Whew. First of all: the AI has scored yet another amazing flicked goal against me (see the end of this post). Second of all: I have won the Division 1 title again.
That’s now three Division 1 titles in succession. Does this have any implications for the future of PES2010 and me? Is the notorious difficulty curve starting to flatten out? It’s too early to tell. For me, the main criterion that makes a PES too easy is how quickly I can win a Treble, and then whether I can win the Treble every season without much effort. That stage hasn’t materialised in PES2010—not yet anyway—and I hope it never will. In theory, I could win the title every season from now until the end of time and I still wouldn’t necessarily think things were getting a bit easy. The Treble is still a long way out of sight.
PES2010 made it tight until the end of the season. This is a venerable Master League tradition. A ‘rubberband AI’ setup in the league table will ensure that things remain close until the end. If you’re trailing behind, the teams above you will lose and draw just enough times to keep you interested; if you’re the one who’s up on top of the league, you’ll lose and draw just enough to keep the AI teams in the hunt. This effect varies with your own native ability, of course, but it’s been a definite part of Master League since it came into being. I don’t really like it, but anyway. Whatever. I could always ‘go play FIFA’ (which has much the same ‘feature’ in its career mode’s leagues)…
Here’s the final table:
The shenanigans all started with a fixture against the second-placed team, Manchester United. They’d been my closest challengers for the top spot. I was 5 points ahead with about 6 matches to go. As an ML veteran, I knew that I was foredoomed to lose this game. Yes, it could be argued that this perception—this fixed belief—contributed more than anything else to me losing the match—and I did lose it.
I lost it 1-4, at home, an unheard-of result for me this season. I was fortunate to get a goal back when Man Utd were only 0-1 up. The remainder of the game was a catalogue of stumbles, misplaced passes, and shots that skewed crazily wide. I hit the post and crossbar three times. Meanwhile Man Utd were making hay up front, and had streaked into a three-goal lead by the time the final whistle blew.
That left me 2 points ahead with 5 matches remaining, and from that point it was nip and tuck all the way to the finishing line. I had to stay ahead on points. My goal difference was good—I’ve had my best-ever goalscoring season—but Man Utd’s was better.
I lost and drew just enough of the remaining matches to ensure that the final match would be appropriately tension-filled. I won the final match, and as it happened Man Utd lost theirs.
All in all season 12 has been a bumpy ride on the League front, but I still got there and took the crown. Three in a row now. What a shame I can’t seem to get myself together yet in either of the Cup compeititons. There is a hidden higher difficulty level once you hit the Champions League knockout stages! I’m sure of it. Incidentally, the Best XI for the Champions League this season year shows how time is really starting to pass in my ML world. Regen Giggs and one or two others are familiar names, but the rest are alien to me.
I was disappointed not to take the top scorer title with Munitis. Here’s how the race for the Golden Boot turned out:
After a promising start, Munitis faded slightly from mid-season on. It was a definite slump that suspiciously coincided with me purchasing two skill cards for him. I don’t like ’em, you know, these skill cards… But the jury is still out.
I am insanely wealthy in the game now. The screenshot on the left was taken immediately after I was awarded £15m for winning the title. With sponsorship money I’ve actually got over £82,000,000 now.
I could buy so many great players, but none of them will come to me. I will keep trying, but I suspect I’ll need to win a Cup or two before the biggest big names will sign up.
Season 13 is next, and I’m not even slightly jaded with PES2010 yet. I still want to go on and play more.
Finally today, another stylish flicked goal from the AI. The first one I posted was something special—this one is incredible: