I’m furious. It’s been two days since I got my hands on FIFA 17, and the game’s effects on me are downright physical. Stiff neck. Knot in my stomach. Anger radiating from my shoulders, pulsing in my temples, clouding my judgment. An ache around my ears, behind my eyes, in the folds of my forehead. I’m resorting to slide tackles in situations that clearly don’t call for them. I’m swearing through clenched teeth. I’m 13 again at my high-school in Brazil, playing against kids twice my size and with four times more hair on their legs. Nobody wants to pass to me. I turn the difficulty down to amateur. I’m still struggling to regain possession. Still running down the ball like a child who hasn’t learned there’s eleven players on a team. My wife comes over and puts a friendly hand on my shoulder. How dare she touch me at a time like this? How dare she disturb a young hopeful as he attempts to fight his way back into the English Premier League? My hands are a vise around my new controller. I am not having fun.

“Each time I score a goal I raise my fist in the air and look around the room as if there should be a crowd there to congratulate me.”

FIFA 17 seems like a pretty good game. I was impressed by how well the new scripted ‘Journey’ mode put me in the shoes of Alex, a young British soccer player starting with nothing and ending up with… well I’m not really sure, because I’m too angry to keep playing. That’s not to say there haven’t been good times. There have. Each time I score a goal I raise my fist in the air and look around the room as if there should be a crowd there to congratulate me. “You did it. You finally did it. You turned what was once a toxic relationship to competition into something enjoyable!” But there is nobody there. And I have done nothing of the sort. I dislike competition because — and I’m aware this is a cliché — of my relationship to my father. I’ll split the fault down the middle on this one: I was a brooding, angry, insecure teenager. He was a controlling, insecure adult. Our casual family football matches usually ended in screaming and tears. I remember the terrible feeling of stomping off the pitch with intense clarity. That’s because I’m living it all over again with this stupid fucking game. Like I said, FIFA 17 seems good. I just don’t enjoy playing it most of the time. Same with Overwatch, Rocket League, and Crucible matches in Destiny. These are all good things that I mostly experience as anger and frustration.

*farting angrily, sweating*

*farting angrily, sweating*

What’s my review of FIFA 17? I wish I could help you there. It’s like trying to read a book drunk. I can’t see through the fumes of my compromised central nervous system. I give FIFA 17 eight stars over GO TO HELL DAD YOU GO TO HELL! I DON’T WANT TO PLAY ANYMORE IT’S NOT FAIR!

“That summer I played FIFA 98 on Nintendo 64 and remember throwing the controller around more than once”  

The worst part? This isn’t my first rodeo. I remember feeling cartoonishly furious all the way back to FIFA 94 on Super Nintendo. Four years later France won the World Cup and I (alongside the entire country) experienced intense joy. That summer I played FIFA 98 on Nintendo 64 and remember throwing the controller around more than once as I tried to get fucking Zidane to score a single goddamn point so we could beat Brazil and win the stupid World Cup (again). Two years later France won the Euro Cup and I was filled with joy again. It turns out I really love football as long as I don’t have to play it, virtually or otherwise. It is one of the few things I enjoy most when it is not interactive. Every few years I just have to learn this lesson the hard way I guess.

Anyways… if you need me, I’ll be trading in my copy of FIFA 17 for a Mario-Bros-themed Monopoly board at my local game store because that’s how adults admit defeat. All is not lost however. I will soon be rolling double sixes and crushing my wife beneath the iron fist of my incredible financial decision-making and dashing top-hat. Issues with competition? Me? No way. You must be thinking of coffee.

About The Author

Editor in jefe

Julian is a pair of glasses in third transformation. He's on an eternal quest to find the perfect RPG that will solve all his problems.

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