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.
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:
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…