The past week in the UK has seen summer arrive, with interest. I don’t ever remember it being as hot during May as it’s been over the last seven days, especially over the weekend just past. When the sun is out and the sky is blue (and there’s not a cloud to spoil my view), it begs the question: what am I doing sitting/standing/laying here, with this games console controller in my hand, playing with myself? I could be out there in the world, enjoying the sun and doing whatever else it is that people seem to like doing. What’s the attraction of any game when there’s a gorgeous, sun-kissed world sitting waiting to be explored? What’s the attraction of PES?
I might try to answer those questions another time, maybe later in the summer when the mercury levels really start to rise. They’re mainly rhetorical questions anyway. I only wanted to justify today’s post title. But I have indeed been spending warm summer days indoors, playing the next six or so games of season 2016 in my Master League career in PES2008—the good PS2/PSP version of the game. Not that shoddy PS3 version, which I am given to understand was much improved for its Japanese and North American release. If true (and I’ve got to accept it might be) that just makes me feel even worse about the game we got. Grrr.
I won a few, I lost one, I drew another. My league position is nothing special, but I suppose it’s better to be third than mid-table. The start of this season has been… well, it’s been strange. I started quickly last season and I was top by now, but this season I’m off the pace. That’s okay; it’s early days yet. Perhaps the oddest thing of all is seeing Atletico Madrid set the early pace. They were in Division 2 last season and have come straight up to go to the top of the table. I think that by the mid-season negotiations the top three will be made up of the usual suspects. And it’s about time that Barcelona made a challenge for the title. They’ve been nowhere in all my seasons in Division 1 so far.
A couple of my wins were big ones, 3-0 and 4-0. I played Real Madrid and Valencia one after the other, and they were two of the weirdest, most peculiar games I’ve ever played—they were kind of like last season’s penultimate Villarreal game in that I couldn’t seem to gain any traction at all against a rampant CPU; and they were also kind of like the Heracles Almelo game from the start of this season, with the ball semi-permanently tied up in midfield and neither goal threatened much.
The Real Madrid game ended 0-0, and the Valencia game should have ended the same way. The score was 0-0 heading into injury time, but then I got a taste of my own medicine. With almost the last kick of the game I let my guard slip—it was just bad defending: no complaints—and Valencia slotted home the winner.
The defeat ended my unbeaten status a lot sooner this season than last. That’s okay too. In a way, I’m relieved. It should be noted that Laurito, my new, young, unknown striker with the impressive-looking stats and promising future, played in a few of these games and performed excellently well. He got two of my goals in the 4-0 win, and scored the odd one here and there in the others.
Whisper it (especially around here), but Kim Cyun Hi has not so far set the world alight out there on the right. My non-dribbling, pass-and-move playing style may have a lot to do with it. But it’s still relatively early days for Kim Cyun Hi and it has to be said that he’s been effective for me when he’s played in the centre, his natural position. I might have to start rotating him with Schwarz.
I’ve collected a few goal replays from this clutch of games. Bradley has been up to his tricks again, scoring from ridiculously far out. This goal is probably the furthest-out I’ve scored from in PES2008 thus far: