ISS Pro Evo­lu­tion Soc­cer 2


PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - FAVOURITE THINGS -

We had a TV and a PlayS­ta­tion set up in the of­fice that per­ma­nently played ISS Pro Evo­lu­tion Soc­cer 2. That’s all it did, from nine to five, through dead­lines and 9/11. It was the start of a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with Kon­ami’s pitch-per­fect foot­ball sim that lasts to­day. Even now this ag­ing Kon­ami clas­sic plays sur­pris­ingly well. Boot­ing it up to­day, there is a phase of ad­just­ment to the low-poly vi­su­als, but once a match starts the pad-mem­ory takes over and I’m tap­ping one-two passes like a PES pro all over again. While vis­ually this is in­com­pa­ra­ble to mod­ern PES on PlayS­ta­tion 4, in terms of game­play the DNA of Kon­ami’s kick­about is writ large on screen.

The AI in par­tic­u­lar still holds to­gether, en­sur­ing matches ebb and flow like real-life foot­ball. Nar­row your eyes and the pat­terns on screen re­sem­ble a real match. It’s a sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief that urges you to be­come at­tached to th­ese hap­haz­ard blocks of poly­gons that, if you squint, all look a lit­tle like Ja­panese Alan Shear­ers. If they get in­jured it feels like a kick in the gut, when they score it’s eu­phoric, and when you’re de­feated its be­cause PES swin­dles you. The ‘al­go­rithms’ are against you, re­mem­ber? Th­ese mys­te­ri­ous code gods can change a game in sec­onds; you can lurch from win­ning to los­ing on the beat of a bad tackle or ran­dom shot. ISS Pro Evo­lu­tion Soc­cer 2 makes things per­sonal.

Com­pared to games I could have opted for – such as Ico, Metal Gear Solid, or Un­charted 2, all wor­thy con­tenders for my per­sonal pas­sion – there are few games that took over my life, for a pe­riod of time, quite like ISS Pro Evo­lu­tion Soc­cer 2. It may not be in the premier­ship of con­solechang­ing games, it’s no God Of War or The Last Of Us, but it had, and still has, that en­dear­ing abil­ity to cre­ate sto­ries from what are es­sen­tially a bunch of blocks run­ning around a pitch, all with a pass­ing re­sem­blance to a very fa­mous Ge­ordie striker.


Af­ter all th­ese years, PES is still Ian’s footie game of choice – let the ar­gu­ments about it ver­sus its ri­val com­mence!

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