Go back to Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

Written by: Rik

Date posted: August 7, 2013

As I mentioned in my main review, in many ways PES 2008 represents the last time the series was as it used to be. Just as FIFA achieved its success by trying to be more like PES, so PES tried to win the crown back by being more like FIFA. Inevitably, this included replacing the bonkers techno that used to accompany the menu screens with a handful of licensed songs.

The music of PES 2008 though, represents an awkward transition phase, a halfway house between crazy drum and bass and bought-in pop-punk. While Konami evidently liked the idea of having proper songs, they must have reasoned that the best course of action was to have some original material written especially for the game. And best of all, the songs could all be football themed!

If you search for ‘PES 2008 music’ on the internet, the most popular results are from forums where someone posts asking if anyone knows where they can get the music, only to receive replies that call into question his or her hearing and/or mental health. By any normal standards, it’s pretty bad stuff, but if you play the game for any length of time, some of it is bound to worm its way into your brain.

Here’s a run-down of some of the more memorable highlights:

 

Use Your Head

The trumpet/breakbeat combo is infectious, and I’m ashamed to report that I was once caught singing this around the house by my wife. (“What did you say?” “Er…I said, you’ve got to use your head, your head, your head” “Oh.”)

Other lyrics come in the form of the mindless mumbling of football terms (examples: “defencedribblethrow-it-in” and “centrecirclemake-a-fake”) – which, as you can hear, is as bad in reality as it is in theory.

 

No Lookin’ Back

There are not a lot of songs that can claim to go lyrically downhill from “Ooh now baby”, but this one manages it. Actually, that’s probably a little unfair – I actually can’t understand anything that follows the song’s title, after which the song disappears into a vocoder nightmare that still remains catchy enough to prompt embarrassing attempts at mimicry when you think no-one’s listening. Does he say he’s got to break a windmill?

 

kick it!

He hates his job, he wants to quit it – all he wants to do is kick it, apparently. Kick his job? Or a football? Or is that a clever double-meaning, perhaps?

A female suitor is dismissed with the lyrics, “She’s so pretty, she’s so sweet, but I only think…with my feet.” Well, it’s his loss – bitter about never having ‘made it’, obsessed with football, depressed at work…he’s hardly a catch, now, is he? Fast forward 5 years: “Keep it down love, I’m watching the game.” “I said, I’m leaving you.”

 

Go for the goal

A rocky number laced with peppy determination. Lyrical content largely unmemorable, but all along the theme of definitely-going-to-make-it, no-one’s-going-to-stop-me type stuff. I think the chorus includes the line, “I am a winner and winners are winning a lot”. That’s what makes them winners, I guess.

 

Dream Team

The singer of this song makes the worrying claim that he’s “sweating like a teenage girl”. Is that a lot? How does he know? What has this got to do with football?

My best guess at the chorus is, “I’ll be so keen…I’m gonna make my daddy proud of me”. This man needs help.

 

Champion of the world

The laid-back nature of the song and vocal delivery masks the awfulness of the lyrics to the extent that I actually made the note, “Not bad” while listening back to this. But then I got to the bit with the dreadful commentary in the background.

 

Note: I didn’t actually hear these last two while playing the game, but discovered them while flicking through the playlist in the menu screen. I’ve included them because they’re by far the best/worst.

 

Football

70s punk effort, featuring a couple of confusingly-accented singers alternately barking the words “football” and “soccer”. The one who sounds more English says, “soccer”, which is a word no-one uses in this country, unless they’re referring to the game, Pro Evolution Soccer. Rhymes the word “dust” with the word “suck”. These words do not rhyme.

 

Futebol Soccer Goal

There are no words. But there is laughter. Foochiball!

 

Footnote: In case this all seems very mean-spirited, I should mention that I never actually got annoyed with, or turned off, the music in this game. Oh, and obviously, these are just short clips, I didn’t really want to put the whole songs up in case someone at Konami got cross. Which they still might, I suppose.