Posted on 31 May by James Gallagher – Blog Manager, SCEE
As you may know, there’s a reasonably popular football tournament happening in South Africa this summer and PlayStation is one of the major sponsors. Also, I’ve wanted to write some retro game features for a while so here’s my tribute to one of the greats.
I’ll never forget Pro Evolution Soccer because it introduced me to PlayStation. I was at an event called Match of the Day Live in Birmingham and I was pulled out of the crowd to play PES on-stage against another teenager.
It was notoriously difficult to score in those early titles but somehow, Argentina’s Butatista (not a typo, that’s what he was called in the game) reacted to a rebounded shot and scored the winner with seconds to go. I won and Garth Crooks gave me a PlayStation and a copy of the game.
I spent most of my time playing four player matches with my friends via a Multitap, but whenever I played on my own, I would spend a lot of time in the edit mode that was tucked away in the options menu. I even spent a summer recreating my school team and simulating matches using different formations; I considered taking the PlayStation to school and presenting my findings to the P.E. teacher, I was that much of a loser.
I find it can be easy to idealise retro games and then be a bit disappointed when you go back to them but the original Pro Evolution Soccer is still a winner in my book. In fact, in terms of playability it’s hardly different to the most recent games in the series, despite the two generations of hardware between them.
And the standard of animation was amazing for its time; the players might not have had as many pixels as more recent games but their actions had a kind of stylised realism that made everything look like a moving oil painting.
That’s my Football Flashback, now I’d like to hear yours in the comments. Which beautiful games live long in your memories? And let me know what you think about us running more retro features here on the PlayStation Blog.