FIFA14 Game preview: I'm a button-masher

Players like Hendry Thomas (above) are more and more important to FC Dallas' chances as the season marches on without Mauro Diaz. By Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports - Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In a preview of Saturday's game in San Jose, I played the matchup on FIFA14. This is what happened and this is what I learned.

"Button-masher" is something I've been called in the past. It hasn't been a compliment. It also hasn't been untrue. Against my childhood friends, I used to win at Street Fighter or Tekken because I could press all the buttons the fastest. I had honestly no clue what any individual button did, but I knew I better press them fast.

FIFA14 might just break me of my button-mashing tendencies. The direct feedback is that you lose the ball on offense or get beat on defense as soon as your finger grazes the turbo button, which is the sports gamer's equivalent of button-mashing. Not using turbo and not button-mashing are things I definitely still need to work on.

I used Mauro, and I'm not sorry.

In a true preview match, I would have sat Mauro Diaz on my bench. Diaz is out for at least a few months and if he isn't available to the real team, he shouldn't have been available to me.

Today, I didn't sit him though. He is the highest-rated player by the game on the entire team. His back-up options as they stand in real-life are somewhere between 12-15 skill points below Diaz and considering I have a really hard time scoring goals in this game to date, I went ahead and kept him in the lineup.

Some players don't translate into video games

Michel is a player on the FC Dallas roster whose skills don't easily translate to something you'd usually find in a video game. Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski is similar. That being said, the AI really does utilize the skills players have in real life. Wondolowski was eternally, frustratingly deliberate, holding the ball while his teammates ran forward. I don't like to go a long time without possession, but again was forced to be patient, especially when Wondo had the ball.

Game Summary

The PS3 video game preview of FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes ended in a 1-1 draw. After Blas Perez stole a pass from a defensive midfielder, he threaded a pass to a streaking Diaz who slammed it past the keeper.

San Jose struck back less than five minutes later. Matt Hedges and Stephen Keel got mixed up as I tried to stop an attacking player. Alan Gordon and his flowing locks took advantage, slotting a goal past Raul Fernandez for the equalizer, just before halftime.

There were some opportunities in the second half, but I couldn't put any of them in the back of the net. Shooting is one of the most difficult parts of this game.

Final notes

One thing that I'm having a hard time doing is scoring when given open opportunities from fast players, especially Fabian Castillo. It seems like Castillo is trying to take more shots on goal lately and his ability to score and be a playmaker from the wing in Diaz' absence is a huge key.

Another key in the video game has been the play of midfielders like Adam Moffat, Andrew Jacobson, and Hendry Thomas. These players have also had lots of chances, but have been able to finish very few of them. David Texiera and Blas Perez can't score all the goals.

The way the Hoops have been playing lately, I would probably be good with a 1-1 draw on the road at San Jose on Saturday night. What about you?

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