After a short break, it was back to Become a Legend in PES2009. I had just moved clubs (again) to Tottenham Hotspur, or as the game calls them, North London White. I changed the name in Edit mode, of course, but the badge is still a North London White one.
Every year the most editing I ever do is to change all the clubs’ names to their proper ones. It’s worth it, but it’s not a big deal to me. Any PES fan worth his salt will tell you that the lack of official licenses is something we learned to live with—even celebrate—a long time ago.
And it’s not even as ‘bad’ as it used to be. I remember playing at the turn of the century with players called ‘Michael Owenn’ and ‘David Backham’. There was even one year—PES3?—when every Dutch player in the game was called ‘Oranges’ followed by a three-digit number. I believe Marc Overmars was something like ‘Oranges011’.
Now that was a really bad year for licensing. But do you know what? Those were some of the best years of my football gaming life. Probably yours too.
So I have no quarrel whatsoever with Konami’s continued failure to secure licensing for PES. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The only slight worry would be if they took out Edit mode (or diminished it to the point where it was even worse than next-gen PES2008’s). Then I might stick my head above the parapet and do some world-class whining. But at the moment, I’m perfectly happy with the status quo in regards to licenses.
I know, I know. I started off talking about my BaL progress. It’s inevitable at this time of year that I’ll often meander off to talk about the series as a whole, my hopes for PES2010, my abiding regrets about next-gen PES2008 (it’s like a movie monster in my mind; I just can’t kill it off), and my memories of the distant past on PS2 and PS1… I’ll try to keep it to a minimum and just talk about my exploits in the various game modes.
It seems as if the short break from BaL was not good for me. I’ve played quite a few more matches, and only just managed to get to the bench at the end of the sequence. And then I wasn’t even brought on! Sitting on the bench watching the CPU play the CPU is probably my least-favourite aspect of BaL. Thankfully the period only lasts for a relatively short time. At Portsmouth I was quickly a first-team regular. I think—hope—that the same will apply here at Spurs.
One reason why I’ve struggled is the change in formation. Spurs mostly play a very attacking 4-3-3 formation. Not only are there limited spaces for midfielders, but the positions in midfield were new to me. At Pompey I had made the safe, solid, left-sided CMF position my own. I was aware of what I had to do to have a good game. When I took to the field in the Spurs reserve team as an AMF, I wasn’t really sure what to do.
Gradually, over a few matches, I stared getting better ratings, and eventually got the callup to the ‘A’ team. One fairly average performance later and I was on the bench for a league match against Wigan. Sadly I didn’t come on, and remained on the bench for the next match.
This is the start of a sticky period where I’ll just have to make the best of any opportunities I do get. One slightly worrying thing is that I seem to have lost the knack, for now, of making intelligent runs into space. Either that or it’s my team-mates, who are so much better at Tottenham than they were at Portsmouth. They are more than capable of passing and moving and creating chances and taking them on their own, thank you very much. They don’t seem to need me. For now.
I won’t post about BaL again until Monday. There have been some developments on the FIFA front over the past week or so. I’ve been playing quite a bit of Manager Mode in FIFA09, and the first rumblings of FIFA10 have made me prick my ears up. I’m itching to talk about everything, and will do so on Friday.
Could my fondest wish for FIFA10—a fully-featured Ultimate Team mode in the style of Master League—be about to come true? No, probably not, but there are numerous indications that something big is going to be revealed at the end of next week when all the various non-disclosure agreements expire. I swear now that if the Ultimate Team/Master League hybrid is any kind of reality, I will arrange to have myself frozen and thawed out in October, because I don’t think I could stand to wait that long.