There was not a lot of meat on the bone for TOTW 23 and so we switch gears a little bit this week with a review of Base ICON Ronaldo. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, what can you say about this legend? Respect and admiration are in constant connection with R9 and it was a privilege to review a card celebrating a small portion of his dazzling career. Maybe even more than the card itself, I was looking forward to the tifo of the Brazilian in canary yellow at the beginning of each match. While R9 is one of only a few players to receive this accolade in game, it was kind of a sad reminder that “hey, you couldn’t afford to the 94 version of this card” before every home match. On to the review.
I should start by saying that the formation in the squad picture was not how I played this weekend. I opted for a mixture of 4-2-3-1, 4-2-2-2, and 4-1-2-1-2(2) for a variety of reasons with R9 the ST in all three options. I went with a HAWK chemistry style for the pace, shooting, and much need physical boosts, but I would switch to HUNTER for 10 additional games after the initial 20. Ronaldo was center stage in the following squad:
I want to start out by saying that this card has some insane quickness. Ronaldo is fast off of the mark and his first touch on the ball is one of the best, if not the best I have used. With HAWK applied R9 has 99 ACCELERATION & 98 SPRINT SPEED which looks really nice for the in-game stats category. So why did I try HUNTER? The answer is complicated but it feels like Ronaldo downshifts after his first few steps and he looks like a sports car running out of gas. Out of curiosity I had to max out his stats for a few games with HUNTER to see if it would change and it did not. Don’t get me wrong, Ronaldo is a like a hummingbird darting around the box, but for pure pace he was nowhere near the likes of Mbappé.
Pace Rating: 9/10
Shooting & Passing
While the pace was not an overwhelming feature with this card, the shooting and passing just blew me away. The shooting statistics on this card with the HAWK chemistry style feel as impressive as they look, while the 4 STAR WEAK FOOT gives a green light to let it fly from either foot. 98 POSITIONING keeps Ronaldo constantly on the shoulder of defenders waiting for the opportunity to send the ball towards goal; 99 FINISHING & 99 SHOT POWER make sure that the ball rockets into the corner and leaves the keeper flailing at air and blaming the wind. While the goal totals with this card did not revival some of my other reviews (I talk about why I think so later), the goal contribution of just under 2.0 per game definitely did. The 11 assists Ronaldo amassed in 20 games was not a montage of cross goal tap-ins and instead was a wide array of perfectly timed crosses, inch perfect passing, and perfectly weighted through balls. The passing on this card is insane and a perfect example comes early on in the video with a between the legs cross into Firmino. The “ICON effect” is on full display with this card as passes find teammates they have no business finding and resulted in a very impressive assist return.
Shooting Rating: 9.7/10
Passing Rating: 9.4/10
Dribbling, Physical, & Defending
The dribbling on this card was always going to be a huge focus for me as in the end the quick turns of attackers around the box can make or break a striker’s usability. Ronaldo passed every test in front of him with flying colors and allowed for intricate play in tight areas. I am not sure if it is the 88 AGILITY, 80 BALANCE, or the fact that Ronaldo is simply an ICON but he never seems off balance in the game. Even shooting the ball from odd angles seemed to come off with power and accuracy that rivals the post-patch mechanics. I realize this is more of a shooting comment, but it feels like it comes from the dribbling ability of this card in some way. All I will say is, let it fly with this card and more often than not you are happy with the results. From a physical perspective there are some worries with this card until you jump into a match and use R9 for the first time. Even reading some comments on this card made me realize that I am not alone in feeling that this card is immovable on the ball. Even nearing the end of Weekend League with the top tier of defenders I always felt like Ronaldo would come out on top in any ball battle he was in. This card truly has it all.
Dribbling Rating: 9.6/10
Physical Rating: 9.2/10
Defending Rating: N/A
Final Rating: 9.6/10
I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this card. Everything about R9 is class and he can win you games. Ultimately this brings me to a rating of 9.6/10 and while he is just below the likes of Mbappé in how he feels in game, he does have one trait that “the future Ballon d’Or winner” does not and that is the “Time Saving Effect”. While I did mention the goals and assists on this card, I need to point out that they are completely misleading for how this card performs. In my 20 game review I counted 6 rage quits, which is not normal for me. I will have some matches where I can blow an opponent away but normally it is a battle and even at 3-1 up I am vulnerable. However, this weekend more than ever my opponents would go two goals down and as Ronaldo’s gap-toothed smile appeared they would leave the match. I would say I completed my games in two hours less than normal and the only thing that changed was the addition of R9. To me this was worth more than the price tag of this card alone. But in closing, the big reminder is definitely the price tag. While the Base ICON SBC significantly reduced the price of this card, R9 is still a luxury item in the game. However, if you can save up the coins he is well worth the 1.8 million on XBOX and I 100% recommend this legend of the game, but I am sure you saw that coming. Cheers for reading.