The wind of change

So there were a few more matches left in the season than I thought: 6. I have played 3 of those 6 matches. I will definitely finish the season in Friday’s post, and after that… There have been certain developments in my football gaming, but I’ll deal with all of that near the end of the post.

The situation heading into these last matches of the season was as follows. My club, Catania, were mid-table, but only a few points off the Europa League qualifying places. That’s where I wanted to finish. Here is a potted overview of the 3 matches I played, followed by a league table snapshot:

Catania 2-1 Parma

Incredibly, Parma came in with a cheeky offer for me in Negotiations just before the match. This would have unsettled me in real life. I gave the offer a good look. Hmmm… 43% chance of playing, AMF/SMF, a good squad, and Parma are a ‘name’ in a way that Catania somehow still aren’t.

But I turned them down. Their players are only about the same level as my current teammates. If/when I leave, it has to be a palpable step up. Othersiwse I could spend several seasons just traipsing from club to club, always remaining roughly on the same level.

In the match, we went 2-0 up and were cruising. I laid on one of our goals. Parma got a late goal to make the last 10 minutes nervy, but we held on. I thought I played well, and was disappointed with a post-match rating of 6.0.

Verona 0-0 Catania

A tetchy, bitty, frustrating game that neither side deserved to take anything more than 1 point from. I knew I’d had an average game, but was still shocked at my post match rating of 5.5. That’s still above-average, I suppose.

Napoli 2-1 Catania

A bitter defeat, and it could have been a hammering as well, with Napoli totally dominant for the first 30 minutes when they got their two goals. At one stage it looked as if they would give me a true thumping. I supplied one of the passes that led up to our late goal in the 75th minute. After that it was nearly all one-way traffic as we laid siege to the Napoli net, but nothing came of it. I got a 6.5 rating for this one.

After those matches, here is the table:

With three matches to go, I will definitely have the season finished in time for Friday’s post. After that… I don’t know if I’ll continue playing BaL regularly.

I picked up a 3DS this week, with a copy of PES2011 3D. It’s a decent game, very reminiscent of PES6 as many have said, if a little cramped on the small handheld console—and the 3D is staggeringly effective (I was braced for it not to be). I’ll write some more about it on Friday’s post, after I’ve played it some more.

At the time of writing (Tuesday night), I’ve only played two quick matches. But they’ve been enough to convince me of one thing.

I don’t think I can continue playing Become A Legend. As much as I’m enjoying the mode, it’s not entirely for me.

I have realised that BaL has been suffocating my football gaming for several weeks. I’m not a solo-player football gamer. It’s not what I want to do with my football gaming time.

I need the pure air of full-on 11 vs 11 gameplay. I need the freedom and satisfaction of playing with whole teams. What I need is Master League.

From Monday, I’ll be back to playing an orthodox Master League career. I don’t know yet which version of the game I’ll be playing. It won’t be the 3DS version—I can say that with certainty. It’s got to be on a proper, big console, with a big controller and screen

It could be PES6(360), it could be PES2010(PS3), it could even be PES5 on the PC. All three options have pluses and minuses. I’m inclined to favour PES6(360), as it’s the only one whose ML career I never actually ‘completed’. But I’ll see how I feel if/when I play it.


  1. All to play for in the final 3 games then mate!! You dont have to play Brescia in any of those 3 games doy ou?!?! Or else it could make for a dedicated post about the potential europa league clinch game.

    So does that mean PES 2011 is effectively ‘dead’ for Not-Greg?! Considering the announcement that BaL is to be no more, and we all know your thoughts on PES11’s Master League so wont be revisiting that!?

  2. Paul—that looks like it for me and PES2011, yes. I haven’t said that BaL is no more in today’s post, but that’s probably how it’ll turn out. I played the last 3 matches this morning (Brescia not among them). I haven’t physically taken the disc out of the PS3 yet, but I will, and I doubt it’ll ever go back in. After BaL this morning, I played several matches in another PES from the past. It was wonderful to play 11 vs 11 again and not seethe with anger as I was doing in PES2011 during my odd sessions of ML over the past few weeks. This is why my football gaming was shrinking—not because I was ‘growing out’ of football gaming, but because I wasn’t really relishing BaL (I was enjoying it, but not adoring it), and I wasn’t playing ML. I’m back on ML now. Friday will wrap up BaL, and then from Monday it’ll be back to ML business as usual.

  3. Shame really but you need to enjoy what little precious gaming time you get so whether thats PES 11, PES6 or whatever, it doesn’t matter!
    Will be nice to read about ML exploits once again!!
    and of course if it is PES6 your playing there’s an abundance of Option Files to bring it relatively up to date!

  4. Paul—what Option Files are those? The 360 version of PES6 famously lacks all of that. I think you’re talking about the PS2/PC version, which I have never played in the timeframe of this blog, ever

  5. Sorry, assumed you was on PS3, might still be worth a butchers here

  6. Paul—no, there are no Option Files for the 360 version of PES6. My 60GB PS3 died a year ago, as we recently discussed. What gave you the idea that I was talking about the PS2 version?! I was never a big fan of that game and would be unlikely to choose to play it even if I could—sacrilege I know.

  7. Im confused! you will Play PES6 on XBOX right?
    if thats the case then see here:

    Your PS3 died a year ago but you got it fixed or got a new one, as you play PES11 on PS3 am i correct!?

    I never ever mentioned a PS2 !!! lol

  8. Paul—I got a Slim like yourself, which lacks the back-compatibility, so when you mentioned the PS3 in relation to PES6, I assumed you thought I was planning on a PS2 version excursion… Sorry for the mix-up, and thanks for that link. I never knew there actually were OFs for the 360 version. It looks a bit complicated, but I’ll see if the effort/reward factor is worth it.

    At this stage I might as well come clean and confess that it was PES6(360) that I played on this morning. I was a bit shocked at how stuttery and how fast it felt even compared to PES2011, but I settled. I’ll play PES2010 again tomorrow. It’ll be between those two.

  9. Haha sorry fella, all got a bit muddled.
    Im a little regretful that I only played PES10 for 6 weeks last year, didnt even take the cellophane wrapper off until August. Mostly due to playing FIFA 10 ALOT. what was I thinking!!!
    So my PES10 ML only got 1 season, shame as it did feel a very enjoyable and relatively issue free game.

  10. just had my first couple of games on PES 3D and really impressed – a nice measured, chunky feel to the gameplay. Pretty similar to the PSP versions, but playing on vertical wide with 3D turned up to max adds something unique to the series. A clever through pass into oceans of 3D space for my De Graafschap RWF to run onto and score had an amazing ‘feel’ to it. I can easily see myself playing this for the rest of the footy gaming year

  11. Paul—I remember your brief encounter with PES2010 very well. Let’s see if I get on just as well with it when I play it again tomorrow morning. It’ll all be in Friday’s post, along with the end of BaL of course.

  12. abbeyhill—vertical wide was the best of both worlds for me too. But how are your eyes coping with the 3D effect? Mine still felt weird for 24 hours afterwards. I don’t think I’ll be making use of the 3DS’s 3D effect much, if at all.

  13. My ML campaign is nearing the climax of the 9th season.
    I had 8 games left to play going into last nights session, and was 3pts clear at the top of the Premier League, ahead of Chelsea and Man City.
    I played 4 games last night, beating bottom of the table West Brom 2-0, Drawing against Chelsea 2-2, then suffering a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, then after leading 2-0 against West Ham (who are 4th) i conceded 3 goals to end up losing 3-2.
    Now find myself in 3rd place, Man City are top by 5 pts and there’s only 1 point seperating 2nd, 3rd and 4th places, and only 2 points between the top 4 and 7th place.
    So all very tight, have 4 games left and will need to take at least 3 wins from those games to guarantee a champions league place.
    I feel the title has slipped away for this season.

  14. not-greg, after spending £200 on 3D I’m going to have it turned up to the max constantly, whether my eyes like it or not!!

  15. ^^^ we need a ‘Like’ button for peoples comments !!! 😉

  16. Paul—I know you’re not serious there, but if I did add a Like function, I might as well add Facebook and Twitter and and Linkedin and all the rest of that depressing row of icons we’re still seeing on too many websites… Comment preview’s as funky as it’s ever going to get around here. Unless somebody buys me, of course. My integrity is totally for sale. And it wouldn’t cost much!

    Looking at the granularity of your ML there, I can tell you’re having a classic whale of an ML time. Having dipped my toe back in the waters over the past few days (NOT in PES2011, of course), I’m feeling the buzz a good bit too.

  17. abbeyhill—we’ve all got a unique physiology that’ll determine how comfortable or not the 3D experience is. For me, it was only last night, 24 hours after spending 1 hour with my 3DS—with the slider only about 40% for most of that time—that my eyes started to feel normal again. I’m sure much of that was psychological (I’m a hypochondriac). But I still won’t be dabbling much in 3D again. It is bloody amazing though.

  18. haha glad u picked up on the sarcastic tone of my comment.
    Yes.. ML is pretty wonderful and engaging at the moment, that whole uncertainty feeling around whether you will achieve the title or europe etc, coupled with the fact im due 2 new kits home and away at the end of this season, already designed 😉 and ive promised myself a sparkling new bigger stadium if i qualify for europe, just looking for a naming rights partner so i can plaster their brand across the adboards!!

    I’d hate it if PES ever became fully licensed, the editing ability is a large part of the immersion factor.

    Enjoing PES10 again then i take it? 😉

  19. Paul—I’m hugely enjoying PES again, let’s just put it that way… No final decisions have been taken yet. I’m baffled why I left it this long to get back to playing what I love the most. Actually, I do know why—a few other busy things going on in my life, not the least of which is the Open University course, which isn’t yet over. It won’t be over until June.

  20. Understandable when you have a busy life and limited gaming time, you want that time to be as enjoyable as possible, no point soldiering on with something that you aren’t enjoying for the sake of it, and i guess BaL was an attempt at getting some enjoyment out of a game that you want to love but cant quite.
    Im currently studying for a PRINCE2 qualification, so my day consists of work, gym straight from work, or play football, get in about 8:30pm, shower, dinner, pack gym kit and work stuff for next day, by that time its now gone 10PM, Prince stuff…. so any gaming time i get is late, when im shattered, so I NEEED to enjoy what im playing and luckily i do.

    My renmaining 4 ML games took a draamtic twist last night… was in 2nd place going into these 4 games but with 2 points seperating the top 7 teams.
    I needed at least 3 wins from the final 4 games… i got 1!!!!
    Won 1, drew 2 and lost one, ended up slipping to 6th and grabbing the last Europa league spot.
    It was a 90th minute equaliser against Arsenal that cost me a runners up spot and a champions league place.
    My target for the season was a top 6 finish adn Europe, I have achieved that but cant help feeling dissappointed that i didnt do better in the last few games considering I was in the title race right up to the last minute.

    Anyway, I have 2 new kits, have moved into my new bigger more modern stadium and have sold a few players for around 14mil each and made a bit of money, increased my staffing abilities and fan club, and am ready to kick off the next season, and hopefully a more sustained title charge!!

  21. Regular Starting XI:


    Cedric Soares Mattson Jovanovich Ansaldi


    Stocker Villalba


    Welliton N’Kufo

  22. Paul—I can feel the love you’ve got for your ML team there. Nice to see Fatecha and Mattson—and Ettori! Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back in the zone as well.

    The OU course takes up my time in bursts. I’m naughty and don’t spend a few hours every week on all the reading/watching/listening/notes-taking/preparing for next Assignment that I’m supposed to do, and so I end up having to do it all in the space of a single week every month. I actually prefer it this way, but it means that every three weeks I’m effectively having a ‘time of the month’ where very little else can get done. We’re coming up to that time very soon (next week), but I already know that I’ll be making time for PES for the first time in a while, and that feels pretty good.

    And well done on not reloading after that last-minute equaliser…

  23. Its a hard juggling act but thats the downside of being a ‘grown up’!! long gone are the days when i could lock myself in my bedroom for hours on end and play mike tysons punchout on the NES til my thumbs were sore!

    I am enjoying the ML crusade at the moment, its the first year ive really had a proper invested interest in ML, other years i have flitted between FIFA/PES and other games and played bits and pieces of each.
    I bought Motorstorm Apocalypse yesterday for the PS3, and didnt even unwrap it as i wanted to get my PES season done and dusted.

    I never reload, what happens, happens, I have autosave on, so gets saved after every match anyway, and am now in a ritualistic habit of backing up ML save data and edit data to USB after every session!
    I’ve learnt my lesson!

  24. Paul—never reloading is the only way to play football games IMO, otherwise there’s nothing really at stake. It’s that sense of high occasion and immersion in the ups and downs of a season that makes the genre what it is.

    I’ll always look back on my days (weeks, months, years) of endless gaming as being one of the greatest times of my life. It’s hard to accept those times are gone.

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