This month’s chapter of Vint-i-Dos’s Illustrated Boomerism section begins in the late ’90s and with the one video game that revolutionized everything, FIFA 98. It was the global entry into the world of modern football simulators with the new generation of consoles. We mostly had Sony PlayStations at home.
With FIFA it seemed that publisher EA Sports would be the dominant queen, but gradually and due to some wrong decisions in the gameplay, they lost its weight. And who took the cake of audience quota? A Japanese production company called Konami has been making soccer games for years.
But it wasn’t until 2003, when Konami launched a third installment of the soccer game called Pro Evolution Soccer (henceforth on PES) for the PlayStation in Europe. It was also called International Super Star Soccer or Winning Eleven, depending on the launch region.
That year the passion for PES exploded. So much so that the following Pro Evolution Soccer editions, from the fourth to 2009, are remembered by an entire generation who, in the best cases, spent hundreds of hours playing them.
PES was a fun and easy game to play and master for all types of players, the animations and graphics of players, fans and stadiums were delightful for the time, and the game modes captivated any football fan. Again I am talking about entertainment. PES was a game that had no pretensions other than letting us have a good time, while FIFA tried to reflect complete realism, and that made it a boring, slow game with a long learning curve.
I return to PES. Those years were the era of Ronaldinho’s Barca, Lampard’s Chelsea, Pirlo’s Milan, Adriano’s Inter and Zidane’s Madrid. Those were some of the few real names, because Konami did not have the license to use them (FIFA had them all), and that is why FC Barcelona had to play against, for example, Galicia Azul or Cien Vigo. Fell. But he, in addition to keeping players away from PES, managed to create an army of users who edited each player, team, shield and any other element of the game, making it closer to reality.?
Thus, modified versions of PES circulated freely through those still rudimentary networks and file sharing programs.
It is precisely because of the lack of license that PES achieved the great feat when it offered the possibility of leading a team of spoiled and completely invented players to football glory. From here tribute to Castolo, Minanda or Valenni.
Over the years EA Sports understood that people wanted more entertainment and less realism, and it changed FIFA to PES with all the real names and licenses. Konami started out losing the battle and is now in the midst of re-establishing itself. Long live PES!