There has been a change in Team Strength which I would like to report

I’ve been through the mid-season transfer window in season 3 of my Master League career on PES2012, and I managed to bulk out my squad a little. Sadly I was unable to sign any ‘proper’ players. The ‘List of Targets’ (formerly known as ‘Openness to Negotiation’) was well-stocked, but either the players I went after didn’t want to drop down a level, or the fees and/or salary were ludicrously inflated and unaffordable.

One average AMF wanted a £600,000 salary. I only had about £700,000 in the kitty to begin with. I have to keep one eye on the end of the season, and the financial reckoning that’s coming my way. It’d be nice to have enough cash to get a staff upgrade or two, plus one or two experienced new players.

I contented myself with signing a couple of players from the Youth squad. I picked up JACOBS (GK, 62OVR) as cover for that position. I’m running with three GKs in the squad for the first time ever, I think. Usually the game lets you get away with just two goalies, but PES2012 is different in this respect as in many others. I’ve come perilously close to having to pick an outfield player in goal at times, and I hear that it can actually happen, so I’m worried enough to take this precaution. Jacobs is a familiar name from recent PESes and may even develop into my official #1, who knows.

Also, I finally took pity on the puppy in the window, SCHWARZ (SS/CF, 61 OVR), and signed him up. Even though he’s 20 years old and probably lacking a few years’ development time.

Schwarz’s celebrated left foot seems to be as much of a lethal weapon as ever, despite his current lowly status. I haven’t scored with him yet. He doesn’t play much, suffering from up-and-down form and low stamina as he does. I tend to bring him on as a late sub in matches that are already safe. When he gets on the ball I try the same kinds of shots that made him such a name in PES, and they almost come off. A good few seasons’ development and he might just be as good as the Schwarz I knew in PES2011.

His wages are as exorbitant as ever: £250,000 a year for a player of his age and relatively low quality is absurd. I just won’t be able to afford to pay that and sustain my squad in other areas. And so I’ll be looking to ship him out on loan at the end of the season. And if I get a tempting enough outright offer for him, I might even consider it.

Getting just those two players eased my squad difficulties enormously. I now had a bit of breathing space. And I went on a swashbuckling run of form, winning matches and coming from behind to rescue lost causes. I’m scoring freely with my star man, Twiggy, as evidenced by the current Top Scorers’ chart:

And below is the current table after 19 matches. I’m sneaking up on the rail:

When I look at that table, I think about promotion. And then I think:  Promotion? But I’m not ready yet…

If I go up to Division 1 there’s a serious danger I’d come straight back down again, or be sacked before things got that far. But I’m honour-bound to go for promotion regardless. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’s worth reiterating that I am, in general, thoroughly enjoying PES2012. There’s no sense of discharging a duty before moving onto FIFA12, or anything like that. This is strange, I know, considering PES2012’s well-documented shortcomings. I have asked myself if I am being blindly loyal to the brand. Am I just an older, balder version of all the foaming-at-the-mouth PES partisans out there on the forums?

My conclusion, needless to say, is that I’m not a blind brand loyalist. I find PES2012 to be a good game, perhaps even a very good game. It should be noted that I am not suffering from the stumble animation or any other standout issue this year. Shooting possibly excepted, but even that is variable enough to be tolerable.

As ever, the part that Master League plays in the PES formula for me is not to be underestimated. Konami tried to kill their jewel in the crown with mind-bogglingly ill-advised removals and worthless additions, but enough is left of the body for it to be a viable pursuit once more.

My current ‘favourite’ part of the new Master League is when a player who plays in every match for the whole 90 minutes comes to you and says how pleasantly surprised he was to play the full 90 minutes. My Ruskin keeps doing this, despite being known informally as ‘Full 90 Ruskin’.

It’s shit like that, Seabass…


  1. Chris – no, nothing game-breaking this year on career mode, all seems pretty robust. Player development not as good as PES (at its best) in that players need game time to develop properly, so unless you can send your young players out on loan they tend to stagnate. But everyone among my regular starters + subs is seeing stats develop (or decline) in a realistic manner

  2. AGGHHHHH! Not again. Every time we have this discussion I feel like going back to FIFA for another go. I really struggled on Career Mode at the weekend.

    NG – When you say you play it differntly to PES, what do you mean? And what level do you play on?

  3. John—play it differently as in, it’s a completely different football game with different techniques, mechanics, and routes to goal. E.g. in PES I’m sure you’re familiar with the ‘three passes from defence to striker, turn and shoot’ approach. Try that in FIFA12—try most things that we’re used to from PES2012, in fact—and you’ll be frustrated and the gameplay will just seem horrible. I play on Professional, semi-assisted passing/shooting, manual crosses, and with a few slider tweaks.

    Like I keep saying, though, think a thousand times before opening a second front in your football gaming. It’s like climbing from one car into a completely different car and expecting it to handle exactly the same, and blaming it for not doing so. And then climbing back into the first car and repeating the mistake. And then climbing back into the other car and… you get the idea I’m sure.

    Best to stay in one car, finish your grand journey, and only then switch cars and go off on another journey. I like this analogy and will use it at some point in the future 🙂

    Unless, of course, you dislike the first car enough to want to consider driving the other one. But if that’s your situation, I’d advise you to find the game you want to play and favour that one with most of your time, or you could spend the rest of the footy gaming year not having a totally satisfying experience on either.

  4. Thank NG. That’s good advice.

  5. not-Greg: Your team will grow and you will eventually (4-6th season) be able to beat D2 because your team will have so much better stats. The problem appears when I reach or get close to my team development limit my stats are still not sufficient to beat D1 teams. In pes 2011 I had a team of all field players at 100. I think it is better and more realistic in this pes, but the point is that professional is just too hard. I am going to finish this season and switch to regular at least until I win everything. I also noticed football is more diverse and enjoyable on regular. What do others think on this issue? Thanks.

  6. NG- I agree, you must only play one footy game. Like a shooter, one plays so diffrently, its impossible to use your Pes skills and implement them into FIFA. Or vice-versa. Have you played MLO at all mate?

  7. A quick tip for your training routines. Two days before a match change the routine to conditioning. leave it like that for two days after the match as well. All other days pick speed or whatever you like. Helps with the form arrows.

  8. NotGreg – Funnily enough a christmas tree fell on my head at work today; I can feel a bit of delayed brain twang coming on…

  9. andy—I’ll be braced for the future to unfold as you predict, but hope that it won’t. And you may find Regular both more and less of a challenge that you’d think. You get all the possession and all the shots, but then occasionally the AI will just up and thump you 3-0. Weird.

  10. Barry—I can’t add anything else to my own car-driving analogy of earlier. I think a lot of the negativity that many people have for both games could be due to moving between them and trying to transpose the muscle memory of one onto the other. I’m more than happy with PES2012—delighted, even—but something tells me I’d have a very different feeling if I was trying to split my time between it and FIFA12. And the same principle applies to FIFA12 of course.

  11. leroy getz—thanks for the tip, I will be trying it out very shortly. Of course it depends on being able to stop the calendar accurately. Does anyone else find it takes few days to stop after trying to interrupt its progress?

  12. Chris—I’ll be paying my respects to PES2012 tonight and then playing Skyrim all tomorrow. My back-knack and tomorrow’s texture-fixing patch are both gifts from God, who clearly wants me to spend Wednesday playing Skyrim instead of working.

  13. Not-Greg – Use the ‘skip to date’ option in the schedule rather than just ‘Next’, then you can choose what day you stop on and apply training accordingly. Tried Leroy’s tip last night, needs a bit more time before i can say if it actually affects form or not.

    LAst night despite winning 3 and losing 2 games, and sitting 9th, 5pts outside promotion places, my assistant informed me there are boardroom rumours that I will be sacked and that future results are pivotal …… i made sure i backed up to USB straight away, my a-hole is twitching, after investing 2 months in a ML, not sure i could be assed with going back to the beginning if i do get sacked,but also know it would irk me to carry on and win things knowing id cheated my way out of the sack….. decisions.

  14. Paul—you’re still a few defeats away from the ‘win or be sacked’ stage. We’ve all got our different feelings about what to do if the sack ever happens, but personally I would never start all over again. I think if you keep a save from now and, if sacked in several matches’ time, roll back to it, honour will be satisfied. It’s not cheating. Consider it as no worse than loading a save in a regular computer game, an Uncharted or a Gears of War, say.

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