Back to business

I’ve had enough of wringing my hands and working myself up into a lather of anxiety over PES2011. The weight of testimony from the high number of early players is still very much on the positive side. I think the game’s going to be good regardless of the scares.

The pain of not being involved in the Master League Online beta has receded almost to nothing. There shouldn’t be any surprise at people rapidly assembling squads of superstars, but I am surprised anyway. Another reason why the mode will have almost zero interest for me cometh the day.

If I was still feeling left out, I found one method of alleviating the hurt. Look here—who’s this?

That’s right, it’s the ubiquitous Messi. Albeit in PES6(360), my current football game of choice, but still. It’s Messi. We all love Messi, don’t we? Damn right.

I’ve bought Messi for my ML team in PES6(360). In this way I can experience exactly what it’s like to play MLO, where buying Messi is apparently obligatory. As I understand it, you get kicked from the MLO servers if you haven’t got Messi in your team after a few days of play. And then you get kicked if you don’t squeeze R1 for 99% of the match. (Here endeth the heavy-handed satire.)

He’s scoring plenty for me, is my Messi. I play him on the left side of my front 3. He’s pretty darn good, even for 2005’s PES6, when he had yet to become the PES poster child.

I’m three quarters of the way through year 2014. It’s been a funny season. I lost all 4 of my opening European Championship group stage games. So I was out of the competition, but still had two fixtures left to play.

The thought of those meaningless, empty matches ironically sent me over to FIFA10 for a couple of days. I say ironically (possibly in an Alanis Morissette kind of way) because my experience of FIFA10’s Manager Mode is entirely meaningless and empty.

So I came back and got the two fixtures out of the way. I won them both, comfortably too, which makes me wonder what might have been if I’d only focused a bit better earlier on. I could have won the Treble this season and concluded my unfinished business with this game.

Which isn’t to say I resent playing PES6(360), or feel some kind of obligation to play it. As I hope I have demonstrated, I really only play the football games I want to play (cf. my abrupt abandonment of Become A Legend in PES2010. Yes, I’d sworn to give it 5 seasons, but after 1-and-a-half seasons I just could not take any more, and it had to go).

So I’m top of the league. I’m in the semi-final of the D1 Cup. I should wrap up this season with at least one trophy, hopefully two. And then the serious quest for the Treble begins.

Put it this way. I doubt I’ll return to PES6(360) after this current period. So I’ve got probably a few weeks of real time left in which to do the Treble before the 2011 games completely turn my head. If I don’t do it, PES6(360) will be the only PES Master League in which I’ve never won a Treble. I can’t let that happen.


  1. I’m really curious how PES6 on the 360 compares to the PS2 version. Seriously thinking about purchasing it on the cheap for some time now.

  2. I picked up a copy of PES6 on the XBOX 360 the other day for 99p!
    If I didnt have PES10, I could happily play PES6 for long periods, the game play is superb, even if it does have that 2005 kinda dampened down matte colour style graphics to it.
    I Played 2 exhibition matches on PES6, i doubt I will ever play it again, because im knee deep in my ML career in Pes10, and PES11 is just round the corner, but i wanted to see what the fuss was about and for 99p, it was well worth it!

  3. I thought Messi had given up playing football to become a one man big gob recruitment machine for that classless outfit, Barcelona (sorry, I thought I’d add to the heavy-handed satire theme).

  4. haha Chris, you’d have thought that Messi would have kept his gob shut and let the lure of playing for the best team in the world speak for itself wouldn’t you!
    why he had to speak about LFC acting humanely is beyond me.
    Im not speaking as a bitter LFC supporter here, because as far as im concerned if a players heart isnt in the club he can go, regardless of reputation or class.
    But we took Mascherano from the depths of West Ham’s reserve team, from playing now and then to a starting place in one of Englands top 4 teams, he played in the Champs league final, has gone on to captain his country at the world cup, ane he is tied to a 4 year contract with Liverpool, we pay him £80,000 a week so is it inhumane to treat Mascherano in such an appalling manner by saying we want a decent bid before we let him go, until then he is still an LFC player??!

    Professional contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on these days.
    Vurrently I pay £20+ a week to play in several competitive footy leagues, if someone ofered me 80 grand a week to play footy id give me heart, soul, limbs and blood for that club until the time they say they dont want me anymore.
    Angers me!

  5. Quite right Paul; Mascherano’s conduct before the City game is a good illustration of why a lot of people prefer an alternative reality via PES/FIFA to what’s currently dished out by the Premier League etc. Whether or not his family aren’t happy in England, it had already been made clear by the club that if an offer worthy of our valuation came in, he was free to leave. Instead we have been held to ransom (again) and are faced with having to recoup part of the transfer fee over time when we desperately need it now (that’s presuming the majority of it isn’t being used to pay off debt).
    Sorry not-Greg, I won’t clog up your blog with anymore ranting… on a side note, Liverpool are going to be a lot weaker in FIFA and PES with Poulson/Lucas in midfield

  6. Just saw this snippet in the Guardian ‘Fiver’ which made me chuckle…
    ‘Pro Evo legend Victor Obinna will be struggling to live up to the hype at West Ham after completing a season-long loan from Inter.’

  7. bkmelendez—if you can get PES6(360) for a few dollars/pounds/euros, it’s not even a risk. Even if you only play a few matches and never play it again you’ll have got your money’s worth. Personally I think it’s still a serious contender as a football game and you might find yourself drawn in while you wait for the 2011 game(s).

  8. Paul—yep, we’re so close to the next football games now that it’s pretty pointless getting into a new footie game. Keep a hold of PES6(360) for a rainy day in the future. It might divert you for a week or two next summer. And… 99p?! I paid TWO POUNDS for my copy a year ago. At this rate they’ll be giving them away next year.

    Mascherano’s transfer is another symptom IMO of the decline of the EPL as a serious league. I’ve been arguing since 2004 that it just isn’t taken all that seriously by players or clubs around the world. It’s regarded as a cash cow and not much more.

  9. Chris—I read an amazing article online somewhere aaages ago all about exactly how and why celebrity tie-ins with products and services are insanely effective, which is why companies pay the likes of Messi, Leonardo di Caprio et al millions of dollars to wear their products and appear on their billboards etc.

    Oh, and I’m a Fiver reader too, been reading it for years. Remember a few years ago when they had the running joke about everyone saying Peter Crouch had a good touch for a big man? And then the joke became adaptations of that (i.e. ‘a good putsch for a big clan’ about a military coup in Africa (maybe you had to be there)). I sent my own punning effort in and they… never printed it!

  10. I read an amazing article online somewhere aaages ago all about exactly how and why celebrity tie-ins with products and services are insanely effective

    @Not-Greg — it’s the ‘trusted messenger’ principle. If Konami says it, I take my grain of salt. If you say it, well . . . I accept it. It’s why the current holy grail of marketing is harnessing the peer-to-peer networks of the internet.

    After all, if you said “PES 2011 is my dream football game. It’s perfect, and I love it!” how many individual sales would that encourage? Okay, probably only a couple dozen or so, but what percentage of your readers would buy the game? A massive percentage, compared to traditional advertising media.

    Celebrities have a similar “Not-Greg” effect — while not as high a percentage, but across a much larger swath of the population.

    You didn’t think I was going to suggest your face for the cover of PES 2012 did you? 😉

    Well, I have. But stupid Seabass isn’t returning my phone calls.

    All that aside, it’s the marketing department’s job to figure out how to gold-coat the poop; development’s job is to make a game good enough that the internet will take on the job of marketing it spontaneously, with gamers telling their friends that this is the best football game out there . . . the trusted messenger in action.

    Hopefully, that’s exactly the game we’ll get. Elegantly paced, fertile and expansive; a PES for the ages that will make me want to blog about its glories.

    Well, I have. But Konami aren’t responding to my cover proofs.

  11. Hi not-greg been a while, did you guys hear about Jim Beglin being on the commentary team, god is it all going to be like the BBC/ITV world cup commentary toss up where no one watches ITV because of A the adverts and B the annoying idiots talking about it with PES being ITV and FIFA being BBC. (can you tell im upset about this!!!)

    cklarock has an awesome idea about you being on the front cover doing a messi, i basically agree with him on the whole as I’d rather buy something knowing that someone else had positive experiences, particularly someone with similar gaming tastes, than from some overpaid footballer who probably endorses PES but probably plays Fifa.

    Do you think its time I moved over to FIFA? i have been playing the world cup demo and have been quite impressed but after being so staunchly anti fifa for so many years (oddly i loved it on the megadrive!!) I just feel abit funny about moving over. It just never seems to have the same PES personal touch do you get that? But it maybe time.
    So i look forward to seeing the front cover of PES 2012 and the demo video with you doing keepy uppies in slow mo!!
    as always an awesome blog.

  12. Just found this on a preview for PES2011 “The words of Jon Champion and Jim Beglin are sparse and severely lacking in intelligence” never a truer word said.

  13. ck—the article I read argued that it’s the associations we feel between celebrities and the products they endorse that makes the endorsement so valuable to companies. The celebs don’t have to say ‘hey, buy SuperWidget and your life will possess the same meaning and significance as mine!’; they just have to appear in the same context and all the good vibrations that emanate from celebrity wash over to the product and cause us (in general) to have a greater ‘attach rate’ to that product than to an equivalent one without a celebrity mug all over it. I forget exactly where I saw the article now, but it was a good ‘un.

    Celebrity endorsements leverage the same phenomenon that made me go ‘uh? WOW!’ when I once saw the lead singer of The Fall (a well-known UK indie kind of band), Mark E. Smith, sitting having a beer in a student pub in Coventry circa 1993 or so. I was elated for a few hours and have never forgotten it and can recall precise details of that long-ago night, solely because of that one ‘push’ given by his being there in that context. Messi on the cover of PES will bring in a lot more money than he got paid for the gig.

  14. Lord Stanley—I don’t think many of us are worried about the commentators. They’re way down on the list of factors that’ll decide whether PES2011 is gonna be good or not. Having said that, I’m very relieved they got rid of Lawrenson. His wooden delivery sounded more like an unwilling ten-year-old boy reading out a story in class.

    As for FIFA, it’s just not the same game at all that it was on MegaDrive, and then on the PS1/PS2. It’s amazing how many PES fans (myself included) automatically conflate next-gen FIFA with past generations, which is totally illogical. If you like the game, you like the game. Don’t feel the ghost of PES/FIFA past hovering over your shoulder!

    This year I think I’ve finally realisedwhy next-gen FIFA, for all its many great qualities, just hasn’t grabbed me the same way PES has done. It needs great offline modes, simple as. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Career Mode

  15. @Not-Greg: Isn’t marketing interesting? It’s like hacking the human preference model. Your example makes sense to me; non-logical association is at the core of branding, leveraging the human brain’s tendency to create connections (even where there are none).

    “Oh, this beer? This is for dusty hard-working types, and exactly the kind you want after a long day, but this nearly identical beer is far more fashionable and suitable for more elegant settings. It really demonstrates my sophistication.”

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