So: I lost my PS3 to the Yellow Light of Death. The latest on the repair is that Console Doctor have received it. I got a nice text message telling me so. All I can do now is wait.
Almost the last thing I did on my PS3 before it met its (hopefully temporary) End was to play Pro Evolution Soccer 3 with great enjoyment. I made concrete plans—this is true—to start a Master League career on PES3 and play it until October. It would have been interesting (to me at least) to see how far I would have got, and what I saw and felt along the way. That won’t happen now, post-YLOD. Even if I get my PS3 back next week in full working order again and it remains totally reliable, the PES3 moment is gone. But there’s a reason for that.
In an idle moment I suddenly found myself thinking about one old PES game that I never played. I’m talking about the Xbox360 version of PES6. At the time of its release, I was unemployed and penniless. I didn’t have an Xbox360 and the very idea that I would ever own one was laughable. When I eventually got a job and splashed out on a next-gen console, it was the PS3. By the time I went really large and got a 360 too, we were into the supposedly next-gen era of PES gaming. So the 360 version of PES6 really fell into a blind spot in my gaming life.
But now it’s very much in the spotlight. I’d seen the Xbox360 PES6 sitting on game store shelves for £2—two pounds!—over the past few months. On Monday I went into town and bought a copy. Not much of a financial risk, really. I got it home, installed it to the hard drive, and started it up, not really knowing what to expect.
I know that I have a way of hailing every new thing as the best thing ever, before ultimately pulling it apart a few days, weeks, or months down the line. I know. But that’s just the nature of a blogging approach to football games, rather than the journalistic one. It really cannot be helped.
I can only describe what I experienced in that first play-session—I can’t really anticipate future negatives and restrain myself. I love PES6 on the Xbox360. It’s bloody brilliant!
It isn’t quite a next-gen game, but it’s not a last-gen game either. It’s only vaguely like the PS2 version. It’s slow-paced, in the great way that I think every football game should be from now on. The graphics are impressive but not great. It looks like what it was: an early football game on a still-new console.
I played my usual routine: a handful of Exhibitions, then an International Tournament. I took a few beatings, scored a few good goals (nothing worth posting), and overall just loved the whole PES experience. For the first few matches all I could think was how great it felt, and: “PES2008! What happened?”.
It’s got glaring faults. There’s some penalty box slowdown that’s rather PSP-like, but bearable for now. And you can’t save replays—but I’ve got my digital camera for that. I’m sure many other things will come to light as time goes on.
‘As time goes on’…? What does that mean, exactly?
It means MASTER LEAGUE. I think I’ll play a few more International Tournaments before jumping in. I’m not quite acclimatised just yet. But Friday’s post should be all about the setting up of my new ML career here on the Xbox360 version of PES6.