Things are slowing down, but in a good way. I’ve just taken a few days off PES2010 to attend to some real-life business. That business is ongoing—I’ve got a big assignment to put together for a course I’m doing. All told, I think I’ll be playing fewer matches over a longer period of time for the near future. I’m not stopping or anything. Just taking a bit longer. Where I usually get through a whole season in three or four posts, I think it’ll now take five or six posts, on average.
Not only have I got life stuff to attend to, but there’s a World Cup looming. And I want to play other games as well. I’m 21 hours into Final Fantasy XIII and still liking it. Uncharted 2 is still waiting for attention. And I’ve more or less made my mind up to give FIFA10 some belated attention at the end of my current season in PES2010, whatever happens.
In that season—season 18 of my most epic Master League career since 2005—I’m looking good for a second successive Treble at the moment. I’m still in the D1 Cup. I’ve qualified from my Champions League group stage with ease. At the halfway stage in the title race, I’m 9 points clear at the top of the table. I’ve never had a cushion like this at this stage before. I’m suspicious before every match that the game will be out to get me. And indeed, in one game it was out to get me: Liverpool thumped me 3-1, but in truth I played badly.
One of the most interesting aspects of my long career is the progress of Castolo. I’ve got him as a Regen at the moment. I detest the toxic Myth that surrounds his piss-poor Default original, and was accordingly biased against his Regen for a long time… Until he started getting good.
Now he’s rated a 73 OVR, and seems to gain a couple of points every season. I play him every chance I get. It’s addictive, seeing how good he can become. He’s no longer a passenger in matches—no longer the player you grudgingly bring on for a while just to give him some experience. He’s a talented player in his own right.
Castolo is getting goals. Most are poacher’s efforts, but this next one is a bit special. It came about after a ball over the top, a diagonal aerial through-ball from my full-back. This was a favourite move of mine in PESes past, but it’s been nerfed so much in recent PESes (and probably rightly so) that I rarely try it now. But sometimes I do, almost for old time’s sake, and when it comes off…
The close-up portion of the replay is awkward viewing for all PES fans. Look carefully and you’ll see that the ball drops through Castolo’s upper torso and neck before he hits the volley. I winced to see it. But it didn’t really spoil my overall enjoyment of the goal, and that’s got to be a worry in itself. Something like the above is so common in PES that it’s become an accepted part of the package. Which is not a good situation for the game to be in.
I happened to be listening to WENB’s current podcast while playing this match. Just before the goal I’d got to the part where the guest speaker was saying it’d actually be okay if Konami completely dismantled the archaeological layers of code that PES is built upon, and started again from scratch. When you look at collision non-detection like the above, it’s hard to disagree.