September the 1st tomorrow. Which means the end of summer is just around the corner, if not already here.
This precise time of the football gaming year always feels a little unreal. The next games (if we include FIFA, and I think we must) are just around the corner. The demos are either out or soon to be out. Preview code and review code is in the hands of various sources.
It’s precisely now that you start to get a real idea of what’s ahead, and also to take serious stock of what’s behind.
The forums are full of technical talk that’s a long way outside my expertise. I’m sure that the participants do know what they’re talking about when they’re analysing individual frames of animation and everything else. It all sounds very interesting, but even if I had the inclination to immerse myself in that side of things, there’s no time.
I’ve not been playing the PES2012 demo. I haven’t even downloaded the expanded PC version of the demo, the one that introduces all the other teams and match times. I will. I just haven’t had the time to do so yet.
I’ve been focusing on PES6(360). Those brackets with 360 in them are very, very important. They signify an utterly different game from the one that appeared on PS2, Xbox, PC, and PSP.
As I’ve remarked once or twice, I believe that last-gen PES6 marked the beginning of the series’ downward curve. Oh, the game was still right up there on the high part of the curve, no question. Any serious historian of PES would have to acknowledge last-gen PES6 as one of the great football games. But I just felt that last-gen PES6 was faster, more ‘arcadey’, and notably easier than its predecessors. It seemed to be the moment that PES started its journey down from the lofty heights.
PES6(360) is a different game—a better game—that just happens to share the name. Over the past three or four days I’ve played every day for an hour or two.
PES6(360) represents a good deal of unfinished business for me. Since I started playing this series a decade ago, there are only two PES games whose Master Leagues I have never ‘completed’ (i.e., won a Treble in—or at the very least a Division 1 title).
They are PES2011, which I stopped playing because of certain atrocious gameplay elements that I could no longer tolerate.
The other is PES6(360), which has no such gameplay problems in my estimation. The gameplay is sublime, some of the best pure PES gameplay ever seen, particularly on a next-gen console.
The reason I’ve never ‘completed’ a PES6(360) ML is because I missed out on it during its original year. Didn’t have a 360 back then. I have only ever played it for a month or two during summer over the past three years.
Progress has been stop-start, it’s fair to say.
But here’s where I am today with my team, PES United (there’s no team name editing in PES6(360)):
The in-game year is 2015. As can be seen, I am closing in on the D1 title. My team is 2 points clear with 2 matches left in the season. I would love to win this title.
Sadly, I’m out of the Cups, so there’s no chance of a Double or Treble. Realistically I doubt I’ll have time to play another full season before the second PES2012 demo and the FIFA12 demo both show up.