Winning Eleven 8

Last night I finally got to open my copy of Winning Eleven 8 that has been sitting on the table for the last few days. I am starting off my matches on 2-stars, using West Midlands Village, in order to get ready for Ted’s WE8 League @ SGN, but so far I am finding this level much too easy. Typical scores have all been in my favor: 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, etc. Too ho-hum even against Brazil, which I drummed 4-1.

I have never been what I would call an expert at WE, much less creative in the box, but with this year’s addition, I have been able to head balls in, first touch strikes into the net, and just hit strong blasts past the defending goalie. It could be a case of WE8 being slightly easier than WE7, or it could just be that practice makes perfect. Or maybe I am finally getting the hang of this game after the third PS2 release (3rd time is the charm).

At this point I only have a couple of observations. For whatever reason, I am finding control around the out of bounds lines pretty spotty. I do not remember the CPU taking over my player in past games, but it at first glance it sure seems like I have limited control over the player chasing the ball towards the line.

The ball physics around the net are nothing short of astonishing. While I have scored a couple of goals in the same manner – goalie punches the ball out, and one of my strikers collects and fires into the back of the net while the goalie lies helplessly on the ground – there is nothing scripted about the ball’s behavior around the box. It is really amazing to watch replay after replay to see how the ball moves, and how the players react.

More to come later.

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