Home and Away goals

So… it’s season 2017 of my ongoing Master League career with my very own Coventry City team in the ‘last-gen’ version of PES2008. Last season I won the Treble, largely thanks to a very kind CPU team obligingly letting me overhaul its eleven-point lead during the final quarter of the season. This season my aim was to win a Treble properly—i.e., get to the top of the league and stay there. I wanted to win the championship under my own steam.

So far it just hasn’t worked out. I started the season averagely, then I hit a poor spell, then I played okay for a game or two, then I was average again, and now I’m poor again. I’m languishing in the also-ran positions. Once again I find myself 10+ points behind the team at the top (Valencia again). The difference this season is that we haven’t even got to the mid-season negotiations yet. So there’s even more time for the CPU to transparently let me back into the title race…

I played most of the start of the season on the PSP version, then switched back to the PS2 version just a few days ago. It’s been pretty disastrous, really. I don’t know if I’ve failed to adjust back to using a full-size controller or what, but at times I’ve literally struggled to string two passes together. It’s peculiar, because the PSP version is reputed to be the harder of the two versions. (Apart from minor elements of the control scheme, the two versions are identical in terms of gameplay, but naturally the Internet—God love it—thinks differently.)

I had to let the league take care of itself and make sure I didn’t lose my grasp on the two Cups. In the Division 1 Cup I’d had a terrible first leg at my ground against Real Madrid that I lost 0-2. First legs at home don’t come much worse. Well, 0-3 or more would have been worse, but my point stands.

In the return leg I felt I had to score early. Only an early goal would settle me down and enable me to go on playing calmly and methodically in search of a second, equalising goal. If I didn’t score at least in the first half I’d probably get all anxious and aggressive, and end up crashing out of the Cup.

I got the early goal. I think it was in about the 20th minute. Kim Cyun Hi was the scorer. He has continued to show great form this season, but as an all-round striker there are others better than him for now. I do believe it’ll be two or three more seasons before I see the best of Kim. He’s still young and unformed. His skills are all pretty much there already, but he lacks stamina. When he’s fully fit and on form he’s already pretty sensational.

I got the second goal before half time, which was a bonus. That made it 2-2 overall, with neither team having the advantage on away goals. However, I was the away side this time, so another goal from me would effectively kill the game off. And I got it. It came in the middle of the second half—Kim Cyun Hi again, tapping in a square ball from Dos Santos on the edge of the box. 2-3 to me with three away goals meant I was virtually unassailable. Real Madrid would need to get two goals. They got one goal—of course they did—to make it 3-3 on aggregate, but couldn’t get the second. I went through on away goals.

I’m holding steady in the league. I’m back to winning ways at least. Although—typically—Valencia at the top have been winning as well, maintaining the 10-point distance between us. I’m absolutely confident that they’ll start losing as long as I keep winning. With just one more game-week before the mid-season negotiations, there are worse positions I could be in.

4 Comments

  1. This is strange, I don’t remember ever winning the league in the final fixture. My league experiences are usually either cruising from the first to the final fixture or (in the first few seasons in 1st division) simply being left behind by the leaders.

    My season 2016 has been legendary, Kim Cyun Hi scored 57 goals in the league, over 50% of my team’s 110. I’m about to begin season 2017, just a couple more friendlies to go.

  2. Adriano

    I am in my fourth season in my Master League Division 2, I am in a 3 way tie at top going into the final fixture. I am 2nd behind on goal difference. The top and 3rd placed team play each other in the final fixture.

    Never experienced this before on ML.

  3. I think the whole concept if interesting, though the scripting gets a little too heavy-handed at times.

  4. Adriano – over a long enough period it’d be inevitable that some league campaigns would go down to the wire, but in PES it’s almost always the case that there’s an exciting run-in involving two or more teams almost until the last game.

    It’s always been the case for me, anyway. As you say, many other players (better players than me) romp to the league title every season. If you have this scenario in your next season as well, it could be that the game is programmed to kick in with the macro-scripting from season 2016ish on! That’s when I noticed my first big example too.

    heraldo – Once we assume the existence of a behind-the-scenes ‘script manager’ for each season whose job is to make the competitive side of things last for as long as possible, preferably until the last game of the season, I think all becomes clear. Can we blame Konami too much for this? Yes and no, IMO. On the one hand it demonstrably does extend the human player’s interest in PES and in ML in particular. On the other hand it makes a mockery of the game’s pretensions to represent a sport, i.e. a contest with no hidden variables other than physics and individual skill, with the odd dollop of luck.

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