Until quite recently on this blog, I had a trainspotter-ish tradition of maintaining detailed records of the progress of my seasons. I stopped doing it because taking notes during and after every game session was interfering with my PES play, and I couldn’t have that.
As a season passed I used to post the amount of yellow and red cards I’d received. It was always noticeable that until I got some really good players, my disciplinary record was absolutely shocking. If a CPU team was beating me I often hacked them down just for the fun of it. With the result that I usually had two or three times as many yellow cards as games played, and almost as many reds.
Now that my Master League team is a mature one, packed with stars from back to front and side to side, there’s rarely any cause for me to get frustrated and foolhardy. I can more than handle myself, and if I can’t, there’s no point losing my discipline when I’m only a good passing move away from getting a goal back or snatching an equaliser, right?
Well. Yesterday I mentioned that I have returned to playing the PS2 version of PES2008 after several continuous days on the PSP. I had a strange first few games back on the bigger console—a string of 0-0 draws followed by a paltry 1-0 win in Europe. That happens in PES—and long may it continue to happen. Goal droughts are a feature of real football. Personally speaking, the more PES is like real football the better I like it.
Following those first strange games, I have continued with my season. Barely more than a third of the way through, I was fifth in the league table, just seven points behind the leaders. I was still in both Cups. My target for season 2017 is a Treble, so I was still on course.
But I have been on a shocking little run. I’ve been taking bad defeats,and have once again reverted to my old bad habit of scything down CPU players left, right, and centre. Some matches have seen me end with 7 men on the pitch.
PES2008 feels as if it has changed utterly since the last time I played it on the big console. Truth be told, the game has felt a little different all season. The CPU players seem a lot more aggressive, and they seem to stay that way for longer. It seems harder to score goals. I’m certain that these impressions are false. It’s always possible that there is a hidden extra difficulty level in Master League that you unlock by winning a Treble, as I did last season.
But it’s unlikely. They’d never include an extra difficulty level and not tell anybody about it. Would they? No, they wouldn’t. So it’s not the game that has been different over these past few days; I am the one who is different… Plainly I’m still suffering from PES fatigue. I’m obviously not giving the game the full concentration it needs. I think a break is in order—a FIFA08-shaped break, once I get to the mid-season. That’ll be in a day or two.
For now, I’d better re-focus my energies and start trying to turn around these terrible results. I lost a shocking game in my European group: Sochauz beat me 4-1. They were 4-0 up and cruising—for a change it was I, the human player, who bagged a cheeky late consolation. Hah. The result was bad, but I’ll still qualify from the group. More serious was the result in the first leg—at home—in the Division 1 Cup. My opponents, Real Madrid, beat me 0-2. Ouch. Two away goals to them means it’s going to be a challenging away leg at their place. The Treble could be gone before the mid-season.
I lost or drew my other league games. My indiscriminate, dirty fouling conceded free kicks and penalties, and got my players sent off. I was my own worst enemy. All the CPU teams had to do was turn up.
All of which leaves me in 3rd place in the table. I’m 10 points behind the leaders, Valencia. As I found last season, that doesn’t mean a thing. This is a computer game, not reality. If/when I start getting the results again I’ll soon be back up there, challenging for the title.