategies. While it may not be very hard to win
most matches in FIFA, it can take quite sometime to figure out a winning
formation for some of the weaker teams, or a killing strategy against
some of the tougher ones. So if you are having trouble putting the ball
past a certain goalkeeper, or just wondering what formation to use with
which team strategy, read on in your section of interest below.
1. TIPS ON GAMEPLAY:
o How to beat those rubber goalies:
The computer goalkeepers in FIFA can behave quite strangely. At point
blank range, they can stretch their bodies from one goal post to the other
to make an instant save, while sometimes they stand by clueless against
a shot from midfield. Anyhow, instead of trying to figure out their weak
spots, I found it more interesting to perfect my shots instead. FIFA
does a good job here, as the feat of scoring is actually fairly simple
but also very realistic. Ever wonder why that excellent run past your
opponent's defense, finished off by a spectacular shot, did not produce a
goal? I found out that as in real life, your attacker needs to slow down
quite a bit to get more control on the rolling ball and to adjust his aim,
before taking the shot. You do this once you're in your opponent's half
of the field by releasing the stick and allowing your attacker to slow
down, and then you simply press Fire 1 (stick released), and watch the
ball fly into the net 90% of the time. This has made a huge difference
for my scoring, and it seems to be very consistent, regardless of player
or goalie. Of course, don't expect miracles, this will usually work well
from the middle of your opponent's half, and will require some practice.
o Defending your goal:
When playing the better teams, defense becomes very crucial. When the
ball crosses into your half of the field, there should only be one
concern, and that's to *clear* it out. Trying to win the ball, dribbling
it around or passing it in your own half will eventually spell disaster.
Simply clear the ball away and worry about winning it later, when you're
in your opponent's half.
o Attacking from the wing:
Another way to beat the goalies in FIFA is to shoot from tight angles.
This means coming down the right or left wing up to a few feet from the
corner flags, turning quickly and making the angled shot. This a great
way to attack, for not only do you increase the area the goalie has to
cover, but you also get to avoid the bulk of the midfield/defense in the
center. If you find yourself unable to take a shot at the goal from that
angle, you can also try to lob the ball to the center, where you can
usually find one of your other attackers waiting around, giving him the
chance to head the ball past the keeper who is now out of position.
o Winning the ball: (undocumented feature?)
While chasing the ball or another opponent, I have discovered that
pumping fire button 1 (pressing the button quickly several times), makes
your player run faster, usually passing the opponent and beating him to
the ball. This of course applies only to the player with a hollow star
underneath (selected player, but not in possession of the ball).
2. WINNING STRATEGIES:
o Choosing the right formation:
Most teams today play the zone system where the whole team moves in
unison, instead of the old English clubs man-to-man marking tactic. In
the zone system, coaches tend to prefer the 4-4-2 formation as the most
practical and effective one, with both a solid defensive wall able to
defend the goal, and a strong midfield able to feed the ball to the 2 man
attack. In FIFA, the 4-4-2 formation seems to work the same way as well,
and it is a good formation to start with. It is a good idea to keep in
mind, however, that your formation choice should also be dependent on
being able to counter what your opponent is throwing at you. For this,
one has to observe what the opposition is doing, and adjust formation
and strategy accordingly (see below)
o Choosing the right strategy:
Aside from the obvious choice of playing All Out Offense against the
weaker teams and All Out Defense against the stronger teams (or when
controlling a very weak team), other considerations arise. When to play
long ball for example, or which strategy to use with a sweeper formation.
For the purposes of FIFA, most of these choices are straight forward.
Defensive formations obviously work well with defensive strategies, and
so on. But sometimes you can find that even with an All Out Defensive
tactic, you are not able to stop that Joerg Rohrer or H. Van Smeiter.
That's because usually, they're always lingering near your goal and
waiting for that long pass or that loose ball. This is when you can take
a chance and use the All Out Attack strategy, where even your defenders
will try to push up towards midfield. This leaves the opposition's
forwards in an offside position and renders them harmless. It seems to
work every single time with some teams. Other things to keep in mind are
to play Long Ball only when you have 3 players in forward position (4-3-3
for example), otherwise you might be just giving the ball to the opposing
defense. And then there's the combination of Team Strategy, Team Formation
and Team Coverage, but that's a different story...
This article is Copyright (C) 1994 by Marc Haddad for Game Bytes Magazine.
All rights reserved.