Willem II, it was really nothing

Become a Legend 2011 has begun. This year before signing with a team you can see the % chance of being picked. I had four teams to choose from. 3 were around an 8% chance of playing. And then there was Willem II, who were a 43% chance. So I chose to sign for Willem II in the Dutch league, and it also gave me the opportunity to partly recycle an old Smiths-related post title. Bliss!

I’ve taken the unprecedented step of suspending my Master League career due to overwhelming disgust with PES2011’s general gameplay. Become a Legend (BaL) takes place within the same game, of course, but in a different way. Different enough, I hope, for me to finally give BaL the attention it probably deserves.

Historically I’ve blown very hot and cold with BaL. I really love the idea of it, but I’ve always found that playing it is a tedious slog. I’m not a great PES player. It takes me a while just to get into the team, and then I end up being subbed in every match. Or I’m on the bench, where I have to watch 60 to 70 minutes of ‘action’ whilst waiting to be brought on (if at all).

And all of that goes on for far too long. I can’t accept it, and I won’t accept it if it happens again this year. It’s a waste of valuable gaming time for me.

I think 3 seasons in PES2009 is as far as I’ve ever got—I was still regularly being subbed, and I just quit.

How long before I quit BaL 2011 in a fit of disgust too? Or will I break on through to the other side this time, and embark on an experience to rival anything I’ve ever known in Master League? I’d love it to be the latter. I’d just love it.

This time, I’ve decided to load the dice in my favour. I’ve set the match difficulty to Regular. I did have it on Amateur, but after scoring 4 goals in my first match and winning the Man of the Match award (naturally), I’ve bumped it back up to Regular.

I’m an AMF named ‘not-Greg’, an English national, 5’8″ tall, with no hair and a wispy fringe of a goatee beard. It was a quick and lazy setup, really. When I set it up (on Christmas Day), I was in no mood to spend any more time with PES2011 than I absolutely had to.

The season is about 5 matches old. I played a training match and was immediately picked to start in the opening game of the season.

I played well there (getting my 4 goals on Amateur), but was still subbed at 65 minutes. And I was on the bench for the next match. And the one after that. I started again in the next two, but was subbed in both. Sigh.

My patience is holding up, for now, which has got a lot to do with the Regular difficulty setting. I see a lot of the ball and I’m able to do meaningful things with it. It’s only a matter of time, I think, before I’m a regular starter. I’ve got my focus points aimed at building up stamina, as I believe that’s the main factor that influences the manager’s decision to sub me.

BaL isn’t Master League. Nothing is. I haven’t forgotten ML, and I haven’t forgotten how and why it ended, thanks to the most technically poor PES game since PES2008(PS3). I’ll find time to do some quality moaning about PES2011 as the coming months unfold. And I’m sharpening my cycnicism for the PES2012 hype train.

In the meantime, I can only hope that the consolation prize of BaL will tide me over.


  1. That’s the most defensive formation i’ve ever seen!!

    Good to see you’re gonna give it another try though, I think there’s a great blog to be had /continued from it. Surprised you weren’t offered a 65% team like I was in the beginning. Thought that would be standard.

    Interesting times ahead.

  2. Liam—BaL and I seem fated never to get along. I’ll save it all for Friday but there’s been a ‘development’ that isn’t BaL’s fault that has slightly pushed me away. But it’s still early days. As I touch upon in the post, I’m a poor BaL player and I spend too long just twisting around on the pitch, watching the action go on around me. We’ll see how it pans out though.

  3. How can you stay with a fat girl oh says “oh would you like to marry me and if you like you can buy the ring”.

    Sorry couldn’t resist, my favourite song from my favourite band ever….

  4. Fair enough – will see what Friday brings, but the real key to BaL is finding space and knowing your options before you get the ball. As such, I very rarely dribble unless play opens up nicely.

    Merry Christmas by the way!

  5. Hey, my baby boy was born Tuesday morning! Won’t be playing much PES for the next stretch of time, but we’re considering naming him not-Greg Seabass Kennedy. 😉

  6. Scozza—‘never meet your heroes’, they say. I didn’t meet Morrissey, but I saw him perform live (solo) in 1995 or so, and he was terrible. I always preferred The Smiths anyway, I told myself…

  7. Liam—you might or might not enjoy Friday’s post. Something Has Happened. Something that has affected, quite radically, my entire gaming outlook. Oh, all right—I got a big HD telly in the sales! I’ve been running on a 19″ portable HDTV (max 720p) for 3 years. A 32″, full 1080p experience is utterly staggering, but there’s more to this story. I’ll tell all on Friday. I’ve got a terrible habit of previewing posts in comments, so don’t try to draw me out!

  8. ck—many congratulations ck, and make sure to get him TWO lots of presents at this time of year in future years.

    And that name would take some explaining in 30 years. Just call him Dave or something after all.

    And what are you going to do on all those sleep-deprived (and fully interrupted) nights to come, other than play something—a favourite PES being ideal?

  9. Hey Not-Greg its gr8 2 c that you’ve apparently found some happiness in Bal & escaped from the nightmare mayb even calamity that is this years gameplay in master league mode I sure hope u c it thru u should become a star in the team that u r playing 4 in no time then yull be a regular starter jst patience is needed hey

  10. many congrats ck, what an amazing experience! Seems a bit earlier than expected? Hope he’s a decent weight and in good health. My 5 month old daughter loves watching me play FIFA or PES, but, in fairness (English football cliche alert), is hypnotised by absolutely anything on the TV!

  11. Not Greg – I never managed to see the Smiths, I really got into them in late 86 when I was 15 and they split up the following year. I liked some of Morrisseys early stuff but have never seem him live and as you say i wouldn’t want to.

    Ck congrats on the birth of your son. My two are due on 12th January so I’m trying to play as much FIFA10 as I can now. I have to say I am still really enjoying it

  12. not-greg, a big HD TV giving you an utterly staggering experience, which has radically affected your gaming outlook?? The mind boggles. Maybe something to do with Uncharted II, or adult entertainment?

  13. Ryan—as patient as the game will let me be! Playing on a lower difficulty helps. I’ve had a slight change in direction (again) over the past few days, probably a temporary one, as tomorrow’s post will reveal.

  14. Scozza—it was more of a memorable occasion just for the phenomenon of seeing Morrissey than for his actual performance. He had some good solo songs, but he’s not the best live performer.

  15. abbeyhill—I’ve been ‘rocking’, as they say on the Internet, a 19″ 720p portable for all of my next-gen console life. I’ve only ever seen the full 1080p big screen experience in passing, in shops. Uncharted 2 in 1080p, playing it myself, in my own home, has made me wonder what the hell I’ve been doing without 1080p for three years. And even poor old PES2011 with its 720p and dodgy gameplay has seemed transformed by the bigger screen. I’ll say no more about this now, as tomorrow’s post will cover it and more. I’ve really got to stop previewing posts in comments…

  16. CK – Congratulations!

    Not-Greg – My guess is a return to Master League? An upgrade of that magnitude in the TV stakes really will make a big difference. Is there life in the old dog yet?

  17. Ck – congratulations from me also. You will find time I am sure to get in a game or 2. I remember when my little one was born, she is still a handful now, and even though you should always be there for them, you should always find time for yourself. You need to regain your strength and be on top for them whenever they need you.
    Not-greg, the sound of your new screen is awesome. I hope you do carry on playing as I love reading your posts. I am still using an older tv, although it is 32″, it still does not compare to the HD tv’s out there and I cannot wait till I get one myself!

  18. Liam—“never say never” is one of my favourite mottoes, as you will see. I’ve yet to write the post, and I’ll have to be careful not to turn it into a love poem to the new TV…

  19. The Dribbler—a bigger screen is half the battle. 3 years ago I thought it was amazing to go from a 14″ SDTV to a 19″ HDTV. Now that I’ve finally graduated another level, I’m amazed. It’s not just the extra screen res, but the extra screen real estate.

  20. Sounds excellent not-greg, you should get some more screen shots from the game with your new TV. I’m off to play some more games in my master league a bit later and hopefully get a few BAL games in for good measure.

  21. Thanks to all! He’s pretty awesome. Better even than a next-gen PES title that lived up to the memory of PES 5& 6. (!)

    Colin Thomas Kennedy, another little ck.

    @Abbeyhill — he was a bit early, and basically snuck a march on us, but was still full-term, is healthy and weighed in at 7 lb. 12 oz.

    @The Dribber — Twins, lucky!

  22. The Dribbler—today’s (Friday’s) post contains a few okay-ish phone camera shots, mainly to illustrate a problem I had though. Now that a few days have passed it’s the increased size of the screen that feels most decisive, particularly as PES is ‘only’ max 720p anyway.

  23. ck—the only downer is that he’s potentially affected his future Christmas present hopes with a nearby birthday! If he’d only held on for one more week, the psychological divide of Jan 1st would have been crossed and he’d be laughing every year at the thought of two distinct jamborees of gifts. When he’s old enough to understand such things, you should chastise him for this early arrival 😉

  24. @ ck – Congrats on the twins! I thought it was just the one.
    @ not-greg – I see the problems you have had with the screens and that is a big shame. I hope you manage to get a decent screen you end up keeping. I am still waiting for my time to come when I will be able to afford one. New years resolution is quitting smoking, so hopefully by saving the money I can save for the new TV. Good incentive, but whether it works or not I will have to see. Will keep you informed of my progress.

  25. @ The Dribbler – I meant you were lucky for your Twins! I just got the one. 🙂

    @ not-Greg – We thought the same! I think we’ll give him a half-birthday party each year on June 28th to make up the difference. Or, when he complains, I could just tell him that children are starving in Africa and he should be grateful for those vegetables, happy to be getting clothes for Christmas, and {insert parental cliche here}.

  26. The Dribbler—I stopped smoking three years ago and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I quit at my first attempt after 15 years of heavy smoking without any cravings or torment at all, after reading a book (“The Easy Way To stop Smoking”) that advocates just a change in attitude to the whole ‘giving up smoking’ process. Don’t bother with patches or ‘willpower’ or anything. Just see that you don’t really give up anything when you give up smoking. Instead, you liberate yourself from years of humiliating, pointless, costly slavery. It seems schlocky, but it worked for me and has done for many others too. Give it a look.

    Oh, and the money saved has fed my gadget habit ever since 😉

  27. @ ck – I think we both may have got mixed up. I only have the one also. I thought you were saying you just had twins. My apologies
    @ not-greg – Thanks for the info about quitting, I am sure I will give it a go. Just checked out the link now.
    I really want to do it for many reasons, but like you, if I can save for more gadgets by doing so, then bring it on!

  28. ck—you could bring him up to believe that Christmas and birthday are the same event. By the time he’s old enough to perceive the Great Lie, you’ll be $$$’s better off, and laughing. Laughing

  29. The Dribbler—I see there are used copies going very cheaply on Amazon. The book is written in a style that’s a little hard to take (i.e. a popular self-help style), but it packs an effective punch IMO.

    I bought it and read the first 30 pages or so in half an hour, then actually stopped reading it when I realised that it was going to make me stop smoking (which I’d always really enjoyed, after a meal, with drinks, anytime, anywhere).

    I picked it up again 6 months later when I was ready and I stopped smoking that same day. That was three years ago last month. For the first two months, I kept a packet of B&H in a drawer, but never felt the slightest urge to smoke one**. The method worked for me, and there are no patches, nothing. It’s your own expectation that giving up smoking is going to be a massive self-martyrdom that makes it a difficult thing to do. It’s not difficult at all—this is the truth!

    **Except for one very fleeting occasion: four days after I stopped I ate a curry, and just afterwards I felt a familiar kind of pang for a cigarette that lasted about 30 seconds, went away, and never came back.

  30. @The Dribbler: I blame sleep deprivation! 😀

    @not-Greg: I haven’t filled out the birth certificate yet, it’s not too late to change his name to Jesus.

  31. ck—well, if the Spanish-speaking world can get away with so many Jesuses running around, why not the rest of us? Jesus Jones is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, but that was the name of a band, not a person, so it doesn’t count.

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