The Myth of Cinalton

The new Defaults are a mixed bunch. I can’t even remember some of the names of the ones I released back in season 1.

Among the ones I kept on a bit longer, Elegost flattered to deceive for me. Irjescu is still a solid DMF, and of course he has a true thunderbolt of a shot. But there is one who is greater than them all.

Cinalton is the pick of the new boys for me. As time passes I’m becoming more and more impressed with Cinalton. I didn’t want to be.

Cinalton was billed as the new Castolo before PES2012’s release. Let’s see: a Brazilian flair player whose name starts with ‘C’ and has three syllables? It can only be the new Castolo! (Presumably people meant Castolo when he was good, several years ago, circa PES2/PES3. Instead of the knackered old has-been that Castolo became in more recent years.)

Cinalton played a major part in a recent match—a match that solidified my growing belief that PES2012 may be the most criminally underrated PES game since PES2010.

Allow me to set the scene.

Last time, I was making progress up the table and threatening to close in on a promotion spot. Today, I have to report a slight blip. The table right now looks like this:

One recent match was the best match that I’ve had on PES2012 so far.

It was against Burnley, a lower-table side, and it was Away. That usually spells trouble for me in this year’s game.

Burnley kicked off and passed it out wide. I am always very, very keen to snuff out the CPU’s attacks from kick-off. On this occasion, I was too keen.

I got close to the ball-carrier with Ruskin, close enough to make a blocking slide-tackle. These are a perennial weakness of mine. I try them far too much. Most often they only go wrong when the CPU player skips past the challenge and runs clear into wide open space. Sometimes, though, I mis-connect with the challenge and earn a red card.

Which is what happened in this match. Ruskin was red-carded after 1 minute of the match.

I never reload. Never, never, never. I admit to being tempted occasionally, and I was tempted here.

But I played on. There was a time in my PES life when I specialised in getting results with 10 men, or even with 9 or 8 men. Maybe that was in the ISS years, now I think of it.

I shifted my back line around and went to three CBs, leaving the rest of my formation unchanged. Two DMFs, two SMFs, an SS, and a CF. I figuratively rolled up my sleeves and got on with it.

A few minutes later, I was 1-0 down. During a CPU attack, I panicked and started button-mashing, and a huge gap opened up in my makeshift back line. A Burnley player virtually walked through with the ball and passed the ball into the net.

Damn. But strangely, I was not despondent. This match was a fine example of how the right attitude is important in PES2012 (as it is in everything).

“I am going to get a result,” I thought with determination. “I am going to get a result from this match.”

I was sitting up, leaning forward with the controller in my hand, fully engaged with Pro Evo. It all felt electric for some reason. As if the spirit of PES had descended from on high and entered into me. (I appreciate how annoying this will be to many readers, and I am genuinely sorry about it.)

Half time came without me conceding further, but I hadn’t threatened much. Halfway through the second half, I got my precious equaliser, with Twigg (who else?).

I’d have been happy with a point, but Cinalton was on the pitch by now as a sub, playing as an SS. And this happened:

If you can’t view the clip, here’s what went down:

I worked the ball to Cinalton on the edge of the box. As he received the ball I flicked the analogue stick in the opposite direction, hoping to make space for a shot. Without me consciously making it happen, Cinalton pulled off a flamboyant skill move with his favoured left foot. He flicked the ball with his instep in the opposite direction and set himself up for a shot with the same foot.

In the Wide camera view I knew something weird had happened with Cinalton’s first touch, but had to look at the replay to be certain of what. It reminded me of the Recoba shot.

I exulted over the goal, but the manner in which it had been scored raised a question. How could I have any satisfaction from the skill move, when it was triggered without any input from me to make it happen? It looks good, sure enough, and believe me it felt good, but what had I done to make it happen?

As with so much in football games, it was better to move on and forget about inspecting the wires behind the scenery.

The score was now Burnley 1, Coventry 2.

Burnley came at me with everything they had. If I succeeded in making two consecutive passes in the remaining 10 game minutes, I felt lucky. But I was determined not to surrender my hard-won lead. They had a series of corners and actually headed against the post in the last seconds. The final whistle went. I relished the greatest victory of my PES2012 Master League career so far. And I hailed a new hero of Master League.

Cinalton, step forward. And thank you.


  1. Firstly to pick up on the last comment of monday’s post, i dont think i could reload a save, to me it would diluyte any success i had knowing i had actually been sacked but reloaded to avoid it and achieved success that way.

    On to today’s post … I dont think you need to worry about how or why Cinalton performed an intricate skill move which led to his goal.
    Its stats based, Cinalton’s ball control stat, and attack stats are obviously such that he can perform deft moves and touches when controlling the ball, in appropriate situations.
    That was a great little account of that ‘Magic PES’ feeling.
    I had one similar last night, I was at home to FC Koln who are riding high in the league, id just came off the back of 2 good wins, i went 1-0 up, then they drew level through an own goal, then i went 2-1 up just before half time.
    It stayed like this until the 70th min, I was in the ascendancy, dictating play, having most posession and looking good for the win, then FC Kolne equalised.
    You could feel the shift in momentum, 2 mins later they went 3-2 up, then as i pushed forward attacking to get the equaliser they started picking me off at will, it finished 5-2 to FC Kolne.
    I had lost, and lost badly, but the momentum shift, the fluidity of the game and the unpredictability all amounted to a very enjoyable game. If you can enjoy losing, the game is doing something right.

  2. The main ingredients of that goal were all performed by yourself, you spotted a lovely (slightly angled !!!) run, you found the man and scored the goal, revel in it.

    I`d personally like to see more of these little touches in the game, I’ve never been able to pull off any skill moves so I tend not to bother trying, it would be nice sometimes to see Dave Silva do a little something now and again that sets him apart from the rest of the team if you know what I mean.

    I tell ya, on occasions when I’m under pressure from the oppo`s attack and I’m button mashing like mad with absolutely no effect, then suddenly with no input from me a defender clears the ball, my first thought without fail is always THANK FUCK!

  3. Paul—re. Cinalton’s skill move first of all, my misgivings arise from that very fact that such moments auto-fire in PES according to context, player stats etc. I suppose what I’m wondering is which vision of player skill moves is the ‘correct’ one: PES’s automatically-triggered skill moves, or FIFA’s manually-triggered ones? Both have pluses and minuses, with the most obvious minus for FIFA’s version being their over-use and abuse (although I have never used them in FIFA). I will answer my own question right now by saying I think there’s a place for both.

    And that’s fair enough you wanting to preserve some realism in your ML career and not reload after a sacking. It’ll make your next few matches very interesting. I think it’ll only take two defeats, and you’ll get the warning…

    Out of interest, did you ever incur a Game Over in the old ML due to running out of cash/points? If so, how did you respond then?

  4. Decc66—I’ve never been able to pull off any skill moves in PES2012 either (double-taps of R1 don’t count). Cinalton’s lovely little flick was entirely automated and game-driven, nothing to do with me. But that doesn’t matter because, as you say, it felt like part of the overall move and I enjoyed it immensely.

    There’s no question that automation/assistance in PES has always been there. We’re assisted to a large degree, and always have been. There could never be a PES game without assistance that would still be regarded as PES, I suspect. This year’s passing assistance settings have been only a partial success from what I can tell.

    First thing I did this year was switch off the defenders’ auto-clear setting. I used to hate seeing that, often because it needlessly gave the ball away when I had a chance to collect the ball and pass clear.

  5. Paul : I had a similar experience to you over the weekend, I finally beat a big club, Spurs at White hart lane (aah the beauty of the PC) 2-0 up after 10mins, they pulled it back to 2-2 by half time, I regain the lead early in the second half and hold on for the win. It was one of those “I think I`ve cracked the game” moments,a couple of PES months later, Tottenham come to the Etihad and they beat me 5-0.

    I`m loving the sheer unpredictability of it all.

    Again during last nights session I’m 3-0 down from the 1st leg of an FA Cup tie against Fulham, I decide to go for it, shit or bust you might say, 2-0 up going in to injury time I win a penalty, bloody goalie it saves and we are out of the cup.

    Losing should not be this enjoyable!

  6. @Not-Greg – id agree theres a place for both types of manual skill and triggered skill,its part of what makes FIFA and PES their own game.
    Ive only ever incurred one Game Over and that was my very first ever ML in PES3 when i didnt understand it all, since then ive luckily never had it happen so cant really draw on past experiences.

    As for the auto clear, its a god send, the amount of times when i had it turned OFF that My defender would fail to respond to a late button press to clear a CPU cross and its either hit my player in the face and ricocheted in or given the CPU a free header, i have it on religously now.

  7. Decc66—your comeback from 0-3 down (never mind the penalty save) mirrors what I talk about in the post: the importance of right attitude. I swear that I’ve had my back against the wall dozens of times in PES2012 already, and had some embarrassing calamities. This time instead of wilting I sat up and really focused. Coming back with ten men from 0-1 down to win 2-1 felt like an act of willpower. It was very gratifying indeed.

  8. Paul—my one and only Game Over—in PES2—was the same scenario, I just didn’t have a clue what was going on. Make sure you let me know how you get on with the Chairman for the next season or so. My experience has been that it’s very hard to get your head up above water with him again. A few wins and there’s no comment. One solitary draw, and it’s “the Chairman is openly unhappy”.

  9. i personally havent liked cinallton in my ML. he hasnt done anything special. he plays somtimes when he moans his not getting enough chances or he comes on as a sub. ordaz and gutirez are the ones for me. even with ordaz’s terrible ratings his been on fire. scoring in consecutive games for me. when his not playing i find it hard to find som1 to score and rely on long shots. with ordaz i can pass it around knowing he has the skill to take a touch in the box, turn and place it in the corner. same with gutierez, in the box, quick turn and shoot and its most likly a goal. when i find another decent striker for backup, im selling cinallton.

  10. fantastic, not-greg, that’s a superb match story. I’m loving the fact you physically sat up and leaned forward, despite your bad back, such was the severity of the situation – that showed true commitment!!

  11. ali—there’s no one prescription for who’s a good player/bad player. My Ordaz, for example, hasn’t played regularly since the first half of season 1 and I’ll be getting rid of him as soon as I can. It all depends on play-styles and what happens in our individual MLs.

  12. abbeyhill—I’ve got the kind of bad back whose pain is alleviated in a seated position, and aggravated by laying down. Something about taking the pressure off the affected nerve. Standing up (the way football fans do for corners) would be even better, but I haven’t quite got there yet in my PES2012 experience…

  13. NG, nice move and finish. I’m not surprised to see it; using Barca, I see little skill moves from first touches all the time, particularly from Xavi, as he will receive the ball while spinning 180 degrees in the opposite direction. All I did was tell him to go the other way. It is nice and refreshing to see little bits of skill here and there.

    Lately I’ve been a bit put off by the blatant cheating from the CPU. It ALWAYS seems to be the benificiary of a loose ball, and when it wants to get a shot off, sometimes there just isn’t anything I can do about it, save for getting a yellow card. I will defend perfectly, only for the CPU to direct my counter-attack pass to the wrong player, allowing it to regain possession. It is controller-throwing stuff…

    Weirdly though, I keep playing, despite muttering “I hate this game…I really HATE this game…”


    Thin line between love and hate I guess.

  14. Interesting question regarding automatic skill moves. I’m all for them.

    For me, it’s an extension of the PES focus on player individuality, which means that players will have differing levels of first touch and technique depending on their stats. The different animations required to simulate this aren’t part of anything you do as a player, but are simply there to give a tactile sense of the difference between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andy Carroll.

    Taking that concept and pushing it forward, some players would have the ability to make that little touch as part of their “non triggered” repertoire, and others wouldn’t.

  15. ^ All of which was meant to say that the fact Castolalton can make that move is what makes him feel special, and differentiates him from the other strikers you might have in your squad. It’s exactly that kind of texture that makes player acquisition in ML so much fun.

    Also, he really is the left-footed Castolo. 🙂 When this batch of defaults “retired,” they just took them into the back room, shaved off the serial numbers, and plunked them back in the squad:

    Ivarov > Iorghenov
    Zamenhof > Zalecki
    Valeny > Voichulerd
    Iouga > Irjescu
    Minanda > Maqualao
    Castolo > Cinalton
    Huylens > Heeders

    Most of the changes to footedness or position were made to give you a more balanced squad with regards to positions and cover — the new Castolo is a left winger, the new Valeny a left back, etc.

    Typically bizarre Konami choice, especially since we have these 20 or 30 existing youth players they could have promoted (which is how they had been replacing retired defaults — Ettori, El Moubarki, Baumann, Gutierrez, etc. were all Youth players back in the day), and another 60-ish old-school Youth players that don’t exist in PES 2012.

    Ah, Seabass. There’s a reason we fish your namesake to extinction.

  16. @Ken:

    Weirdly though, I keep playing, despite muttering “I hate this game…I really HATE this game…”

    Hahahahah, it’s a classic abusive relationship:

    You can’t leave PES . . . PES doesn’t mean it . . . PES really does love you, you’re sure of it, it’s just . . . PES is going through a tough time right now . . .


  17. Ken—it’s got to the point with me where I take real pride in a clean sheet, but then have to wonder if it’s me doing it or just the game kindly refraining from forcng the goal that it so often seems to force. Have you noticed that if you let the CPU get in behind your full-back and run along the goal line towards the penalty box, you might as well just let them score, because 9 times out of 10 that ball is going in the net.

  18. ck—granted that the player skill moves is one of Seabass’s own skill moves in crafting PES as a franchise and an individual instance. I believe that Cinalton’s move is new in PES2012, for example. EA have worked hard to create balance in FIFA and have manual skill moves; in PES, they happen auto-contextually, and the game is still balanced. I like both, but as I say, would never deliberately use a skill move in FIFA.

    And I’ll never understand what level of thinking informs the decision-making around PES/Master League/Defaults either.

  19. Man, it’s matches like that that make Pes so magic. I had a very similar experience against, guess who, Coventry City, down to 10 men (and I very rarely get someone sent off) and 1-0 down until the last few minutes. When I got the equaliser on the 89th minute I was ecstatic. When a few moments later I got the winner, I actually jumped up and ran round my living room shouting, out loud and was tempted to pull my shirt over my head a la Ravanelli. This a 25 year old male. Thankfully I live alone. Goodness knows what the neighbours thought.

  20. Had my own classic game last night Vs highflying and high scoring Leicester. 1-0 down early on, I pummeled them for 70 virtual minutes then they get a pen in the 90th min. SAVED! I go straight up the other end and win my own pen. GOAL! 1-1 but very exciting.

    Oh but the shootin!!!! It really is all over place. I keep having players do that odd semi-lobbed-looping shot into the corners. They just don’t feel like my goals.

  21. I had a very epic 4 and 1/2 hr session on PES last night, i will post some details later as have a couple of vids i need to upload to aid in the story 😉
    It all centered around an imminent game over though.

  22. Filbert—whaddaya mean, ‘thankfully’ you live alone? Shouldn’t that be ‘naturally’?!

    Seriously, it’s good to hear these tales coming through now of the big ML matches. So many of the early matches are sheer grinds with the Defaults. It takes having better players to create balance.

  23. John—I promised myself early on that if the centrally-biased shooting exceeded a certain threshold, I’d walk away from PES2012 and never look back. Thankfully, the threshold hasn’t even been neared. All I can say is that deliberate aiming—‘over-aiming’, if you will—and respecting time/space/stats, seem to combine to produce a shooting model that can be worked with.

    Re. the shots that actually go in a direction chosen by the game, they are truly appalling. I’ve only had three in all 100 hours of PES2012 so far, and they were three too many. How many would you say you’ve had in total?

  24. Paul—bring it all on, looking forward to it. Don’t say in comments whether you won or lost or drew the key match! Just set the scene and let us watch it as-is and be surprised. I’m going to be sat here at the computer all afternoon now. No work today. Back-knack, a blessing as well as a curse.

  25. NG – I love the auto flair touches, it subtley separates the technical players from the rest. I’ve got a little play-maker (only 161cm) called Buananotte who regularly collects the ball with deft touches… its so much better then 2011 were any hint of dribbling would result in a stumble.

  26. Pete—I love them too, but have lingering doubts about why I should love them when I didn’t do anything to make them happen. But I suppose this could extend to everything that isn’t directly a result of our input. Am I going to start disliking long-range goals becuase I haven’t physically drawn back the striker’s leg to shoot, like drawing back a bowstring in an action game? No, I’m not. And so I enjoy the auto-flair touches in the same spirit.

  27. I Shall get the videos and post up early evening, i could upload them from my phone over 3G but the quality would take a smashing, so will wait til im home from work.

  28. In the meantime, anyone wanting a very good strong capable DMF, have a look for ‘Borja’.
    picked him up as a free agent, he plays that role superbly, as camacho the little traitor negotiated a free to Fenerbache.

  29. Paul—in your own time is fine, still looking forward to it. You probably did right not to bother with 3G. For the last few weeks every vid you’ve seen on the site has been recorded, edited, and uploaded from iPhone, and the smallest file size I’ve managed is 5MB for a brief goals clip, and that quality was dodgy. I might record and post one of my own if/when I get another crunch game—be it a ‘win or be sacked’ match, or a promotion/title decider, or something.

  30. Paul – Think Kenny could do with a DM right now – absolutely gutted for the lad.

  31. Chris – yeah Lucas wa son form and won over many LFC fans inc. me. gutted.

    Here’s the promised video, it explains itself!!! 🙂

  32. Paul—great stuff, I love the career-saving goal, in off the keeper’s backside. The CPU goal against you was well-taken but that definitely looked like a foul to begin with.

    Now you’ve got to that stage with your Chairman it’s very hard to pull away again. You’ll win a few matches and think you’re safe for a while, but one draw and you get the first warning again.

  33. Great video – loving all these squeaky bum stories!
    I’m loving my ML at the moment as well, managed to beat a Liverpool side 2-0 last night (the same lineup that thrashed me 5-0 last season) to move to the heady heights of 6th.
    My finances are really improving now as I’m pulling in 750 grand per home game, I’m hoping I’ve hit that ML spot where you stop worrying you’ll have to degrade your staff levels at the end of the season which is a massive boost.

  34. Chris – sounds promising….. I’ve hit another squeaky bum moment, basically at the end of the season, my chairman said id had more than enough time with the team and i hadn’t fulfilled his expectations.
    I’ve been given the first pre-season friendly to win or again as in the video, im sacked!!!!

  35. Bloody hell mate, what are you going to do if you get sacked?

  36. Well i was considering putting PES on a backburner if i get sacked, finish off Uncharted 3, maybe resume my FIFA12 career …. but in true Hardcore PES addict style, the reality is i’ll probably delete my 300+ file existing option file, download a new championship specific one, apply that and restart a new Master League and try all over again!!!

  37. Chris—750k per home game… 6th in the table… and you’re the guy who only just found out that it’s R1 to sprint (or something). Are you a dark horse PES ninja or what?

  38. Paul—I had the same stoopid Training Match ultimatum. Just the game automatically firing off the ‘win or be sacked’ event regardless of the context. Yet another one of ML 2012’s rough edges.

    If you do get sacked, rolling back to an earlier save would be totally acceptable IMO. Unless you want to restart, of course, and see if you can avoid the mistakes of first time around.

  39. Im gutted I think im close to game breaker (probably not) but difficulty is starting to irritate the shit out of me at the min. Let me explain so on Pro im winning most times know I would have won league this year if I had stayed….so I moved it up (winning something should be on top p!) knowing this would set me back a season or two but problem is simple I tear a team apart the majority of the time recent game 18off target 11on cpu 3off 1on cpu wins 1/0 the keepers seem alien supreme….please can any one clarify is it just me or anyone else seeing this because as it stands at nearly half point of season I could be relegated surley a difficulty spike from winning a league to relegation is ridiculous grrrr…. i dont expect to walk it now just not feel like its broken…

  40. Gary, firstly id disagree that youy can only win something on Top Player. Whatever difficulty you play on whether its amateur, regular, Pro or Top Player, as long as you enjoy the game then thats all that matters, it doesnt devalue the experience, or make a player less of a player if he wins the treble on a lower difficulty.
    Secondly, its called Top player for a reason, the fact you are finding it difficult doesnt mean the game is ‘broken’.
    You may have the majority of posession and twice the amount of shots but its the difference between coverting them and not.
    The CPU will convert 90% of chances, so you have to be clinical to do well on Top player, simple as that really.

  41. Gary—I see the same things happening to me on Regular at the moment, so I’m starting to feel terrified at all the stories coming through from Professional, Top Player, and (if anyone is even playing it) Superstar. All I can say is that if you were happy with Professional but winning too easily, but Top Player is too punishing, you need something in between. Maybe try one of the gameplay editing option files available on the forums? I hear that they reduce the AI’s explosive pace and passing across the board, and yours too of course. It’s one solution, a possible one.

  42. Paul—do you think you’ll ever end up on Top Player in PES2012? The more I hear about it the more I doubt I’ll ever play that level.

  43. Not-Greg – I had a run of fortune in the first season that coincided with me playing on v1.0 which was far easier than 1.2 in my opinion. It allowed me to squeek promotion in my first season and get 7 points from my first 3 games in the Prem… I think this really gave me a massive advantage as it allowed me to sign better quality players and upgrade staff to a level that kept me up. If I’d missed out on promotion in that first season I would still be languishing in division 2, I’m sure.

  44. You can SPRINT???

  45. @Paul just to clarify MY opinion from the last post for me personally I feel I would devalue ML if I won the treble on amateur, regular , pro. I want the first big win to be on TP because once its won its won, your financial situation changes dramatically and the kind of player you can attract changes therefore in my opinion when I know if I had remained at pro difficulty and walked nearly every game the experience would have been instantly devalued!I simply shared this thought to see if others had similar experiences, not to offend players who maybe on a different difficulty level. Again just to clarify if you actually observed one of the games I mentioned I am sure you would agree that clinical and the precision of a laser guided by the hand of God himself like I have seen are very different!So to be honest I do not feel that “simple as that” really qualifies as a solution to a problem which will prove to be equally as infuriating to many a PES veteran over the coming months.

  46. Chris—yes, if you press R1 when your player has the ball (and even without it), the player will burst into a fast run. Some people who play online have been using this in their ‘games’ for a long time! Join in, it might be fun…

    (Oh, and I forgot about your 1.0 period. Don’t do yourself down, though. The game still wasn’t that easy even then.)

  47. Gary—I’m just starting to see that it’s time to step up from Regular to Professional, maybe not just yet but soon, because if I stay on Regular I will end up waltzing to victory and wouldn’t value it enough, so I definitely know what you mean and I’m sure Paul did too. Your solution to Top Player woes may be to install one of the several Edit Files that lowers players’ stats across the board, including your own players’ stats. From what I read the net effect is to make the game play more realistically. Worth considering? Try it out on another account on your console before risking your current setup though—and backup everything first, needless to say.

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