30 – Favourite game ever?
A tough one this…but there is only game that I’ve been chasing the same high from for years.
As I wrote on Day 10 of this 30 Day Challenge, I loved Pro Evolution Soccer 4 so much, I’ve played nearly every Pro Evolution Soccer game since, trying to recapture the highs I got from that game. Now I think about it, it’s been a disappointment…no Pro Evo has ever come close.
Why is that? I think Pro Evo 4 had a few things going for it. Firstly, we had a great option file, which gave us all the correct teams from the off. To a Pro Evo fan, this was like nirvana – we were used to awful ‘fake teams’, so to have all the correct details was amazing!
Secondly, I think Pro Evo had some of the best attacking play of any football game ever. It felt really open, like the balance of play could switch in an instance. A simple throw in could lead to a break away, if the defence wasn’t paying attention. Yet it wasn’t too ‘arcadey’ – you could defend effectively, you just needed to pay attention.
Thirdly. the controls were out of this world. This was before player animations would become a big issue in football games, there were no problems with asking a player to do something then watching him follow a pre-designed routine while you were effectively a man down. Your players did what was required, when required…within their limitations.
…and that was the biggest thing for me. Each player felt like an individual player. One of my biggest criticisms of FIFA (and latter day PES) is that players all feel like they play the same, with a bit of variety in speed. In Pro Evo 4, everyone was different, You had your huge central defenders like Hayden Foxe, who were tall, unbeatable in the air but weak on the ball and painfully slow. You had strikers like Michael Owen, weak but fast with great finishing.
Thanks to Pro Evo 4’s newest gameplay feature, players now improved and decline with age. You could watch that average winger become an incredible crosser of a ball, just by training him on crossing and giving him game time…even 10 minutes a game! You could see legends decline and fall to the bench…still capable of ‘putting a shift in’ but not capable of running the show anymore.
Maybe I’m looking through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia…but it’s better than nothing!
That’s the last entry in the 30 Day Video Game Challenge series. If you’ve read through all these entries, then thank you! I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about my gaming life while answering some tough questions and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my posts!
If you’re a blogger and haven’t taken on this challenge, I recommend you do – it’s a lot of fun and it really makes you think about the games and consoles you’ve played before!
I’ll see you in 2018…I’ve still got quite a lot of games to play through…