And just like that, I’ve played a whole season of Master League in PES5(PC). It doesn’t really take long with the smaller Division 2 back in the old-school ML.
I started in traditional style as Coventry City (an edited PES United), using the Default squad, on 4* difficulty to ease myself back in.
I applied the Falkhon 4.0 patch that I found via the archive of some forum.
The patch has made all the teams, leagues, kits and badges as authentic as they can ever be in PES. It was just 1.5MB in size, and installation was so easy compared to the PS3. All I had to do was drop it into the relevant folder on my laptop’s hard drive.
A Windows PC is the ultimate games console.
I’d have played a lot more of PES5 if I hadn’t been busy sampling all the great PC games I’ve missed out on over the past few years. Mount and Blade: Warband will most likely be the only one I’ll stick with for any length of time, though.
So just how does this PES5 gameplay feel to me now? This is the burning question. It could define the rest of my football gaming year.
The Defaults are a lot better in PES5 than they’ve been probably since PES2008. They’re still not very good, but they’re not utterly terrible. You can play a decent game with them, much of the time.
I’m not so naive that I’d expect to resume my mid-2000s love affair with this instalment of PES. I know that playing a game in 2011 is a different prospect from playing it 5 or 6 years ago. No man goes down to the same river twice. You can never go home again. And so on.
I’m still undecided about PES5(PC), really. I’m definitely on the positive side of the equation, but it’s not a done deal yet.
I’ve had a couple of great sessions. Really great sessions. PES5 has definitely still got magic in its boots.
But there have been a couple of other sessions when I’ve thought, you know, actually… this isn’t so great after all.
Amusingly, I’ve noticed a lot of PES2011’s traits in PES5. At times the AI ramps up the pressure to swarming levels. PES5 also has its own version of the elephant touch: the famous R1 knock-on that it takes ages to remember how to use to your advantage—and of course how not to use it.
There are all kinds of old-fashioned touches that I’d clean forgotten about. Regulate condition. Pre-season friendlies. Player exchanges in transfers.
Regulate condition is always a surprise. This was where you could use up some stamina in an effort to improve your players’ form arrows.
After a time the differential always made doing this worthwhile, and it becomes an empty ritual that you perform automatically between matches. The only time you wouldn’t do it, I remember, was during fixture pile-up, when you couldn’t afford the stamina loss.
And then there’s the transfer system. Or, as I might have to get used to calling it again, the negotiations window.
In the 4-week mid-season window, I only managed to bring in one player. He was a young SS/CF called Zidan.
No, not Zidane. I’m a few seasons away from that.
My player is Zidan. He’s called “ZEE-dan” by Peter Brackley. Stress is on the first syllable. I don’t remember having him in ML before.
Here’s the final table for season 1:
As ever, goal-scoring is a problem for me in season #1 of a Master League.
I have never won promotion at the first attempt. My unscientific impression is that the majority of other PES players win first-time promotion as the norm. The struggle to get out of Division 2 is part of what defines me as an average player.
I’ve passed through the post-season negotiation window and picked up a few exciting new players. I’m very happy to have got players of such quality. One of them is a star of 2011 who was relatively unknown in 2005. I’ll save it for Monday’s post, by which time I should have a better idea of whether I’ll continue with PES5 as my main game.