Season 8 of my Master League career in PES2010 has come to an end. My Coventry City team finished in 9th place in the table. I avoided relegation, which was the main thing. But after being in the top 6 in mid-season I confess to a tiny twinge of disappointment at not clinching a European place. On the bright side, I won’t have fixture pile-up at the start of next season.
Switching up the difficulty from Professional to Top Player had a lot to do with me finishing in mid-table. The game really is very well-balanced on Professional; on Top Player, it’s balanced in the AI’s favour, as is only to be expected. How else is extra difficulty going to manifest itself?
I did notice one very negative thing after the change up to Top Player. It was an extraordinary increase in the amount of dodgy collision-detection that the game permits itself at times. PES has always had appalling collision detection; PES2010 may well be the worst PES ever in that respect.
There are four particularly ripe examples at the beginning of today’s mini-movie (below). As an example of what I mean, see the picture on the right: in the very next instant, that ball warps squarely through my player’s chest and into the possession of the jostling AI player behind him. It left me absolutely fuming. The other instances of atrocious collision detection also left me fuming, or faintly disgruntled (even the ones that went ‘for’ me), but that one is the granddaddy. A magic ball, passing straight through his chest and out the other side! Think I’m exaggerating? Look:
My goals in that movie brought relief and pleasure, and did much to alleviate the sourness of the collision detection issues, but it still rankles with me. Why do we put up with that kind of thing? (Those of us who are still playing PES, I mean.) Is there any coherent explanation as to why we put up with it? Some of us don’t put up with it, of course; some of us have abandoned PES for various reasons. With a more compelling career mode in next-gen FIFA, I’d have long jumped ship too. Seabass & co. can’t keep dodging that particular bullet year after year. Sooner or later EA will really nail FIFA’s career mode, and that’ll be the definitive end of PES for a lot of people.
Ooooh, was that my first nextgen-PES-bashing tirade of 2010? I think it was, you know.
I didn’t see much transfer activity in the mid-season window. I got an offer I couldn’t refuse for Al Ghani, one of my early-career Youth Team recruits who is now a grizzled veteran of 24. He’s in the ‘good but not great’ category, and so an offer of £4m felt too good to turn down. I could have sold a few other players for a total of £8m or so, but I learned in Division 2 that I need to hold onto my better players, and sell very sparingly, if at all. I’m holding steady in upper-mid-table and occasionally grazing the top 6 with what amounts to my Division 2 squad. Something is going right, and I’d be an idiot to jeopardise it.
I’ve covered this first season in Division 1 very quickly on the blog, because I played through it very quickly. It took me just four long sessions over the space of two days. There were many highlights, not least my good performances against the top teams. I avenged Arsenal’s early-season thrashing of me with a fine 2-1 victory in the return match (the late, late winner from my created player, ‘not-Greg’, is in the mini-movie above).
The usual suspects, Liverpool and Manchester United and Chelsea, are very good too. But, as ever in Master League, it’s the teams you don’t expect to be great who cause you the real problems. FC Porto are monsters in this Division. Seriously, they play at 1000mph and I’m lucky to keep the ball for longer than a few seconds. They beat me 3-0 in one of our fixtures, and in the other I managed to maul my way to a draw like an exhausted boxer hanging onto his opponent for the bell. Are Porto a bogey team in the making? Possibly.
Season 8’s final table:
That’s not bad at all for my first season in Division 1, after everything that’d gone before. 9th place is much better than I expected. I was only 2 points off Europe in the end.
The very end of the season brought a nice surprise. I was starting to wonder which player(s) I’d have to sell to cover my debts—a depressingly familiar scenario from the lower division. But there was no need. The prize money for a 9th place finish was £3.5m! That cancelled my remaining player and staff debts at a stroke, and left me with pocket money. Now I can afford to hold onto all my players.
Roll on season 9, in space year 2017-2018. Another few seasons and this will officially be my longest ML career since PES2008(PSP/PS2). That career’s stalled in 2023 or thereabouts. I still play a few matches on the PSP, very occasionally. I believe this PES2010(PS3) career will eventually overtake it.