That’s a high-quality screenshot in more ways than one…
No, it’s not the final table for the season. (I’d be turning cartwheels of joy if it was.) That is the table after 10 games. There are 4 games left to play. I’m 2 points clear of Valenciennes below me. I think I’m going to do it. I’m finally going to get promoted out of Division 2, after 339 seasons of trying, or whatever it’s been.
I think I have finally ‘arrived’ on the PSP/PS2 version of PES2008. I know how to defend. I know how to attack. I know what is and isn’t possible with which kinds of players. I’ve finally stopped trying to dribble past everybody all the time, which is something that you can do with preposterous ease on the so-called ‘next-gen’ version of the game, which I played for five months and will never play again (except out of curiosity one rainy day in July, perhaps).
I’ve also had to adjust to the game’s hair-trigger shooting after the ‘heavy’ shooting of the PS3 version. I’m sending less shots ballooning over the bar, and more into the back of the net. My goal difference is looking healthier.
It’s still not all rosy. I still concede maddening goals. I still come up against CPU players who seem unstoppable no matter how careful I am with what I call ‘micro-tactics’—when you have a runner running full-pelt at your defence, and you have to decide, quickly, whether to dive in, or try to shepherd him away, or bring across another player with the Square button and try a combination of both. If I’m feeling impatient and frustrated I’ll dive in (and often mis-time it, and concede a free kick/penalty, or miss the tackle competely).
But that’s the level of play that I had and enjoyed for several years on PES6, PES5, PES4, PES3, PES2, PES, ISS2, ISS, all of them.
I never, ever felt about any of those games, “Now I am your master. Now there is nothing else I want from you.”
I played them all with consistent pleasure and a feeling of being challenged by them until their replacements came out. As I’ve said before: if Konami’s yearly updates were taking me for a mug, I was happy to be so taken. That’s the kind of being-taken-for-a-mug that I like very much.
I can feel myself straining at the leash to go off on one about next-gen PES2008 here (again), but that’s old ground now. Suffice to say that I felt very much taken for a mug by it, and not in the nice way. But I have a new outlook on life. Yes, a great session on PES can do that for me. All is right with the world.
In my latest game I got two fine goals with Komol, one of them a stooping header from the edge of the box. My other goal in this 3-0 win was Larsson’s first for the club, cutting inside from the left and firing low past the keeper.