Spring forward, fall back

I’m downloading FIFA09 Ultimate Team as I type. The download is 1.62 GB—what the frak?—and has been motoring along fairly quickly, so it should be ready to play soon. I hope to get it all set up and a few matches played before I have to do other things later today.

I’ve spent the past few days reading up about Ultimate Team. I had no real idea what it was all about. Some kind of trading cards mini-game? But it turns out to be so much more than that, almost like a multiplayer Manager Mode. Could this be the game mode that gets me playing online regularly? I doubt it—my life just isn’t online-friendly. I’m not online-friendly. But at least it could get me playing FIFA09 regularly again.

Wednesday’s post about the future of PES—in particular, about the familiar rumours of PES2010 being IT, the BIG ONE, the Return of the King, etc. etc.—was PES Chronicles’ most-viewed new post for some time. Probably those phantom PES2010 Googlers had a lot to do with it, but I also think that it’s symptomatic of a real hunger for PES news out there.

For all the disappointments of the past two years, those who played and loved PES with all their heart and soul until just a few short years ago haven’t gone anywhere. It’s still in our memories, in our bones, in our blood, in the fibre of our being. FIFA09 is the best football game of this generation so far, but PES built up enough stock over the years 1998-2006 to easily effect a comeback. IF the new product is right. We’ll see.

But not too soon, eh? I’ve got FIFA09, and Ultimate Team, and PES2009’s Become a Legend, and PES2008 on the PSP, and lots of other games besides to be getting along with right now. The clocks go forward this weekend (spring forward, remember). Summer is just around the corner. It’s a long way to September and October. I’m far too old to be wishing my life away.

For next week I have a plan (I’m just like a Cylon in that respect). On Monday I’ll post about my immediate impressions of FIFA09 Ultimate Team. On Wednesday I’ll post about Become a Legend, which I should have got around to playing by then. And on Friday I’ll talk about my new love for knitting. Not really. That last one was a joke.


  1. Nice one, i’m looking forward to reading what you think of BAL. The key early on is patience though I must emphasise! Also probably best to get the camera to follow you rather than the ball. Just my preference though.

    That’s a bit large for an update!

  2. What you said not-Greg. The foundation of PES is sturdy enough for them to make a strong push and really their last gasp effort at catching up with Fifa. On a side note, let me say that I was very impressed with the way dribbling looked in PES 2009 Wii (from that new WENB video). For the Benzema goal, Juninho, who makes the assist, was dribbling at speed but was able to keep the ball very close to his feet (impressively one-step-and-one-touch style).

    Have a good weekend not-Greg!

  3. Liam is absolutely spot on, patience is essential for the first couple of seasons.
    Once youve got your stats up a bit the game comes into its own.
    I resisted BAL for 4 months of playing master league but thought i`d finally give it a go when ML lost its challenge and I am absolutely hooked. I can see myself playing this mode til 2010 comes out, its got most of the features ive wanted out of master league for the last 3 or 4 years and seems a greater challenge.

  4. seems like your critique of WEBN made ’em like you, rather than hate you 🙂
    Your site gets a mention on their blog!

  5. The big thing we all have to remember ahead of PES2010 is that for it to once again be at the top of the football gaming tree, PES2010 will have to bring something new to the table, move away from the ‘safety first’ style of production we have seen by Konami for some time now.

    By that I mean they have basically stuck to the same formula, when you really think about it not a lot changed from PES4 onwards, even PES2009 stuck to essentially the same ideas/gameplay which is what turned us all away. Many people have said that if PES2009 or ever 08 was the first football game Konami had released we would all love it, unfortunately thats not the case.

  6. Re:diego

    I agree, congrats? Does it count as credability? Who knows but as its said, all publicity is good.

  7. Liam – oh dear, tomorrow’s post will reveal more but I’m finding Ultimate Team so good that BaL might be delayed for a few more posts…

  8. steph_wheeler – I had a good go on PES2008 on the Wii many, many months ago. I never mentioned it here on the blog because I was left absolutely indifferent to the control system—and I have a serious problem with the Wii as a games console besides, but these are whole other issues.

  9. Dec – thanks for your comment, and you’re now the 2nd or 3rd person to state that BaL is very Master League-like. Ultimate Team on FIFA09 has delayed me getting back to PES2009, but it won’t be long now.

  10. diego – that was a huge surprise, and a shock as well. It’s nice to be linked to from a site like WENB—my traffic shot up for a day or two there—but we are two very different sites with different readerships, and everything is almost back to normal now!

  11. stinger – I think if PES2008 and PES2009 had appeared out of nowhere without any of the ISS/PES prehistory behind them, we might not have loved them but we’d have seen nothing ‘wrong’ with them because there would have been nothing to compare the next-gen PESes with. This might seem a specious argument but I think it holds water. I remember a non-gaming friend getting a PS1 many, many years ago. He got 1 game with it and played that game for weeks before going out and getting another game. That game was Duke Nukem—my friend thought it was the greatest game ever made, because he had no context to put it in.

  12. Paww – I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I was actually pleased and flattered to see the article on WENB. It’s a major site in the PES world whatever anyone thinks of it. The stuff I’ve said for and against WENB here still holds for me. I’m aware of the sizeable anti-WENB camp out there, but I do like the site, and I love the podcasts, and I’m looking forward to another summer of rumour and wild speculation. We’re all older and wiser this year, and will take all early enthusiasms for PES2010 with large pinches of salt. I’d like to see WENB adopting a more cautious and critical tone this year, and I think we will get that—they’ve been burned by two successive disappointing years of PES as much as any other PES fan. Call me a crazy dreamer but I have a good feeling about PES2010. I think because we all know this really is it for PES, it’s now or never. It’s unthinkable that it could be ‘never’, so I think it’s got to be NOW. We’ll see soon enough.

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