Back on Top

Season 9 of my Master League career in PES2011 is underway. But could it be my last season on PES2011, ever? It’s entirely possible.

I’ve had a few good sessions on the game. I’ve moved up to Top Player, and it hasn’t really been a problem at all. Last time I tried to graduate, I was unprepared for the staggering amount of pressure from the CPU players.

You can rarely put your figurative foot on the ball. Of course, that means the challenge is to find space, or create it from scratch if need be. And I can do that, sometimes. Most of the time, however, I’m constantly harried and pressured into making the next pass. It feels, from moment to moment, almost exactly like playing online—which is not a good thing in my view.

I’ll talk some more about my feelings on PES2011’s Top Player gameplay on Wednesday. (Advance summary: football gaming is heading in the wrong direction, and it’s already too late to do anything about it.)

For season 9’s home kit I decided to go for something a little different. It was time for a change from the dominant sky blue. I went for a pretty random monochrome checkerboard pattern with sky blue trimmings.

It took a few matches to get used to, but I am used to it now—and it seems to have brought me some good fortune on the pitch.

The new strip is being modelled at the top of this post by my new 17-year-old Youth promotee, DE LA PENA. He’s rated 71 OVR with a little star next to his name. He’s got some impressive back-office stats. Already he’s good enough to start, but won’t displace my first-choice right-sided midfielder, James Wallace, just yet.

I’ve been very busy in the transfer market overall, where I picked up some quality signings.

Defence and midfield were the priorities. I bought CHIGRAT (CB) and JIG (SW/CB), which kind of overstocks me with centre-backs. I also promoted another Youth, an RB named AZARA.

I also found a pearl of a left-sided midfielder, T. OAR (91 OVR), whose name gives me great scope for punning post titles in the future. (Assuming there is a future, of course.)

I started the transfer/financial window with a whopping £68,000,000 in the bank. My run to the Final of last season’s Champions League was very lucrative indeed.

As well as buying players, I upgraded all my staff to level 5. All of them. When the financial window closed, I had around £400,000 left. Perhaps I should have kept a few million back. Will my largesse cost me further down the line? Possibly, but I prefer to risk it.

And so on to playing the actual games—on Top Player for the first time since my relegation season a month ago. As already stated, in my next post I’ll be exploring in some detail my feelings about Top Player, which should be the ultimate refinement of PES2011’s gameplay. For now, just look at this table—played 5, won 5, and top of the league:

Is that good or what? After all my tribulations with this game, I do like the look of that table. It makes me think that the Treble could be there for the taking.

I’ll need more goals, of course. As things stand I’m winning games 3-0 or 4-0, and then barely scraping a 1-0 in the next.

I scored one memorable goal, playing in my new second strip (sky blue shirts, white shorts).

PES2011’s scissors kicks are unfortunately rather common, and just one of a number of frankly bewildering aspects to this year’s PES. You see the scissors kick animation fire at least once per match, for either side.

But occasionally they do look good and more importantly feel good to score. I’ve bagged a few, but the one I present below is the best that I’ve scored. Mainly because it’s a slightly different scissors kick from the usual. It comes from a wide cross, rather than from a penalty box clearance.

The goal-scorer is McManaman, a former Youth player who is now almost ready to take over from Zoua as a first-choice CF:

Link: Flying scissors kick in PES2011

Now I really want to score a scissors kick with my DMF, Runna. Then I can make a post entitled “Runna With Scissors”. I can dream.


  1. That’s an impressive looking squad – I think that the treble could be in sight this season. Staying with BaL for the time being and just getting used to the annoying AI team mates. It’s all worth it for a goal.

    When you say bicycle kick, do you mean the sideways one, or the Pele overhead one? (I can’t open the link to the video’s at work).

    De La Pena was the original Spanish wonderkid in the 90s (probably not the original really, but for my age group). I remember he scored for Barcelona from the half way line. Think he went to Lazio for a bit then ended up at Espanyol. Not sure where he is now, but looks like you’ve got the regen version of the Little Buddha

  2. Nice goal, those types of scissor kicks carry much more satisfaction than the lofty cleared ones that trigger all too frequently, and very rarely ever threaten the goal.
    Good start to the season too, and on Top player. All i can say is hope that the end of the road with regards to your PES gaming year isnt fast approaching, its only Jan, a 3-4 month footy gaming year would be a disaster!

    I havent had chance for any gaming of any kind since last Weds due to being busy and spending usual allotted gaming time, actually working on a goal video compilation.
    I love tinkering and putting together new intros etc in After effects and vegas, so thats what ive been doing instead of actually playing.
    I’ve probably got 20 odd goals in so far, and plan to squeeze a few more in before the final render of my January 2011 Goal comp. The video wont be a ‘best of’ just a scattering of goals i’ve scored during January, from tap ins, to well worked team goals, headers and solo belters. I plan to make one video each month in this style.

  3. Liam—he’s that De La Pena? Yes, I suppose he’s got to be. I’d forgotten all about that onetime prodigy. Ahhh, whatever happened to him? Oh well, I hope in my ML team I can give him something like the career he should have had.

    Where do I say ‘bicycle kick’?! A scissors kick is indeed the side-on aerial volley that is an annoyingly common feature of PES2011. A bicycle kick is a reverse overhead aerial volley (Trevor Sinclair volleys, we should call them). The player’s back must be to goal and the angle of the kick must be straight overhead to make it a bicycle kick. I still have never scored a bicycle kick in any PES and have never seen more than a few on YouTube over the years.

    My example of a scissors kick in today’s post is worth a look as it comes from a long cross from the touchline and looks a bit different.

    And as I remark in a comment on another post today, I have a feeling BaL and I might be destined to get reacquainted before very much longer has passed.

  4. Paul—the goal really made me grin and shake my head at the same time, in the way I think we all do when we do something outrageous in PES.

    It would indeed be unprecedented for me to abandon PES at this stage. I made it to February even on PES2008(PS3). I don’t think it’ll come to that though. I think I’d radically scale back my PES2011 playing rather than give it up completely in a drama-queen strop. You and others have got the right idea: play PES2011 sparingly for maximum enjoyment. Even many of the hardcore PES fans on the forums are saying that, I’ve noticed recently. But has it really come to this? The way to enjoy a PES game is to not play it…? How did we ever come to this?!

    All the best with the video and I look forward to seeing it. I bet it’ll have a lot of polish. But did you ever get your Mac that you were promising yourself? iMovie is the business when it comes to film editing. I’d only ever used Windows Movie Maker and Camtasia before iMovie, though, so just chalk this down to Mac evangelising 😉

  5. @ Not-Greg – funnily enough i scored a similar goal to that power driven side on scissor kick that you posted, and will feature it in my video.
    I’ve been playing PES11 for 2-4hrs a night every night since release so certainly doesn’t hurt to have a few days break now and then, my break was purely circumstantial though rather than intentional.

    I haven’t invested in a Mac yet, every time i walk past the Apple store in MK i see big shiny 27″ iMac staring at me, but post xmas, i cant really justify the £1400 price tag.
    My dual core, 4GB HP Touchsmart does me suitably, it runs after effects, vegas, etc all smoothly, i dont play games on a pc so no worries with that but i am an Apple-whore and already have an Iphone 3GS, 4, iPod touch, Nano, and and iPad, so its only a matter of time before i make the plunge.
    Ive never used iMovie with it being mac only and id probably not find it as versatile or powerful as Sony vegas, but it does look very nice and easy to use.
    Id probably go for Final Cut Pro if/when i get a Mac.

    I have the iMovie app for my iPhone 4 which is useful for stitching clips together, albeit very basic.

  6. I have finally given up on PES 11 on my 360. I have not played much since the holidays. Even with all my crazy house rules playing on Amateur, the game and AI just had too many bug I could no longer overlook. I tried playing on Top Player with no house rules for a while, but to me that is note a fun simulation of the beautiful game, it is truly to me arcade footy!

    I have read so much about how many people where enjoying the Wii version, I went out as a grown man in between NFL playoff games and bought a Wii and PES 2011. It should not even be compared to any sports video game ever made. The brillance of tactial nuances, smart AI, and no major bugs on a kiddie machine has blown me away.

  7. Gah, not-Greg – that kit is AWFUL. No offence but did you copy that from Kinderrastigun FC?

  8. Paul—you could always Hackintosh a spare netbook or laptop if you’ve got one laying around, or if you’ve got the RAM to spare you could run an instance of OS X in a virtual machine on your main PC, and sample the delights of iMovie that way (VirtualBox is the best free virtualisation software). A virtual iMovie would stretch even 4GB of RAM though, unless you’ve got a monster CPU. You’re better off with an actual Mac. Forget you saw this…

  9. bblastmaster—that’s another ringing endorsement for the Wii game, and a damning indictment of next-gen PES2011 at the same time. As you might be able to tell from my last few posts, things are wobbling for me too. I won’t be going as far as getting a Wii though. Well, I don’t think I will… I love getting new toys to play with, but really haven’t the space or time for another games console.

  10. Chris—it’s a totally random creation, literally made up as I went along. It grows on you, honest….

  11. Haha … I did think about the Hackintosh route, but my laptop wasn’t on the compatibility list, ive sold that now anyway, and don’t think the little 1GB netbook would run it very well.
    I currently have a desktop PC, Ipad, Netbook, Iphone, PS3, XBOX360, NDS… dont really want to add any more gadgets to the rack otherwise my room would resemble a furnace, I will definitely be swapping out the PC for a Mac when finances allow though, just booked my summer holiday too so probably after June I’ll start saving for it.
    I dont mind that kit, reminsd me of croatias kit a little bit.
    I love making up new kits for new seasons, Im currently sporting a white home kit with red side panels and Acrer sponsorship, kit made by Nike, with matching Ad Boarding around my stadium, as you will see in the upcoming vid. Think it adds just another layer of depth and immersion. Could never play PES without all the editing, hence why I havent tried the Wii version.

  12. My wife made me sale my XBOX 360 to get the Wii. I really only play American Football and Soccer games. The American Football games have gone down hill since PS2 2005 days, like PES! I do not understand at the core of a sport game is AI. Games from 6 years ago still have better ai. The Wii games is basically PES 6 with motion controls. Being able to control every player on the field is something I have been waiting my whole gaming life since pong! It is almost a strategy based game that required quick reflexes.

  13. I really enjoyed the scissor kick goal. As of yet, I have not managed to score one in pes 2011, but hopefully it will come.
    I think the last time I did score one was back in the pes 5 era when the game was pure class!
    There have been many a time when one of my players seem to try, but just end up booting the ball over, waaaaay over!

    Top player mode is indeed full of challenges. I never start any lower than top player in any version of pes. This is mainly due to the fact that when you have been playing a certain game, you feel the need to carry on at the top in the sequel. I also find that if you jump straight in, you will gain the skills and experience quicker than starting at a lower level then working up.

    I also noticed the team you have assembled. It is definately a force to be reckoned with! No wonder you are top and unbeaten.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to weds post.

  14. Just another quick post………………in relation to talking about goals, I wanted to show you all a free kick I took with my BAL player Galarath. Its the only free kick I have scored on pes 2011 so far and I was very pleased! Please have a look and let me know what you think.

  15. bblastmaster- I’d love a good American footy game but I’ve heard this year’s Madden is poor, as with the previous few years. Can you recommend any others? Sports game reviews from the press are an utter waste of space so the only opinion that counts are from people who love sports games and play them a lot.

  16. Art immitating life – I beat Bolton at the Reebok 4-0 last night during halftime of their real life demolition at the hands of Chelsea. Love it when that sort of thing happens!

  17. Chris – It depends on if you just want to play some American Football for some of the action, or want a real simulation of the sport. Unforunately, Madden is a disaster. A decent game is NCAA 2011, the college football game give you over 100 of teams and has great graphics and can be fun. I actually played it for a couple of weeks before the non real football details drove me mad. If you are looking for just fun smashing, give Backbreaker a try. I really enjoyed getting to play 1st person football. The major downside is some major flaws in execution of many plays and AI logic, and all the players are fake with no real editing ability. The game I finally just gave up on after playing off and on for 3 years in my opinion is the most real football game ever made is All Pro Football 2k8, in the US you can buy it for $5. It simulated the actual football really well, they use all retired players and there is no franchise mode and severe limitations on editing.

  18. Has anyone played Rugby League 3 for the Wii? Is it good enough for me to import from the UK and try and hack my Wii to play a PAL game?

  19. Paul—you’d be surprised how well OS X would run under 1 GB of RAM, particularly old versions (10.5 Leopard would be fine, for example).

    I’ve always loved Croatia’s kit. The checkerboard style along with the hoops style (QPR, Celtic, etc) strike me as classic football kit designs.

  20. Sorry yeah, I knew what I mean to say but typed bicycle kick for sow
    reason. They’re the holy Grail of pro evo games. Have scored a scrappy one in around 15 years of iss/pro evo games.

    Trev always scored great goals.

    BaL is really frustrating at times, but when the going’s good, it’s very addictive.

  21. bblastmaster—I surmise from your comment a few ago that you’re playing PES2011 with the motion controls, or that you’ve at least tried it out a lot—? I played PES2008 with motion controls for a bit during my brief Wii ownership of 3 years ago, and found it interesting but ultimately unsatrisfying, particularly the shooting, which was dependent upon a shake of the nunchuk (or the other one, the what’s-it-called). If you haven’t already invested in a classic controller, I’d get one and play it with that. People rave a lot about the Wii version with the classic controller, saying it’s the true inheritor of the mid-2000s PS2-era games. I’m still not budging on my Wii dislike though…

    I’ve no idea about Rugby on the Wii. I barely know the sport at all and know even less about games based on it.

  22. The Dribbler—love the free kick! I’ve not scored any since a fairly basic up-and-over kick with Schwarz waaay back in week 2. It was one where the AI player in the failing to jump really gifted me the goal, so I don’t really count it. I’m still searching.

  23. Chris—We’ve all loved PES for the way it’s always tried to mirror the rhythms and events of real football. And it’s usually pretty darn successful, which means it’ll inevtiably reflect real life sometimes. Its methods of keeping scorlines down lately are questionable (because most real-life games end in the range of 0-0, 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, etc., therefore so must PES’s—by hook or by crook), but that’s Konami’s and Seabass’s guiding principle, and to be fair to them, they’ve stuck to it. Shame about those methods though.

  24. Liam—I’m just about to write tomorrow’s post, which sees the start of a new relationship between myself and PES2011. No, I’m not giving up, but I’m not carrying on either. I’ll put it in the post. BaL might be in the frame soon, that’s all I’ll say for now.

    I’ve been lucky enough to trigger the bicycle animation approximately 6 times in my 12 years or so of ISS/PES, but none have led to a goal. Maybe one day…

  25. not-Greg- Shooting is the best in any soccer game I have played.You can just shake the nunchuk, but you can also use the pointer, you point where you want to shoot, you actually control the power and accuracy. You tell a incredible differenc in who is shooting the ball, because the player shooting accuracy and power decides how close to where you point and the power you want on the shot. For the first time I know have to have major knowledge of who I want to shoot he ball and from what part of the pitch, and I feel the Wii is super responsive so body position and which foot you are shooting with makes a drastic impact! That is what frustrated me a lot with the 360 version of PES 11, I felt i pushed the shoot button and then waited to watch a canned annimation perform and who knows where the ball would go, and I could get away with playing not very good strikers and still score. After using the motion controls to guide my whole team on offense and defense, I am not sure I could play any soccer game with a standard controller again. Talk about true freedom and 360 degrees control.

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