I always think of August as the final month of the football game year, even though—for PES players at least—it’s definitely not. September is the final month of our footy gaming year. Usually.
It remains to be seen if we’re going to get a September release for PES2013. I wish they’d hurry up and decide. I have to get my holiday request form in at work. Until we know for sure, there’s a sense in which the build-up to release is just a phoney war.
I still have a goodly amount of unfinished business with PES2012. About 1/3rd of the way through the league season in Season 17, I’ve managed to close up the gap on the leaders, and am sitting in a good spot on their shoulder. Clearly, I cannot afford to lose any more games. Even a draw would be risky.
I’ll just have to hope that the Man Utd juggernaut comes off the rails. That one game they’ve lost was at my hands. I need the other CPU teams to start taking points off them. Still, with 2/3rds of the season remaining, there’s plenty of time.
I’m going OK-ish in the Champions League. Some iffy early form has been replaced by a few solid wins. Two games remaining in the group phase, and I’m confident.
Ah, but it’s in the knockout stages that the Champions League on Superstar rips off its mask and shows its full snarl. Getting to the semi last season was the best I’ve ever done so far.
There’s not going to be a Treble this season. I’m out of the FA Cup at the second round stage. I met Brighton, and they were just about invincible.
From the start I felt like a pilot in an aircraft disaster movie struggling with the flight-stick. Pull up! Pull up!
I was always fighting with the controls, always fighting to overcome a magnetic sense that the ball was always fated to roll to a CPU player. It was a miracle whenever I stitched together any kind of attacking move, much less got a shot on goal.
Of course, I was probably a touch complacent. Brighton are one of the actual minnows of my ML game world. A yo-yo team at the best of times, I think they’ve not been in the top flight for a couple of seasons now. I expected an easy win, which is always a bad attitude to have in PES2012.
A Brighton free kick from 50 yards, midway through the second half, was inexplicably ignored by two of my defenders. Despite me hammering the clearance button, they both stood and watched a high ball bounce between them. A Brighton striker shinned the ball into my net.
There was plenty of time left for me to get an equaliser, but could I even get the ball off them? No I could not, and when I did, the swarming pressure choked off every effort.
So the Treble is gone.
And now, with the nights already starting to draw in (have you noticed that yet?), PES2013 is just around the corner. There may be only a few more seasons left in my PES2012 ML career.