There’s a sting in the tail…

There’s a great new Default player in Master League 2012. Goes by the name of Irjescu. He’s a DMF/CMF—the kind of versatile everyman midfielder that PES has always specialised in. He’s got a great booming shot on him. His accuracy is laughable, but with proper development that can be cured. He’s one of my favourite Default players.

Here’s a scene-setting picture of him in action for my team, Coventry City:

I’ve actually scored a few goals with Irjescu already in season 1. Each was a true net-busting 25-to-30-yard screamer.

Alas, the shots didn’t go where I was actually aiming. They were the kinds of goals that are making people quit PES2012 in disgust, I’m sorry to say. I won’t ever show a goal like that on here or celebrate it. When it happens in-game, anybody able to see my face would probably think I was eating a lemon.

Thankfully, in version 1.00 of the game at least, truly wonky shooting happens very seldom—and when it does happen, it’s mainly Irjescu.

So, here’s the latest news on my Irjescu:

It was a training injury. His return date is April 2013.

It’s a terrible blow, particularly as I’d trimmed my squad down to 23 players in the post-season period. Irjescu’s injury leaves me quite light.

Below is my current full squad, showing my preferred starting formation (this was before Irjescu’s injury):

That’s not my first-choice starting XI. Ahmet is my no. 1 keeper. The short-term injuries to El Moubarki and Cinalton have kept them out for a week or two. They’re both first choice players when fit.

Irjescu’s injury promoted a rethink. I have since rearranged the above formation to a 4-1-3-2 with one DMF, and Ettori occupying a central AMF role behind the front two. It also accommodates my two new boys, Sciacca and Ozturk, who are proving very useful. Shimizu is… a little guy who gets a game sometimes.

Here’s the table after 1 match of season 2—I’m playing on Regular, it has to be said. We should all stop marvelling at the fact we’re playing on lower difficulties now. The levels have been rebalanced. Top Player is no longer the same as it used to be, and no manly chest-hairs are acquired or bigger testicles grown through doggedly sticking to it. Professional and Regular are both perfectly fine places to be.

I’ve played a few matches after the above, and lost them all. I’m back down scraping the bottom. I show the above table in the expectation that it’s the highest-placed I’ll be all season. I do have some pride.

I cannot leave without a word about my current star player—Ordaz. I call him Awesome Ordaz this year. The Default strikers often flatter to deceive, but Ordaz has got it all this year. I also quite like Maqualao, whose novelty goal appears first in this clip:

The first goal is made by Maqualao’s first touch, which slightly bobbles the ball up into the air for him to strike with venom.

The second goal from Ordaz, a delicious R2 finish, was the goal that won me game #1 of this season 2, and gave me the briefest sniff of life near the top of the table.


I wrote the bulk of this post late last night (Sunday). This morning, Monday (natch), for no reason at all, I played some PES2010 (yes, PES2010—the one that everybody but me hated).

Then I played some FIFA12. Oh, FIFA12…. why did you have to go and exist…. Why, FIFA12, why?

It’s all left me with some food for thought.

Deep breath. I’m going to just come out and say it. I don’t think that PES2012 is a great game of football. There. I’ve said it.

PES2012 is more than adequate—it’s definitely not shit. But it’s not amazing, nor even very good. I invested so much in anticipating it through the summer that it’s hard for me to say I think PES2012 isn’t great, because by doing so I retrospectively make myself look a little foolish, and nobody goes out of their way to do that. But I’ll turn 40 next year, and one of the great side-effects of becoming OLD is that you care a lot less about such things. (Seriously, that side of ageing is great.)

There was another PES game in recent memory that wasn’t great… one that was only ‘more than adequate’… that game was PES2010. I played the absolute arse off that game, and rated it the highest of any next-gen PES game.

Why? Because of Master League. I played it for 20 seasons. I loved it so much I bought the fucking t-shirt. All inspired by a version of PES that was widely dismissed as a bad joke. I played it this morning, as I said, and the old magic is still there. PES2010 had a magic for me that was more than the sum of its clunky parts.

PES2010’s Master League brought in all the new features and depth. Features and depth that PES2012 has taken away.

So PES2012 never really had to be a superb game for me to potentially play it for ages and love it. The whole edifice of PES2012, for me, rests on its Master League. And I have a slightly queasy feeling about that. We’ll see how things unfold.


  1. Liam—‘congratulations’ on the Game Over. I had one in my very first full ML in PES2, I think, where I didn’t understand the Points and salary system, and like yourself didn’t really believe the game could actually mean it.

    I believe Castolo ends up as a possible staff member to sign, at some random point in the future. You’d probably have to play a few seasons.

    I had a Lv. 2 Training coach for my first season (downgraded to save money). I didn’t notice much. My Lv.2 coach and doctor were more value, bringing fewer blue and purple arrows.

  2. NG, he is a genius for me. If he gets anywhere near the opposition box he dances about all over the place, which either gets me a free kick, or he plays someone in. He chips in with a goal sometimes as well.

  3. Hi Not Gregg,

    long time since I posted on here, probably something to do with having 9 month old twins, don’t get as much time on the PS3 these days.

    Anyway slightly off topic but I’ll have a go anyway, I have FIFA12 (which I’m struggling a bit with) and have just bought a 40″ Samsung HD TV. It’s like playing a different game but when the images on screen have to move at speed ie. when I have a shot or clear the ball up the field the picture is a bit blurred.

    I remember some posts for about a year ago when you got a new tv, did you experience anything like this (or anyone else on the forum). Any tips for sorting this out ?

  4. Batesy8—Shimizu is still a lightweight midget for me. It’s all to do with our own skills at the game. I’m a plodder, and PES2012’s Shimizu is a luxury item that I don’t get the best out of.

  5. Scozza—HDTV calibration is a science nowadays. Chances are there will be a setting in your TV menu to help or cure that motion blur problem. I can’t say I ever noticed an issue with FIFA12 on my own Samsung, so it’s got to be TV-specific. You could go trial and error, or somebody might have a concrete suggestion. How do your other games look? I went through two HDTVs before getting one that wasn’t faulty in some way.

  6. Scozza – try setting the screen resolution on the PS3 settings to 720, as thats what PES natively runs at. also if you have the option change the refresh settings to 60hz. See if that makes any difference.

    Also turn off any picture enhancement modes the tv might have like ‘Movie’ or ‘Game’ etc.
    using a decent HDMi cable will also improve clarity.

  7. Paul—does FIFA12 also run at 720p? I assume so—doubtless we’d have heard a lot about a 1080p FIFA12!

  8. Batesy8 – yes, that’s the one. I knew he was Polish! I remember him and Rozyknets on the last game being half decent as well as Ilucznica as you mention. Bit disappointed with Antberk’s stats this time round as he was very good on the last one.

    Well done on the promotion, I’ve also got Bruno Gama in the AMF role and he’s been really good.

  9. Yep – all PS3 and XBox360 HD games run at a maxiumum of 720P. We are still awaiting the first ‘truly HD’ game …. although I havent seen the specs for Uncharted 3 so not sure what that runs at.

  10. I see Konami have announced patch v1.02 for November, addressing: GK’s, The way stats are displayed in game, place kicks (?), online functionality …. but no mention of Shooting!!!
    Oh well. can always revert back to 1.00 again if this patch doesnt deliver.

  11. I had probably my best session on PES2012 last night, I’m in late Feb in season 1 now, sorted all three transfers for the end of the season, all freebies – one was a CB from Cesana, Yohan Benalouane. He is 24 and 78 OVR – I couldn’t believe he came £350k pa on a 3 year deal.

    After all the talk of training and mentioning my week on and a week off (conditioning) policy in a previous comment I thought I would mention that at the end of Feb Camacho had risen from 64 to 70, the rest of my promoted youths had increased by at least 3 OVR… seems to do the trick and is very straight forward.

  12. Paul—shooting might be addressed in the ‘any other business’ part of the 1.02 package. Whether it is or isn’t, the usual ranges of wild claims will be made post-patch about 1.02’s gameplay. (Have you seen the full list of things people think is different from 1.00 to 1.01?!) I think we’ll all know if 1.02 is for us or not within a few hours of testing.

    The time is coming for me when I’ll have to spend an hour or two with 1.01, just to see what it feels like now after a serious amount of time on 1.00.

  13. Pete—I think the rubbish first season or two with the Defaults affects me more than most, as I really am a poor player and struggle to do much with them, even when they’re pretty decent as they are this year. I’m looking forward to motoring through the seasons ahead and picking up new players. Thanks for the training tip, will try it out.

  14. I know this is probably slightly off topic….but im taking the plunge this year and going to go with an Option File….can anyone suggest one that is worthwhile? maybe a link or something.
    Much appreciated.

  15. Phil – PS3? if so grab the WENB Base OF – from their site, it installs all kits and logo’s for the prem, and right logos for cup comps etc, then you can download various team packs to add in via the new import feature, so basically you can brick together your own custom option file with bits and pieces that you want.
    A full championship team pack with real players, kits and stats has just been releasded too, same source.

    Something has just happened which means no PES12 for me for the forseeable future……..
    Uncharted 3 just popped through the letterbox.

  16. Phil—you can’t go wrong with the WENB Option File, it does all the basics (Premier and other top leagues) and as Paul says you can grab any add-ons you wish afterwards (npower Championship etc).

  17. Paul—if I’d pulled the trigger yesterday I’d have U3 now too, I’m sure. I’m only half-envious, as I know that I’d never get to play the bugger, but I want it anyway (isn’t that strange?). Skyrim is next week, and I am getting that and will make time for it.

  18. Ohhh skyrim….uncharted….. Assassins creed revelations….. Why all at bloody once!!!

  19. For me, Uncharted is more essential than PES, FIFA, all combined. The 2 previous Uncharted titles were the two finest packages of video gaming excellence i’ve ever witnessed.
    Im just a little excited for no.3 – Naughty Dog just seem to keep pushing the boundaries and squeezing even more power out of the PS3, if they can carry on producing such fine graphicalgames, how comes Konami suffer so poorly with PES?
    I noticed last night, the edge of the pitch was more jaggedy than a lumberjacks saw, it was incredible. How difficult is it to get a line straight and smooth!!?

    @Not-Greg … Uncharted is WORTH making time for.

  20. My pile of new games will contain PES12, FIFA12, Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3, CoD:MW3, WWE12, that little lot should tide me over until the summer, just in time for the PES13 hype train to roll out of the station!!

    I also downloaded Football Manager 2012 last night on the PC, havent even loaded it up yet.

  21. Paul—I suffer a lot from a kind of anxiety when faced with so many games, where I’m so worried about neglecting the best game that I end up playing no games. While still accumulating more games.

    I got FM2011 a few months ago and have done nothing more than play the first few weeks of the first season. But I still think ‘Oooh, FM2012….’

  22. abbeyhill Yes I still read the blog and every comment, not-Greg gets embarassed by this but this place is the only credible PES site around due to not-Greg’s managing of the site and it’s commenters.

    I can’t be arsed with the PES/FIFA debates to be honest, I just keep away from them. Is it any different from me liking the Gears of War, Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises which I play all online. If the games give you enjoyment, play them and vice versa.

  23. Its ridiculous isnt it, i do the same, when a new game comes out i HAVE to have it, even though i have many games still on the go, ive shunned a few games recently due to this dilemma. I also traded in every game i ahd that i wasnt actively still playing to free up some room. So now I have a £40 GAME gift card, which will lead to yet another game to play…. vicios circle.
    I need a lotto win so i can sit in my pants playing PS3 all day every day with no other responsibilities to side track me.

  24. Heraldo—PES/FIFA interests me in that many PES fans, in my view, need FIFA to be bad to feel happy with PES, and that genuinely baffles me. They miss the old FIFA the way Man Utd fans probably miss the pre-Sheikh days and being undisputed no. 1 in their city.

    Thanks for your embarrassing words about the site. I have to say that for all my dark hints about the pornographic WENB/Seabass-related comments that get scooped up by the filter, they’re actually very rare. So much so that I switched off most of the filter a few weeks ago and haven’t had any problems so far. 99.99% of all attempted comments are posted, and I enjoy replying to each and every one. I get stressed when I can’t start replying for hours sometimes, for example in the middle of a busy working day (or evening, for me).

  25. Paul—if you had all the time in the world it would still not be enough to play all the games worth playing. We’ve got to the point in history right now now where games have reached the same critical mass as movies, TV shows, music, books—so much quality, coming out all the time, that it’d take several lifetimes to enjoy everything you know you’d enjoy.

    I started playing an RPG called Persona a few weeks ago that I’ve been wanting to play for about 3 years. There are about a dozen such games on my shortlist. My longlist could be up towards 50 games.

    It’s just crazy. I feel so overwhelmed by the thought of all the games, that it stops me playing anything at all much of the time. I just play PES and forget about gaming, as such. It’s easier.

    I really want to start proper gaming again, though. As a form of immersive entertainment, a great game is in a class of its own.

  26. Awww, Paul, you’re really making me want uncharted 3 now! I agree, the first two were perfectly paced, polished pieces of gaming satisfaction. I’m still haven’t got round to playing uncharted 2 through for a second time, so unlikely to get to no 3 until the new year. Time is a problem, but also my bank balance!

  27. Filbert—when you know there’s no time, the existence of an Uncharted 3 is simultaneously tantalising and annoying, isn’t it? I’ll get to it around December. I’ll call in sick for a week or something. That’ll do it.

  28. My chairman is a complete fantasist! After getting promoted against the odds you’d think he’d be happy with just staying in the prem, or at a push mid table obscurity….. Oh no, he wants me to qualify for the Europa league! What a prick……

  29. Quite looking forward to playing Uncharted 3, I only played 2 and it was a great adventure. There’s a great advert here with Harrison Ford. These days though I can’t really justify paying full price for a game that I won’t play right away. In six months or so when I finish playing PES, I’ll pick it up at budget price. I too can think of 10s of games that i want to play through but I just don’t have time. Like we talked about before I don’t want to get into a situation where I’ve hoarded all this stuff that I won’t actually use!

  30. @not-greg:

    Im sad to admit I agree with you about master league and pes in general this year mate. Iv sunk hundreds of hours into master league throughout the years and loved every minute of it. I have my own personal little gems throughout the years who i remember fondly. (minanda, ivarov and my legendary treble winning world footballer of the year cabalard.) thats what pes is about. The personality of the players.

    This year the training is a joke and the horrible cutscenes breakup the flow of ML too much, I still can’t believe they changed it so much with the training etc. I’m enjoying mlo this year though.I just feel its more fun.

    They need to patch ML and fix a few small things. I just want to play, not listen to every player whine about not being played. Bring back the flow of that magical pes feeling of just one more game

  31. Barry I played quite a lot of MLO this year and I’ve found it good for the first 30-40 games but after a while it just seems to go nowhere. Every team you play seems to be filled with superstars and as time goes by everyone will just have te same teams. It is very satisfying as you can buy a new player every few games, whereas ML is a very slow process.

  32. Batesy8—I doubt you’d get the sack for failing to qualify, just a reduction in approval. It’s a shame that the Chairman feature isn’t more fleshed out, with requests for funds and players and training facilities etc. I’d expect this Chairman thing to expand in that direction next year for PES2013, or just be quietly dropped.

  33. Grilled Seabass—I could stop getting all new games right now and still have enough of a backlog of gaming material to keep me going for at least 5 years. It’s not just the consoles—although there I have a backlog that would take me a year or two to get through on its own. I’m talking DS games, PSP games. Mac/PC games… Two years ago I bought Europa Universalis III Complete as a digital download, a game I’d waited years to get hold of . As a Civilization fan, I’d always heard of EUIII as a superb game in the same tradition. I’ve played it once, for an hour—the tutorial… EUIII on its own could fill 100-200 hours. I have others like it. It’s scary, and frustrating.

  34. Barry—I’ve amost stopped taking the new features seriously. The only one you have to watch out for is the Chairman thing—I’m keeping track of what ‘he’ thinks of me. The player interaction, though, I just ignore as much as I can. Tap the button and get through it. Ditto training. It is a shame, as it’s a halfway house between the ML of PES2010/PES2011 and the old-school ML. If they were going to revert, I wish they’d gone all the way.

    Otherwise, I’m getting into PES2012 a lot more now. Behind the frantic exterior, it’s got something. You have to burrow quite hard to get at it, but it’s got something.

  35. I Appreciate this is a PERS-related blog so i wont blither on but I just need to say this:
    UNCHARTED 3 is the best game ever made on any platform, period.
    Totally blown away by it so far, Naughty Dog have pushed the boundaries so high with this title, the graphics, casting, voice acting are all akin to a high budget hollywood movie, and the actual gameplay is as perfect as any game gets. IGN gave this game a 10/10 – Masterpiece.
    They are not lying!

    Makes the jaggy pitch edges and goalposts in PES even more annoying.

  36. Paul, do you not find Uncharted a bit linear? A fantastic spectacle, absolute epic etc, but not really requiring much of the player apart from shooting enough bad guys to trigger the next set piece? Doesn’t really give you the same satisfaction as achieving a gritty 0-0 draw with the ML defaults on a wet Tuesday evening in Kiev

  37. Sorry go back about 30 posts, how do I set the screen resolution to 720P on the PS3 ?

    Excuse my ignorance.

  38. Paul—I am heroically resisting, for now…

  39. abbeyhill—this will be sacrilege to Paul, but I preferred Uncharted 1 for its less A-to-B feel and better puzzles etc. Uncharted 2 was still a great game though.

  40. Scozza—go to Settings>Display Settings in your PS3’s XMB. (Also check Settings>Game Settings and turn Smoothing to ON. I’ve always had that ON and it does no harm.) Do all that after you’ve made sure your TV itself is set to a ‘Normal’ picture rather than ‘Game’ or ‘Movie’, and that’s not the reason for the blur.

  41. Cheers, will give that a go.

    Presume when I want to watch my Star Wars blue rays I need to go back and change to 1080p before I play ?

    Don’t worry Not Gregg I am 40 and still showing no signs of growing up !!

  42. @ Grilled Seabass:

    Ya man, im about 30-40 games in, Im doing a series on youtube so Im getting about 50 matches uploaded to see how high up the ratings i get. Currently, iv bought my first big player Hamsik who is actually terrible for me, hell be sold after his contracts up. The teams i am playing are a joke. They all have superstar playrs as you quite rightly say.

  43. @not-Greg:

    I agree man, i still love Pes, it has kept me away from Dead Island, Batman etc. I would just love for them to have Master League the best it can be without the small stupid things that imo subtract from the overall experience of sitting down for a marthon session of ML.

    On an other note, I find the shooting fine mate, I dunno is the 360 different from PS3.?

    I started my ML with Daymos Patch and chose Hull City in Championship. I have two matches left before season ends, and I have a high flying, already promoted, Millwall to play. I am third but only a point ahead. Its gonna be tight!

  44. Scozza—I have my PS3 set to 1080p and it auto-adjusts to 720p when it plays PES, or any game really, so it might not even be that. Save it for the last if nothing else works. Try turning on Smoothing in the PS3 menu and also have a root around in your TV menus.

  45. NG – I’ve been looking into Europa Universalis – never heard of it before. Looks amazing – you’ve just given this addict some crack. Thanks a bunch.

  46. Grilled Seabass—whatever you do don’t look into Paradox Interactive’s other games. Don’t look at the Hearts of Iron series (WW2 grand strategy) or Crusader Kings or Victoria. Or else…

  47. Tried switching smoothing on, adjusting PS3 display settings to 720p and switching Game Mode off on the tv. Made no difference. Starting to think am I imagining it or will I just have to live with it on a 60hz tv ?

    Any more tips ??

  48. Scozza—the best you can do is compare how it runs on another TV in the house. Or you might indeed just be ‘over-noticing’ something that is a natural part of the game anyway. There’s always going to be some motion blur, e.g. when the goalie hoofs the ball upfield (I noticed it on PES2012 this morning), until we get better tech and better developers.

    Have a good root around in your TV display menu. On mine there about 5 different sub-menus with all kinds of possible tweaks. Trial and error it.

  49. I think now that I might have been sitting too close to the tv.

    One things for sure is since I’ve been playing the game in HD I am absolutely useless at it. I wish I could just enjoy it a little bit more…..

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