Posts Tagged ‘FIFA 14’

The “official games” of major sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup have traditionally been terrible. Short on polish or features, the games have felt like they were made on the basis that people were buying them more as a souvenir and without any regard for whether they provided any actual entertainment.

EA Sports FIFA World Cup 14

“Official” games have often had wonderfully rendered stadiums but offered very little interest inside of them.

I had heard however that the 2010 FIFA World Cup game was actually quite good. So I decided to make the investment this time and see how the game is. The short answer is that it is a good game, but you can get that from any other review. What I am going to look at here, is whether the game actually makes the whole ‘experience’ of the World Cup better.

In my opinion, there are two main things that a game like this needs to do. Prior to the tournament it needs to enable you to get ready and hyped up about the games ahead, and during the tournament it needs to allow you to play the games you are about to/just watched as realistically as possible.

This game achieves both of those very well.

Prior to the tournament

The obvious thing which the game needed to do out of the box was make it possible to play through the World Cup tournament. Unsurprisingly, it does this quite well. All the basic things are there, the stadiums, fixtures, the 32 qualified teams and their correct uniforms.

Beyond that, it also needs to make it possible to play through the tournament with a few “what if” situations, for example, you should be able to play through with teams that didn’t actually qualify, or using players for whom your personal attachment doesn’t match the opinions of the actual real-life manager (e.g. Carlos Tevez). The first part of this it does quite well, pretty much every single nation in world football is represented. Unfortunately it isn’t so good on the latter. The squads for nations, while larger than the final 23-man selections, don’t go far and have some strange omissions, so you can’t call up Tevez for Argentina.

Want to experience the World Cup the way it is in Zlatan's head, now you can!

Want to experience the World Cup the way it is in Zlatan’s head, now you can!

In addition to enabling you to play the finals tournament itself, the FIFA World Cup game put a lot of attention into telling the story of the qualifiers. This is a common inclusion, but always a bit interesting, since qualification was well over by the time the game came out.

The game presented qualification in not one, but two ways. Firstly, it allows you to play a complete qualification campaign with any team from any confederation. The best part of this was the presentation, which came complete with excellent radio commentary between the games, talking through the significance of each match and providing general interesting banter. The low point of the qualifying campaign is that there are apparently some nations, particularly in North America, where the scheduling is broken, so they can’t actually qualify for the World Cup. A fairly fatal flaw, made reasonable only by the fact that those nations are for the most part the smallest of minnows.

The other qualification-related mode is the “Story of Qualification”, a series of scenario-based games which cover over 50 of the most interesting and significant games of the qualification campaign. For example, it allows you to play both sides of the decisive playoff game between Sweden and Portugal. For anyone who has played FIFA games in the last few years, these scenarios should be familiar from the game of the week scenarios that you get – typically they boil down to needing to score a crazy number of goals in a very short amount of time.

The Story of Qualification mode allows you to play through some of the great games and performances of the qualifying campaign.

The Story of Qualification mode allows you to play through some of the great games and performances of the qualifying campaign.

The game genuinely has absolutely helped me build hype and excitement for the tournament. I have played through three world cup tournaments, full European and South American Qualifying, plus a large number of scenarios. Between these, I have been able to get a much deeper understanding of the squads and how they have made it to Brazil. In particular the Story of Qualifying scenario mode was excellent. I don’t think many people, even fairly serious fans, ever truly get an idea of what qualification is like in confederations beyond their own. But now I feel I have a fairly good idea.

During the Tournament

As I hinted earlier, in my opinion the key function of the game during the tournament is to allow you to “play along”. Again, this is something that the game does quite well.

Firstly, it was quite easy to set up a tournament in such a way that I can play the World Cup as every team. This allows my mates and I to play an “alternate reality” version of the tournament where we play every game between us and see how it goes. As it turns out, our version is a little less interesting, the first three games were draws and then Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.

It is also very easy to play one-off games. You can pick your teams, pick the right stadium and even select the right round of the completion (group stage, quarter final etc). The teams are quickly and regularly updated for injuries and current form, so if you want to play out tonight’s big game, or get revenge for last night, you can do that well. You just might struggle sometimes, because Casillas will probably be as bad for you as he was for Spain.

With regular form updates you too can put five goals passed Casillas in the World Cup.

With regular form updates you too can put five goals passed Casillas in the World Cup.

Finally, they have also extended the scenario system through to the Finals, called, unsurprisingly, “Story of the Finals”. Within hours of each day’s games finishing, they put up scenarios which allow you to play out the morning’s action. Sometimes this is about repeating reality, such as coming back against Japan as the Ivory Coast, and other times it is about changing it, such as winning the game as Australia, or making Argentine put four goals past Bosnia. In general this is excellent. I applaud them for making them available so quickly, and unlike in previous games, making them available permanently – previously they would just have the previous night, so you could miss out if you didn’t play them immediately.

I do find however that the whole “score lots of goals in a short time” which most scenarios tends to boil down to is not only samey, but also quite annoying, and only representative of the attacking aspect of a game. I often find I have to play the scenarios at a much easier difficulty level than I normally do, simply to make it possible to achieve without replaying the scenario 100 times.

I wish that they would make the scenarios either much longer, or much shorter. Allowing you to play the entire opening game with the objective “Win as Brazil” with bonus points for doing so without conceding a goal would allow you to actually appreciate the ebb and flow of the game. Alternatively cutting the scope right down to “Replicate Neymar’s stutter-step penalty” would show-off little features like that in the game which you otherwise might not notice or use. In both cases, it would also make it easier to simply enjoy playing the scenarios at my normal level, rather than have to get bored hammering in goals against the dumbest version of the AI simply to get through them.


Despite a few minor foibles, the game genuinely does make the whole World Cup experience more enjoyable!


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The fans have much to be happy about at the World Cup, but do they know enough actual cheers? I say no!

The fans have much to be happy about at the World Cup, but do they know enough actual cheers? I say no!

It’s a good news/bad news situation.

The bad news about the EA Sports FIFA World Cup game is that it is only for the previous gen consoles.

The good news is that means you can include custom chants! (it isn’t possible to add custom chants to the PS4/XBone versions).

Here are some custom sounds I have cut, mixed and mastered for use in your very own FIFA World Cup. For instructions on how to insert them into your game, see my earlier post – the FIFA 14 Custom Sounds Guide.

Unfortunately the custom chants system in the FIFA 14 World Cup game isn’t without problems. Hopefully you will have fewer problems than me, but this is what I have observed.

  1. The chants play A LOT, I strongly recommend including one or more tracks of complete silence within your chant playlists in order to space things out a bit. I have included a link to 10s of silence below (just before the playlists).
  2. The game doesn’t seem to be able handle having more than a couple of playlists to consider. Any more than that and I’ve experienced problems with it retaining the attachment of playlist to event, laggy play and even complete system crashes. This isn’t having multiple playlists loading into a single game or team, simply having 3-4 teams with their own playlist seems to create issues. I suggest picking one or two teams that you want to have extra colour, and sticking with that.
  3. The game really doesn’t like attaching sounds to the first team, alphabetically, in each confederation. So teams like Argentina and Algeria are very problematic.

Once again, I give credit to the unknown people who sang and recorded these sounds. I have come across them from a variety of sources including fanchants.co.uk (who I strongly support you to visit for more excellent chants) and the legendary Pro Evolution Soccer modder Thommsen.

To download – right click on the name of the track you want, and choose “Save link as” you should be prompted to download a .wav file.

10s spacer (for use for spacing out chants, insert one or more times into each playlist)








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I’ve always been a big fan of games, particularly sports games, that allow for customization of teams, sounds etc. The game designers can only do so much in terms of getting the gameday experience “just right”, but fans can really nail it.

To their credit, EA has been quite good over the years at allowing customization. FIFA in particular has a number of good options, including a quite deep system for customizing chants and music to be played during the game. Unfortunately, there are some quirks and foibles to this system, which is why I have written this guide.

This guide is based on FIFA 14 for PS3, but it should work the same on Xbox 360 and possibly some other platforms. Unfortunately it is NOT possible to add custom sounds to FIFA 14 on the next gen platforms of PS4 and Xbox One.

Getting started

First things first, I actually had a lot of troubles finding the “Custom Music and Chants” option in FIFA 14. It is well hidden.


From the main menu, go to the Customise tab. Then go to the bottom right hand corner of the screen, flick the right stick to the right, and the “Custom Music and Chants” option will appear.

What does the custom chants system allow me to do?

There are a lot of things you can do with the customize chants system.

  1. You can change the menu music, using your own playlist to be played during menu screens and the arena, rather than the default EA Trax.
  2. You have extensive options for adding custom sounds to events in games played with the “Favourite Team” you selected in your profile
  3. You can add custom sounds to be played when particular players score a goal. These will be played regardless of who the player is playing for, so is a good option if you want to have a chant for a player you have signed in career mode. To my knowledge this is also the only way to have custom sounds in Ultimate Team mode.
  4. You can customize the sounds for all the other teams available in FIFA, but with a limited range of options compared to what you can do for your favourite team.
  5. You can add sounds for a variety of events involving your “Pro” player


Important things to know when adding custom chants

  1. You need to work within the the audio file limitations of your console and speakers. I found that on PS3 the best file-types to use were wav and mp3 at maximum settings of 48k sample size and 16 bit depth.
  2. You can either assign single tracks or a playlist to an “event” within the system. Playlists need to be designed within the media management part of the console itself (i.e. the XMB on the PS3). Be aware that if you get into customizing sounds a lot, you will be creating a lot of playlists.
  3. FIFA has its own peculiar ways of determining the volume for sounds in-game. Goal celebrations seem to be quite loud while entry and victory/defeat music seems a little too quiet. Chants play at a lot of different volumes depending on what else is going on at the time. If you are finding that all of your chants are too loud/soft, you can change this by adjusting volumes within the overall game settings.

Notes on particular event types

Team chants

For non-favourite teams you just have the choice to have “Crowd Chants” These play A LOT. I observed that the game would play sounds 25 or more times during a game with standard 6-minute halves. It usually only waits 5-10 seconds from the end of a chant before it begins to play the next one.


For your favourite team the “team chants” are divided into three categories of Anthem Chants, Positive and Motivational. Anthems will play all the time, positive if you are drawn or winning and motivational should play if you are losing (although I suspect this may not be working properly). As an interesting side-note, the positive/motivational tracks seem to play more often than anthems when your team is away from home.

I recommend only attaching your custom chants playlist to the “Favourite t because they actually play quite often, and I found that adding a playlist for the other options as well caused the game to crash.

You can also add “Team Rivals” chants for your favourite team. As the name suggests, these chants will play whenever your team is playing against a specific opponent. I typically found that these chants will play about 5-6  times per game. You can assign tracks or playlists to quite a large number of rivals. You can create great derby soundtracks by including the anti-team chants from both sides of the rivalry.

Goal Songs

These play immediately after a goal is scored, so you will hear them over the celebration dance and carrying through over the replay. An important thing to note is that team goal songs have priority over favourite player goal songs. So you will never hear the specific songs for a player when he is playing for a team you have assigned a team song to.

An annoying detail that I hope they fix is that team goal songs will play even when the team is playing away from home, which is quite unrealistic.

Entry and Victory/Defeat Songs

The entry songs start when you load into the game, and likewise the Victory/Defeat songs start at the final whistle. A couple of things to note are that FIFA seems to play these quite quietly. Also, with Victory/Defeat songs, you won’t hear them much until the commentators stop talking, which doesn’t happen until about 22 seconds into the track, so you might want to line up the “good bit” of the song to come in at that point.

My top tips

  • Have at least 10 different chants in any playlist you want to assign to “Team Chants”. If you feel that you are hearing your tracks too often, add in some tracks that are just 10-20 seconds of silence in order to space things out a bit.
  • If you want to hear a chant more often than others then put it in the playlist twice.
  • If you are able to edit the chants you put in the game, try to keep them to 5-20 seconds with a little fade-in and out. This will help the chants to blend into the game better.
  • For favourite team, use your playlist for “Favourite Team Anthem Chants” and leave both positive and motivational as “default”
  • For goal celebration songs, try to trim them down to the 10-15 seconds that you really want to hear while your players dance around celebrating their goal.
  • For Team Entry, Victory and Defeat songs, make sure your song is as loud and clear as possible. You may also want to trim to make sure you get the good bit, as people usually skip a lot of these scenes.


Here is about 2.5 minutes of gameplay with some custom sounds I put together for AC Milan. You will notice that even in this short amount of time you hear custom chants come in 6 times.

And yes, I am playing against a Serie B team and on Semi-Pro, so it isn’t very difficult.


Below are the sounds I cut, mixed and mastered to go into FIFA 14. Good luck inserting them into your own game. I am also preparing sounds for international teams taking part in this year’s world cup. They can be found in their own post Custom sounds for EA Sports FIFA World Cup

Credit where it is due to the people that originally recorded these sounds. I have acquired them from many sources over the year, including the legendary PES modder Thommsen.


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