A hell of a beating

There have been some tragi-comic developments in my Master League. First of all, even though I’m ‘only’ playing on Regular difficulty, I can’t seem to gain any traction. The CPU is still perfectly capable of destroying me. God knows what’s waiting for me up on Top Player, if I ever get there. As for Superstar, well, after waiting all this time for the reintroduction of an equivalent to the old 6* difficulty, I might not get there at all in PES2012.

I’ve had some bad results, including a memorable 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Norwich City that showed me what the AI is capable of—for good and ill.

I went 1-0 down early on. How often does that happen in PES2012? Too often for it to be anything other than a consciously crafted outcome, in my view.

I’m not saying the early CPU goal is scripted, as such. Just that it’s coded to be a strong possibility if you’re not defensively alert. Remember when PES’s core philosophy was just to represent the game of football as closely as possible? Nowadays Seabass is on record somewhere as saying that his aim is to create excitement for the player. The two principles overlap, of course—football is exciting and difficult—but they’re uneasy bedfellows when it comes to making human players feel that they’re playing on a level playing field.

I equalised to make it 1-1 against Norwich. Almost as soon as my fist-pumping and self-congratulations were over, Norwich were ahead again. Straight from the kick-off, in fact. And they went on to massacre me in the rest of the game. Morison was like some unholy combination of Batistuta at his peak and Conan the Barbarian.

Final score: Norwich 5, Coventry 1. On the final whistle I reflected on a humiliating defeat, and imagined some breathless Norwich commentator reciting a list of celebrated Coventrians. “Clive Owen… Philip Larkin… The Specials… That cat bin lady… Sir Frank Whittle…. Pete Waterman… Pete Waterman… can you hear me? Your boys took a hell of a beating…. Your boys took a hell of a beating!”

Anyway, such perennial PES gripes aside, I’m still loving my Master League. Although I am increasingly wondering how and why.

There was a comical moment in a match against newly-relegated Swansea. I was 1-0 up in the last few minutes, and they threw the lot at me. In the last minute, this happened—watch what happens to the ball as it goes towards the keeper’s legs:

I should note here that I’ve been happy with the keepers ever since patch 1.02. If anything, they save a bit too much now. I haven’t seen many instances of the pat-a-cake goals, as I call them, where they push away tame shots for an easy follow-up. Good hands, and good goalkeeping nous, are on display.

Although I do fear that Konami mostly achieved this balance with dirty tricks, i.e. wonky shooting and park-the-bus defences. No power on this earth will ever convince me that the shooting in PES2012 is the subtly nuanced system that its defenders like to claim it is. It’s blatantly been twisted to serve another purpose, in my view.

Here’s the league table after 11 matches.

I have an outside chance of promotion this season. By now I had expected to have won enough matches to regain the Chairman’s trust and go back up to Professional, but it hasn’t worked out like that. If anything, it’s a bit more precarious. After every draw or defeat I get the “Chairman is openly unhappy” message in a cutscene. It gives me the willies, right enough.

44 Comments

  1. I’ve been quite critical of this years game, yet I still play it and still enjoy the bloody thing, but I have to say, I do think people go over the top with this scripting malarkey.
    This isn’t directed at anyone in particular but surely if the game was scripted then these instances would happen all the time, clearly they don’t, the fact that they only occasionally happen if anything proves a lack of scripting.

    It does tickle me when I read posts on various forums of games were the comp has come from behind to win sometimes with injury time goals, funny though I`m yet to read of someone complaining of scripting when they’ve achieved a similar result.

    The computer does it its cheating, we do it, its skill.

    I reckon there`s enough wrong with the game without making stuff up.

  2. Decc66—I don’t believe it’s made-up, needless to say. First let me say what scripting isn’t: I don’t believe in any full-on ‘theory of scripting” that suggests the CPU decides before the game something like “Right, this one’ll finish 3-2 to me with two scrappy goals in added-on time, a sending-off, and an offside goal.” There’s no way anything like that exists in the game.

    What I mean by scripting is those undeniable passages of play when your defenders seem drugged, when none o your players can pass two yards, when the CPU awards itself a raft of strength/stamina/speed bonuses that nullify you completely. The periods when you cannot clear the ball. The times—very noticeable in PES2012—when the CPU will clear a corner perfectly to the head of its lone striker, who’ll knock it down for the next CPU player breaking away. And when you clear a corner, how often does the ball drop perfectly onto your lone striker’s head? Not very often, does it? That’s scripting, right there.

    So scripting certainly exists. Of course the answer to it is “defend better”, and a lot of times that is the solution. At the end of the day, for those of us who perceive the existence of scripting, we either play under these conditions or not. I choose to play, and have done for the 5 years or so since I first noticed it getting very bad, in PES5.

  3. Scripting is the wrong word for it i think.
    As Not-Greg said, there are no pre-determined outcomes, just blatantly obvious times when the users input has little or no affect on the outcome.
    For example, the other night, 0-0, toughly fought contest, several 1 on 1’s i had where i deliberately aimed into the corners, only for every shot to be a weak feeble effort straight at the keeper, despite the said forward having a red form arrow and having scored a hat-trick in the previous game. fast forward to the 88th minute, a CPU break away, a ball played into space, the game fails to allow me to select either of my players near to the ball, when selection is never usually an issue, the cpu CF takes the ball, runs through, and by through i meana ctually through my defender who fails to recognise my tackle button input, then takes a shot with the ball flying off at an unworldly angle for which the player was facing and aiming, an act that would defy real life physics, and rolls slowly into the bottom corner, with my keeper having chose to dive 5 secs before the ball actually reached the goal.
    THAT was a moment of scripting, or a

  4. Scripting is the wrong word for it i think.
    As Not-Greg said, there are no pre-determined outcomes, just blatantly obvious times when the users input has little or no affect on the outcome.
    For example, the other night, 0-0, toughly fought contest, several 1 on 1’s i had where i deliberately aimed into the corners, only for every shot to be a weak feeble effort straight at the keeper, despite the said forward having a red form arrow and having scored a hat-trick in the previous game. fast forward to the 88th minute, a CPU break away, a ball played into space, the game fails to allow me to select either of my players near to the ball, when selection is never usually an issue, the cpu CF takes the ball, runs through, and by through i meana ctually through my defender who fails to recognise my tackle button input, then takes a shot with the ball flying off at an unworldly angle for which the player was facing and aiming, an act that would defy real life physics, and rolls slowly into the bottom corner, with my keeper having chose to dive 5 secs before the ball actually reached the goal.
    THAT was a moment of scripting, or as it should probably be called, handicapping.

  5. yeah, handicapping might be a better name for it than scripting. You can see what Konami is trying to do, in that even the best teams unaccountably have off days even when player form and condition are good – if the game was a pure test of skill you probably wouldn’t the natural variations of form over the course of a season and it might feel a bit predictable

    The main problem is that it all feels so transparently unfair when it happens, makes the game feel too frustrating

  6. NG : This is what I mean about reading to much into things. The instances you list are all reasonable occurrences in a game of togger and are things you can experience for you as well as agin you.
    Surely the only reason these occurrences would piss you off is if you felt they happened to often, I don’t think they do.
    After following your blog for the past few years I consider myself on a par with you regarding my PES gaming prowess but Im a bit further down the line regarding this years game, having completed 4 seasons and with much better players, so would it not be reasonable to suggest these things tend not to happen as much when the quality of your team starts to improve?

    At the end of the day the point Im (poorly) trying to make is not that scripting doesn`t exist but that it has to because surely that the only way to created a video game where your competing against a computer and not another player.

    I`m sure we are all guilty of feeling the cards are heavily stacked against us this year, considering how difficult the game is but like I said before we don’t seem to complain about things when they work in our favour.

  7. Good Points Dec66 – as in real life, a team can play well, or even badly and nothing goes for them, so it all balances out, its just more apparent in a video game as you are in direct control of whats happening, so when things dont happen for you, you notice it, whereas in real life, watyching a game on tv, you have no control or input.

    I dont rthink the scripting/handicapping happens enough to bother me long term.
    If it happened every match, at least once, then that would be different, but im 10 games into season 4, thats 112 league games, and over 80 hours of play and I can probably count on one hand the times ive felt a deliberate instance of handicapping occur. 5 times out of 112? Thats 4% of all games …. i can live with that.

  8. Paul : I agree regarding the word scripting, the thing is though that instance will stand out because of the timing and the fact it cost you the game,

    my point is that it could and probably has happened at other times during the game but because of that, it hasn’t irked you as much

    also Im sure you have scored last minute goals that have had you jumping up and down as opposed to analyzing them to see why the ball didn’t fly over the bar or went straight to the goalie like all your previous shots.

  9. Paul : sorry mate missed your second post, Im with you there, tis a small percentage of the over all gaming experience.

  10. I agree Decc66 – its the same analogy as when people are quick to complain when they havent received very good service, but are people as quick to praise when they receive exemplary service ?
    In this day and age everybodies perceptions are based on society and culture and sadly, most of that is negativbity, from the news to articles, to soap operas, always doom and gloom, its ingrained into peoples psyche.

    what Id love to give to see the source code behind PES12. all those little routines that decide wether you ahve a good or bad session, wether theres scripting called and what the triggers are etc… a look inside Seabass’ head.

  11. Interesting debate on the “scripting”. My view is that most sports games have this to some degree and I don’t think it’s a major issue in PES.

    What is a MAJOR issue is that a devoted player like Not-Greg is being seen to become slightly jaded by the experiences of this game as his blog goes along – especially with the shooting.

    Forgive me for jumping to conclusions, but this new entry almost reads like the start of the slippery slope to frustration.

    As I said before, I played Fifa last night which also has it’s flaws an its “scripting” but at least it does do the basics of having it’s bits and bytes respond to the buttons you are pressing. If you shoot at the keeper, high or wide that’s your fault.

    I love PES and I love this game. I can excuse the silly ML cutscenes and the nutjob chairman, the “scripting” and the animations and even the packed defences but I’m worried how many of us will get through 10 or even 20 seasons of ML with the reality of not being able to do that one thing PES has ALWAYS done the best – put the ball in the back of the net.

  12. John – after a frustrating Master league session where things feel scripted or dont go my way, or it feels sluggish and unresponsive, i always load up a friendly match, choose 2 decent teams (NOT the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid etc) and play a game, in whichever stadium i fancy with the classic ball, and in the sun during the afternoon.
    It ALWAYS feels beautiful, fluid, responsive, fun and does what i want it to, including shooting. So leads me to believe that its just due to having poorer players in Master League and that the game will continue to get better the more my ML evolves, OR that the entire game engine is just somehow screwed within the ML mode. And thats something I DONT want to entertain, or start a debate on, like all the OF patches affecting gameplay last year etc.
    But again, i reiterate, the game DOES suffer a degradation in quality during night matches, FACT!

  13. my personal view is that ‘scripting’ is a major issue for PES, at least in ML – it’s probably the main thing which has diminished my affection for ML over the years. Just that sensation you get when the game starts with all your players handling sluggishly, and you know the entire game is going to be, at best, a scrappy grind, and there’s nothing you can do about it

  14. Paul – as you say, it’s only really an issue in ML, not other modes. Although I’m not convinced its driven by player quality in ML – some of my worst experiences have been after I’ve built up a superb team, and the game tries everything to stop it being too easy

    I’m mostly basing these judgements on the PSP & 3DS versions of PES though, where I’ve spent most time playing over the last few years – not really formed a judgement yet on PES12

  15. Abby – is it me or do you find that when you load up a master league session, the first 2 or 3 games feel scrappy, sluggish and not very fluid, and its kinda like the game has to ‘warm up’ …. then after a few matches it starts to feel better?

  16. Paul – actually I’ve not seen that so much, more like sequences of 4-5 consecutive games in a ML season where the players are sluggish and unresponsive, regardless of whether I start/stop my gaming session in the middle of this run. And then the game suddenly clicks back to normal again and everything feels fluid and fantastic

  17. To quote that most famous of Norwich commentators – ‘That goalie has football pie all over his shirt’

  18. Paul & Decc66 & all interested parties—it’s been a frustrating afternoon to be stuck in a busy period at work, reading my email surreptitiously under the desk.

    I agree that handicapping is a better word for it. I’d clarify my earlier comment by saying that the scripted elements in PES are not discrete events such as goals, but the kinds of passages of play that can lead to them. The phenomenon of being unable to clear your lines no matter what you do is surely familiar to every PES player.

    I’ll also re-state my earlier remark that we either accept the conditions and play on, or don’t and do something else. I’ve never felt like abandoning any PES game because of handicapping/scripting, no matter how ‘bad’ it’s got. It’s always technical/gameplay issues that make me sad with PES. E.g. next-gen PES2008’s wonder dribble, and PES2011’s stumble for two good examples.

    And that’s a good point about this being the early days for in this game. That’s the thing about a PES year—they’re marathions, not sprints. It’s like exploring a new city. it remains to be seen what the nature of my experience is like a few seasons ahead with better players. My mostly Default defence is decent enough a lot of the time, but struggles when the CPU turns up the pressure.

  19. abbeyhill—I have to say I react badly to handi-scripting as well. It strikes me as unfair, not because the CPU has suddenly stepped up its game to chase a goal (in a realistic-feeling fashion, the way real teams do), but because my players’ abilities have been lowered in an artificial-feeling way. E.g. your two-yard simple pass to clear the ball that never makes it, on account of the handi-scripting script. We’ve all learned to work within and around this phenomenon and even come to accept it, but it enrages nonetheless.

  20. John—I’m not plunging down the slippery slope just yet, but I do have an uncomfortable feeling that the slope lies up ahead somewhere, and if it does, shooting could be the culprit.

    Shooting has always been something that PES has excelled at, and it still feels good in PES2012—when it works. I’m holding judgement back until I get good and great players and see how they shoot using this odd new system. The dominant theory of why shooting is the way it is is to protect dodgy keepers and keep scorelines reasonable. Another theory is that it’s stats-based, and will therefore be worst with lesser-skilled players such as the Defaults and the first raft of players you get in after the Defaults, in these early seasons. We’ll see how it goes, each of us, in our own individual ways.

    I’m not jaded just at this moment. This morning I intended to play just a couple of PES2012 matches and then fire up FIFA12 for my weekly mini-session (I do not want to let that game go cold), but found myself playing on and on with PES2012. Being in the mid-season negotiation window helped 😉

  21. Chris—it was the comedy rattle of the ball between ‘the posts of his knees’ that made me smile.

  22. hello everyone this is my first comment but i only had discovered this site around september.

    i am really enjoying this pes and this game is very challenging for me, my first season i went on top player with the default squad and have the scout to handle all the negotiations, i must say that the defaults are really terrible it have u thinking like they find these people in the sunday league.

    highlights in the 2011-12 season, 0-4 thrashing in the training match, first game of the season losing 1-0 from a long ranged shot,first win against kvc meirkugaurt 1-2(9/18/2011),first draw 1-1 with cinalton scoring a header who started to dance and have his pic of him posing pointing to the sky,discovered the default gems elegost and maqualao.

    now for the bad, worst loss 0-4(12/11/2011),carling cup(i dont think it is the fa cup since not everyone in the 2 leagues get to play in the cup) 0-3 in the first half and had to change formation to 4-5-1 than the 4-3-3 to not get more goals worst home loss was 0-3(didnt save the pic for the date), first home win 1-0(03/10/2012) and the results ranked 162 in the ml world, 18th in d2 with 3 wins 6 draws and 26 loses and i still love this game.

  23. Paul made an interesting and valid point earlier

    “there are no pre-determined outcomes, just blatantly obvious times when the users input has little or no affect on the outcome”

    The way I look at it is that these passages of play can happen at any point during a game its just the ones that stick with us are the ones that effect the outcome of the game and frankly they are few and far between, what about the times we suffer these passages of play yet we go on to win the game

    What about the times when passing the ball about in midfield you fill the power bar yet the ball just trickles a few yards, if the opposition pick the ball up and go on the attack we`re cussing, but the vast majority of the time a team mate gets there first.

    If these occurrences had more sinister undertones then we`d hardly ever win a game, yet we do, as our teams improve so do our results.

    My perfect PES would be a game that I`d still be playing right up to the release of the following years title, a game where you couldn’t guarantee you were going to win a trophy from one season to the next, how do you achieve this by removing these random happenings?

    The way I see it your left with a purely stats driven game where if your player has say the best heading/jumping stats he wins the ball every time, the best shooting stats and every shot is on target etc…..

    That to me is game with a very short shelf life.

  24. Oh..

    and how`do Barton, welcome aboard.

  25. I agree about the scripting complaints but the one thing that baffles me is the complaints over the shooting! even with the defaults ive had no real problems, dodo excepted 🙂

  26. Just had a thought regarding the shooting and packed defences: has anyone considered rolling back to version 1:00?

    I know the keepers are a bit dodgy but I coped with that better.

  27. barton—thanks for your comment, and I totally agree about the Defaults. They’re deceptive this year, because on the face of it they seem as if they should be better, but really? They’re bleedin’ well not. And those of us who start ML with the Defaults have several seasons of awkwardness to battle through. It’s my tradition to start ML with the Defaults but I think I’ll be abandoning that tradition for PES2013.

    Look after your Maqualao. Mine went into a strop and left at the end of season 2. I think it was because he didn’t play enough games.

    And I still love this game too. My posts are reflective of what I’ve been through in the two or three days preceding each post. That’s usually several hours of gameplay boiled down to 600 words or so, where I have to zero in on whatever is most on my mind. Sometimes, I’m salivating over long-rangers. Other times, fuming over scripting. It’s all part of the big picture.

  28. Decc66—I can’t argue against your assessment of the way a good football game has to operate in order to last for a long time as a playable entity. Indeed, I’ll supply a great example of it from another game in another genre: the Civilization series of strategy games awards the AI ever-increasing bonuses as you move up through its difficulty levels. It has to do this to be a proper game. PES, and all sports games, and many games in many genres, also handicap the human player to achieve the same outcome. I’m not saying they they shouldn’t do it. I’m saying it frustrates me! That’s all. And as I’ve said in another comment, if a PES game turns me off, it’s always technical/gameplay issues rather than handicapping/scripting that does it.

    Going back over just the next-gen PES years that are documented on this blog, you’ll often see me moaning about ‘scripting’, but it’s never driven me away from a PES game or even been a contributory factor. PES2008 and PES2011 were both abandoned for very different reasons. (And I even kept sneaking back to PES2011.)

  29. leroy getz—thanks for your comment, and re. shooting I have to say that it seems the better teams and players you use, the less you (should) see any problems with shooting. Although it seems from your Dodo remark that you’re using the Defaults. So I have to ask: what platform are you playing on, and what difficulty level? If you’re on PC, what controller are you using, and what patch, version, etc.? Any info you have might be useful.

  30. John—for a period just after release I rolled back from 1.01 to 1.00 and thought it was a better, more open game with fewer instances of the shooting problem. Then I went back to 1.01 and found it to be fine, better than I remembered it, despite the more defensive defences. After 1.02 I thought the gameplay became tons better, and the keepers are so much better than the 1.00 and 1.01 predecessors. (Ah, but what dirty tricks were employed to make them better? That is the question.)

  31. To the discussion on scripting I noticed the following phenomena. If I have a really tough game where I feel AI goes out of line I find that even a draw can move me up in the league table. Alternatively if you clock an easy win I usually just stay at the same spot because teams nearby also won their games. Yet if you know you are drawing a game where you are not playing well and should have won sure enough you will go down in the table. I was watching for this and don’t remember having an “easy” game and moving up the table. It feels like this ML scripting is trying to place you in a certain range of places in the league table and this range is of course is different at different seasons. The range where you will be depends on your overall team strength. So this is my theory.

  32. This handicapping/scripting discussion is very interesting! I agree with andy’s argument above. This is what I have experienced for a long time in PES. The game seems to ‘decide’ at some point each season which teams are your rivals, and the level of handicapping you experience is tied to the results these ‘rival’ teams are getting. They lose, you’ll find it bloody hard to get a draw let alone a win. The grey area for me is when/how the game decides which teams these main rivals will be. Does it decide before the season begins from your team stats? Or does it decide from the first few games and results? Something else more complicated? In my opinion, without wanting to sound arrogant, a degree of scripting is essential for a computer to compete and offer a challenge against a human brain, so although it may be frustrating (and that ‘knee-clanger’ in the video looked potentially very frustrating not-Greg!), it’s probably a better alternative than just cruising to win after win (like some of the earlier FIFA games I played, such as FIFA 2004 *I’m not bashing modern, next-gen FIFA*). The problem is…has it become too overpowered/obvious in this years addition? I’m undecided. For me, since I’ve been playing PES from PES 4 (relative ‘noob’ compared to many on here), scripting/handicapping/whatever has been present, and I’ve noticed it, but it always seems to ramp up each year. Is this actually the case? Is it paranoia? Am I just wanting something to blame with each loss? Is it real? What is real? *explodes*

  33. andy—ahhh, the old Master League league table scripting! It manifests itself more broadly for me, where I know that the game will keep me in touch with the leaders for the longest possible time, i.e. if I lose unexpectedly so will the teams around me and/or immediately above me. Unless it’s the early seasons of ML with the Defaults, of course, in which case the game has to let me quietly slip away to the bottom of the table.

  34. Filbert—anyone remember FC Bosphorus from PES5? (I never installed Option Files back then.) They used to wear an all-black kit, I remember, and they were my major bogey team for me. In recent years I recall the game picking out Sunderland for me as my bogey team in PES2010 I think (might’ve been PES2008). I have no idea how the game determines your bogey team but I’m convinced that it does. One of the satisfactions of the ML growth curve is when you end up with your team of galacticos, and, after playing for a hundred hours, you can punish your bogey team every time almost without fail.

    I believe that scripting has increased year on year since PES5, but I think it was required, really. Seeing as how we’ve all stuck with the game and come back year after year, it’s an easy way to accommodate veteran players and fit the game around them. I do wonder what new players coming to the series for the first time make of it though.

  35. I fear the day that the Playstation doesn’t need scripting of some sort, surely it will only be a matter of time before they take over the planet.

  36. not-Greg – well i did look after maqualao but not ettori, his shooting ability is the worst i ever seen from outside the box and even at times inside the box. i dont have a problem with the shooting mechanics, i have a problem with the person who is shooting.

    In the 2011-12 season i had started with the ettori,he was in my plans only because his passes was able to spread the play to the wingers even if they are closely marked but his form started to drop to the purples and i saw maqualao in the yellow and that is when things change. i started to notice he was good in the first control and have ok passing but he can shoot not a powerhouse shot but he can do it in and a little ways outside the box.

    Well since i drop ettori it was harder in the 4-3-3 with Maqualao he was not able to release the wingers or spread the play as ettori. That was when i noticed that this game is very tactical and i had to change formation and a new play style but one more thing how noone is talking about the powerhouse shot of elegost.

  37. Decc66—the thing is, that day will surely come. It’ll be in the form of full-immersion technology, as unthinkable to us now as our present flatscreen gameboxes would be to somebody 100 years ago. Actually, its very imaginable for us: Star Trek-style holodecks will happen in some form, it’s a question of when. We’ll all probably be dead!

  38. barton—what about the powerhouse shot of Irjescu?! Surely the best the Defaults have to offer (poor accuracy aside—I’m talking about raw power). Admittedly I got rid of my Elegost early on.

    And have you sold Ettori yet? If he’s not playing regularly, put him on the market and get some money for him, or he might simply leave and you’ll get nothing.

  39. not-Greg – it is too late now he just left and the same for irjescu but for irjescu he had a great power shot, there were too many matches that he was quiet and never made himself available and when the rare chance he was he thought the goal moved to the stands.

    the thing about elegost i like is when he play is the center he pop out in good areas and when defending he plays like a dmf covering the holes the cb may leave which was surprising since he dont have dmf as a position he plays.

  40. im playing on the 360 on regular difficulty. Looks like i spoke too soon. I won my first seven games with the master league defaults. The next five have been a disaster, i cant buy a goal. I think im seeing the scripting kicking in now lol. I was battering teams in those first seven games, average 3 goals a game, 20 or so shots but since then ive gone rapidly downhill. Out of the defaults i find elegost and irjescu have great shots on them, as long as placement isnt your priorty. Anywhere outside the box if i get clear space in front of them i use the push forward command(the two shoulder buttons) and smash the ball at other teams keeper. If it doesnt fly in then mop up the rebound with ordaz or shwarz 🙂 Try doing the layoff freekick with either of these two

  41. barton—re. Irjescu, his accuracy improves if you have time and space to ‘set’ before taking the shot. I’ve started only shooting with Irjescu when I have that time and space. When the opportunities come I can really paint the corners and achieve accuracy with him. I keep almost scoring the greatest PES goal I’ve ever scored. But he’s gone from your ML team now, so this is all moot for you!

    Your Elegost sounds a lot like my Camacho. A versatile player who seems to play beyond himself. One of PES’s traditional hallmarks.

  42. leroy getz—for those of us who play Master League and only Master League, I really think it takes 2 seasons minimum, and ideally 5 or 6, for the true nature of a PES to emerge.

    Re. the layoff freekick, I really hated the way it was nerfed in PES2011 thanks to the steparound animation that gave the CPU defenders that extra crucial split-second to close you down. I like it a lot more in PES2012, but no scoring success yet.

  43. I find it difficult to accept that PES cant even get straight lines on the pitch or goalposts right, yet it manages to maintain this database of bogey teams and stat-related league table positioning/results fixing!!! seriously???

    Not doubting that there is a level of ‘handicapping’ applied in certain games or during certain situations but to take it as far as has been mentioned, id be very surprised.

  44. Paul—never underestimate the fiendishness of PES!

    No, seriously, never underestimate it. The best way to look at it, IMO, is as if you yourself were the ML game designer. Wouldn’t you load the game with all kinds of little touches to keep the player interested and prolong the lifespan of a season? One of the techniques would be a certain level of macro-scripting in the league table positions, one that works to your benefit. The game definitely keeps you involved in the promotion/title race for as long as possible. You’ll only fall out of contention if your form is truly wretched. It’s an easy thing to do and I’ve been certain of its presence in ML for as long as I’ve played the mode.

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