I have picked up my career in Become A Legend right where I left off. I started it back on December 29th. That was when I had my first serious crisis with PES2011’s gameplay in Master League. Well, here I am in the middle of crisis #2, and now I look to BaL to sustain me once more.
I’ve had a love-hate-love-hate-hate kind of relationship with BaL for three years now. There is a major problem with the flow of the mode that I have never been able to cope with.
In a nutshell: I cannot stand the enforced watching of the AI vs AI matches during periods when my player is either on the bench from the start or substituted partway through. I’m quite bad at the solo player type of football game. Bad enough for me to be a fringe player for just long enough for this to be a serious impediment to my enjoyment of BaL. Watching the AI play with itself uses up precious gaming time that I can’t afford to waste.
I’m a standard right-footed AMF named ‘not-Greg’, playing for Willem II in the Dutch League. My current rating is 58 OVR—a bog-standard Youth player. I chose Willem II because they offered the greatest chance of playing from the start. And that’s been mostly borne out, to be fair.
I played two matches this morning—yes, this very Wednesday morning. Today’s action is hot off the presses. Usually I’m writing about games I’ve played a day or two ago. I had things to do this week, so a little break from PES was taken. “A break from the game will do you good” seems to be the received wisdom about PES2011. It’s true, but I hate that it’s true. When was it ever the case that not playing PES was the way to enjoy PES more?
The matches went well. Both were tough away games. Both ended 0-0, somewhat disappointingly, but early on in BaL the main thing is your own performance. How well you passed, how well you linked up play, how well you tracked back, how well you stuck to your position when required—all the usual things that distinguish a good player and a good footballing performance from a bad one.
I was shocking in my first game. Not surprising, as I was racing around trying to get on the end of every ball. That’s a huge no-no in BaL. It’s not feasible for you to be involved in every phase of the action. By the time you get to the other side of the pitch, the ball has long since moved on. It also drains your stamina. Low stamina is one of the main factors in how long you stay on the pitch when you’re a youngster just starting out.
I was subbed in the 67th minute. I was not happy watching the rest of the match, even if it was justified.
In the next match, I played much more sensibly, more like a real-life player than a computer game player. I passed, I moved, I linked up play, I had a couple of shots, and I laid on at least two good chances for our frontmen. I stayed on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes despite my stamina bar being non-existent at 75 minutes. My performance was good enough to override being subbed. I felt a real sense of accomplishment when the final whistle went.
Such is the genius of BaL. I can see that there must be a sizeable pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Will I get to it this time around?