The footballing world lost a true, bona-fide icon today as it was announced that Pro Evolution Soccer is no more.
Japanese video game giants Konami announced a complete shift in focus when it comes to their flagship sports game, instead changing the name to eFootball and making it free to play.
While it sounds like an exciting concept for the future, long time fans might need a few weeks to mourn the passing of the iconic franchise that dominated the soccer landscape in the early 2000’s.
Since then, PES has proven to be the only real competitor to have held its own against the torrent of FIFA love over the course of the years, priding itself on consistently providing sensational graphics.
However, while those graphics were unmatched in the industry, it was PES’s little quirks and unique idiosyncrasies that made it the cult icon it is today.
Who can forget playing as the famous and historic Merseyside Red, MD White or West Yorkshire Town?
We also got to play as our favourite heroes as well with the likes of Roberto Larcos, Ryan Greggs, Facu, Ronaird (Ronaldo) and Naldarinho all playing their part in making the game what it was.
(Credit: The Football Terrace)
In fact, more joy may have been gleaned from the creativity behind the fake names used for unlicensed players, clubs and stadiums than anything else the game had to offer.
Well, nearly everything.
There will always be one aspect of PES that will live on in infamy and hold a special place in the hearts of gamers across the planet – Adriano’s ballistic shot power in Pro Evolution Soccer 6.
Released in October 2006, it was arguably the best title Konami in the entire franchise.
While it is unclear as to whether Konami gave Adriano near god-like attributes because he was the cover star or they genuinely thought they were being realistic, the fact remains that they ended up creating the next member of the Avengers.
It was impossible to knock him off the ball due to his 98/100 balance, he was pretty quick as well with a speed rating of 88, but it was his 99 shot power that basically made him a cheat code.
To put it simply, if you were in the opposing half and Adriano had it on his left, holding down square would see you score an absolute 40 yard howitzer almost every single time.
If you and your mates had a ‘No Adriano rule’, you weren’t the only ones.
Sadly, those days are now long behind us but it doesn’t hurt to look back on them and smile.
Thanks for the memories Pro Evo – you will be missed