My most recent four games have gone like this:
Marseille 2 – 5 Singers FC (Elcherino scored 4)
Singers FC 5 – 0 Feyenoord (Elcherino scored 3)
Atalanta 3 – 5 Singers FC (Elcherino scored 4)
and I was particularly unimpressed with this one:
Singers FC 7 – 1 Tottenham – (Elcherino scored 5)
Here’s a clip showing what happens almost every time it’s my turn to kick off, whether at the start of a game or after the CPU team has scored:
I’m up to 7th in the table with just four games to go. I won’t be able to haul myself into a promotion spot. The resurgence came just a bit too late. The third place is mathematically out of reach.
Elcherino is the top scorer in the Division by a long way. Despite only starting to play after the mid-season negotiations, he’s on something like 33 goals (<<< that’s one blurry picture). The next-highest scorer, Viduka, is on 14 goals.
I’ll at least finish this season, but then… I’ll see how I feel.
Knowing what I now know about PES2008, I cannot take it seriously as a PES game. Among the many reasons why PES came to be such a phenomenal force in the football gaming world was that it possessed an undoubted quality of realism. It was the discerning football fan’s football simulation. Until now.
In what kind of football is it possible for one player to score 16 goals in four games, with at least – at least - a hat-trick in each? It might be possible in Sunday morning football or in school football, but even then it’s still extremely unlikely. In professional football it simply doesn’t happen.
I know, I know. Yes, I did watch and enjoy the Spurs 6, Reading 4 game on Match of the Day on Saturday night. I know that Reading were also involved in a 7-4 result earlier this season. And that there was a 4-4 game at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
But those are exceptional matches in real football. They account for considerably less than 1% of all games. Not more than 90%, as in PES2008
I suppose I could follow some sound advice and immediately place Elcherino on the bench, keep him there, sell or trade him at the end of the season, and limit myself to getting players of more modest ability thereafter.
I could do that. It might even be interesting, and fun, to try it out. But I don’t know if I really want to. I never had to resort to that kind of desperate measure before.
Severe disillusionment with PES2008 has set in. It has taken root in my soul and it won’t let go. FIFA08, for all its shortcomings, is a better football game than PES2008. I acknowledged this to myself a long time ago. Only now am I facing up to the fact. (Once again I have to stress that I am talking about the next-gen console versions of both games, which are utterly different from the last-gen versions.)
I no longer play PES2008 – I just sit there and work the controls. And I think of something else whilst doing so.
How did it ever come to this?
PES2008 is not a ‘proper’ PES game. That’s the awful truth. It’s not PES at all.
I’ve just about come to terms with it, but what terrifies me (frankly) is the possibility that PES2008 – with its arcade handling, its 100mph pace, its jet-heeled players, and of course its butter-fingered goalkeepers – is not an aberration due to the developer’s lack of time and playtesting (as most PES-followers assume), but instead represents a deliberately planned new direction for the entire PES franchise.
If that is the case, then we can probably forget about PES for the rest of this generation, in the same way that we used to automatically disregard FIFA. It’d actually be FIFA that would carry the football game torch forward. The torch that PES used to bear so proudly.
Don’t have nightmares.