Beginning of the endgame

I’m inching towards the end of season 2014 in my Master League career in PES6(360). My only real interest remaining in this game is to win the Treble. And I need to win it soon. Within a week or two I’ll probably bid farewell to PES6(360) for good. PES2011 and FIFA11 are just around the corner. It’s time to create space for the new games.

If this was PES2010 I’d sim most or all of the remaining matches in 2014. Can’t do that in PES6(360), of course—the game’s clunkily old-fashioned ML setup obliges you to play every match. Which is fine, I suppose. I’m still enough of an ML traditionalist for this to be more of a pleasure than a burden. But still, I’d prefer having the option to fast-forward to next season.

This is about as negative as I’ve been about PES6(360). While I’m in this zone, there are myriad faults with the gameplay that become apparent after a time.

Specifically, there is a built-in slowed-down passing mechanic that at times slows the action just when you want to speed it up. Your players sometimes wait an age for a treacle-slow pass to get to them, rather than moving towards the ball. Still, it’s a minor part of the overall picture, and an integral part of what I still think is PES’s best next-gen gameplay so far.

I’m still five or so points clear at the top of the league. I’m still in the D1 Cup—about to qualify for the Final—and, annoyingly, I’m still in Europe. In the Masters Cup, to be precise. Oh, season 2014, when will you end?

My team now is very Treble-friendly. Among my First XI starters are Maldini, Camacho, Mathieu, Bradley, Giggs, Messi, C. Ronaldo, and Schwarz. You could probably take to the field with just those eight players and stand a pretty good chance.

Messi has been an amazing player to have at my command. It’s the first time I’ve ever played with Messi in any Master League. In fact, I don’t specifically recall playing with him in PES at all, ever. He’s nimble and fast and skilful and with him on the park I feel unbeatable. When it comes to the online game I’m a sceptic and a cynic, but now I understand why online players with the win-at-all-costs mentality feel it desirable to play with Messi.

I win matches with my First XI. That’s just how it happens. I’m an average player—I still insist on that—but even I can hardly fail with these players. I run away with the points when they’re all fit and on the field. 3-0 is the most common scoreline. I’ve had a few 5-0 scores. I get the odd ‘difficult’ 2-1. I draw odd matches where I have to play with second-choice players.

Over my time with PES6(360)—both last year and this—I’ve always underscored the fact that this game is nothing at all to do with the PS2 PES6. That’s true, but they do have one thing in common: a pretty shallow difficulty curve. The game starts off hard, as all PESes do, but eventually becomes easier, and then eventually becomes routine—and this happens a bit too suddenly for my liking.

I have many hopes and expectations for PES2011. I hope it’s a tough bastard to play from the start, and remains so for most—ideally all—of its lifespan. Its year-long lifespan.

I haven’t had a true year-long PES since PES5. Fingers crossed.

Updated: 29th August 2010 — 18:54


  1. I always find the last 6 weeks of waiting for the new game seem to take the longest.

    So when are the year end scores coming out for FIFA 10 and PES 2010?

  2. Liam—in my end-of-year reviews it’s going to be very difficult for me to arrive at a sensible conclusion for both games, and for FIFA10 in particular. PES2010: I loved Master League, but thought the gameplay was average at best. FIFA10: I despised Manager Mode (for the first time, I really despised it), but thought the gameplay was wonderful for the most part. I’ll probably have to fudge the issue with two scores for each game and then combine them for an average, or something. I don’t know yet. I’m trying to time the end-of-year reviews to appear in the last two posts just before the first 2011 game demo arrives. We don’t know the PES2011 demo date yet. I think it’ll be out before FIFA11’s demo. I’ve also got to upgrade the site in numerous ways, with a new skin etc.

  3. Specifically, there is a built-in slowed-down passing mechanic that at times slows the action just when you want to speed it up

    One of my favorites is when you ping the ball with lightning speed through your build-up phase, and then the incisive final ball moves . . . so . . . slow . . . that the defense you just shredded has time to recover and send your striker into a whirling dervish animation. 😀

  4. Makes sense with the timing, I’m hoping that the demo’s arrive quickly as I’m gonna be away from home for most of September so would like a decent go before the full game arrives.

    It’s a shame that you can’t build an in game mode the same way as you can build a player or a new stadium, imagine the possibilities!

  5. ck—yes, in that respect PES6(360) is just like every other PES since roughly PES3 (and probably before). It also has the ‘feature’ whereby if you and a defender are chasing a loose ball, and the defender gets to it first, your player visibly slows down.

    There’s no question that PES has been great despite these problems (or because of them?). PES2011 will have its own share of annoyances, and we’ve just spent ten days hearing about some of them, but I think it’s telling that people have loved PES2011 in a way they never loved PESes 2010 or 2009. (2008 doesn’t count. Call it the Michael Dukakis edition. (That’s more a Naked Gun joke than an American politics joke from me there.))

  6. Liam—I had FIFA07 on PS2 and I quite liked it that year. They’d just started moving away from the bad-old-FIFA style of gameplay and its Manager Mode was actually pretty decent. Still nowhere near the Olympian heights of ML, but the mode had a lot of the ‘one more game’ factor and it made sense in a way that the next-gen MM never, ever has. What went wrong from FIFA08 onwards? Why didn’t they just import the last-gen Manager Mode to next-gen? A strange mystery.

    The forums are currently speculating about the PES2011 demo being out this Thursday. I doubt that, but it’s possible I suppose. We can only hope we get more than a 2-minute match, whenever it comes out.

  7. Speaking of match times – did you go for 15 min on PES 2010? I had to cut it down on the PS2 to 10 mins due to the speed the game played at (I found I was easily hitting 25 shots at goal every game with my old school ML dream team which was just way too much on such a regular basis)

  8. PES 10 for PS2 has another nifty “feature” where if your defensive player is en route to intercept a ball, the COM will swerve your player out of the way, against the direction you are pressing the stick! Quality!

  9. Chris—I never went for 15 minutes. I remember talking about it—thinking about it—back when I was struggling to get out of D2 in my ML career, but I never did. 10 minutes seems just right to me, neither too long nor too short. 15 minute matches equate to playing fewer matches per session, and I like to move along in my ML career at about the pace I do with 10-minute matches.

    Never say never, of course, but I think I’m as conditioned to playing 10-minute matches in football games as I am to ML itself.

  10. ck—after grazing the forums during the Beta phase, I don;t recall seeing many reports of similar ‘features’ in PES2011. But we have to remember that multiplayer/online is a totally different, faster, more frantic style of game (which is why I moan so much about it being the entire focus of preview season). As good as PES2011 may be, there’ll probably be a dozen annoying little things that won’t emerge until we’ve had a solid few weeks of the game being out in the wild and everybody hammering single-player.

  11. I do think that as the AI has improves the need for those little micro-nerfs should be reduced. Every game has its bugs, but a lot of what we’re whining about are truly features rather than bugs — things intentionally added by the developers to increase the difficulty of the game.

    I’m sure we’ll find things we dislike about PES 11, but hopefully it won’t be egregious scripting or obnoxious nerfing, just the predictable bugs and shortfalls that accompany any game.

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