It was 7pm on the evening of Monday, July 23rd, 2012. I had a PS3 controller in my hand, and PES2012 playing on the TV. I was 1-0 up at home to Stoke City. With a minute of normal time remaining, I missed a golden chance to take a 2-0 lead. Seconds later I was pegged back to 1-1.
The final whistle went. I had 20 shots, 11 of them on target; Stoke had 5 shots, 1 on target. I’d been robbed.
And you know what? I wasn’t really bothered.
I just shrugged, and waited for Autosave to do its business—a painfully slow 20 seconds on the PS3. Then I quit the game, backed my current save up to a USB stick, and turned off the console. And I’ve not touched it since.
I am experiencing something that I haven’t felt for months: a profound disinclination to play PES2012.
I seem to have hit a wall in my football gaming year. Frankly I couldn’t care less right now if I never played another football game in my entire life.
Of course, that last bit is an exaggeration. I’ll grab the PES2013 demo later today, muse about it in a special post on Friday, and be back in the PES2012 saddle by Monday. Hopefully.
But it’s not too much of an exaggeration. After 16 seasons in Master League—the last 4 exhausting seasons on Superstar difficulty—I feel thoroughly burnt out.
My form at the opening of season 17 has been patchy to say the least. This is either a reflection of the game stepping it up to counter my great form of last season. Or perhaps the great weariness that I feel with the game is seeping into my on-field performances.
Too many draws—the old enemy of many an ML progression—are holding me back. Look at the table after 7 matches:
Manchester United have rediscovered themselves. Streaking away at the top there. It’s not hard to spot which CPU team has been paid a visit by the goal-scoring fairy this season.
In the Champions League, I have played PSV, away, and beat them 2-0. I then played Bayern Munich, at home, and lost 0-2. That was one tough game, where for once the CPU created more chances and had more clearcut openings, so no real complaints.
I beat Bolton 2-0 in the FA Cup. Next I’ll play… someone else. I didn’t look.
This sudden collapse of interest in PES2012 is very strange. It’s the first year since PES5 that I’ve been still playing a Master League at this stage, in July. My life today is very different from what it was back then. I have a job now, and plenty of other interests besides. I’m also a good deal older—I’ll turn 40 later this year. Back in the days of PES5 I was a very youthful 33-year-old.
I don’t know what to say. I should be pulling the threads together into some kind of conclusion. But all I can say is that I’ll play the PSE2013 demo sometime today or tomorrow, and I hope to get back to PES2012 in due course.
Or this could just become a Dwarf Fortress/Football Manager/Civilization blog from now on.