Saturday, July 17, 2010

PES, filling in the blanks

I mentioned in a previous post that I got a super bargain of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 1, 3, 4 and 5 for only €3.96. Maths fans will notice that that left me with a couple of blanks to fill - PES 2 and PES 6. I found a copy of PES 2 in Game on Dawson Street for a couple of Euro and it is in pretty good condition. Nothing much to say about that other than it was yet another great game in the series and an excellent example of Konami improving upon the previous game. On the other hand there is plenty to say about PES 6.

PES 6 is unique because it was the first PES game that I owned in this current console generation, the Xbox 360. I remember popping down to Xtra-Vision on Stephen's Day 2006 to grab a copy, having failed to receive it as a Christmas present. After the intial disappointment that the graphics didn't look light years ahead of PES 5 on the PS2 I began to really enjoy PES 6. It was the first PES game that I had to play using the analogue stick on a controller. With all the PS2 versions I'd used the d-pad but as anyone who has played a 360 will know the d-pad leaves a lot to be desired. It took me a while to get used to the analogue stick but now I couldn't use anything else.

The best thing for me about PES 6 was the online component. I had played PES 5 online with the PC version and while that was pretty good it doesn't compare favourably to the experience of PES 6 on Xbox Live. Simply because it was on Xbox Live the match-making was so much better than the ad-hoc implementation of the PC version. Over the course of the next year I played in hundreds of online matches and by the time I quit I was in the top 2% on the Xbox Live leader boards. Quite an achievement I'd say. I think I signed off with a 34 match unbeaten run. Looking back on the series as a whole I think PES 6 provided me with the most fun, due to the online play. Later versions of PES have improved the offline modes drastically but none have come close to providing an equal online experience.

So how does this all fit into my collection? About two years ago I traded in the 360 and all the games to get a PS3 which left me needing to buy PES 6 again for my collection. I felt there was no need to get the 360 version of the game as I'd have nothing to play it on, if I felt the urge. I suppose I could get another 360 but I can only imagine my wife's reaction to that. In the end I picked up a copy of PES 6 for €0.99 on the PS2 in GameStopProblem solved, at a bargain basement price.

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