No doubt about it, I missed the hell out of PES 2010. Not being able to play the game for 5 days was pretty bad for me, especially as my trip to Milan was heavily involved with football activity.
Being back, much has happened while I was away. I thought I’d talk about those things a little, and also give you guys an update on why all of a sudden PES has taken over my life again.
And for that you can credit my brother-in-law for bugging me like crazy to play some PES 2010 with him. It seems the vocal majority nod FIFA 09 over PES 2009, but not for this guy. After playing FIFA 09 consistently when it came out, the turn of the year saw him in love with PES 2009, thanks to the variety of ways to score, individuality and player appearance, and that PES style of gameplay.
I warned him that PES 2010 was different to PES 2009 in gameplay, and as soon as he started playing he was ooh-ing and ahhh-ing like an Eric Cantona fan club. From the shooting to the passing, from the graphics to player likeliness, he was incredibly happy. 4 hours later we were still playing, a PES session we’ve not experienced for what seems like an eternity.
And thats when it hit me, PES is back.
It’s not about re-done engines, high quality visuals and motion capturing nets – its about gameplay. PES hasn’t been this satisfying to play for a while, and its about freedom of movement and freedom of control thats brought back the magic – both things hallmarks of the PS2 games. While the passing isn’t free like in FIFA, the accuracy and speed of passes are back to their satisfying best. Same goes for shooting, with you feeling the ball is going where you are aiming. Small adjustments and improvements that have a massive effect on how the game plays out.
On top of that Konami and Seabass have added layers around the core to make PES 2010 an incredible package. The graphics are drop dead gorgeous, and with new colour filter and dynamic lighting it brings the game to life. The animations, or lack of, have been scrutinized by a lot of people, but there’s plenty there to get excited about. The 4 dribbling animations may seem limited, but it freshens up the movement and hammers home the individuality factor FIFA has yet to achieve with its far superior animation system. People like Messi and Ronaldo seem to move differently, as do the likes of Gattuso and Essien – similar players in their positions but behave and move very differently. Its so enjoyable to be able to dribble like Messi, score in a way he does in real life, then sit back and watch his signature celebration play out – with the incredibly accurate kits, player models and photo realistic face.
My stand out moment since back has been something that encapsulates all those things. Playing Milan vs Inter I played the ball out of defense to Pirlo, who picked out a Pato run on the right wing. As I controlled the ball I stepped inside, played a one-two with Huntelaar and found myself just outside the box with space. I pressed shoot and watched Pato side foot the ball into the top left-hand corner. As I celebrated enthusiastically I looked over to the screen and saw ‘the duck’ do his signature love-heart celebration, before getting swamped by the entire Milan team.
PES 2010 has been a slow burner, the last time I felt like this was when playing PES 3 for the first few times. The beauty of the game took a few games to sink in, and the same can be said this year.
I’ve also had many emails and pm’s from people asking about the Riot podcast, and if I agree with what was said. Opinions are opinions, and Riot is someone I have always respected and agreed with. Its also hard to dismiss his thoughts on FIFA 10 without playing the latest code from EA, but from his PES 2010 input and self admission he hasn’t spent that much time with the game, I feel he’s yet to get to the stage where PES starts to show its true colours.
In his analysis, many have felt Riot sent a message of doom, but I have to say I disagree. He bluntly spoke of his love for FIFA 10, but also said we have two great football games this year – whilst saying PES 2010 is much improved and different from PES 2009. Isn’t that what we want to hear?
As a PES fan, for me its more important for the game to finally step out of PES5/6’s shadow, and be regarded as the best PES game ever than to be FIFA 10’s conquerer. Whatever EA does and how well FIFA 10 is received won’t matter to the PES community, as if a game from Seabass and co is finally good enough to do away with PES 6 patches on PC and pack away your PS2 console, then we have a very special PES game indeed.