Kim U Don’t: Chelsea 1, Coventry 0

Since the release of PES2008 there has been lots of speculation about it being an unfinished game that was rushed to market for commercial reasons.

Something has happened to me in the game that, to my mind, confirms the speculation. I still can’t believe it. I shake my head and grimace whenever I think about it. If I ever bump into Seabass in the street, I plan to give him a piece of my mind. And it won’t be a very nice piece. (I often bump into international games developers in the streets of Coventry, so it could happen.)

After my less-than-average opening run in Division 1, I came up against Chelsea. I was appropriately fearful before the game, but I was able to pick all of my First XI for once. Whenever Donadel, Shimizu, and Shaw can play together in midfield I feel pretty much invincible. #We’re gonna scoo-ore one moo-oore than you!# – that’s about the size of it.

The game started ominously, with Chelsea rampant down both wings and through the middle. Shevchenko looks like a monster of a player in PES2008. I couldn’t cope with him. His pace and his movement was phenomenal. He should have had a hat-trick within the first 30 minutes.

Somehow, I held on, and then in the second half I started to dominate the game. I was snuffing out everything at the back and creating chances up front. The holy triumvirate – Donadel, Shimizu, Shaw – were working their magic once more.

Then I had Guimaraes sent off. It was absolutely stupid. I had a free kick about twenty yards short of the halfway line. Suzuki was the taker. Donadel was standing directly ahead, but he was covered by a Chelsea player standing beside him. So I rotated the view all the way to the right until the camera was pointing at Guimaraes, standing on his own in the open. I pressed X, holding the analogue stick firmly to the right just to make sure… but the kick went to Donadel anyway. Why does this so often happen at free kicks in PES? I mean, why???

The Chelsea player easily got the ball – darting in front of the motionless Donadel – and raced off in Guimaraes’ direction. I was angry. Very angry. I took a wild swipe at the Chelsea player with Guimaraes… and was sent off.

But that wasn’t the awful thing that happened to me in this game. There was worse to come.

I dug deep with the 10 men. I’m used to playing with 10 men in PES2008. Time went on and it was almost as if I hadn’t even had a man sent off. It got to the 85th minute and I was settling for a point, knocking the ball around, probing cautiously up front to see if I could sneak a cheeky winning goal.

Then Chelsea scored. They had a throw-in almost level with my penalty box. A midfielder played a hopeful pass toward goal. Bramble blocked the pass. I pressed the Square button to hoof the ball clear. But nothing happened. I pressed it again, and again. Still nothing. A Chelsea player was lurking behind Bramble. Somehow he smuggled the ball away from Bramble, and then slotted the ball into a suddenly empty net….

At first sight I knew something wasn’t quite right about the Chelsea goal, but I had to see the replay for myself to (dis)believe it.

This is the first replay of a goal from a CPU team that I have posted on this blog, and there’s a couple of good reasons why. Watch carefully

So. Bramble receives the ball to feet, and is jostled by the Chelsea player. This causes all kinds of fun and games. The ball partially disappears into Bramble’s left foot momentarily, then rolls toward his other leg and passes straight through it as if it isn’t there. Watch it a few times. I have.

Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough (and it is bad enough), my goalkeeper Kim U Don runs away from the goal in the opposite direction, leaving an easy tap-in for the Chelsea player (some dude called Halil Antintrop).

It’s possible that during the confusion I pressed Triangle to try to smother the loose ball with the keeper. I don’t specifically remember doing so, but I might have done it instinctively. But whether I pressed Triangle or didn’t press it, why is my keeper running away from the ball at a 90 degree angle? Kim U Don’t is his new official nickname.

I haven’t seen anything like this in 8 years of PES gaming. A bug? You’ve got to hope so. Because if this kind of thing is a deliberate programming decision by Seabass & co., we might as well all pack up and go home now.

Usually, I’m not one to mind too much about the many advantages that the CPU teams have over the human player. There has to be something to give the CPU a lift. Otherwise we’d be dribbling around 11 mannequins out there on the virtual pitch. Artificial Intelligence has yet to reproduce the functionality of an ant, never mind reproduce the mistakes and inconsistencies of a human being.

But this kind of thing goes beyond the pale. I would be just as unhappy to see an incident like this happen for me as I am to see it happen against me. (The incident last season where Kirkland carried the ball over the line wasn’t the same thing at all. There were no solid objects phasing through players’ limbs, or mysteriously scarpering keepers, in that one.)

The result leaves me fifth from bottom. If I had got the point out of the game that I deserved, I would be eyeing mid-table instead of looking nervously at the bottom 3. A relegation battle would be unprecedented for me on PES, but it is a real possibility. I can’t help thinking of how badly things went for me in Division 2 even after I started to get a good crop of players.

I had to switch off after this game. I had to calm down for a bit.

14 Comments

  1. Wow. Maybe I will wait for the US release. Maybe they’ll sort out a few things. The keeper running away would suh-lay me. I think I’d choke my PS3 if I were you.

  2. I actually can’t decide if I’m more annoyed about the ball phasing through my defender’s leg, or about the keeper running out of the way (notice he ran away from the exact spot where the Chelsea player put the ball).

    They’re both equally infuriating, I’ve decided.

    I tell you, many more instances like this and I’ll be changing this blog’s name to FIFA Chronicles…

  3. Have you played the new FIFA? I would love it if it could just get as deep as PES — I think (to use a ML analogy) FIFA has an upward growth curve, whereas PES has had a downward curve the last two iterations.

    I played FIFA 07, and it was almost as good as PES, but it just wasn’t deep enough, tactically. Needless to say, I went back to PES. If FIFA 08 is better than FIFA 07, and the American PES 08 is as cheat-y as you’ve found it, I might make FIFA my game for good.

    At least I could take Ebbsfleet United up through the League!

  4. I too thought FIFA07 was a very good game – the best FIFA yet – but it wasn’t good enough to tempt me away from PES6.

    I’ve got FIFA08 (next-gen) and I just love it. It is frighteningly good, although at the same time I can see why people who don’t like it don’t like it. The pace is slow and it’s damn hard to get off a satisfying shot on goal when all your PES instincts tell you that you ‘should’ be able to launch a rocket at the net. And the relative absence of scripting means games sometimes get stuck in midfield tackle-fests. But overall FIFA08 is a solid 8.5/10 game for me.

    Unlike last year – worryingly for PES – instead of completely abandoning FIFA as soon as the new PES came out, I have been returning to FIFA for odd games and even multiple-game sessions over the past few weeks. I was on it just today! I’m three seasons into a managerial career on the game (can you guess who as?) and I don;t want to abandon it. PES2008 does have the better gameplay IMO but for the first time ever I’m looking at a year of playing two football games.

    Whether FIFA08 is as deep tactically as PES… I’d recommend you try the demo on whichever of the next-gen consoles you eventually go for, and see what’s on offer. Unlike PES there’s still no on-the-fly formation change in-game. And you’re limited to just four fairly ineffective tactics to try during games, each activated by pressing a button on the D-pad: Team Pressure, Defender Attack, Opposite Wing, and Offside Trap. That’s it! But the formation screens have had an overhaul, and you can now customise players’ positions on the pitch AND give them attacking runs etc. Sooooo… it’s a tough one. If you like FIFA08’s gameplay, you’ll make do with what’s on offer, put it that way.

  5. Weird commenting but hey.
    Just to say that i think this kind of thing has been present in pes for quite a few releases, annoying, but i got on with playing it. After i’ve had a break from it of course, otherwise going into the next game all wound up is like asking for 6-0 thrashing by i don’t know AIK Athens seems to be my nemesis this season.

    Last thing, ever had the annoying kick/throw from the keeper and press backwards ready to collect it for the next player, and the keeper turns with the ball to go straight between the posts. My lesson is be patience and watch the ball get some air first. 🙁

  6. The goalkeeper running away has happened to me several times, its an extremely annoying bug. The bramble leg thing is less worrying as, whilst its not possible in reality, its a game (as you know)..

    im in my 2nd season in the ML 2nd division. its very boring, i cant wait to get into the top division. I batter every team easily without the default players (ive got a whole new squad). The only decent team is Anderlecht because they have rooney – the only time I ever feel a competition. could you post your teams stats up, itd be interesting to see what your player stats are.

  7. LaKriss – Both the keeper running away and Bramble’s leg being phased through by the ball are things I’ve heard rumours about in previous years, true. I don’t think they’re new annoyances specific to PES2008. They pile up on top of PES2008’s other annoyances though, and I had to have a day off to get myself sorted out.

    I’ve not yet seen the keeper throw the ball into his own net, although now you’ve told me about it I’ll be paranoid… My usual keeper calamity involves trying to make quick throws for a counter-attack, and gifting the opposition a goal.

    David – I think you might be one of the players reporting that PES2008 is easy for them this year. Are you playing on the PS3 or the 360? I’m one of the other lot, unfortunately (or fortunately?) who’s struggling, as you have seen. AND I’m struggling with a pretty good squad.

    I’ve been planning to put together a post – or series of posts – looking in-depth at my players, talking about the stats I always look for in a player and the stats I never look at and/or don’t really understand etc. I’ll post up at least some of my key players’ stats in the next few days if I can.

  8. To be honest, they aren’t that annoying, because the errors can only be really noticed when your playing the game seriously. And the fact that i only have to remember that the only other football came to play is fifa. Yes i do not like fifa, for reasons many other people do not like it as well.

    I do find differences though between consoles such as the ps2 and xbox verisons, i had to adapt to playing different styles. Mainly because of the pad i guess. It always seems easier to play on a ps2 pad, thus why i think it was easier on the ps2.

    Where as now i have a 360, have yet to get a ps3 “will be getting one and most likely pes2009(future-wise)” i find the game difficult and challenging. But then again it wouldn’t be a great game if it wasn’t. The ups and downs along the seasons, makes me want to play the damn side again that just beat me 1-0 in the dieing moments, knowing that next time i will annilate them, but come to a crashing 3-0 defeat. I want to “live” the experience not play it or shall i say fifa it. No am not no fan boy, graphics don’t mean a thing. i like gameplay pure and simple, and pes has never let me down since pes 1 on the playstation.

    Well that was a nice rant. Btw how the **** did anderlecht get rooney, i can’t even get accepted for loan with heitinga. Another factor why pes is challenging.

  9. Hi,
    I am, Joseph
    some nice posts here
    my site:

    http://GXRPcA.spaces.live.com/

  10. kim u don is a great goalkeeper but I think the best player is chapi

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