Where are the Cologne Rangers?

A turbulent few days. And I’m still dismayed about the fast speed of PES2010. I just hope that the assurances of it being a diabolical illusion generated by the Internet are true. I’m also very concerned about FIFA10’s apparently fast speed. There are less videos of FIFA10 for some reason, but it looks exactly the same as FIFA09’s speed—perhaps even a little faster. What the hell is going on? Curse you, Internet!

(Re. the speed of PES2010, I have just now—literally a minute before publishing this post—seen this video. It looks pretty good in that, to me—particularly after 35 seconds or so. Despite all the shaky camera and loss of focus the game looks slower and steadier. Do you know what, I think I’d take it like that.)

And just what is up with the complete lack of anything resembling a long-range shot in any of the Gamescom videos of either game? I mean from 25-40 yards. There aren’t even any medium-range shots from just outside the box to look at. It’s all running and dribbling and sprinting with one player, maybe two if they’re feeling adventurous. Is that really how other people play PES and FIFA all the time? Have I been doing it wrong all these years by passing and moving the ball and trying to work the space for shots from outside the box and from distance?

At the time of writing*, I have seen approximately 12 PES2010 videos and 5 FIFA10 videos. In the last FIFA10 video I watched (just now), the human player worked the space for a shot from the edge of the penalty area and it flew just over. That was the furthest out that I’d seen anyone shoot from in all 17 videos. I’ll pay £20 sterling to the first person who spots, in any of the Cologne videos, a shot attempt—just an attempt!—from 25+ yards**.

For some reason, people who play football games at conventions all try to walk the ball into the net. What is that reason? Could somebody ask them and find out? Whatever the reason, they spend 99% of their time sprinting with one player. Which results in them simply bumping into the opposition, time after time after time. I’ve found myself watching all the videos and just feeling totally bewildered. Even if they accidentally create a shooting chance, they ignore it and carry on trying to pass the ball to a player in the 6-yard box.

Is that just how people play PES and/or FIFA? I don’t think it is really. I think most people love to pass it around and frequently have a good wallop from distance as much as I do. Perhaps I even take things to an extreme. I’ve never met a long-distance shooting opportunity that I didn’t like. There’s only one thing for it…

I’m going next year. If I’m still alive and blogging (because there’ll be no point going if I’m dead), I’ll be there and I’ll make damn sure I’m among the first people in that convention hall on the first morning. I’ll have a good-quality video camera, and I’ll record myself attempting a festival of long-range shooting on PES2011. One of the buggers is bound to go in—if the inevitable ‘early code’ for PES2011 will allow it, of course.

Meanwhile my blog stats show that people have started arriving here by Googling ‘PES2011’ over the past three days. And so it begins all over again.

[*That time of writing was Thursday the 20th, around noon. Due to real-life commitments, I had to prepare this post a whole 24 hours in advance. I finished it off thinking I was bound to have to do some quick editing on Friday morning. I thought I might even have to change the title. Because surely I would have to acknowledge the inevitable flurry of long-range shots that would appear in countless videos over the course of A WHOLE DAY…? Er…]

[**not a genuine offer]


In this topsy-turvy football game world, I have been playing PES6 and FIFA09 recently. I’ve given them more or less equal time. I’ll deal with PES6 today. I was falling out of love with it, and on the verge of abandoning it, but things got a lot better in my most recent few sessions.

I switched my formation back to 4-3-3, after trying out a 4-4-2, then a 4-2-2. Neither had brought me much joy. It was time to head back home to my traditional 4-3-3, and the difference was almost instant. Straightaway I was linking passes together, creating chances, and scoring goals.

It’s a mental block, obviously. There’s no way PES6, or any PES, is only playable with a 4-3-3 formation.

Kim Cyun Hi and Maldini both popped up in the Youth list. I tried for both, got turned down by both. I’l get them eventually. I always do. It was a good season in the end regardless of this disappointment. I clinched promotion to Division 1 with a few matches to spare.



  1. Not-Greg, I think one of your famous ‘Scientific Graphs’ is needed to gauge your up and down roller coaster opinions and great expectations (or lack of them) about the two upcoming games. 😀

  2. I second that.

  3. something to get the rollercoaster starting again;)
    check out WENB…something about seabass saying the gamescom code is a month old. seems hopeful…also seems reminiscent of past talk which turned out to be worth…nothing.
    just a general wondering; why in the world would you show old code at a convention, of all things? Must be me, but i don’t get that from a business point of view. Or ANY point of view for that matter!!

  4. Something that is interesting and very heartening coming from the FIFA camp is this talk of using the ubiquitous internet connectivity of modern consoles to create an ongoing game release. They do it already with bug fixes, but I’m pretty sure the success of Ultimate Team got some gears turning at EA.

    What I’d love to see is a game that not only updates rosters and form, but continues the development/refinement process throughout the year. It would be very nice to have exploit loopholes closed (like the scoring from kick-off bug in FIFA 09), annoyances patched (like PES 09’s substitution pattern in Be A Pro . . . as in, you’ll never play a full game . . . ever).

  5. Yes, that PES2010 video was finally reassuring. What’s more reassuring is “told build” news Seabass let out which adds more credibility to PESfan’s “way slower” comment.

    Here’s the latest FIFA10 video:

    While the animations, turns and player movements are incredibly lifelike and amazing, the gameplay is still rotten. Through pass…1 on 1…. through pass… 1 on 1… through pass… 1 on 1… It seems like there is horrendous defending, and there is a complete lack of tactical play, something incredibly serious when compared to PES’s minor pace and running animations (so far) flaws…

  6. Patrick222—a few weeks ago I had an idea to start doing a daily-updated graph in one of the sidebars. A ‘confidence-o-meter’ kind of thing.

    I have to say I am a total neurotic at this time of year. It’ll last until release day and beyond.

    I’ve started wondering if it’s really PES that’s changed, or me/us. Looking at PES2010, what does it look like at its best moments? A rather nice-looking PES game that could be enjoyable to play. (I’m on the upswing of the cycle.)

  7. Grilled Seabass—I’ll start it on Monday, then 😉

    And just think: if PES2010 finally gets online play right, i.e. there’s minimal lag (or none) etc., it’ll be hailed as a success whatever else happens.

  8. #1—Konami’s solution is obvious. They need to rescue me from the drudgery of working 9-to-5 (what a way to make a living) and take me to live with them in Japan, amongst Geishas and Zen wizards, playing PES all year round. In a lovely garden.

    Seriously, re. that code, I think the final game won’t be much different. Possibly indistinguishable from this code.

  9. ck—great idea, but I don’t think they’ll do it while internet connectivity for households isn’t as universal as gas/water/electricity. I’d love to see it, as you can guarantee that FIFA10 (particularly FIFA10) will have irritating issues from Day 1 that’ll never get fixed.

    I’m feeling really down about FIFA10 today, and slightly upbeat about PES2010. I need to get my balance of medications just right

    Still no decent shooting action, from either game. All ugly, scrappy, anal play, especially in FIFA10 as TareX observes.

  10. TareX—For the past 24 hours I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable about FIFA10—possibly more so than PES2010. It’s not just the complete lack of anything resembling a shot from outside the box. What I’ve seen of the general gameplay looks terrible. Fast and furious, with some standout moments it has to be said, but a lot of the time as aimless and ugly as sin. Granted, it’s never really great watching other people play football games, even if they’re tearing up trees and drilling shots from 30 yards all the time.

    I was reassured a little by the FSB podcasts of last night and a few days before that. The band of brothers who went to the Emirates last Friday played a dream game of football that we’re just not seeing on the videos from Gamescom unfortunately.

    I need to see a distance shot. That’ll cheer me up. I’m watching all the major sites, waiting for one to appear. There’s got to be at least one from the whole of Gamescom, surely?!

  11. Rafa's Evil Beard

    Hey Not-Greg,

    Long time reader but never commented before – cracking blog by the way. I found this video:


    which seems to show a less frantic pace of play and aside from the “stoomer” from the keeper at the end is quite a nice little video. The streaming doesn’t work properly and ironically seems to play it at x2 rate but if you download the HD version it works fine.

    There is also a point at 1:48 where you can see clear evidence of the “360 degree dribbling” with Benzema running at a finer angle than previously possible.

    You may well have already seen this Vid but it helped restore my faith in 2010 so thought I would share.

  12. Just came across this video of a little known football game called Football Kingdom made in 2004 by namco- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dcvciKaoPA&feature=related – It is just breathtaking, if someone put next-gen graphics over this and told me it was PES 2010 I would be delighted.

  13. Rafa’s Evil Beard—thanks for your comment – and the link. I had seen it but not at that resolution. I can’t remember where I saw it now but somebody has put together a compilation of the best bits from the Gamescom videos so far. I found it while randomly browsing – if I find it again I’ll post the link.

    My faith has been partly restored in PES2010 by the short, slow clip I linked to at the start of my post above. The insane 1000mph speed is there at the start but dies away, and the quality looks much better.

    I still need to see a whole lot more, though. I still think we’ll get a game optimised for online play, i.e. fast and furious. I wouldn’t like that.

  14. Patrick222—I first saw whispers of that game on EvoWeb a long time ago. Why did it pass us by at the time of its release? How different could football game history have been?

  15. Here’s a very interesting hear-say that is well worth the possibility of being true:

    (on PESfan:

    “A good journalist friend of mine has tryed a more recent build of pes2010 and has confirmed to me it has a lot more newer animations but is glitchy and explained this is the reason konami are showing a older build with more of pes09s animations as currently its more stable then the newer code.

    He also added the newer build is frightenly realistic and makes the game look much more fluid and that the build at gamescom looks completely different”)

  16. @TareX — that satisfies Occam’s Razor. It makes the odd decision to send old code to Gamescom seem a lot more sensible.

    I think the net result of this year is going to be two very good football games, even if they’re both still carrying deficiencies that prevent them from becoming the One True Game.

    (Not) Greg — so long as the Geishas aren’t the Zen Wizards, you’re good. Mix the two, and you’ll end up like me . . . married in Kansas. 😉

  17. Haven’t posted here in ages, but thought I would weigh in on the now traditional annual debate that takes place here (…and usually ends in shattered dreams, followed by sullen acceptance of the futility of it all), but I think it’s interesting that both FSB and WENB have both posted apparent disclaimers about the footage (ie. ‘Seabass says the code is a month old!’ or ‘this guy is not playing it properly!’ etc etc).

    I’m not sure what it all means, but I do think we are probably expecting too much out of the footage – though I do believe it is probably close to what we should expect to receive in the finished product but in the case of FIFA im not worrying about it too much. Surely we shouldn’t really be expecting anything radically different from FIFA10 gameplay wise – surely all we can hope for is a slight tweaking of what we have in 09 (personally im a purist, and believe the only way to play it, is on full manual controls – so the footage is kinda worthless on that front).

    Personally i’m more worried about the off the field action – i still remember how disappointing it was last year when I found out there was to be no weather in MM last year – im just hoping that won’t be any surprises like that this time.

  18. TareX—I think the Gamescom game is at least representative of the final product. PES2010 in late October won’t be massively different from this mid-July build on show in Cologne. But I am allowing myself to feel optimistic about PES2010, just not to the extent that it’s an automatic purchase—yet. A few of the videos are encouraging.

    FIFA10 has actually wobbled the most with me, although I note the chatter about the dynamic down on the convention hall floor. If the queues are really that bad and the halves are locked to 3 minutes, I might want to do nothing more than to get on, play a few passes, and get the hell out of there asap too. If When I go to next year’s, I will resist this urge though.

  19. ck—I’m running with my new ball: we can’t shake the memory of Paradise (PES2-PES6, give or take one or two)—which wasn’t even really Paradise when we remember it properly—and no new football game will ever match up to that (false) mental image.

    We’re like doomed heroes in a medieval romance, infatuated with an ideal that nothing earthly can ever satisfy. It’s quite refreshing to adopt this belief, as it enables me to enjoy the games I’ve got now (FIFA09, PES6 on the 360, and even PES2009) for what they are, not what I imagine them not to be.

  20. Matt—hello again, and yes, it has been almost a year. I remember you getting FIFA09 and loving it. I imagine since that you’ve gone through periods of disillusionment with the game as most have—but actually, as you’re playing on Manual, perhaps you haven’t. (That’s my goal for FIFA10. After taking one step up with FIFA09 to a mix of semi-assisted and manual, it’s time now to go all the way. I’m planning a week or two of acclimatisation to FIFA10 on semi, then I’ll go all-Manual.)

    As my last remarks to cklarock above might indicate, I’m really questioning my own stance towards these poor next-gen football games that we all lash out at from within our overbright memories of a vanished paradise. PES5 had terrible slowdown and took ages to load cutscenes in-game! The players would do auto-stepovers and let the ball run out of play! PES6 at times was like a Benny Hill chase scene! And so on.

    Having said all that, I’ll be completely unforgiving of any more primitive stuff in Manager Mode this year. I want to see night matches without havng to fiddle about with Exhibition games first. I really want to see weather too. This was standard stuff a decade ago. There’s no reason other than laziness, and possibly indifference to the offline game modes, for it not to be featured in Manager Mode nowadays.

  21. “We’re like doomed heroes in a medieval romance, infatuated with an ideal that nothing earthly can ever satisfy. ”

    Can I be Galahad? 😉

    When down the stormy Nor’east PES goes,
    A light before me swims,
    Between tall backs the goal-post glows,
    I hear a noise of hymns:
    Then by some secret R2 trick I ride;
    I find a pass when none are there;
    The tackles are void, the doors are wide,
    The mounted fog-lights burning fair.
    Fair gleams the snowy manager’s hair,
    The ref’s silver whistle sparkles clean,
    The shrill sound rings, the goal goes in,
    And solemn chaunts resound between.

    Apologies to Tennyson. 🙂

  22. ck—it all scans very well, an improvement on the original…

  23. “We’re like doomed heroes in a medieval romance, infatuated with an ideal that nothing earthly can ever satisfy.”
    – My new favourite PES Chronicles quote Not-Greg.
    Oh and cklarock – superb poem!

  24. Grilled Seabass—I do think it’s true, though. I had a game on PES2 yesterday morning (still putting my repaired PS3 through its paces), and was taken aback by how much closer it handled to the old ISS games than to the later PES games. PES2 still plays a good game of football and I really enjoyed my game (video highlights possibly on Wednesday’s post), but in 2002 it was the greatest football game ever created. All I’m wondering lately is whether PES5 (for me) really deserves its place up on that pedestal in my mind. PES2008 sullied the name of PES, no question of that, but perhaps it did more damage than we know. Perhaps it retrospectively elevated our former favourite PES games above their actual stations, giving all subsequent PES games (PES2009, and now PES2010) an impossible ideal to match up to? This is very much on my mind right now, as I make a conscious effort to relax and just appreciate PES6 on the 360 for what it is (it’s kind of working too).

  25. Matt- that’s a good point about playing with manual controls, it adds an entirely different layer to FIFA’s gameplay which would not be apparent from the pinball-style videos. Even doing something quite straightforward (e.g. chipped throughball and then shot on goal) I still find immensely satisfying if I’m in full manual control. Although I confess to semi-auto passing; the game would be impossible using the ‘dynamic’ camera otherwise. I’ll be very happy with an almost unchanged FIFA10 if they just: i) sort MM (weather, realistic finances, transfers, player dvlpt, no asinine scenario questions between games); ii) make shooting more powerful, including with lower ranked players; iii) make the ball less floaty/swervy (even the goalie punches have ridiculous swerve!); and iv) make crosses a bit more dangerous

  26. abbeyhill—manual controls (and all combinations leading up to it) are the undiscovered country for most people. For a PES player, it’s just another alien and slightly threatening aspect of FIFA, and soon gets turned off.

    In FIFA08 I tried semi-manual shooting on its own (nothing else!) I lasted literally 5 minutes. I didn’t really give it and the other settings a good go until 09. But even then I baulked at full manual. FIFA10 will take me all the way, I think.

    If FIFA10 delivers on your list of changes I’ll be happy with it too.

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