2010 fatigue

It had to happen. Last week was a Gamescom orgy of wallowing in PES/FIFA forums and websites. I watched every video that appeared. I followed all the discussions and arguments down every path. Now? This week? I’m not so bothered. I’m like a kid who’s eaten too many sweets. When I think of PES2010 and FIFA10 right now, it’s with a certain weariness. So I have a feeling that I will be able to wait after all.

It’s all the Internet’s fault. Just a few years ago, games magazines were the primary source for previews and advance news. I don’t remember anything like the fevered speculation of today. Sites like WENB and FSB and PES Gaming et al either didn’t exist or were still at a bedroom-hobby level (like this site). No PES fan ever doubted that they were going to go out and get PES on release day and it was going to be brilliant, and we were all going to laugh at FIFA as usual. That was the way of the world. Anything else was literally inconceivable (the main reason that PES2008 effectively got a free pass when it first appeared).

The Internet was around, but it didn’t have anything like its current profile. It didn’t have the baleful influence it has on PES development today. I bet Seabass sits around at night and curses the Internet.

So, I’m not bothered about waiting for the 2010 games. They’ll come when they’ll come. What am I still playing? The answer is, not much. I’ve got 2009 fatigue as well. There seems little point in extending any of my careers on the 2009 games. I’d fire up my PSP PES2008 Master League career, but the handheld is occupied by another great Japanese gaming passion of mine, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.

I have played several session of FIFA09 on the 360 over the past few days. I’ve ruined FIFA09 by spending those few weeks with PES6. During my purple patch with FIFA09—about 6 weeks ago now—I’d almost swear I was playing the greatest football game ever made. Now? Now I see all too clearly everything bad that any PES-schooled player has ever said about it. The main one being: you can’t score satisfying goals in FIFA09. This frustrates me even more now, because I regard it as something I’d largely disproved (if only to myself). I was belting them in from everywhere, using semi-manual shooting too. (Not as hardcore as full manual, but still harder core than all the lame-o online sprint-clamping assisted noobs, oh yeah…)

Here, once again, is a short compilation I made at the time of all my best FIFA09 goals. It’s now had the music removed, after Sevenload ‘did a YouTube’ and blocked the old version with The Smiths soundtrack:

Link: FIFA09 goals nomusic

Those were great days. FIFA09 played in its way on its own terms is one great game of football. Definitely the best football game on next-gen—so far.

But now I’m almost  back to square one with FIFA09. I’m frustratedly air-shooting my way through 0-0 after 0-0, wondering what happened to my golden spell. What happened was that I went and played PES for a week or two, and that undid all the good work with FIFA09.

This teaches me a harsh lesson, one that I’ve already learned lots of times over the past two years, but don’t want to face up to. I cannot really play both games and get the best out of both games. No man can serve two masters. There could be some hard choices to come for me in season 2010.


  1. There’s a new video of a more recent code circulating:

    I think you’ll love it… Pace is perfect, ball speed and physics are evidently better, and 360 degree movement is all over the place…

    I really think PES2010 is a much bigger step that Konami has taken compared to every other step it’s taken before. Compared to FIFA, there’s a new Q&A about an August code which is praising PES’s superiority in tactical complexity and player individuality, which is very believable to me…

    I know all-positive posts like this make me look like a fanboy, but really PES2010 is looking great so far and it’s got a good 20-30% worth of tweaking ahead of it…

  2. I see what you mean about PES/FIFA fatigue, it seems you can no longer get ‘into’ a football game. As soon as you start to enjoy it, it bounces back and bites you in the backside.

  3. I’m with you on this one too. I’ve decided I’m just going to wait and ignore all the speculation. I might have a quick look at the video post above when I get home though lol. I’m not playing FIFA any more too. I’m going to sell it on ebay this weekend, I just can’t play it anymore. Besides, Batman: Arkham Asylum is out!

  4. TareX—I’m feeling positive too, but I’m wary after feeling the same last year and the year before. As I touched on in my post, it used to be the case that we didn’t have to feel positive, PES was just going to be great and its greatness was as certain as gravity. I think we all miss those days. It’d be great if they could come back.

  5. patrick222—we’re spoilt, pure and simple, by the memory of PS2-era PES gaming. I don’t know about you but I never tired of any of the PS2 PES games all year round. Some were weaker than others (PES4 and PES6 in my view), but they all still lasted a full year of almost daily play. Nowadays there are too many consoles, too many games, and—most significantly—a genuine competitor to PES in the form of next-gen FIFA. We are cast out of paradise. But who knows—maybe it’s better this way. No pain, no gain. I hope for a lot from PES2010.

  6. Grilled Seabass—I challenge anyone to play PES for a week then go back to FIFA. It’ll just seem wrong in so many ways. Going the other way, FIFA-PES, isn’t so bad, but probably because I’ve got years of instincts to fall back on. If PES2010 and FIFA10 are both great games, I’ll have an interesting problem to solve.

    The video is distracting in that the head of Konami Spain is in it a lot, and he’s one of those short men with one of those taller, glamorous girlfriend/wife figures. Not quite Bernie Ecclestone-style, but getting there.

  7. funny you should mention PES fatigue, this month I uninstalled PES2009 on my PC. It freed up nearly 5GB on my drive that I needed for other things (a Linux distro)

    Since PES3 made it’s appearance on PC platform, I’ve been playing the previous game until the new one came out, sometimes even having an overlapping period where I’d have both installed on the PC, until I got to grips with the latest version.

    Well it seems that time is past: it’s 2-3 months till next PES, and I just don’t feel the magic with 2009 anymore. My rosters & kits are outdated since 6 months ago – previous seasons I’d make that effort to patch the game to keep it current all the way to the end of it’s lifecycle.

    I didn’t feel woefull or any remorse about removing it, and thats a shame.

    I’ll keep reading your blog to keep me in the loop, and I’m keeping my hopes up, but I must say that PES 2010 had better deliver…

  8. I watching the 8-minute long video of the newer code of PES 2010… this is a bit newer than what was shown in GC…. You can clearly see the much, much, much slower game (easily slower than FIFA10)…. how hard it is to run with the ball and how fast defenders close on to you. Running and turning animations are also refined, and the game is really looks brilliant…. it’s a shame we didn’t get to see this code in GC…

  9. i was impressed by that new video…scales tipping in the favor of pes again (in terms of what I am going to buy). and what a relief…the running animations seem to have been improved!
    that has to have become my biggest niggle and luckily it seems they will improve quite a bit come october. pes doesn’t need to have fifa animations (it never will) but the running is pretty much a requirement for me.

    nice video!

  10. Yeah it really sucks how bad KONAMI PR is…. showing a fast version of the final game with bad animations for the world to see at Gamescom.

  11. I hope you not-Greg got to watch the video before it became “private”… it’s the buzz of the forums now. Looks like showing the NDA’d new code got Canigga in trouble…

  12. diego—over the past few weeks I’ve been developing the theory that it’s also us, the PES fans, who have changed. We’ve grown older, familiar, more jaded with PES and gaming in general, at the same time that PES has declined, making its decline seem even worse. I don’t know. It’s just a theory that I haven’t developed very far yet. I’ll know more when PES2010 finally appears.

    If you’re looking to my blog to keep you in the loop on PES2010 and FIFA10, think again! I won’t be ‘covering’ the build-up to FIFA10 & PES2010 except in the margins of my daily football game activities. I will, though, be all over the demos when they come out.

  13. TareX—I saw it earlier before the takedown, and have just watched it again in HD after that Evo Web poster was shrewd enough to download it. All I can say is – it moves great and looks great, and could be great.

    Sadly for me it’s yet another video where we see 1p versus 2p instead of 1p versus AI. If the previewers are going to constantly play against each other (and it seems they absolutely have to; it’s a natural law that nothing can overcome) the very least they could do is some cooperative testing of the game mechanics. E.g., 2p could stand his players off the ball-carrier and let 1p dribble around for a bit and take long shots. Do we really need to see yet another quasi-online game with constant changes of possession punctuated by occasional shots? That’s my only gripe though and it’s minor compared to how silkily it all moves.

    But I’m still waiting for the demo. PES2008 & PES2009 cannot be erased just like that. PES2010 is looking good though, and Riot was enthusiastic about it in the WENB podcast last week.

  14. #1—I’ll be more than happy to get both games again if they’re both great.

  15. Yes, I suppose the problem of “shifting ball possession” is something PES2010 picked up from FIFA09….

    It could be solved with better situation-specific ball control… I mean in both FIFA10 and PES2010, the player seem to run the exact same way when they’re alone away from threats, or when they’re in the 18 yard zone surrounded by “hostiles”…. Players in real football don’t lose possession that easily because they run with the ball “protectively” when surrounded by players form the other team… allowing for better play making…

    Or maybe the players were just hogging the sprint button causing them to lose possession all the time…

  16. Just watched that “great” PES2010 video – boy the animations look like shit guys! I mean compare it to say madden10 and it’s clear PES is still a PS2 game at heart – very poor effort conami – still if mugs buy it in their millions I guess they have no reason to improve or invest in the product.

  17. LOL, not-Greg, I didn’t mean that you’d do a full on coverage, leave that for the fanboys over at WEBN.

    However I can always mine the comments section for tidbits of info from you & others. A fresh example is that you just mentioned a podcast from WEBN with Riot – so off I scamper to get it

    I’m getting just enough info to get by… I’m in the loop 🙂

  18. TareX—It’s something I’m getting increasingly frustrated with now we’ve got the initial videos and previews out of the way. It’s now time for the previewers and reviewers to play for an extended period of time solo against the AI, and of course in all the single-player game modes. I suspect that we won’t see or hear anything about the single-player game for a few weeks yet. PESfan’s look at the Master League a few weeks ago was the honourable exception. When the game(s) arrive in the various offices, they all seem to act like hyperactive 12-year-olds and just pile on it in human-vs-human mode, and the resulting videos are just awful football. Like the worst online games.

  19. Alan Brazil—in all of its videos so far FIFA10 has looked pretty shit to me. I just haven’t seen anything good, but I’d put money on FIFA10 being a great football game when I’m holding the joypad and playing it. At the moment I wouldn’t put money on PES2010, but I’m nowhere near ready to dismiss it. I like the idea of the slowed-down gameplay. I’m going to play the demo intensively, looking for that vital spark that says it’s something different from PES2009.

  20. diego—I’ve pretty much stopped looking at the forums regularly. A quick read once a day does me at the moment. We’re in the ‘phoney war’ phase after the videos and before the demos.

  21. Gregory and everyone else! I’m seriously not impressed by any of the PES videos – I mean there are a lot of games out there; why does Konami think anyone wants to spend hard earned cash on little more than a PS2 game (over at Evo-Web someone compared the latest PES2010 to PES5 and it looked in animation terms very similar – NOT A GOOD thing in my view). Guess
    PES sells in Japan but seriously isn’t everyone sick of this lame series and their broken promises – can’t wait to see PES2010 with its new and improved online – geez!

  22. Alan, Alan, Alan, there must be a little piece of you that hopes PES10 against the odds turns out to be a good game??? Or is this a personal mission to expose the evils of Konami (et al) as widely, and at great length, as possible?

  23. abbey – if PES2010 is a really great game then I’m all for it – what I’m not for is lame game after lame game with media cheerleaders tellings us all how “FUN” PES is etc. I’m sick of the dishonesty in the community to be frank.

  24. Alan Brazil—we shall see. I’ve definitely not seen enough yet to convince me either way. There isn’t a single PES2010 video that completely impresses me. Encouraging moments are the best I’ve seen. But the same goes for FIFA10, and I’m certain that will be a great game (it’ll be the second-biggest shock* of the next-gen if it’s not).

    I’m more than psychologically ready to cast myself loose from PES if needs be. The game has meat so much to me for so many years now that I don’t want it to come to that. I’d love it (all together now: ‘just love it’) if it came back with a great, playable, deep, long-lasting PES in PES2010. It could still happen.

    *PES2008 (PS3/360/PC) was the biggest shock.

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