Floating on

I’m still playing FIFA09 and not playing any form of Pro Evolution Soccer. Not playing PES weighs upon me. I can’t shake the notion, wrong though I know it to be, that I’m rejecting an integral part of my own identity. I was always an all-year-round PES gamer. Last year and this year, I haven’t been one. This new pattern of abandoning PES after a certain time makes me damn uneasy. I don’t like it. But it’s a new reality, and has been for some time. I await PES2010 with a certain detached interest.

One thing I’ve learned from this year: I won’t be shirking my duties with FIFA10. It’ll be getting a seriously good play. What happened last year was that PES2009 came along, with its fairly decent PES gameplay, and effectively suspended FIFA09. I only got back into FIFA09 over the past month or so.

Nowadays, I see the great things about FIFA09 very closely and very clearly, and the small things very far away and very dimly. In the future they’ll swap places again, no doubt, but this is the present.

I genuinely look forward to playing FIFA09 every day. I experience the famed ‘just one more match’ syndrome that only PES is supposed to have. I also get the equally famed ‘special feeling’ from scoring many of my goals—again, only PES is supposed to have this special feeling. And only PES is supposed to be fun, according to the revisionist PES lore that has sprung up over the last two years.

FIFA has all of that too, for me, now. I’ve felt it and seen it and tasted it. I’ve sat up and punched the air whilst playing FIFA. I’ve hooted with laughter, gasped, shouted for fuck’s sake loud enough for my elderly neighbours to hear. Suddenly—and it’s completely crazy, completely unanticipated, and just completely crazy—I’m passionate about FIFA09. Will it last? Will it last? Will it last?

While I’m still scoring goals that satisfy me and while I’m still fascinated by the intricate things that can be done on the pitch, it’ll last.

Straight into my latest ‘floater’ goal.

Link: Rodriguez Floater

That one was scored with Maxi Rodriguez. It’s from my current Manager Mode career with Atletico Madrid. I’ll talk about my changing attitude to Manager Mode another time. Suffice it to say for now that if the gameplay is good, you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

This next one is another floater, but it’s a bit different from the others:

Link: Floated Curler FIFA09

It was scored whilst the player was facing sideways, and from a slightly more central position. All the others were scored from a particular zone beyond the outer corner of the penalty box and facing the far corner of the net that the ball was destined for. I had a moan a while ago about never being able to score these sideways-facing shots from just that position. So I was happy for this one to go in. Happy, too, about the curl on the ball, which neither of the camera angles showcases very well. Never mind.

Over the past few weeks I’ve posted a few of these ‘floater’ goals, as I call them. This shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the ‘same old FIFA’—with its utterly routine, meaningless, empty long-range goals—is lurking under the skin of next-gen FIFA. It’s definitely not.

These goals are still a rarity. This cluster came over the course of roughly 100 matches. I’ve really been playing FIFA09 a lot, and trying to score goals like these a lot. After months of never scoring them, I’ve bagged a few and I’m happy. Is that a crime? Oh, PES! Don’t look at me like that…


  1. After not playing for almost 2 weeks (due to Champ) I’ve decided to start the biggest ISS/PES challenge of my life. I’m going to win the Master League and European Cup with the default players. That’s right, the default players. The only signings I will make in this time will be the regenerated default players.

    My starting line up is made up of the youngest players, in the hope that their stats will increase. I’ve had Gutierrez for up to 5 seasons before, and he develops into a pretty decent forward. My hope is that the rest will also improve.

    I know it’s a big challenge and in all honesty, i’ll probably give up after frustration kicks in, but I started last night with a 1-1 draw against Zenit. The famous Burchet scored the first goal for the newly formed FC West Ham. I then followed that up with a 0-0 draw against Feyenoord in the cup. I’m playing at a very slow and consistent rate – with the emphasis on possesion.

  2. Liam—I was thinking just the other day about the Default players and how they’ve changed over the years. PES3-5, they were pretty decent and you could easily imagine Castello (I said Castello) tearing it up in a promotion- and title-winning push. Nowadays? Good luck—you seriously will need it. (And looking ahead a few posts here, there’s some PES activity in the offing for me. Watch this space.)

  3. Yeah, Castello was usually the last to be sold of the default players, not sure about pes09, I never got into the game.

  4. Yeah, castello and miranda were pretty good. Even Ximenez was half decent, but when they changed their names, they lost their power. Shame really.

    I’m toying with the idea of 5 minute matches just to get me through at a quicker rate, and hopefully increased stats, but it’s sort of cheating.

    Looking forward to your pes post. Although i really enjoy the other posts, it was your master league adventures that made me a regular reader.

  5. Makershaker—Castello often stuck around in my full ML squads of ‘proper’ players until he retired! Edingson and Vorlander too.

  6. Liam—I made the mistake of trying to take my enthusiasm for FIFA09 online and… well, tomorrow’s post tells all.

    Friday’s post will be a special one for PES nostalgia.

  7. Nice one, i look forward to friday even more so than usual. Must be quite tricky posting a few days behind when having conversations on the comments section.

    I’m sensing possibly a pes5 return…never go online, it’s never good unless you know the bloke you’re playing.

  8. Liam,

    My hat is off to you for the attempt. I’ve considered it myself, but not on PES 09! Maybe on ’10 we’ll all have a go and post our results here?

    Let us know how it goes for you — I’m interested to say the least!

    In FIFA 09, I started up a new manager mode with AFC Bournemouth, and used the player creator to add Vornander, Valeny, Dodo, and Minanda. They’re pretty good for CC Football League 2 players!

  9. cklarock – ha ha, that’s embracing FIFA but staying true to your PES roots! Did you use the same stats?

    I’m only 3 games in as I only managed one game last night due to Championship Manager Commitments, but last night’s game saw me lose to Helsinki (I think) 2-1. The good news is that Gutierrez was fit to play his first game and scored his first goal, of hopefully hundreds!

    Think the full line up is:

    GK Lothar
    RB El Moubarki
    LB Ruskin
    CB Jaric
    CB Can’t remember his name – Hoffman or something (whoever is youngest)
    DM Dodo
    DM Ettori
    AM van den Berg
    RF Ordaz
    LF Ximenez
    CF Gutierrez

    So it’s a gamble leaving out Minanda, Castello, Espinas and Matt but it’s all about stat improvements. I think I might have someone instead of Ximenez but can’t think off the top of my head.

  10. Liam—It’s very rare that the posts are about the days they appear on, or even the days before the days they appear on! I’ve always got to be a couple of days ahead—sometimes several days—otherwise it’d all get on top of me. I need that breathing space. Generally the only time I’ll post ‘live’ about the past 24 hours’ action is for the few weeks after the release of the game(s), i.e. in October.

    I’ll never play a football game online again. Not unless I specifically hear that it’s more than a pinball game with occasional shots on goal. IMO, PES4 and PES5 were the last decent online football games (I played them on PC).

    Re. your ML Defaults – is the missing CB Vornander?

    And can you really enjoy the matches with the Defaults? Especially knowing you’re stuck with them for good?

  11. ck—hmmm, potentially that means you could populate an entire squad with ML-equivalent players. Yet another long-term editing job that I know I’ll never get around to doing… I’ve said it before, but the first thing I’d think of after a big Lottery win wouldnt be ‘yacht! mansion! cars! prostitutes!!’. It’d be ‘at last! now I’ll have enough time to edit all my football games…’ Sad but actually true.

  12. No it’s not Vornander as there was a younger Centre Back available so I went with him. I’ve actually enjoyed at how hard i’ve had to work for the goals i’ve scored so far. You only get maybe 3 good chances per game, and with poor finishers it’s a struggle. Keeping a clean sheet is also a minor victory.

    I’m doing it really to see just how good the default players can get. I might not have time to do it all before PES2010, but i’d like to see them 5 seasons in. This may mean 5 minunte games though, but we’ll see.

    Really struggling to break away from my teenage like Champ Man addiction at the moment. I love the old CM3 version!

    Also, I was wondering how you compared FIFA 09 and PES 09 on the PSP? I had both albeit briefly, and was wondering your opinion?

  13. Liam—never had FIFA09 on PSP. As you know, it’s nothing to do with the good FIFAs on PS3 & 360, so I’ve never bothered with it. My last PSP FIFA was FIFA07, which I thought was just a decent handheld football game. I imagine FIFA09 to be the same.

    So who’s the mystery centre-back?! Valeny, Stremer, Jaric, Ceciu, Liberman, Baumann? I’m guessing it’s either Baumann or Libermann. They’re bth decent enough I suppose, but isn’t Vornander still just slightly better?

  14. Oh yeah, I think it’s Baumann. Vorlander is definitely better, and Valery is the best defender at the club, but they’re both old. So I decided that the younger the player, the more likely they are to improve, and faster too.

    I think by mentioning it on here, i’m more likely to carry it on, but the frustration will start to kick in. I might throw the cup games every year to speed things up. It’s the fatigue that is the hardest part.

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