Itchy fingers

Will these days and weeks never end? The run-up to the release of the two big games—FIFA09 and PES2009, naturally—is proving to be more excruciating this year than any other.

But I’m strangely coping better with it this year than any other. Partly this is a result of my severely lowered expectations regarding PES2009. I’ve also had the FIFA09 demo to play, and I’ve been playing other games (anyone for WipeoutHD?), and I’ve been busy in real life (if there be such a thing). I’ve also been enjoying all the debates on all the forums. In many ways, this period before the games are released is almost as good as playing the games themselves… So I keep telling myself anyway. Under the hood, I’m still impatient and twitchy for the kickoff.

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Still no PES2009 demo on the horizon. The smart money is on it popping up for download this Thursday (2nd October). If so it’d be a slight spoiler for the FIFA09 release, so it might happen. Personally I don’t think we’ll see the demo until the actual week of release, but I’m prepared to be wrong and would love to be wrong. There’s a lot riding on PES2009. I want to play it.

Even if PES2009 is a very good PES game (and I still believe it will be), it’s got major competition this year for the first time. Yes, FIFA08 was a good game, but it would be hard for me to argue it was a truly great game. FIFA09, from what I have seen and played of it so far, could be the great football game that I didn’t know I was waiting for. Over the past few days I’ve started walloping goals in from distance with the same kind of visceral joy that I once got from PES. At this stage I believe that FIFA09 could be the greatest football video game ever made, but that’s a big statement and it’s early days yet. I await the full game—which I should receive this Wednesday or Thursday in the post, if GAME.co.uk’s usual excellent service comes through for me. Fingers crossed.

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A brief word about the blog. As of the end of next week, daily posts should resume. I might take odd days off now and then, but otherwise I’ll be back to the daily chronicling of my football game experience. With one major difference: my posts will be, on average, a lot shorter than they were last year. I’ll be trying to keep each post around the 400 words mark, roughly the size of this one.

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