The title is a well-known quote from a Scandinavian games journalist nicknamed Riot. He dropped the famous quote on a WENB/FSB podcast just after the release of PES2009 last year. Today, it has to be said that time is proving him correct. There is no specifically next-gen PES in the way that there definitely is a next-gen FIFA. But that doesn’t mean PES has to continue being largely irrelevant in the next-gen. Far from it.
Today is PES2010’s official release day where I live, but I’ve had the game for 3 days now. Due to a strike by Royal Mail workers, the online retailers sent their copies out very early. First impressions were good, very good, building on the positive experience I had with the demo.
This morning I started another Champions League tournament as Standard Liege. Yesterday I started one as Fiorentina on Professional difficulty, but after reading overnight that many (too many) were finding PES2010 very easy, I panicked a little. I decided that the best possible experience for me would be playing with an average team on Professional rather than a good team. I’ll be honest: I didn’t want to risk having sudden 5-0 wins today. That would have spoiled my whole week of PES. If PES2010 is to blow up in my face, let it happen in the future.
Standard Liege are the team I picked at random to play the Champions League mode on PES2009 very belatedly only a few weeks ago. They’re the epitome of an average-but-decent team in PES, the ideal one for me to play with at the moment. I really enjoyed it. I got beaten a few times, conceded a heartbreaking late goal to Real Madrid, and I’m not going to qualify from the group. Playing PES with average sides is what made PES/ISS the games they were, historically, for me at least. That’s what made my PES6(360) ML career a bit special: my players were all good, but not great. Something for me to bear in mind when I get to Master League this year.
I had to put this game through its paces on Top Player, for the first time. I set up a 15-minute exhibition match, England vs Germany. I won 2-0 but it wasn’t easy at all. I had to work for the two goals and neither were soft. My one concern: Germany hardly threatened. They had one shot, off-target. I barely had to do any sustained bouts of defending in the match. In a 15-minute match on Top Player, against Germany, that’s not right. This nagging worry about the possible low difficulty of PES2010 (and thus its longevity) won’t go away.
A word about goalkeepers. Now that I’ve got about 8 hours under my belt, I should have seen lots of instances of the keepers playing pat-a-cake with the ball, gifting easy goals to forwards, right? That was the way with the demo. Well, oddly, I haven’t seen it happen once. If anything, the keepers seem very good. We’ll see how this hot topic pans out over the fullness of time.
I’m getting the same pleasant overall buzz from PES2010 that I got from PES6(360) a few months ago. No real ‘wow… wow… WOW’ factor yet, and I’m not necessarily wanting there to be one. The best possible fate for PES2010? That it starts out good, continues to be good, and remains good for a long time.
I’m awarding PES2010 daily scores out of 10, just as I did for FIFA10 in its first week. I’ll add them up as I go along and keep a daily average, and arrive at a final average after 7 days of intensive play. FIFA10 ended up with 8.4/10.
I’m giving PES2010 8/10 for today.
Running daily average (2 days): 8.25/10
It’s back to my normal posting schedule now: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 12 o’clock noon.