Just over six years ago, I made a very important decision. I was just a job-less high-schooler strolling around the video games section of an electronics store, but the one item I chose to buy that night changed the course of my life.
For better or worse, you ask? It really depends on your outlook.
On November 26th, 2010, I accompanied my parents on a late Black Friday run, with the sole purpose of sneaking something I wanted into their shopping cart.
For those that aren’t familiar, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Major retailers across the country offer promotional ‘one-day only’ sales and it has long been described as one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
When we arrived, there was only about an hour left before the store closed, and that meant I did not have a lot to choose from. Keeping my spirits high, I sprinted over to the video game aisle, scanning the rows for that unmistakeable ‘EA Sports’ logo. Alas, there was nothing left.
My head drooped, and I started to make my way back to my parents. But as I passed the cash registers, two neon-green cases caught my eye. To this day, I can’t explain how it happened, but I had somehow stumbled upon abandoned copies of the only two games I was looking for: FIFA 11 and Madden 11.
I quickly snagged them and then did exactly the opposite of what I said I would. I strutted over to my parents’ cart and deposited both CDs, with enough confidence to rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Pick one,” my dad said, not even looking up as he casually flipped through his coupon booklet.
I threw up my arms. “But they’re both half off!” I said. But even then I could tell I was fighting a losing battle — I knew I’d have to choose.
So I picked both cases back out of the cart, took one in each hand, and thought hard. On one hand, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints looked back at me. My friends had all bought Madden back in September, and I so desperately wanted to join that bandwagon.
On my other hand, it was USMNT (and now FIFA) Legend Landon Donovan, Brazilian superstar Kaká, and Arsenal’s Carlos Vela. At that point, I had only played FIFA 08 on my Nintendo Wii, and frankly it felt like even more of a video game than it was meant to be. People had informed me it was different on other consoles, but I remained skeptical.
In the end, on some level, I just couldn’t reject an Arsenal man on the cover. I could practically replay Vela’s three goals against Sheffield United like a highlight tape in my head. So yes, my Gunners pedigree did play a part in my decision, but I still took a punt. And what I got in return is much more important than what went through my mind in that exact moment.
In the present day, I’m playing FIFA whenever I have free time. Apart from blowing my entire disposable income on FIFA points and breaking a couple controllers, it’s been a lot of fun. Over the years, though, I’ve spent countless hours poring through unreliable FIFA content and come to realize that there is no single streamlined source for advice online.
At first, there was just the little leaflet inside the case that gave you the basic controls. By FIFA 12, you were left behind if you didn’t know any skill moves. As the game got more complicated and developed more game modes, I had more questions. And so did the rest of us.
I know that many kids, like 15-year-old me, bought FIFA this past weekend and don’t know what to do first; I remember that feeling. For the first couple of months, all I did was play against the CPU because I just didn’t know what else the game offered. That’s where we come in.
Through the help of SB Nation, we’re excited to welcome you to our brand new site, FUT Nation, where we plan to cover all things related to FIFA and Ultimate Team. For those who aren’t FIFA purists, never fear! In addition, we also plan on covering Pro Evolution Soccer, Football Manager, and football video gaming / eSports.
We’ve got a talented bunch and can’t wait to get started. So join us! Comment, FanPost, be a part of the discussion, and if you think you know your stuff — apply to write for us! Send us a writing sample and let us know what you’re interesting in adding to our coverage. In any case, we’ll be here to explain most of the questions you have. But even if we can’t, at least we’ll be with you on this ‘Road to Glory.’