A startling metamorphosis occurs

Well, well, well. Big news in the PESverse: a ‘trigger player run’ feature, albeit with a Konami twist, is coming in PES2012. There will be automatic and manual versions, both mapped to the R3 button.

It’s a big step for the series—whether forward or backward remains to be seen. There’s been a bit of a flap about it on the forums.

I’m not perturbed, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a feature I valued in next-gen FIFA. I’m not bothered in the slightest about PES copying FIFA’s good ideas, and I don’t believe that this constitutes a ‘FIFAisation’ of PES.

Secondly—and perhaps most importantly—I wonder just how much I’ll actually end up using this new feature? Trigger runs in PES2012 could be a first-session wonder for many of us, or something used sparingly at best.

In about 300 hours’ total play on PES2011, I still haven’t played a manual pass or executed a trick-feint. I’ll occasionally waggle the right stick to shake off a defender while getting a cross in, but that’s it. I know there’s a world of choice embedded deeper within the game, but I’m happy playing without it and the game’s happy to let me. Trigger runs in PES2012 should exist on the same opt-in basis.

So I’m happy, or better to say: happy to see what they’ll make of it.

One thing’s for sure: if any of Konami’s innovations turn out to break the game, or herald the actual FIFAisation of PES, it’ll make the next-gen PES2008 catastrophe look like a minor squall.

In other news, yesterday on PES2011 I enjoyed one of the single best games of football of my football gaming year.

It was AC Milan vs Valencia in the opening fixture of another Champions League tournament. I played as AC Milan. The match length was 15 minutes. (15-minute matches are the new rock ‘n’ roll.)

It was a revelation. The game felt totally different from the grim mess that I experience so often. I felt able to play football, to pass, to move, to craft openings, to defend well and in depth. It felt, dare I say it, much more like the demo. Hmmm.

I’ve never really played PES2011 with top teams. My old 9-season Master League team on the PS3 was as close to a top team as I’ve come. Even most of those players were only just above-average at the time I abandoned them in disgust.

In PES, as in football games generally, I’ve always relished the challenge of teasing the best out of average teams and players. Somehow it makes any achievement all the more glorious. The only time I ever play with Barcelona etc. is in the demo.

AC Milan’s default formation is a very flexible 4-4-2 with one of the strikers slightly withdrawn into the SS role. Cassano occupies this slot automatically, but he was blue-arrowed for the Valencia game. I put Pato in his place.

I’d never played with Pato before. He was sensational. I scored a hat-trick with him. He seemed to handle a lot like Schwarz at his peak.

The first goal was a classic centre-forward’s header from a cross, after I’d indulged myself in some sublime tippy-tappy football that I’ve rarely been able to play before on this game.

Pato’s second and third were both long-range efforts, one from 20 yards, the other from 25-30 yards. I wish I’d recorded all three goals to show here. The third goal was as good a long-ranger as I’ve scored, with the merest chink of space taken full advantage of. But I didn’t want to get up and break the spell of this magical match.

If I do start a new ML on PES2011, it’ll be with AC Milan. There’s no time for a Default campaign. I’ve got too much else on besides, not least the book.

And of course, there’s my ML in WE9LE. I’m stubbornly persisting with it despite the old-school ML with its database issues.

It’s been a patchwork football game year for me so far. I do miss the old certainty of a continuous cohesive march from October to October. PES2012, I look to you in yearning.


  1. Blimey – 28 shots in one game has to be some kind of a record? Nice work on the possesion.

    I finally managed to get my PS3 fixed (Consolepros.ie in Dublin – 6 month warranty, with a 12 month one available) and enjoyed a glorious four and a half hour (18 match) comeback on BaL. It really did seem a million miles from the WE9 game. Took a little while for me to stop trying to sidestep defender but I eventually got back into my swing.

    The news and videos for 2012 sounds promising, but then show me a year when it hasn’t! Doesn’t make much difference to me, i’ll still go out and buy the game on release day and play it for the majority of the year. I’m a creature of habit.

  2. You do get those games every now and then in PES11 that just feel totally ‘different’, like its a new reworked tweaked version of the game, it all flows beautifully, has a realistic ebb and flow to it, great moves, goals, saves…. the lot. Unfortunately this is about 1 in every 20 matches, we are hoping for a PES that leans more towards 15 out of every 20 matches being sublime. PES 12 … ?

  3. The stat sheet looks amazing–and of course testifies to your above average skills in the game. I happen to love playing 15 minutes which is what I mostly play (and 20’s and 30’s even better), but there’s a limit on my playing time because of work and yadayada… My experience playing Pro Evo (2011) is only getting better, and it seems as though I’ve picked up with next-gen at the perfect time to enjoy my beloved footy games.
    not-Greg, I’d hate to bore you with my playing a Gabazillion unrewarding Exhibition matches on Top Player, amassing meager Possession stats at best, almost never outshooting, very rarely edging the ‘Interception’ battle. My winning percentage may lie in the abysmally low 4%* (I know I’m such a loser).
    In order to stop the bleeding in this self-deprecating comment, I’m happy to say that I’ve found my safe haven in Pro Evo, which is to play an uninterrupted 11 v 11 training session, where I can play for as long as I want without needing to worry about a result.

  4. so it sounds as if you really need to use those top, top players in order to make PES11 tolerable!

    I also wonder if ML scripting is running out of control, in that the game seems more playable in the non-ML modes these days. I certainly enjoyed Copa Libertadores (using quite mediocre teams) on PES11

  5. Liam—I always enjoy most possession in game, no matter what. I suppose that’s a reflection of my play-style, keeping the ball and always looking for the opening. I am an average player because I need that kind of time with the ball to make the chances. The shots in this game were a bit freakishly high.

    Good to hear you got your PS3 life back. After going through the repair process myself, I know the feeling of getting the old girl back and up and running. Look after her…

  6. Paul—that issue of good game/bad game—and the variance in it from session to session, too—is something I’ve genuinely seen in PES over the years. In PES2011 it strikes me that the two extremes between good/bad are more extreme and the swapping around more unpredictable.

  7. StephWheeler—after my Golden Game yesterday (and I’ve had a few good ones since as well), I know what I already knew—that PES2011 really does play a good game of football and was such a near miss IMO. In many others’ opinions, of course, the game is a hit. I can never forget or forgive the stumble and much else besides, though.

    I think if PES2012 is anywhere near as good as we all think it’s going to be, we’ll see an era of unprecedented next-gen joy and harmony in the PESverse… *Shudders* 😉

  8. abbeyhill—I’ve had such a good few days with AC Milan that it does almost feel like a different game. I’ll be playing this CL tournament with 15-min matches all over the weekend, so we’ll see where it leads.

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