FIFA 14 hasn't officially been released in stores, but already there's great hype and anticipation growing around the latest version of the game that has become inextricably mixed with the sport itself. And like every year, the designers have done their best to improve the game in several aspects.
For the most part, they've done a fairly good job.
I outlined last month some of the best changes of FIFA 14 and some of the improvements that are strong moves forward. However, that's not to say that they have it all perfect, and there's still several changes and aspects of the game that should have been updated and changed.
What were the biggest omissions from FIFA 14?
Read on and find out.
Absence of Key International Teams
One of the biggest issues when it comes to FIFA is the inclusion (or lack of it) for certain international teams. Sure, all the big-name countries are available like Brazil, England and Spain, but there's so many international countries that aren't included that quite frankly, should be shoo-ins.
Nigeria—the reigning African Cup of Nations winners—are unavailable—as are Japan, who are one of the few teams to have actually qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
The list goes on.
Costa Rica are currently on top of the CONCACAF qualifying standings and yet they are unavailable. Croatia (second in UEFA Group A), Bosnia and Herzegovina (first in UEFA Group G) and Montenegro (first in UEFA Group H) are also not there—something that FIFA really should have addressed.
It will be a little embarrassing if half of the teams at the 2014 FIFA World Cup aren't actually available in international mode on the latest update of the game.
Lack of Growing Domestic Leagues
Much like certain countries that aren't available in FIFA 14, there's also a great deal of individual domestic teams that can't be selected. And that's not just because FIFA didn't add them; no, their entire domestic league in many cases isn't available—and not even in the Rest of the World league.
Take the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League for instance.
Even if we just consider the 32 teams that made the group stages—and ignore the teams that bowed out in the early qualifying stages of the tournament—there were still several teams in the group stage that couldn't be chosen in the video game. Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), BATE Borisov (Belarus) and CFR Cluj (Romania) were all unavailable, and neither were their domestic leagues.
Given that these teams are playing in arguably the most prestigious football tournament in the world, it seems only fitting that they would be in the game.
Many of these players have gone on (or will go on) to sign contracts with some of the biggest clubs in world football (Fernandinho, Willian etc.), so their domestic leagues should be included in FIFA 14. Not every league in the world, but some of the biggest ones that are producing players that even the average fan witnesses on their television screens.
Ukrainian, Chinese, Argentinian, Turkish and Greek leagues would be a good place to start—even if they were simply included in the Rest of the World section.
Licensing agreements and money will obviously determine the outcome of whether this happens or not, but it's an important thing for FIFA to push for. The sport itself is becoming more and more global, and they need to ensure that they are keeping up with the nature and current situation of the sport if they want to maintain their status as one of the most iconic (and relevant) video games in the world.
If not, FIFA may start to lose that claim all together.
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