Promoted for the last time

And we’re up. I’ve achieved promotion with Anderlecht to Division 1 in my still-fresh-feeling new Master League career. I’ll be playing in a version of the English Premier League next season.

This is one of the very few times that I’ve achieved promotion in the first season of an ML career. Doubtless my 9 seasons’ worth of playing experience in a previous career helped. As did the fact that I broke with my usual routine of starting with the Defaults, and started instead with Anderlecht’s original squad. Which included a certain Mr Lukaku, of whom more later.

As I thought would happen, I went into the last match of the season with it all resting on that final match. Master League often goes to the final game of the season. It’s the way the beast works. Seabass is on record somewhere as saying that he likes his PES games to generate stories. The coding that underpins Master League’s virtual league tables is one huge story generator.

My opponents in the final match were Benfica, the 4th-placed team, who were then 2 points behind me. Clearly I had the upper hand, only needing a draw. I was also playing at home. My players all had orange and red form arrows.

The match was an open affair. I’ve shown patchy form in the latter part of this season, and lost more than once at home. I knew that a defeat to Benfica would mean a crushing last-gasp disappointment, and another season in Division 2.

I launched my attacks with slightly more caution than usual. I rarely popped the ATT/DEF level above its middle setting. I had a few good chances but the goal wouldn’t come. But I was holding off the few structured Benfica attacks with ease. It had 0-0 written all over it, which would have suited me—but we all like to win games in Master League, don’t we? Particularly home games.

It finished 0-0, and my players celebrated, and I was promoted.

And I was very happy. This year so far of PES2011 has been a tricky time for me in lots of ways. I still don’t really think very highly of PES2011, I have to say.

And so I need to keep this thing moving forward. If I look back—or even if I just stand still—I fear PES2011 will be turned into a pillar of salt.

Lukaku finished the season as top scorer with 20 goals. It was an incredible debut season for a 17-year-old striker. He’s the greatest prodigy I can ever remember playing with in any PES. Here’s that final goalscorers’ table:

And here’s the overall league Best XI, which not surprisingly features Lukaku (but none of my other players, which is a little disappointing):

And that wraps up the season. Over the weekend just gone, I played no PES2011 at all. The action related above all happened on Friday morning.

The reason for my lack of PES is due to two new games that have occupied my time.

Tiger Woods 12 is one. My last serious console golf game before this was Tiger Woods 2003. (Which boasted one of the most memorable soundtracks I’ve come across in a sports game. Altogether now: #I’m watchin’ you watch over me/And I’ve got… the greatest view from here…#). In the time since 2003, something has been introduced to the Tiger Woods franchise called ‘precision putting’. It has seriously sent me back to school in golfing terms. I like.

The other new arrival is Portal 2. No, I didn’t climb aboard the hype train: I was already firmly onboard, having played and loved the original Portal to bits back in 2008.

So I should only get started on the new season in Division 1 over the next day or two. Wednesday’s post will cover the transfer window and the first few matches of season 2.


  1. LOL coincidence, I’m installing Portal 2 as we speak (i.e reading this). I didn’t have the drive space, so had to surgically move the 5+ GB from the PES img folder, onto my external drive. I’m faithful to one game like that – well, at least while my drives are overfilled 🙂

  2. Congrats on the promotion, I had a bit of a classic PES match last night against Stoke. 2-0 down at half time and then conceded a third in the 47th min continued playing poorly till the 60th min when I brought on 3 subs and threw everyone forward…
    68th min Shimizu crosses for Pelaez 3-1, then 74th min my sub striker Tafer drills a shot into the bottom corner 3-2, two mins later Shimizu lashes a fierce shot from the edge of the D 3-3 (que fist pumping) another two mins later Tafer again with a volley in the 6 yd box 4-3 (que jumping round the room)… 86th Tafer completes the hat trick 91st full back Donati taps in a rebound.

    From 3-0 down to 6-3 up with all 6 goals in the last 20 mins! I was exhausted!!! One of those games that makes all the hours spent on PES worth it!

  3. diego—I hope your machine runs it at a decent resolution. I got the PS3 version as the PC/Mac version is thenfree on Steam, but it needs verification via PSN, so… Yes. Great plan, that. I’ll have to wait to play it on my Mac now. Poor old Sony haven’t had much luck in next-gen, have they? Still, the PS3 version is great, for what it’s worth. I replayed most of Portal 1 last week to prepare, so it was still fresh in my mind when I started Portal 2, and so I felt a little bit deflated to see the same starting levels, albeit overgrown with weeds, in the first ten minutes or so. But then it takes a detour. Great game so far.

  4. Pete—I needed this promotion at the first time of asking, now I only hope I can hold onto my position in D1. It’s not been a great start in the Premier, I have to say, but more about that on Wednesday.

  5. Been a little while since I last commented, but good to be back. The progress of your master league with PES 2011 has been a definitive up and down era from the posts I have had the pleasure of reading.

    It has seemed a little “soap like”, as you have umm’d and ahh’d with your decisions as to whether or not you carry on playing the game.

    The final chapter from what can I see, is will you actually stick with this master league you have progressed through (with the aid of the Lukaku “Wonderkid”) or will it die a painful death way before the 2012 demo comes out.

    Whatever happens, you can count on me to keep coming back for more.

    Keep up the good work not-greg.

    I love the way you explain everything you do, and how you put the posts together!

    Catch you again soon!

  6. The Dribbler—we’ll see how long I hold out for. PES2011 is helped by me not really seeing an alternative. I’m now fully conditioned to the organic passing and animation of the FIFA10/PES2011/FIFA11 variety, but only PES2011 is at all playable for me (my italics). I’m still seeing tons of glitches and annoyances every play-session, unfortunately, which is at times very dispiriting. Just a few of PES2011’s headline problems in FIFA11 would see FIFA jeered at until eternity—but PES gets a pass from its community, because it’s PES. We don’t do the franchise any favours at all by putting up with it in this condition.

    I’ve been figuratively holding a gun to PES2011’s head for months. One day, after just one step-around or stumble animation too many, I could pull the trigger for good, and then play Tiger Woods or NHL or MLB or some other sports game for the rest of the summer (I could do that). Or I might just not do that. I’m entering upon a new-old phase of PES2011, of which more tomorrow…

  7. Nice work on the promotion – though the goals scored column could be a little healthier. Looking forward to reading about the negotiations – I always enjoy that.

    Castolo has been in inspired form for me, he scored 5 goals in my last 2 games (against the Manchester clubs) and now has 15 goals in 14 games. They’re all bread and butter goals, but as soon as I score a belter with him i’ll upload it. He’s my number one striker until the purple arrow glitch is fixed on Ronaldo.

    I never heard a thing about the original Portal game, is it worth investing in?

  8. Liam – Portal is available on XBL Arcade (& probably PSN) or as part of the orange box. It’s a little short but is a fantastically original puzzle game (for it’s time), has a great atmosphere and has what turns out to be a great storyline. Well worth picking up!

  9. Liam—today my Castolo had a free header from 6 yards out in a match where I was desperate for a goal. I pressed square at exactly the right time—not too early, not too late—but the little Myth chested the ball down instead, and then the defenders were all over him.

    No, it’s not a Castolo thing—it’s a PES2011 thing, this user-input wonkiness. But it doesn’t improve my attitude towards him.

    Re. Portal, if you liked the puzzle elements in, for example, classic-era Tomb Raider—wandering around rooms (‘test chambers’, in Portal) wondering how to find the way out—and if you like innovative game mechanics (the portal gun is soooo satisfying to use), you’ll like Portal. You can get the original really cheap now. You don’t want to start with Portal 2, as much of the sequel’s appeal depends upon developing the great story and characters of the first game.

  10. Grilled Sebass—your mention of 2007’s original Portal being fantasticaly original ‘for its time’ implies that there have been a rash of imitators since—but have there been? What are they! I’m a few hours into Portal 2 now and loving it, and already lamenting it coming to an end.

    (minor Portal 2 spoiler imminent)

    I’m uneasy about the return to many of the same scenes and, of course, the return of one character in particular. Rather than a true follow-up it feels like an expansion at times. But solving the puzzles is such an engaging experience that that feels fine, really.

  11. I added ‘for it’s time’ as an afterthought – I was just thinking about all the independent puzzle games that are around these games – indie flash games and iphone games. Obviously they are not FPS-style but there’s a lot of similar problem solving games around these days. But no, there hasn’t been any real imitators as such.

  12. Cheers fella’s, sounds like a good game. Think my time with Pes2011 is starting to show signs of fading. I normally have a break after 6-7 months then return.

    As soon as Castolo scores 100 goals for me! Should take a couple of seasons more. Currently on 40.

  13. Portal was a fiendishly fun game back then & I vividly remember having a momentus in-game experience at the end of the last regular test chamber, where I truly started “thinking with portals” (as the catchphrase went).
    It was that fiery graduation test where survival demanded second nature usage of the portal gun, & I pulled it off on the first go!
    One of my most satisfying gaming moments: thankyou Valve! 🙂
    Other such moments were found in DOOM, Grand Theft Auto 3, and of course our dear beloved PES of old…
    Next gen PES has lacked that quality, or maybe I’m just getting older & jaded….?

    PS: Portal 2 runs a respectable 45-60 fps on lowest res on my PC (framerate always comes first) – the modest tech is not hindering my enjoying the experience. Not like next-gen PES where you pull your hair out trying to tweak out a decent gaming experience – KCET could learn alot from Valve in terms of scaling the software to meet the demands/limitations of hardware (and not the other way around)

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