Again, loudly for everyone sitting at the back of the internet, now is the time for a PES Classic version!
Is this nostalgia talking? Yes.
But is that wrong? Not always, no.
Essentially, I feel that Konami as well as improving PES, or sorry eFootball, are missing a trick by not releasing a PES Classic version, that would be a HD remake of their classic franchise with the gameplay sitting somewhere between PES 5, 6 and 2008.
Just Hear Me Out Espimas
Konami official announced this week that PES has been rebranded as eFootball, and even more shocking was the announcement that it is technically free-to-play. eFootball will be a digital only title available on all major consoles and eventually mobile, though no mention is yet to be made of the Nintendo Switch. That’s the first reason for this article, but not the last.
I say technically as this will not include all modes, which apparently hints at players being able to pick and mix which DLC modes they purchase. This sounds like an astute move, as players who would normally try it all can purchase the newest edition of the game just like any other year.
But this allows casual players to just play the free to play mode of exhibition and maybe dabble at something else at a cheaper price.
What Does Castolo Think?
This tactic further fuels my idea of a classic edition of PES on Nintendo Switch, a system that is currently without a quality football game, yes, I am pointedly ignoring FIFA as again this year they have announced a meme worthy “Legacy” edition and are charging way too much for a roster update.
A reasonably priced football game would dominate the Nintendo Switch market and with the specs of the system being somewhat light compared to its contemporaries, a PES Classic edition could fill the gap. Not that a PES Classic could not be released across all platforms, though fitting a niche on the Switch to perfection.
If you fancy checking out the Nintendo Switch eShop, you’ll see what a gap there is with nothing but badly designed football sims infecting the store.
When you look back at the football game glory days, besides FIFA and PES, we had Actua Soccer, This Is Football, World League Soccer, Three Lions, UEFA Striker, Virtua Striker 2, Adidas Power Soccer International 97, Olympic Soccer and the criminally underrated Viva Football.
And this is not even mentioning PES’s little brother ISS (International Superstar Soccer).
Sorry I got caught up in the nostalgia just then, but you get the point.
Why don’t You Come On Over Valeny?
Now to my personal ideas, it’s about bringing back the simplistic gameplay that would suit playing against your friends, online or against the very talented (from my memory) AI.
I understand that could be divisive as back in the day the players weren’t particularly omni-directional, but this added to the tactical element of playing. Knowing your speeds and angles to beat the defender, with more complicated skill moves tied to certain players and button presses, rather than the uncomplicated stick movements popular these days.
The animations were somewhat rudimentary but looked fantastic at the time and even now they hold up for what is necessary. You don’t need a thousand animations for each scenario to enjoy the gameplay and immerse yourself, keeping things at a basic level can be a bonus to the flow of the match.
Looking back at how we played the game, it felt like chess at times or a complicated rock, paper, scissors, if you understand how to beat your opponent in differing circumstances. But still simplistic to pick up.
I feel that with some tweaks and a great HD upscaling, this could be the experience to bring in new fans, whilst hooking in the older generation of gamers like myself who want that nostalgic feeling in a new generation.
A Master League Of Their Own
Master League. We all have our favourite iterations, and players from the default lineup. If you want to read a great tongue in cheek article about where are they now, take a look here.
Master League was the top experience for PES fans back in the day, with each year of the game adding or refining what was a pure RPG mode in a football game.
One gripe I have in the mode since its inception was when they changed to using legal tender instead of points as your team currency. The points felt so much better, but that could just be me.
But back on topic, being able to take your custom team from the Second Division whilst changing your kits, badge and being able to train your players was a great experience. Checking out players for transfers and the limit on talking to different players was tactical and made you think about where you wanted to reinforce your squad.
Replacing the default squad was a hard decision at times with quality stalwarts like Minanda, Valeny, Castolo and Espimas ,making way for cheap quality signings like Hidetoshi Nakata, Park Ji Sung and Emmanuel Olisadebe.
With updated tweaks to this mode, maybe being able to have pre-season games online against friends or friends you have yet to meet would appeal to a generation of players disenchanted with FIFA Ultimate Team.
Adding more team management options would be greatly appreciated by fans looking for a different kind of football experience than that currently on offer, with even games like Football Manager finding itself a great home on the Nintendo Switch.
Un-Extinct The Dodo!
I implore you Konami, bring back the glory days of PES as you look to the future of the franchise, take the opportunity, presented to you to give us a nostalgic blast from the past.
And if you want help with the project, you know where I’ll be. On the internet somewhere trying to get this to happen, because how else will the youth of today learn about flags?
Thank you for coming to my PES talk.
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