This post isn’t just an end-of-season compilation clips show, promise. But remember this?
And the shooting in that game — here are three long-range goals from two years ago:
Remember PES2013? Remember Coynborough? Minandinho? Remember boots, boots, boots? Remember that shooting?
Ah, PES2013 — arguably the true George Lazenby of PES games. To continue the analogy: PES6 would be the Sean Connery — because (sigh) everyone loves PES6… PES2008 the Roger Moore. PES2015 the Timothy Dalton. PES2 the Pierce Brosnan. PES2014 the Woody Allen. PES2012 the Daniel Craig. And PES5 would be the Bob Holness. (Yes, each of those named people have played James Bond in some way. You don’t have to check.)
What’s going on? Am I playing PES2013? Why am I playing PES2013?
It’s the time of year when there are lots of traditions. Huge long forum postings of high-resolution player faces have already started appearing, and will be coming to all PES forums and fansites near you over the next week or two. I’ve never been one to gaze raptly at player faces but I appreciate there are those who like doing that sort of thing. Who am I to judge them?
One tradition I subscribe to almost every year is the Old Game Hypothetical Scenario. OGHS for short.
This is when in an idle moment between the end of one game and the arrival of another, you dig out and play an older game of PES (or FIFA) and enjoy it so much that you end up saying, in all seriousness: ‘You know, if [upcoming game name] wasn’t coming out in a few weeks, I’d be happy playing [old game name] for the next year…’
OGHS works because it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It establishes football games on an equivalent footing with books and movies (because they are). Just like books and movies, football games can be critically reappraised years later, and you don’t have to wait for some Academy of Football Gaming to do it. You can fire up your old console and do it yourself!
I powered up my trusy old PS3 the other day for the first time in a few weeks. I had come to play the only Metal Gear Solid game I’ve never played (MGS: Peace Walker). Instead I saw the PES2013 disc was sitting in the system tray for reasons unknown. And, what can I say — an irresistible impulse compelled me to start ‘er up…
I’ve played three full sessions of PES2013 over the last few days, and I love it.
With caveats. There’s a need for house rules of some kind with PES2013, as most people probably remember.
What made the game a lesser light than its two close cousins (PES2012 and PES2011) were the ridiculously overpowered player development in Master League, coupled with the boots and accessories farrago, coupled with the howitzer-style shooting.
The shooting is still there, and is still sumptuous. (The halfway-line goal mentioned in the screenshot above is here.) In any ‘Best PES Shooting’ list, PES2013 would have to be near the top. (PES5 takes the crown for me, in shooting as in so much else.)
I started up a non-dev Master league, playing in Spain — fully licensed — with Atletico Madrid, because I’m shallow and I like their kits, home and away.
Original squad, because this brief window of time is no time to mess with Defaults.
Classic players ON, because it’s simply not Master League if there’s no possibility of signing Trevor Francis and Zinedine Zidane in one fell swoop.
Maybe my biggest decision was playing zero-bar passing assistance.
I recall attempting zero-bar passing back in the original Year of PES2013, along with a few commenters. We found that there seemed to be a last-third passing nerf where control seemed to be suspiciously overridden in a way that was often favourable to the AI.
This time around, I’ve yet to notice that nerf effect, and it’s been brilliant.
I haven’t scored any goals of note, but I’ve had some great matches. All on Professional difficulty. I’ve played 10, won 2, drawn 3, lost 5, including a 4-1 whupping in the Europa League group stages at the hands of FC Copenhagen, a dear old ML adversary.
Manual passing too often breaks down due to lack of attention, and devolves into (I have to say it) FIFA-style midfield tussles and turnovers that go on too long for comfort. PES has always had a beautiful flow, and rarely gets bogged down in stalemate (PES2015 possibly excepted).
But with focus and concentration, zero-bar passing on PES2013 produces some wonderful PES+ sort of gameplay: short, sharp passes, trying to pull the opposition out of shape and expose gaps to exploit. Football 1-2-3.
You know, if PES2016 wasn’t coming out in a few weeks, I think I’d be happy playing PES2013 for the next year.
NOTICE: This coming Friday’s post will appear at 3pm instead of the usual midday, to allow me more time to digest the PES2016 demo. It’s always fun pretending that a PES demo gives us a great deal of knowledge about what playing the final game will be like.