The games we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - FIFA 13 and Football Manager 2013
I've been having a bit of a football binge this week. I finally stopped messing about in FIFA 13 and started a career, and I've hopped onto Football Manager 2013 over a couple of lunch hours. FM 2013's Classic Mode seemed like a good idea, and so far so good. If I'd started a standard game I doubt I'd have got out of pre-season by Christmas, so this more streamlined way of playing makes sense given the relatively small amount of time I'm willing to dedicate to the game.
I jumped straight into the transfer market in both games, but have had mixed results. In FIFA 13 I sold Defoe and replaced him with Robert Lewandowski. He was perhaps slightly overpriced but has started the season well. In FM I tried to add some support for my wingers with Ben Arfa. While Newcastle accepted my offer, the player chose a far more lucrative deal at Chelsea - can't blame him really.
Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor – Curiosity – iOS, Android
It's not a game, it's an experiment. That's what Peter Molyneux says, but to be frank it's not even an experiment when the servers are playing up and you can't connect. Still, on the occasions when I've managed to get in, I must confess that I've quite enjoyed Molyneux's latest stunt. Most people read the name, "Curiosity," as a reference to the mystery prize at the centre, but for me it's more applicable to the nature of the app itself. I actually like the fact that it's not a game, that's its largely devoid of goals beyond the all-but-impossible shot at becoming the eventual winner. Why do we continue to chip away at the blocks? The answer probably varies from person to person, and we may not even know ourselves – but sometimes the absence of meaning is more provocative than a clear and easy explanation.
David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - FIFA 13, Xbox 360
I thought I knew everything there was to know about FIFA 13. It's football, for goodness sake - how complicated can it get? But this week, I discovered something new about FIFA 13 that I never knew existed: date-sensitive commentary.
I had never realised this about FIFA before - for all I know, this could have been going on for years - but EA Sports has crammed unique lines of commentary into the game depending on the date you play it on. For example, when kicking off a match last Monday night - Bonfire Night - Martin Tyler said something, like 'There'll be fireworks inside and outside the stadium this evening'. Sure, it's subtle, and it's nothing particularly new to gaming (date-sensitive stuff has been in everything from Animal Crossing to Batman), but it does a neat job of amplifying the authenticity of the match. It's also a feature that I didn't think I'd experience again until Christmas Day and so forth.
But then it happened again.
As it turns out, November 8 is Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson's birthday. I had no idea about this, of course, until Tyler referred to it in his commentary. But it got me thinking; just how many lines of commentary in FIFA 13 are linked to events like this? And how many will I ever hear? After all, it was complete fluke that I chose to play as Newcastle United on that day. And how far do they go? If I score with a player on his birthday, will Tyler make a one-liner about celebrations?
If you've heard anything similar, please do let me know in the comments below. I'm eager to discover what other Easter eggs and date-sensitive chatter there is to be found in FIFA 13's commentary.