About the shooting

Blimey, it’s never straightforward, playing next-gen Pro Evolution Soccer, is it?

PES2012 has been out in the UK for a little over a week. Already there’s a community-wide kerfuffle over the merits of the gameplay—specifically, the merits of official Konami patch 1.01.

If you’re happily playing PES2012 and don’t know anything about the patch 1.00/1.01 debate, or about the shot-placement issue (which may or may not be related), you’d probably better stop reading about all football games on the Internet right now.

Remove all football gaming-related sites, including this one, from your Bookmarks and from your memory. Just play whatever game you like for the next solid year, and enjoy blissful ignorance of what other people think.

Remember how you wallowed in the early PES games on PS2, and how they were almost like great secrets that only you knew about?

Hardly anybody even had the Internet in those days, much less spent every spare second analysing the state of every last pixel on it.

So, yeah, pack up and bid adieu to the hive mind. Hold the door on your way out, because I might not be far behind you.

Having said all that… the shot-direction thing with PES2012 is a reality. I’m not sure personally about the patch thing and general gameplay, but there’s an impressive amount of anecdotal testimony about that side of things from others.

I’m carrying out a longer test on version 1.00 for a few days. The general gameplay seems a little more open to me currently, but I don’t discount the placebo factor, i.e. seeing what I expect to see/want to see. I never had a problem liking 1.01’s supposedly more ‘closed’ gameplay anyway.

It’s all about the shooting for me. I cannot emphasise this enough. Something seems to be very wrong with PES2012’s shooting, and it’s got me very worried.

I see no difference in the core shooting mechanic in 1.00. It’s still disturbingly eccentric and seemingly random in a way that PES shooting never has been before.

Shooting goes well a lot of the time, as seen below. Ordaz, free in the box, slots perfectly past the keeper into the far right corner of the net.

(That’s from version 1.01, by the way.)

The problem with PES2012’s shooting is that, for reasons unknown, aiming often doesn’t seem to work. You can be straight through on goal with no one else around you, exactly as seen above. You aim fully to the right of the keeper, but your player will put it straight down the middle, or worse, to the opposite side of the goal.

Going forward, one of these three scenarios will turn out to be the case:

1) Wonky shooting is a relatively trivial bug that Konami will patch very soon, possibly in the November patch for the 360’s stutter-run problem.

2) There’s a method to the madness and wonky shooting is something that I’m doing wrong, that we’re all doing wrong. Take the Ordaz clip above—why did that go right? Why? On too many previous, similar occasions, the shot’s gone centrally, or to the other side. So what did I do right here that I did wrong the other times?

I’ve got a tentative answer, and it’s to do with the timing of button presses. (I should note that I’m also talking about extensive Training mode sessions with high-rated and middle-rated players from various teams, not just the Master League Default donkeys.)

I believe that the game may be strictly enforcing a ‘zone of right function’. In other words, if the ball is farther out from your feet than is logical when you press shoot… if you try to ‘queue up’ a shot, as we’re used to being able to do in PES over the years… then a randomly factored degree of inaccuracy may result.

On the other hand, if you have the ball at your feet and a player fully in control, normal PES shooting discipline applies and you can expect good results as in the clip above.

The flaw in this theory is that I know for certain that I’ve had the ball at my feet and been ideally positioned for shooting, and the ball’s still gone astray.

But it’s a start!

3) This is the possibility that I fear the most, because if it’s true, it’s the end of PES2012 for me. I fear that PES2012’s shooting represents a new random seed element introduced by Konami for whatever inscrutable reason they may have. Placed shots will randomly go straight to the keeper, or even to the opposite side, and that’s all there is to it. We can talk about ‘over-aiming’ in order to compensate all we want, but that’s our own phantom solution, an only partly satisfactory workaround.

If this fearful possibility turns out to be the case—and it’ll only take me another week or so of play to decide exactly what the case is with this shooting malarkey—it’s very likely that I will abandon PES2012 even before the end of the calendar month of its release.

Let me be clear. To put things in perspective, wonky shooting doesn’t happen all the time. It doesn’t even happen much. PES2012 is a great game otherwise! But it happens enough for it to be a problem. I’m always braced for it to happen. I feel utterly wretched when it does happen. I feel weirdly embarrassed when it happens…

PES2012 is a great game until you pull the trigger, at which point it becomes a lottery.


  1. i agree about the shooting not greg. this gives you time to shoot and the conditions for the testing are lees variable so to speak . do you find the keepers to be more rubbish on 1.00 by the way? ( i dont). by the way there are some nice long range shooters among the new defaults. irjescu we all know by now, but elegost is quite nice as well. long range rockets galore!

  2. #1—Irjescu’s booming shot is a joy but I find he has no accuracy yet. PES2012 will be remembered for its eccentric shooting mechanic (even on 1.00)! Thanks for the tip about Elegost, I’ve pretty much ignored him until now.

    Re. keepers, when they have a brainfart they’re laughable, but I actually don’t see them doing anything that wrong that much. As time goes on and I get better players and as I get better at PES2012, I’ll get more shots in and more of them on target. I hope things don’t go badly wrong with the keepers at that stage.

  3. Im glad so many have found comfort in the solace of pre-patch-PES.
    I did say many days ago that removing the patch would make for a much better game… o’ ye of lil’ faith!!! 😉

    I had a very interesting session on my ML last night.
    I was determined to not concede the cricket scores i had been, so focused solely on defending, I drew 1-1, breaking my 10 game losing streak, but something ‘clicked’ during that game …. I was passing the ball back and forth between defenders, in midfield, and noticed a lot more intelligent runs from my team mates, players would make a run, check back so as not to veer offside, then drop short for a ball, diagonal runs etc, this was happening all over.
    I think my play may have previously been too direct. Patience was key and it payed off in this match. Next match saw me trounce Boca Juniors who were 4th in the table 4-1.
    Including a couple of ‘Not-Gregger’s’ – Raspers from 25+ yards.

    I then lost a couple more but was scoring goals again, and games were usually tight affairs.
    and NOT ONCE in my whole session did i see a shot go in any other direction than where i intended it to. Long rangers, 1-on-1’s, shots from edge of the box, even cut across the keeper, all found their spot, not all went in but they all went where i had aimed.

    Im Loving PES12 now finally, after a long and speculative gestation period, my only one concern is that EVERY game is a really high scoring game, at LEAST 5 goals a game, every game. I think this would bug me long term, so I switched down to 10 min matches (from 15mins) for my last game of thye session, and drew 1-1, much more realistic, so may have to stick with the shorter matches.

    On a final note, 2 stars are emerging from the defaults for me, Guiterrez is on fire, very reliable in front of goal, and my main man at the moment – ETTORI – he’s a BEAST!!!! has scored in every one of the last 6 games, long rangers, volleys, slotted 1-on-1’s, I’m playing the guy as an AMF and he just runs the show!!

  4. excellent, I’ll just stay on my pre-patched version and not bother with 1.01 at all then, thanks to the comments of you guys. I’m very happy with the gameplay as it is, so there’s no point in breaking it!!

  5. Paul—are you still playing on Regular to settle into the game? I know I am. If you are, you should find that scorelines stabilise as you move back up to Professional. When you get to Top Player or the unthinkable heights of Superstar, I’d expect to see realistic scorelines even on 15-minute matches.

    I’ve been hopping back and forth between Regular and Professional as the mood takes me. I must be terrible at attacking but good at defending, as 0-0 is still a common scoreline for me even on Regular. The Defaults factor always plays a huge role in my PES experience at this stage of affairs. It’s not until late November usually that I get enough good players to start experiencing ‘proper’ gameplay again!

    That’s why the Free Training test is so important for anyone wanting to see the differences between 1.00 and 1.01 for themselves. Trying to discern it in the middle of season 1 of Master League with the Defaults is always going to be problematic.

  6. abbeyhill—the good news is that on PS3 it’s simplicity itself to swap back and forth between 1.00 and 1.01, if you ever get curious as t what we were on about with the shot placement thing. You’ve already noticed that shooting can be weird on 1.00—now imagine that weird shooting factor multiplied by another 50% or so, and you have 1.01. 1.00 is within normal operating PES parameters for me, 1.01 is outside. I’ve got my fingers crossed for 1.02 to bring harmony to the Force. If not, 1.00 will do me.

  7. Yes mate, im on Regular, its still a very tough test, so am happy with that for now.
    What match length are you playing? 10 or 15 mins? I prefer 15min matches, played 16 seasons of ML last year on 15mins, but i cant hack the constant 5-2, 5-4, 6-3 etc scorelines, so nobbed it down to 10 min matches, where i drew 1-1, its finding a happy medium.

  8. Paul—I’m on 10-minute matches at the moment. 15-minuters will come back for me in later seasons. I grew to like them during the tail-end of my PES2011 career last year. As you say, there’s little point playing 15-minuters on Regular with the excessive scorelines. I hope to be able to play on Professional all the time in season 2 of ML, and then go to Top Player whenever promotion comes along. If it comes along…

  9. Anyone got advanced enough in ML to give an opinion on the training? It’s my big bugbear at the moment. If it continues as is then surely it is the worst training system ever. Absolutely no specificication, no guidance from Konami. I don’t even know how to check players’ progress!

  10. Grilled Seabass—I don’t know how training will play out long term (badly, it looks like!), but you can check progress in Squad List, under one of the L2/R2 options beside the player name.

  11. I had four chairman missions in a row last night, very strange….. Deleted the patch last night, loads more space!

  12. The training is still up in the air, i was rotating training every 2 days but never seeing any development, what I’ve settled on for now is selecting a training discipline right after my last match, for example Technique, and keeping that on and skipping forward to a date 2 days before a match, then changing training to conditioning, after the match rinse and repeat with a different training discipline.

    Im not sure how long you have to leave a training method on for before you start to see any changes in team stats though!?!?

    Some guidance from Konami would be very helpful.

  13. Batesy8—I had a different Chairman mission this morning, was amazed. Minor spoiler ahead…

    It was the one where you have to stop a specific opposition player from scoring. I failed.

  14. Paul—I suspect I’m still a long way away from a full appreciation of what the training system is and isn’t in PES2012. I’m relatively indifferent to that kind of thing, and it’ll probably be season 3 before I start thinking about it in depth.

  15. Training is absolutely key for me. Part of the joy of Master League is buying young players and moulding them into world beaters. Last year was great – I only bought one player who was over 90, the rest I bought when they were 70s OVR and trained them into 90+ players.
    If the training is ineffective, then it really is a game-breaker. I can deal with stumble animations, shuffles and shooting problems but I cannot accept not being able to develop my team. Lets hope it gets better as we progress through the seasons.

  16. Grilled Seabass—re training, I’m sure the same underlying mechanic is there of getting a young player and training him up. It’s just the oversight interface that’s dodgy, and it seems you have to go hunting for the development numbers yourself. Bleedin’ Konami…

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