Goodbye Rubio Tuesday

Yesterday morning I completed season 2012 in my Master League career on the Xbox 360 version of PES6. I finished the season totally empty-handed. I was hoping to get a Treble in my last few days with the game before FIFA10’s arrival, but it wasn’t to be. I didn’t win a single thing in the end.

First I was knocked out of the D1 Cup in the semi-finals. That was at the hands of London FC. Then I was knocked out of the European Cup, also in the semi-finals. That was also at the hands of London FC… After the two Cups were gone, something in me just died. I was in 3rd place in the title race, and only 5 points off 1st with several games left, but I started playing loosely. I fell away badly and missed out on the title by some distance in the end.

Here’s the final league table:


And so it’s goodbye to PES6(360). Probably. If FIFA10 is a total disaster then I’ll start playing PES6 again until PES2010 puts in an appearance.

I’ve really, really, really enjoyed my time with PES6(360). I picked up the game for £2 at the start of August. I’ve had almost exactly two months of mostly blissful PES gaming. True, there were downs as well as ups. There are good reasons why this game isn’t generally placed alongside PES3 and PES5 in the top tier of great PES games.

Those reasons prevent PES6(360) from being my personal footballing Game of the Year. There’s the lack of Editing, for one thing. The comparative clunkiness of some of the animations and physics, for another. Overall the gameplay is as deep as any old-school PES game, but it does have a provisional, ad hoc kind of feel that betrays its status as the first stab at PES on a new generation of consoles.

I became very attached to my Master League squad. That always helps. Most of them were only slightly above-average players. I had very few out-and-out stars—just Mathieu and Schwarz, really. Most of the others were either seasoned old pros or promising young players.

I also had Rubio at right back. Again. I’ve ended up with Rubio at right back in every PES since 2006, on every platform, PS2, PSP, PS3, and now Xbox 360. Will he pop up at right back again for me in PES2010? Of course he will. I’ll end up getting Schwarz again too. Bradley. Mathieu. They’ll all be there. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again.

It’s been a memorable couple of months for me and PES6(360). It’s reshaped my whole football game outlook. It could turn out to be the game that saved PES for me.

I think it’s appropriate for me to give PES6(360) a final review-style score. In my one-year reviews I gave PES2009 and FIFA09 6.5/10 and 8.5/10 respectively. In its two-month review, I’m giving PES6(360) a very healthy 8/10 final mark. I’m tempted towards an 8.5 or even a 9, but I’m being sensible. I have to see the infatuation in context. I was totally parched for quality PES action for so many months before PES6(360) came along. And it even stimulated me to go back and revisit PES2009 for a few matches, something I never mentioned on the blog (because all the game-hopping is confusing enough already).

And now, there’s the little matter of FIFA10 to contend with. You don’t have to read between the lines of my recent posts to tell that I’m in my most pro-PES state of mind for a long, long time. ‘Pro-PES’ doesn’t necessarily connote ‘anti-FIFA’, of course. But it’s amazing just how often they’re found together.

FIFA10 should—fingers crossed—be with me Thursday morning. I had the dispatch confirmation email from on Tuesday evening. All being well, Friday’s post will cover my first 24 hours with FIFA10.

Thursday October 1st, @14.40: The bugger didn’t arrive! First time in 3 years that I haven’t had a GAME preorder at least 1 day before release. It seems most other preorderers didn’t get their games either. Bleedin’ Royal Mail and their strike action. Ah well. I’ve felt tempted this afternoon to go into town and walk around looking for somewhere to sell early, but decided against it. It’s not a sure thing, and even if I found somewhere I’d only get a few extra hours on the game now. It’s not worth spending £50 quid on (£40 for the game plus the £10 for the inevitable taxi ride home…) Assuming FIFA10 does arrive tomorrow (it’ll be a torrid day on the forums if the postal strike banjaxes the deliveries for another day), my Friday blog entry will not now appear until late in the afternoon/early evening. I want a few hours with the game before committing to some  first impressions. My post traditionally arrives around noon or 1pm on a Friday. Remember the days when the post would come before anyone had even got out of bed..?


  1. Comiserations on your treble attempt failing miserably, although good to see Liverpool (Merseyside Red) at the top where they should be!!
    NO !! I wont mention last night’s dire Champions League performance, or more so, lack of it!
    I too have had the email from saying my FIFA 10 has been despatched, should be here tomorrow, sicky off work im thinking!!!

    Ive also ordered a Hauppauge HD PVR to record PS3 gaming in full blissful HD, so will endeavour to get some nice sleek gameplay vids up soon.

    Cannot wait for FIFA 10 now, im at the point where I couldn’t care if PES 10 was postponed this year and we just had FIFA, im so revved up for it, ironically contradicting to your stance point Not-Greg!

    I Love both games but FIFAs strides forward in the last 2 years have biased its positioning with me in terms of prioritising my very precious gaming time, and with the revamped Manager Mode, new MY Live season mode (which i think is a fantastic idea), Virtual pro and the faultless online play I can see my sparse gaming time being fully taken up by FIFA.
    Throw into the Mix the imminent release of Uncharted 2 ( the original is still THE defining, most beautiful, rich game title to date that Ive ever played), Modern Warfare 2 and Heavy Rain and i can’t see much time being allocated to PES unfortunately.

    At least it looks like this year both games have mode good on their promises and we will at last have 2 excellent next-gen worthy footy games to play!
    Roll on tomorrow!!

  2. Paul—the top teams are all pretty damn good in PES6 on the 360. London FC sabotaged my league run-in and knocked me out of both cups. Arsenal I found almost unplayable—I can’t remember actually beating them even once. Man Utd were slightly easier but still tough, Merseyside Red too. As my season record suggests (W14 D7 L7), it’s a tough PES. That was my 7th season too. On PES2008 & 2009 I was going almost unbeaten by the end of the 5th seasons, with ridiculously large goal differences.

    Here on the eve of FIFA10, I’m also feeling really excited at last. It’ll be great to have something fresh to get my teeth into and learn the ropes etc. I’ve already done my Gameface and might post it on Friday. Having a break of over 24 hours so far from all football games—my longest break probably since this time last year—has helped to whet the appetite.

  3. I have played every PES and Fifa since Fifa 94 and PES3 but i dont recall PES6 being any harder, i was more of a casual footy gamer back then so probably just didnt notice, although i did have some retro moments earlier watching some PES 3,4 and 5 goals on youtube, its amazing and laughable when you think it was only a few years ago and how different they look and play to todays offerings! Makes you wonder where we will be in 10yrs time.

    I’ve made it my goal (excuse the pun) to learn all or most of the neat little skill tricks in FIFA10 this year, putting plenty of time in on the training ground and in exhibition matches before plunging into a full MM career! purely to mix the game up a bit and so I can record some nifty little gameplay and goal vids!

    Really glad your excitement for FIFA has ramped up a bit, was concerned you might react negatively to the game once released after sensing your non-concern with the demo, i think if you give it time and patience, it will deffo surpass the initial joy you had after picking up FIFA 09 last year, lets just hope it can maintain that elation and not drop off.
    over on FifaSoccerBlog Forums a few guys have the game already, seems has shipped pre-orders, and they’re saying the speed of gameplay, even on normal is considerably slower, which is a plus, if it can get anywhere near PES10’s pace then it will be a big bonus.

    On a side note, i too made my gameface, but cant seem to find anywhere on the EA football world site that you can view it, once its made, any ideas???

  4. Paul—it’s the Xbox 360 version of PES6, a completely different game from the PS2 version. I remember the PS2 PES6 as having a disappointingly easy Master League. You’ll rarely hear me talking about the PS2 PES6 with any great affection.

    The 360 version shares just the name – the gameplay isn’t totally different, of course. I wouldn’t have spent so long banging on about its classic old-school PES greatness if it was totally different. But it’s just different enough to make a massive difference. How tenuous the magic formula for a great football game is! didn’t ship early I’m afraid. They shipped yesterday evening just like everyone else—and they use 2nd Class postage, unlike everyone else. They pulled their usual trick of saying they were shipping on the weekend before release. The forums started jumping up and down with excitement, as usual, and probably got thousands of pounds worth of extra orders. Most of them won’t arrive until Friday. A few will get it tomorrow. And we’ll go through the same thing on the forums all over again with PES2010.

    Re. Gameface, mine was showing in my EA Sportsworld homepage the other day immediately after I created it. It’s vanished now! I’m looking into it and will post back if I get results…


    Aha – I went to the Gameface Beta signup here and it told me I’d already done it, and there was a button to click to take me back to EA Sportsworld. When I got back to my page, there was my Gameface. I had the old Gameface-less page open in another tab and was able to compare the web addresses. The one without my Gameface ended /home. The one with it ended /profile, like this –

  5. Good luck Paul.

  6. Steph Wheeler—I’m sure Paul is thankful for any good luck wishes, but I’ve been mulling over your enigmatic comment since you posted it, hoping you’d come back and expand on it, but now I’ve just got to know: what does it mean?!

    Good luck for what? Good luck in life, generally? Good luck with his love for FIFA10, while you (and possibly I) continue plugging away with PES?

  7. Have you played fifa yet not-greg?

  8. I reckon Steph means ‘good luck mastering all the skill tricks in FIFA’, but may be wrong…

  9. Liam—see my new last paragraph in the post above 🙁

    Royal Mail strike has affected thousands of pre-orders. From what I can tell from the forums, very few people received them.

    I’m pining for some kind of football game action and was so close last night to firing up PES6 to see where my ML team would take me. I resisted, but don’t know if I can tonight… I’ve got plenty other games to play though, a few films I want to watch, a couple of books I want to read, so I might be okay.

  10. abbeyhill—I think he started a longer comment, got interrupted or changed his mind, and hit SUBMIT by mistake. Maybe we’ll find out, maybe not.

  11. Yep, Royal Mail screwed up my day along with many others. I will pop over to Asda (2 mins from house) at midnight and get it for the PS3 and AWAIT Royal Mail delivering the XBOX version.

  12. heraldo—if there’s any industrial action going on in the week of PES2010’s release, I’ll be looking for any supplier that uses ‘other courier’, that’s for sure. It’ll be worth it even if it costs another fiver.

    There’s an Asda about a mile and a half from me and I’ve thought about it. At midnight I’d need to get a taxi there and back, and then I’d only be able to play for an hour or two. I’ll wait until tomorrow. If it doesn’t turn up tomorrow I’ll just nip into town, and probably never use GAME again. Tomorrow I think there’ll be fireworks on the forums—I think the orders (all posted 2nd Class) won’t arrive until next week. Last time there was a Royal Mail strike I was waiting for a 2nd Class item in the post and it took a week in total to get to me.

  13. not-Greg

    2nd class? Why that? That would be a bummer mate.

    As you know I received FIFA 09 2 days earlier with ShopTo last year, it’s not their fault as they despatched my copy yesterday morning. I have also pre-ordered PES with Shopto, I too hope Royal Mail get their shit together as they really get on my tits at times.

    ASDA are selling for £26.91 for the next week, a bargain.

  14. heraldo—I haven’t ordered via myself, I’m just feeling sorry for those who have. And I’m not too confident about my GAME order arriving tomorrow, 1st Class or not. My postman could deliver at any time until about 1.30 pm (as late as 3.30 pm occasionally) so I face having to wait all day before knowing for sure. This isn’t good enough and I’ll be switching services as of PES2010. If it doesn’t come I’ll be ASDA-bound myself.

  15. I regularly pre-order from Play and for pre-orders they use 1st class postage. I have always received on time. Mind you maybe they have changed recently due to the recession.
    Anyone know the cheapest pre-order for PES? Everywhere I’ve looked its £40, unbelievable.

  16. For what its worth, I pre-ordered Batman: Arkham Asylum from Amazon and paid extra to ensure first class postage. They despatched it on the Thursday morning and I didn’t receive it until Monday morning. I know that was a while ago but the postage worker action is killer.

    Anyone played Arkham Asylum? I’ve just completed it and I have to say its one of the best single player experiences of this generation.

  17. Grilled Seabass

    I ordered from ShopTo got it at £29.45, just checked still the same price


    Oops, I thought you ordered from PLAY read wrong.

  18. Grilled Seabass

    I have played Batman, one word OUTSTANDING. I completed it on Normal and found all the Riddlers puzzles. I am struggling on the Combat challenges, I never die but I never build up my Combo high enough to earn the points to gain medals. Stealth challenges are good, collected 13 medals so far. Excellent game and once I get round to completing the Combat challenges I will attempt the HARD difficulty.

  19. Grilled Seabass—I always used until two/three years ago, and in my recollection they always used 2nd Class for everything, but I could be wrong. I used them more for regular orders than preorders. In my gut I feel my GAME order won’t come tomorrow now.

    I’ve picked up on the vibe about Batman and when I heard it compared to Bioshock, I was sold. On Tuesday I traded in a load of games (the PS3 FIFA09 among them—I’m keeping the 360 version for my permanent collection). I got a preowned copy of Arkham Asylum for £14 in the end—very happy with that! And then I held off starting it because I’ve got a lot on in life in general, and I was expecting FIFA10 today (doh). I might start it tonight now. Got a few downloaded films to watch, got to catch up on Peep Show, got a good book to finish…. Who needs FIFA10?

  20. heraldo—it was partly your enthusing about Batman that tipped me off to the game. A gaming podcast I listen to (Gamers With Jobs) compared it to Bioshock, which I think is the best game of the current generation (dodgy last few levels notwithstanding). Like you I feel I’ve neglected ‘normal’ gaming due to football game addiction. I’m really tempted to start Batman tonight (or get back into Gears of War), but I know I’ll be playing FIFA10 tomorrow. Decisions, decisions…

  21. not-Greg

    I don’t rave about many games, but Uncharted (remember me with that) Bioshock and recently Gears of War 1&2 are amazing titles, Batman is up there with them.

    I have 6 weeks till I go back to work, we still have our Gears co-op campaign to get going.

    I won’t be making the same mistake as last year in that I will be playing FIFA constantly. I will be splitting my gaming time with all the other games I have neglected in the past and which I am enjoying now. I said to you the other night, I have never played any of the past Halo titles but I am really enjoying the new one.

    Add in Tiger 10 on Tour Pro difficulty which I have been playing online the past week and participating in Online tournaments. In a way it was good I fell out with FIFA as I would never have played many of these great titles.

  22. I’ve been playing FIFA 10 on the PS3 and I love the game engine – it’s superb! The game is a defnite step slower on ‘slow’ to me than the demo (am I imagining it?) and the ability is there to control the tempo. I love it!
    However, I have yet to try Manager Mode and won’t get the chance until Sunday evening now which is a bugger.
    I think, with this quality of game and the fact that transfers and AI managers are now realistic, it will be enough to hold my interest longer than last year even if it rains too much in August and some of my player’s form effects their physical stats excessively.
    I’m certainly not going to listen to the whinging 13 year olds on the forums that I’ve had an absolute gut full of.
    Enjoy the game guys and enjoy PES when it comes out as well… in my opinion good times are here for next-gen footy

  23. oh, and seeing your photo face on your virtual pro is quite freaky… not for the fainthearted or ugly (of which I am both)

  24. not-greg – £14 what a bargain! I am ashamed to say I haven’t played Bioshock but it’s on my list of games to pick up. If you like 3rd person action games (I love them – Ninja Gaiden, Stranglehold etc) and if you like the Batman world, it’s an absolute guarantee you will love Arkham Asylum.

    heraldo – Thanks, will order from ShopTo, they’ve been good in the past. I’m at the same stage as you in Arkham Asylum. I think the Riddler challenges are the first in-game collectibles that I’ve actually enjoyed collecting. Perfectly executed, like everything else in the game. Yea, the combat challenges are solid, it’s going to take a lot of practice to get all the medals, just shows the depth of the combat engine though. You get a 5k bonus for surviving all rounds unscathed, I think that’s the way to go. I’m going to have a go now.


  25. Chris—my Gameface actually looks like a really good e-fit of me! I’m an Everyman, though, neiher one thing nor the other (ugly/handsome). Looking forward to seeing it in the game.

    I hear what you’re saying about the qualities of the game, but FIFA10 will be all about Manager Mode for me. Well, 95% about MM. The other 5% could be VP/BaP, if it grabs me this year.

  26. Grilled Seabass—I didn’t start Batman last night after all, as I want to have a few continuous days playing it. Next week now.

    You’d probably find Bioshock for a few quid on preowned shelves now. Easily the best game of the generation so far for me, and if you have any interest in Ayn Rand or philosophy in general, it’s even better.

  27. I’ve had The Fountainhead on my to-read list for a while ago, perhaps I’ll read it before starting Bioshock.

  28. Grilled Seabass—I’ve still not read any Ayn Rand myself, but I know about her notorious writings and beliefs, enough to enjoy what they did with them in Bioshock.

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