It's a Japanese game...

Discussion in 'Winning Eleven' started by vic45, 5 July 2005.

  1. vic45

    vic45 Guest

    I've played two versions of Winning Eleven...6 and 8...till my thumbs turned blue...and there's one thing I keep thinking to myself, and this thinking has led to, I think, being able to fully unlock and enjoy the game...the moves, the complexity, the not just winning, but "winning pretty"....:

    It's a Japanese game, dude.

    #1: that means that precise timing and button pressing (think Virtua Fighter and DDR) are going to be critical across the board. Japanese games are all about...uh...technique and timing and tapping...and not button mashing. They're about indirectness and finesse...about sometimes doing the opposite of what you'd think...and getting rewarded for it. (like, uh, duh...that :r1: and :r2: do NOT serve the fuction I thought they did at first with WE6....I tap them now and cajole them into my moves.)

    #2: It also means that anything that is functionally "in the game"....Training. Dribble Moves. Fatigue Bars. Opponent Data. Special Abilities. Player Development Curves. Moves the CPU pulls on fully FUNCTIONAL. By that, I mean if it's there, you gotta use it...and you gotta use it in conjunction with all the other stuff...but if you do, you will get rewarded for it, not just by "winning"...which is only part of it...but by having a cool gaming experience that unlocks the full potential of the game, ie. rewards you for your strategy and skill and, flat out, makes the game LOOK COOL. (another really Japanese thing.)

    #3: Folks tend to call WE a "sim" but to's also, because it's's also imo, on some level, an RPG / Strategy game. It's definitely NOT FIFA in this respect. ie. All that stuff about "My Eleven" and "My Team" and formations and arrows and the seeming "bogus" player ratings etc. etc. is in there so that you get addicted to the idea of building and training your specific team to do specific things the way the game is meant to be played. And, yeah, because it's a Japanese game, you're supposed to be completely masochistic about it. (think of the hours folks spend on Final Fantasy games building up their ragtag band of's the exact same thing in WE, imo.) You want to have great looking bending cross passes for diving headers? the training. You like having underdogs develop into cool "winners"? can if you do the work and pay attention to player development. You want to get on the "player ratings" board? the post match report in all it's gory details...and change the way you play the game.

    #4: All this adds up to the fact that the more you play the game by it's rules....the better, the more real, the more cool it actually works and looks. ie. It's not just about "beating the game"'s about making the game look and work like it's really supposed to work. So that it looks and plays like the opening animation...and gives the feeling of real "soccer"...and has this scary level of realism and depth. Basically, it reaches a point where you savor the whole match and all the "add ons"...where it's just fun to play, period. Where it's not even about winning, it's about playing and trying to do cool stuff.

    It's like seeing some kid whose a Virtua Fighter master at an Arcade and realizing that all those insane combos that you never could master actually DO SOMETHING...and that they aren't necessarily all that hard...they just require an insane, almost masochistic level of discipline and counter intuitiveness to get into your technique. But when you do learn them...the game looks about fifty times more cool....and effortless.

    And that's the key aspect that makes it Japanese. Effortlessness and finesse.

    Japanese games are all about that. The point isn't to hammer the thing in the goal time after time the same way over and over again with some dude who's stats are on steroids. (Although I guess that's cool if you're into it...and does have a Japanese aspect to it.)

    It's about taking your striker and running onto a through pass from your "playmaker" and pausing in just the right way...without even dribbling the that you can tap a "first touch" skill shot under the keepers legs.

    It's also about knowing how and when to do that. It's about building up a player so that they pull out a move...the "360 degree" leaping header comes to mind...that you've never seen before...and can't get to happen again even if you try a hundred times. Somebody in some design studio in Japan put that in there...and it cost $$$ to put it in there....knowing that it would only happen a few times for every gamer, but that it would be worth it to them. An American game would make that animation happen way more often....I mean, why have it otherwise?...

    but this isn't an American game. It's subtle.

    And, yeah, basically, there's a fakeness here. You time things right and you unlock animations that you don't "really" control and may never see again. The game plays to fast...but slows things down to let you do things. It's scripted in the sense of when you get the timing starts to "sing." But my point is that after giving WAY TOO MUCH OF MY GOLDANG LIFE to this game...

    I realize that the folks who designed this game in Japan have thought it through on an obsessive level that is even MORE OBSESSIVE and DEEP that what I've given to it or ever could. (I do have a life.) And that every stupid little thing in the game adds up. It so Japanese.

    I mean, those stupid Substitution animations...which I just skip over......are there because, if you ask me, the game desiginers are saying..."if you want to beat this game in the big matches learn how and when to sub"....and the weather report with the wind flag at in the opening scene....again...there for a reason.

    Strategy and RPG meets skills and timing with the buttons.

    And all of it adds up to a moment when your striker...falling down, with a man on his back....lobs a bicycle kick off an indirect pass....backwards over his head and curving above the goalkeeper's hands...and into the top of the net...

    and you KNOW that you earned it...and...that you'll probably NEVER see that move again.

    That's what makes the game Japanese.
  2. gflare

    gflare Post Count?

    20 July 2004
    MD, USA
    on a side note, tourney VF4 is far from effortless :)

    Everything that looks smooth and simple is quite difficult. I'd like to see you pull triple throw breaks on every guarenteed throw attempt.

    But I agree on the timing and complexity of WE, that's why we are all here (except for those of you that still think the comp cheats because you don't realize it happens on both sides).
  3. vic45

    vic45 Guest

    No doubt.

    Of course, I could never master the counters and insane memorization of combos in VF4....that tall skinny girl and the drunken master would kick my ass every time I began to move up into the higher ranks. I had to put it thumbs and wrists said no.

    Winning Eleven only looks effortless, but I for one like all the strategy and stuff you gotta think about as well as the performance side of it....but VF at some point is only for the "high IQ high finger dexterity" elite....and that's not me...and never was....heck, I couldn't beat Tempest or Stargate, lol.

    As for me...having just bought WE8 as my first game purchase in years....I can't wait to see this thing next gen and online....

    not just for it looking better, but for it being even more complex and weirdly real. And seeing what happens when the inevitable online jedi-masters start making the rest of us look like fools.

    That would actually be cool.
  4. jiwa

    jiwa The BEautiful Game

    31 May 2005

    Good take on the actual 'WE' experience vic45. Yeah, some of the things you said do bring back some memories of elation when pulling of good moves or socring great goals, that never happened again since.

    I agree with you, the more you play the more you'll appreciate the subtle and often suprising things you'll encounter. Playing the 'beautiful' game means more to me too, than just simply winning 5-0 all the time, with basic goals.

    I think the great thing about the WE series, its that it brings a unique experience to everyone who plays it, based on on their style of play, method of controlling etc.etc. Everyone will get a different eperience to an extent.

  5. vic45

    vic45 Guest

    Thanks....and agreed on the different styles of play....

    that's what makes this cool. And should make the game great when it is fully online.
  6. Higgs

    Higgs Guest

    I've never read another post I agree with more. Great stuff vic45. Once I did the BF feint on the run as I received a high pass. The ball didn't touch the ground and I had a pop at goal, all in one sweet movement. Never seen it again and never likely to either. It's all about rewarding the player who takes on board and practices the subtleties of the game. IMHO WE9 will be another step forward in an already amazing series. Those who say the WE series has become too arcadey just don't apprectiate the games depth.
  7. filthydani

    filthydani Guest

    Good post, but this game is different than RPG games, i mean in RPG games its obvious how you should play the game right, but in Winning eleven, its a different story, you can play bad and win, you can play good and lose, there are no guides to tell you how you are supposed to play the game like the other games, you have to find that out by yourself, and that takes a lot of time to discover and to even notice.. that’s where the fun in winning eleven actually, every time you play, you might know something new, this is like an endless game, in RPG games you can hit lvl 100 and never play the game again (even if it took so long) , but in winning eleven, this game never ENDS, you don’t know exactly if you really know everything or not….
  8. martinja

    martinja Guest

    Great post.
  9. Bobo21

    Bobo21 League 2

    25 July 2002
    New York
    This is the key point and I think the main reason why we're all here and still here after eight incarnations of the game anxiously awaiting the ninth - with Winning Eleven, no matter how long you have played & how much you have 'mastered' you just never know what's coming next...
    You put so much of your time and effort into the game (like an RPG) but that basically guarantees nothing in results...just like real life football...surprise! (or better yet, no surprise!).
    Just last nite I played a critical late season match - I have been in one of those WE grooves lately where everything is just clicking (had won several in a row including a 5-1 drubbing), and sure enough I broke thru after 5 minutes to a 1-0 lead and was playing quite brilliantly, barely missing several more chances.
    I was totally outplaying my opponent, seeing almost twice as much of the ball & four times as many shots but then the beauty of WE took over...first, they equalized at about 65' barely curling in a free kick off the bottom of the bar & then at 90' the 3 points were lost when my keeper just stood and watched another simply fantastic free kick sail by him.
    Having been completely confident beforehand & then fairly dominating the match throughout I had nonetheless been beaten by two moments of brilliance - I had never conceded two FK's in a match before let alone have one come as the winner at the death.
    I hadn't been that distraught by a WE loss in a long while but at the same time I was more enthralled with the game than ever - its this amazing love/hate relationship (much the same as with a woman!) that compels all of us to keep returning...Winning Eleven is and always will be Japanese mistress to us all ;)
    Last edited: 9 July 2005
  10. vic45

    vic45 Guest

    Thanks much, and good points/posts all.

    I've become a bit frustrated with the game as love/hate would be quite accurate. Yep.

    But I also think the future versions will be insane....and we WILL keep coming back because of how uncanny the game can be.

    I'm sure other folks have mentioned this....but putting it on first person camera and then locking the game and playing with just one of your players is what I think is a hint of games to come...

    if you haven't tried so.

    It's all slo-mo and kind of weird...but it really reminds me of playing on a real field. It's pretty cool in some ways. LIke the effect you get when fast players burst by you. It's...uh...uncanny is the only word. Cool would be another one.

    Who knows what the future holds....both with COM opponents and humans.

    See you then!
  11. Siroco

    Siroco League 2

    10 June 2003
    vic45, you bastard ;) that's a real nice, original, and thought-provoking essay about WE -- rare to read something of that quality about the game anymore.

    I hereby crown you poet laurete of Evo-Web.

    Konami should reprint your essay and include it in its instruction booklet.
  12. jumbo

    jumbo Premiership

    30 May 2003
    WE Heaven
    Man, all these years I thought it was an European game.. Thanks for breaking my heart.

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