10: Best gameplay ever?
For this entry, I’m going to have to defer to a game that I’ve spent far too much time on over the years, a game that is partially responsible for me missing out on so many other great games.
I know it’s a football game, not a great RPG or a classic 2D platformer…but I spent hours and hours on this game.
See, it was the first football game to bring in aging and development. So suddenly all the young players would improve and the old players would decline then retire! This simple aspect of the game changed my life. Pro Evolution Soccer went from ‘Obsession’ to ‘Life’ in the blink of an eye.
When I got the game for Christmas (I didn’t buy it on release in October, because I knew I would fail university if I did), I spent all day playing it. Well…if you count dribbling around cones trying to improve players as playing a game. I became obsessed with trying to make these players better. Christmas Day consisted of 1) playing Pro Evo 2) Christmas Dinner and 3) a tea consisting of Twix and Chocolate Orange ice cream. I don’t think I’d survive a day like that now….
It helped that we had a great option file from day one too. This meant that all the kits and players were correct (Pro Evo is notorious for it’s fake teams and inaccuracies) and I could play a fairly accurate Premier League. I created a Leicester City team (one of the emblems on the game was their badge so that was easy enough) and spent the next year hammering the game. I played 11 seasons, won everything several times (bar the Masters Cup…has anyone ever won that?) and made Collins John the top all time goal scorer in European football. Maybe Pro Evo wasn’t that accurate after all…
Nowdays, I don’t play football games – I can’t love FIFA despite it’s improvements, Pro Evo has gone backwards and I know how many classic games I’ve missed out on by ‘chasing the dragon’ with subsequent Pro Evos, looking for the high Pro Evo 4 gave me. The last great Pro Evo was Pro Evo 2011, with it’s brilliant online Master League…I hate to admit it, but I think those days are gone….