5 matches to midnight

The game has gone slightly bad again, but I won’t be restarting Master League again. It’s this career or bust for me now. There’s probably nothing else for me between now and the 2012 games’ demos in September.

The stumble and step-around animations are just part of PES2011 and something to which I should just resign myself, and I mostly do.

PES2011’s high AI pressure really does seem ridiculous to me. I try to cope with it by not hanging onto the ball for long, but however zippily I move the ball along, there’s a degradation of possession that seems to guarantee a ‘turnover’ eventually.

I’ve said so much about PES2011’s negatives in recent weeks and months that I’m tired of it myself. I’ll focus on the positives today. Because I am still playing the game, after all, and with a high degree of immersion and enjoyment to boot.

Lukaku is still a phenomenon for me, but in a different way nowadays. There are no more of Lukaku Mk I’s regular 25-yard howitzers that always made me smile, no matter how many times I scored them. Instead, Mk II’s something of an all-rounder, getting tap-ins and headers from corners, that kind of thing.

He’s the division’s top scorer, and by some distance, as can be seen from this screenshot:

That’s some pretty good going, and a few more goals than Lukaku Mk I had got me by this stage. I’m very happy with Mk II now. I’ll take the quantity of bread and butter goals he scores over the pretty-looking ones that Mk I was always banging in.

My overall league form has been going quite well. I’ve experienced a few defeats and draws that I shouldn’t have suffered from, thanks to suspicious late equalisers and winners from the CPU.

The scripting debate goes on and on. I’ve felt its heavy hand more than once recently. I’m a long-term believer that the game takes control of the flow of events—or more precisely, takes control away from you—at certain times.

There was this one really tough match against Shakhtar Donetsk. The AI pressurising seemed to be turned up to 11. I had to battle and scrap for everything. I battled and scrapped a 2-1 lead with a minute of ordinary time on the clock. The AI kicked off. I won’t describe how the ball then ended up in my net five seconds later. I’m being positive today.

I wasn’t too bothered. I’ve come to regard PES2011’s little ways with a degree of fond toleration that I probably shouldn’t. I should be fuming and spitting, but I can’t really be bothered these days. So there’s a football game where some funny business goes on occasionally. So what?

I’ve fought in plenty of other matches in which the AI hasn’t come back, and I’ve taken the points.

With 5 matches left of the season I’m in 4th place, and 4 points behind a promotion spot. I’ve kept pace for about ten matches with the top 3 without quite managing to catch them yet.

There are 5 matches left in the season. I’ll easily have played this season by Monday and will reveal all then. If PES2011 is anything like its predecessors, I bet I’ll go into the final match with a chance of clinching promotion.


  1. good luck with the run in. Any of your Anderlecht players apart from Lukaku standing out for you? On my 3DS ML I’ve been lining up (in Anderlecht’s default formation) GK-Proto, LB-Lejacks CBs-Deschart, Juhasz, RB-Wasil, DM-Biglia, CMs-Kjestan (sp?) & Polak, AM-Legear, SS-Baba, CF-De Sutter. Pretty solid team, but I’ve found wins very hard to come buy – it’s quite difficult with the vertical long camera, as the angle your players run at varies with the camera angle swinging behind them (if that makes sense). I also managed to go bankrupt at the end of the first season, with too many bids for players accepted simultaneously – forgotten it was possible to do that on ‘last gen’ ML, doh!

  2. abbeyhill—I have been very impressed with Polak, who stands out for me in a pretty indifferent midfield. He’s 29, though, and this morning (playing sitting through pre-season, prior to season 2) I got an out-of-the-blue offer of £4m for him. I should save this news for Wednesday’s post, but I took the offer.

    Deschact does my nut in in PES2011, as he’s one of the SBs who will appear in the CF position at random times, whatever your tactical settings. Ruskin has already replaced him as first choice.

    Why not change to Wide camera? Hasn’t the Vertical Long 3D effect novelty has worn off a bit by now. And you still do get a good 3D effect on Wide. I haven’t touched my 3DS since day 1. My eyes felt so odd for a whole week after using it that I’m more than a bit scared of it.

  3. yeah, Polak’s strong and fast, combines well with Wasil and Badibanga down the right side for me. I found Deschacht a rather undynamic left back but he’s ok at CB. Still probably need at least another CF, CM and CB to turn my team into promotion material

    to be honest I find the 3DS gameplay practically identical to that on the PSP, which I’d more or less mastered (e.g. the trick of running into the channels and then a quick 90 degree turn into the area to slip past any defenders) so playing on the vertical camera makes it fresh and challenging. Plus shooting and playing through balls in full 3D is genuinely fantastic

  4. abbeyhill—the vertical camera was best in ISS, where there was none of this ridiculous tilting and swooping at the corners and down the wings. How are your eyes holding up with the 3DS? Are you a glasses-wearer? (I am, but not of the bottle-lensed type of glasses. I’m only slightly short-sighted, and only have to wear glasses when out and about in the street, so I can see sharply over distance. I don’t wear them at all at home for reading, watching TV, or gaming.) Any headaches? One day I’ll have to steel myself to try the thing again—I’ve got an unopened copy of Ghost Warrior sitting on top of PES6—but my eyes’ week-long reaction to just an hour of use was so odd that I’m very wary of the 3DS now.

  5. Hope you all had a great easter weekend!!
    Haven’t been gaming at all for about a week now due to spending the Easter holiday with family friends and the missus, enjoying the sunshine.
    Plan to resume and hopefully finish my 10th ML season tonight.
    The treble has slipped though, my last play session saw me lose a tight 1/4 final Europa league tie to Wolfsburg on Aggregate, losing 2-1 away then winning 3-1 at home, to go out on away goals.
    AM still very much in contention for the league and FA Cup double though.

    Looking forward to the imminent PES 2012 news thats due to hit, reading various posts on forums from those ‘in the know’ the early signs are encouraging with regards to Konami taking feedback on board!!
    Fingers crossed!

  6. *amendment to last post, won 3-2 at home, not 3-1 as stated.

  7. Paul—I’m looking forward to the PES2012 news as well, but this year is the first year when I know that my predominant attitude will be one of scepticism bordering on cynicism. I might be playing PES2011, but I don’t think I’ll ever love it.

    I’ve always been a little cynical ever since PES2008(PS3), but my larger view has always been wildly optimistic. If you look back over the same period in the past few years, I’ve actually believed the hype—last year more than ever, with not much justification (IMO) as things turned out. This year, I’m going to refuse to let myself believe until release day, and then not for a month or two afterwards.

    Still, regardless of all reservations, it’s still an exciting time of year. Looking forward to seeing the forums light up again.

  8. not greg my eyesight is worse than yours but no problems with the 3DS using contact lenses – I still find the 3d effect genuinely remarkable, it really draws you into the PES game world. However with glasses on I can see where you’re coming from, it seems a bit more tiring and difficult to focus

    My main issues with the device are the lamentable battery life (especially compared to the DS), slippery analogue controller and lack of decent games aside from PES so far. I suspect you wouldn’t get much out of this PES as the ML is rudimentary

  9. abbeyhill—but I used the 3DS without my glasses on, and had the ill effects. I don’t habitually wear glasses for ‘close work’ such as reading, watching TV, and gaming. Similar reports of headaches etc. from elsewhere indicate that it’s best to use the 3DS with glasses/contacts if you habitually wear them. But I don’t, so I don’t know what to do for the best.

    And yes, I’ve heard that the 3DS ML is just like the ML that was in PES6(PSP), i.e. all the trappings of ML but none of the player growth, immersion and dynamism that really makes the mode what it is. Why, Konami, why

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