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Why winning at FIFA 12 disgusted me so much I'll never play it again

Pause, quit, eject, snap, burn, bury. That's how it goes. Why? Because there comes a point in every gamer's life when you simply have enough of a game's bull****. I personally arrived at such a conclusion last night with FIFA 12 and thought I'd share it with you because I know I'm not alone.

But before we kick off, FIFA 12's not the only game on my 'never again, ever' list. There's also Bejeweled 2 and Gran Turismo 5. Bejeweled 2 for the realisation that no matter how good I got, my success was based purely on luck and not how well I was playing. And Gran Turismo 5 for making me level grind the Daytona Speedway for 45 minutes because that was the shortest method of unlocking the final tier. That is not gaming and I have no time for it.

Above: The rogues' gallery. All of these games have one thing in common...

So what went wrong in FIFA? Well, it was all going so well. I've been playing Head to Head Seasons, which is a fantastic idea for a multiplayer mode and every football game should have it.

It works like this: You start off in the bottom division, then you play head to head against other players around the world who have a similar star level. It doesn't matter where they are in their season – the game is only recording wins and losses. So a make-or-break final game in my season could be my opponent's opening match in their campaign. Simple, easy and it works.

Sounds like I love it, right?

Love is a strong word, but yes, I was well into it. So much so, I could even put up with a lot of the hassle that online gaming brings. The rage quitters are fine – as long as the game records it as a win for me (which it doesn't always do in FIFA, sadly). I can even put up with the idiots who get two goals up and then deliberately use every second of allowed time before taking a throw-in, kick-off or free kick.

But what really gets to me are the 'stingers'. The game seems to love 45-minute goals and 90-minute goals. You can see it cooking it up - easy passes go awry, interceptions occur much more frequently, keepers spill simple catches and defenders labour on the ball, just begging to have it snatched away for an easy goal.

Above: Don't worry, fellas - it works both ways. Get it up the other end and you're likely to score

Ironically, the penultimate game I played last saw this happen in my favour. I'd conceded some 8 goals in ten minutes of real time prior to this match, but I'd finally got myself together and had a chance of staying in the 6th division. All I had to do was win the last two games.

Having battled through much of the game with 10 men, I conceded a goal in the 90th minute to go 2-1 down. I was so angry. Yet another 90-minute stinger, and one that would surely relegate me to division 7 again. But then something amazing happened. Already in injury time, I scored an unlikely equaliser.

Laughing maniacally at my opponent (not over voice chat – that would be harsh), I didn't run to get the ball out of the net. To be honest, I was happy with the draw. Rooney 'did the robot' and I watched the replay all the way through. That's good enough for me – a moral victory. There was no time left anyway - all the other guy had to do was boot it down field and the whistle would blow. But he didn't - he tried to dribble around my entire team... but he'd forgotten about one thing: The game had turned.

Above: Momentum meters used to be visible in EA games. Is there a hidden one in FIFA 12?

Everything fell for me. His players' movements were laboured. It was all he could do to slide in clumsily and give away a free-kick on the edge of the area, just off-centre to the right. Better still, he got a red card for it. It was a collapse of monumental proportions, slipping away like the last three minutes of Bayern Munich's Champions League campaign in 1999. Hehehe...

Rooney stood over the ball, but he wasn't the man for the job. I paused the game and subbed in Ryan Giggs (left-foot, in-swinger). By this point, we were in 'mystery time'. We'd had two goals, celebrations, replays, a red card and now a substitution since the clock hit 90, yet it was still going to let me take the free kick.

Said free kick was actually crap. It hit the wall, bouncing back out to Rooney, who met it on the half volley and looped it over the keeper and in. GOAL!!! It was magnificent. But totally, totally unrealistic. There was no extra skill involved here, it was like the game was going to carry on until I won.

Above: It really was proper Man Utd-style stoppage time

I was, of course, very pleased with myself. But at the same time, I knew that it wasn't anything to do with my skill. The game seemed to have manufactured that result. Time had been up ages ago. It was at that moment I vowed that if I lost the final game (putting me down a division), I wouldn't play it any more. Online FIFA has been taking up an increasing amount of my free time and I value my time too much for an experience to be defined by this sort of thing. I lost, 3-0.

And so the game was quit, the tray opened, the game taken out and... placed in its box. I didn't snap it, but relegating it to the shelf is just as bad. It's not coming out again. No more low crosses to annoy me, no more flailing auto-clearance attempts that pull my last defender up without me pressing anything. And no more dodgy goals on 45 minutes and 90-minutes. I've had enough. I am free.

So that was the breaking point for me. But I know I'm not alone and FIFA's not the only game that can make someone snap. So tell me: what made you vow never to play a game ever again? Let it all out in the comments. Trust me - you'll feel better.

130 comments

  • mecca6801 - September 9, 2013 1:30 a.m.

    the information you've stated is absolute spot on
  • mecca6801 - September 9, 2013 1:04 a.m.

    this explains everything!!!
  • costin-silviu - December 8, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    when i started playing head2head it was quite easy till division 6 won most of games because i was playing wit really amateur gamers, than i haveny played for a long time head2head and got involved more into Ultimate Team. Yesterday according to this comments date, after gotting bored of UT started to play again H2H, i noticed that the opponents were so much more skilled than others i used to play but still after much effort managed to get to division 2 all the way trough. after countless winnings on my favour, then hell is being unleashed, i lost 4 games straight with 4 different opponents just like that... i was simply a spectator, they managed to humiliate me so hard at any chapter of the match that i couldnt understand or perceive how in the hell they could be so much better than me, i felt like after all this time, playing fifa i was lying to miself that i'm good at this game. so yeah i'm planning to never play it again, because EA sometimes decides to fuck you up and give sometimes the opponent some boost and overpower him, and i know it because i felt it on my favour countless times, like when the opponent just cant touch the ball for an entire match because of how fast and lucky your match is. sorry for bad engish
  • pavapizza - September 1, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    the latest game i quit was (drumroll....) skyrim.... yes THE skyrim. im a big fan of rpg, a big fan of open world games, but i dont know why elder scrolls series always does this to me. the same thing happened with oblivion. i can't specify what makes me leave the game, but here's the list of problems for me: 1. the game is too open-world. i mean right after you arrived in the world map u can go anywhere on the get go. it didn't give me any sense of direction and purpose. i played the game to the point where i need to find some dragon thingy for someone in whiterun, i ended going around the world, i forgot about all my quest. this didn't happen to me in fallout new vegas. i REALLY loved that game. i feel in that game, eventhough it's also too open, the quest and story still have you going through the map the right way. i didn't feel that in skyrim. 2. maybe its the medieval setings, but as a lover of rpg i shouldn't have problem with medieval settings, dunno, i guess i'm used to having a gun in a first person game, not a sword and shield. so too bad, even though i installed shitloads of cool mods, the game still doesnt shine like a diamond to me.
  • nippie221 - June 11, 2012 5:03 a.m.

    Fifa 2012 sucks like hell, you touch a player and they get a free kick.. i pass to a player i want to pass to and yet the game says 'NO YOU WILL PASS TO A PLAYER THAT IS MARKED AND NO CHANCE OF YOU GETTING THE BALL' i through ball and the stupid idiots decide to shoot for behind the half way mark, I'm not stupid!! i know what button i pressed it was pass NOT SHOOT!!!!! Another fifa FAIL... for those of you that haven't bought the game yet, if you like to take you anger out on your pc if you KNOW what you wanted to do and the game made the decision for you..... DO NOT BUY THIS POOR EXCUSE FOR A GAME, you will only end up claiming accidental damage for a pc tower repeatedly bouncing off your foot hitting three or more walls in the process
  • reinaldocfilho - July 14, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    Perfect definition, this still happening in Fifa 13.
  • james-compton-boyce - June 7, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    I found this post by googling "fifa random", because I wanted to see what the community thought of what friends and I refer to as the fruit machine. It appears that the developers in recent years have been working towards simulating the thrills and spills of football to a tee, the unfortunate thing for us is that this means THE GAME IS TAKEN OUT OF YOUR CONTROL from time to time. So I can play ISS Deluxe on my own, or play FIFA 12 and fork out money every few months for the controllers I regularly break because of a game that is becoming more and more like simply watching a football match. Ever tried starting a head to head match and setting the controller down? Your opponent will have pretty much the same chance of scoring. try it!
  • nai1210 - February 1, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    I quit ninja gaiden 2 due to a boss fight i hated and gave the game away,also tried to get into final fantasy in general picked up number 8 got the end of disc 2 after 20hrs couldn't beat the boss,so decided to start again and grind more to level up,again couldn't get passed the boss so 40+hrs in total i gave up,gave the game away and will never return to the final fantasy series ever again,found the game didn't interest me enough and i do find rpg's a boring chore to play through,but felt i had too see what all the fuss about with the final fantasy series,i don't feel i'm missing much,but then again it's probably just me i love sci-fi but mass effect 1 and 2 bore me to tears.just not an rpg kinda guy
  • ColinKapow - February 1, 2012 6:03 a.m.

    I noticed similar things when playing with my mates locally, that and randomly with some games the passing going awry for large parts of it for one of us,even when its something as simple as a ball from the center to the wing. It's pretty strange. I'm sure there used to be accusations back in the day when PES was the top dog from the old FIFA team that PES was scripted.
  • CitizenWolfie - February 1, 2012 1:47 a.m.

    I'm quite proud of the fact that I persevere a lot with games. However. There was this one multi-part mission in The Saboteur where you had to sneak up to the top of a cathedral (or maybe clock tower), snipe some Nazis to stop an execution, fight your way down again before the other Nazis kill the NPC, survive a huge firefight, get to a car, survive a loooong on-rails car chase and then... ...I would love to tell you what happened next, but I never got there. I had enjoyed the game and put up with its flaws until then, but since avoiding detection was extremely arbitrary, the aiming was iffy, the Nazis completely OP and respawning it was difficult enough to get to the car chase alone. But then the chase itself had very few checkpoints, and a LOT of Nazi pursuers with cars that soak up bullets while seemingly never having to reload themselves, and an irratic AI driver. After 3 hours retrying the chase alone, I ragequit on the entire game and managed to blag my money back from the shop on the grounds that it was faulty. Fuck you, Saboteur.
  • Blackhawk032 - January 31, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    I recently perma-quit a game, actually. The new Mortal Kombat game that came out. It may be because I'm just not too great at fighters like that, but those god damn 2 on 1 fights in story mode were insane. Complete bullshit, if I can barely squeeze out a win because of an X - Ray attack on Sub Zero, what makes you think I can beat two of the people? I just got extremely aggravated. Fortunately, I only paid $10. Had I paid $60, I have no idea how mad I would have been.
  • GhostNappa2k10 - January 31, 2012 3:52 p.m.

    *sighs* just seen all the comments saying it's soccer. No, it's FOOTBALL. Also, I gave up on FIFA after FIFA 11, as when you played against someone online, they resorted to cheap tactics all the time, and the AI was stupid.
  • Sjoeki - January 31, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    The only game I vowed never to play again was battletoads (for the nes), hell that part with the hoverbikes (or whatever they are) still gives me nightmares. And though I loved Assassins creed at first, I was so dissapointed halfway through the game that that was all we could do (or the crappy stuff we had to do to be able to kill our target) that I never finished it.
  • lazer59882 - January 31, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    from GamesRadar Staff: thank you, Lazer59882, for providing our random article about a random nitpick about a random game based on a random sport about which no one gives a fuck, a shit-ton of traffic and comments. you have single-handedly increased traffic for this site 10 fold, and your contributions to the community are well noted. oh, you're welcome GamesRadar. you're also welcome, GamesRadar readers, for the priceless knowledge i have bestowed upon you all.
  • lazer59882 - January 31, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    why thank you GR. but i fear it is now time for me to retire...
  • sleepyMexican45 - January 31, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Towelly, I can confirm that this is really common and was talked about a lot on the xbox360achievements.org forums. It's a manufactured momentum used to cushion the distance between good and bad players, and create a more realistic, real-life 'form' for your team. It is definitely in there, and after reading about it then discovering it myself I too stopped playing. It's stupid because as much as the devs want it to be as close to real-life as possible, IT NEVER WILL BE. And they should NEVER tamper with online play in this way. Thanks for bringing to the attention of more people!
  • ChickenFillet5140 - January 31, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    I've never found a game so frustrating that I stopped playing, maybe I'm just too forgiving... PS: I do love lazer59882's comments. Where else would we find comedy like that? :)
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 31, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    Isn't it great? I really hope the comments continue, I have finished all my school work so I need someone to rip on.
  • lazer59882 - January 31, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    aha! there it is! the key to this whole equation: the reason you're such a moron is that you're still of school age. now it makes sense. keep learning, champ. you're well on your way to greatness.
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 31, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    OH! Lazer, you found me out!! Whatever will I do!? I really am such a moron, the moron that single handedly pays his way through a top university.. You, you really hurt my feeling... AAAAAAND, you're still useless :P hahah Keep fueling me, I got all night ;)

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