I want to like my bicycle (I want to like my bike)

That’s Hagi up there, modelling season 8’s Away kit. It looks more yellow than it is. In real life it’s far more ‘Wolves gold’.

I played ISS for the first time in Summer 1998, approximately. I played PES proper for the first time in November 2002. Overall, then, I’ve experienced about 14 years of Konami-flavoured football gaming.

In all this time, down all these long years, throughout all the unthinkable thousands of hours, after probably tens of thousands of shots, I had never scored a goal with a bicycle kick. I mean a proper bicycle kick, as I see it. (Not one of these side-on scissors kick impostors.)

Until now.

On Sunday, January 29th, 2012, at approximately 8.30am, GMT, I scored my first ever bicycle kick in Pro Evolution Soccer.

My team is wearing its yellow away kit. My player is John Barnes. The opposition are Malaga, in the Europa League. The score at the time was 0-0.

It’s not a very spectacular example of the type. I wish it was farther out. I wish the ball wasn’t placed so centrally. But what the goal is is more important than what it looks like.

It’s a bicycle kick, dudes. Barnes’s shoulders and hips are in a perfect line parallel to the ground.  The kick is executed with my player laying flat on his back on an invisible bed of air, in the air.

They’re a singular type of goal in football. YouTube yields very few examples where a player’s back is truly parallel to the ground at the moment of striking.

They’re very, very rare in PES. At least they are for me, as the fact that this is my first one ever demonstrates. It’s been rare enough for me to see the animation and have an attempt—just once or twice, over the years.

And now I’ve finally got one. I can tick that box at last. Now I can quit PES forever. My journey is complete.

Only joking.

The above match, as I said, was against Malaga (sporting a lovely striped kit, incidentally, that I plan to imitate for my next Home kit). It was in the Europa League group stages. This was match number 6, and I had to win it to clinch 2nd place in the group and progress to the knockouts.

I did win it. The bicycle kick gave me a 1-0 lead in the first half. I secured the 2-0 victory in the second half with this goal from Hagi:

I’ve been playing him in a central role recently just behind van Basten. Both players are scoring goals a lot more freely. Barnes (my bicycle kick man) has been far better employed out wide on the left.

Speaking of van Basten reminds me that I rarely speak about him. This is because the thing he mainly does is scoring bread and butter goals. The five-yard tap-ins. The scruffy, scrambled-over-the-line efforts that wouldn’t be worth the effort of unlocking my phone to record.

Occasionally he gets a goal that’s a bit better than his average. I’ve been waiting for him to get one worth showing off on the blog. It finally came, in the league against the mighty Liverpool.

That was my consolation goal in a 4-1 thumping at their place. I would characterise at least two of Liverpool’s goals as unstoppable by any human.

Some top teams in PES2012 are darn near unplayable on Professional difficulty. At the end of Sunday morning’s session I played one match back on Regular. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to go back and play the game on that level.

My opponents were Blackburn away. I won 5-0. Which is not a surprise with the players in my squad.

So I don’t think I can go back to the lower level. I’m stuck on Professional. Oh well. At least I got my first bicycle kick goal out of PES2012.


  1. Paul—I wouldn’t need to go as far as getting an Internet bridge. I’d just position the OnLive box beside the router with the Ethernet cable between them. It’s the connection from the OnLive box to the TV that would be problematic. I’d have to string a 5-metre HDMI cable (which I do already have one of) across the room to the TV. I’d have to plug that cable in every time I wanted to play and unplug it afterwards, which I already know would annoy me—but that’s all it would do and I could live with it. But I am going to play around with OnLive on the Mac for a few weeks. £3.50 or whatever it is for 3 days with Warhammer should see me to the end of the single-player campaign (scheduled for my next weekend off work).

    I know I could easily get these games for my gaming Windows netbook in, uh, a variety of ways, but this is what it comes down to: convenience and immediacy. And, crucially, they wouldn’t run nearly as well as they do remotely on OnLive’s servers.

    Yesterday I played 30 mins of MLB2K11 on my Mac, with the graphics crisp and beautiful, no lag, and thought it couldn’t be real but it was.

    I also had a look at NBA2K12 and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I have little knowledge and no feel for basketball at all. It does look and move great, though. I’m more of a baseball (and Warhammer) person 😉

  2. NBA2K12, whilst i dont know all the intricacies of basketball, does look amazing in motion.
    as for the HDMI swapping hassle, simple, just buy a HDMI switcher for 5 quid, leave all your devices plugged in and simply press a button to switch between which one to use.

    I think Cloud gaming will be massive over the next 5 years with internet speeds improving all the time and server costs relatively low.
    OnLive have stolen a march on any competition by launching first and for the first company to do so, have pretty much nailed the tech first go. credit where its due.
    All i would say is that id like to see the full play pass come down a little in price. Many of them are in line with a full retail price, and as you dont get a box, manual or any physical object for your money, i feel it could be a little cheaper.
    A great way to try games for a few days before deciding whether to purchase the full game though. 3.50 for a AAA title is cheaper than blockbuster.

  3. Paul—I’ve got more than enough HDMI ports on the TV, it’s the physical distance between where the OnLive box would be and the TV that’s the annoyance. The HDMI would stretch across a room and have to be plugged/unplugged before/after every session. (A Powerline setup would be more annoying.)

    I’m more interested in the monthly subscription for access to all those 100s of games and the discount off other purchases. That strikes me as a very good deal, and I’d have already stumped up the cash if I didn’t know that I’d never have time to take advantage of it. Too much else to do. But there’s a long year ahead and maybe in the summer…

    In the meantime, £3 for 3 days/£5 for 5 days is pretty decent value. It’s rental, effectively, and I’ve never bothered with games rental before so it’s all new to me. I’d also like to see the one-off full purchase prices come down by about a third or a half. To be truly competitive with the likes of Steam and Impulse, that’s got to happen. I bet the publishers have had some say in that though.

    Have you spectated on PES2012 yet (or played?!). I had a random look at three other players’ matches in progress and… sprint-whoring is the name of the game!

  4. Ahh I see, i thought it was the hassle of plugging/unplugging HDMI cables that would get you. Cant you re-arrange your room??

    I havent watched or played PES12 on OnLive, dont really see the point bwhen I can play it on PS3 on much bigger screen and not pay for it.
    If i was to Play PES12 on PC, it would have to be with all those wicked patches and mods that PC users make, and im assuming you can’t do that with OnLive as there is no installation on your PC.

    When you tried NBA2K12, its a 15 min trial, how much of that was taken up by the signup/2k sports account setup??
    I think i got about 3 mins actual play time lol.

    I see a certain someone over at a certain website has just retracted his announcement and stated that there will be no new tech or engine for PES13 and we’re stuck with what we’ve got.
    Konami know how to win back fans!!

  5. Paul—I was just curious to see how PES2012 looked being streamed over the Internet (slightly grainy, but acceptable). I’d never play it on OnLive either, but from the looks of the Arena, hundreds (thousands?) are.

    I got a full quarter and a bit of the next in on NBA2K12 before the 15-min cutoff took place. If I’m going to play a basketball game there’d be a learning curve, that’s for sure. NBA2K11 and 10 are both in the monthly-sub ‘party pack’ or whatever it’s called.

  6. Im definitely ordering the console. the thought of instant gaming on a big HD tv with minimal costs and access to games i may never have seen is too much of a temptation.

  7. The pricing of onlive has put me off at the moment. I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to gaming and the pricing seems a tad high.
    Amazing technology though.

  8. Paul—I had my finger on the OnLive console box order button yesterday evening but prevented myself, as I want to see how much I do in fact use the service over the next week or two.

    I’ll be renting 3 days here and 5 days there on a few games, and might even stump up for the special pass and get to play Deus Ex/The Witcher/Splinter Cell et al for the first time. Unlike basketball, I do know baseball very well and have a feel for the game, and might purchase one of the 2K MLB games outright.

    It’s pretty exciting to have this now, ’twas a good find on your part. I knew the service existed but had sort of automatically discounted it as unworkable. A few years ago it would have been a fantasy, but now? With the phat connections nowadays (mine at 12MB is minuscule compared to some) it’s entirely workable.

  9. BT visited today, now running at 90mb at home.
    I liked the look of a few of the indie games on there too, the horror adventure genre tempts me somewhat.

  10. Grilled Seabass—I’ve used OnLive for several hours now and still not spent a penny on anything. I think their ‘play for 3 or 5 days’ deals are pretty good, but the outright purchases are very expensive in most cases. There are too many £30 games, the £20 games mostly aren’t real gimmes, and I haven’t seen any £10 games at all (they might exist, of course).

    The best value for money might be to pay the £7 special pass fee for one month and have access to all those 100s of games without limit. I might do that and see how I feel about the service when the month is up. Sounds like a plan actually.

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