Unhappy developments this week. I had to dismantle my entire gaming setup—the TV, the consoles, all the (many) wires, and all the stacked games—-and store everything on the floor in another room. All to enable some long-postponed plumbing work to go ahead in my room.
Perhaps you can imagine the heart-wrenching dismay that this caused me. At this stage of my laughable excuse for a life, my gaming setup is almost an extension of my body. It’s not really feasible to set up everything in the other room, so I’m stuck without console gaming until the work is completed in my room. That won’t be until the middle of next week now. I am, needless to say, slightly distraught about it.
My PS3 and 360 are in figurative mothballs until the middle of next week. This will be the longest period I have been separated from console gaming for a long time. I’m looking on the bright side and hoping to catch up with a few books and TV shows that I’ve neglected recently. And of course there’s always the trusty old PSP.
I have revived my Master League career on the PSP version of PES2008. For all intents and purposes, last year the PSP & PS2 version of PES2008 was the football game of my year. I played it for longer and more intensely than any other football game. When I stopped playing it I had just won a Treble in season 2021, and started very well in 2022.
My first game back was strange—but it was familiar too. By now I think the classic PES gameplay is almost as familiar as breathing. It took me about half of a half to get over the initial slight strangeness. I won the league at a canter, but stupidly lost the European Cup final 0-1 to a traditional CPU sucker-punch goal straight from the kickoff. I had about a million chances to equalise but missed them all. I was already out of the D1 Cup and there was no prospect of another Treble. Still, clinching the title wasn’t bad for my first matches back in the old routine.
Playing this game again I am struck by several things. The most striking thing is how old-fashioned the ‘classic’ PES gameplay now feels. How fast it feels. How arcadey. And how bloody brilliant, too, of course.
I only picked up my PSP meaning to play perhaps 1 or 2 matches. I stayed for 8. Yes, it’s been a while—absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.
I have an amazing squad numbering the full 32 players. I don’t remember signing some of them. Kaka’, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Giggs, Maldini—all these and more are present.
I’m toying with the idea of starting a new career on the PSP version of PES2008. That might not be an idea with any real legs—once I get my main consoles back I think I’d inevitably lose interest. Priority #1 for next week is to complete Valkyria Chronicles and then finally, finally, start playing Mass Effect. But I’ll see.