As we head into the festive period and towards the end of 2011, season 5 of Master League is almost over. Here’s where I currently am:
I was holding out faint hopes of a top 10 finish. But after 31 matches, the gap is too wide. I’ll do well to finish 12th, I think.
Mid-table is a lot higher than I would have been if I’d left the difficulty on Professional. I’d have been relegated by now, no question—not that I’d ever have got to that stage. I’d have had a Chairman-induced Game Over long before relegation. I’d never have been given the opportunity to go down with the club, rebuild the team, and come back up. This strikes me as a key flaw in PES2012’s Master League, one of sadly many this year.
It might seem wrong to say it at this time of year, but PES2012 is not a great game. It’s not a terrible game either, in my view. My current ranking of the next-gen PES games would go something like this:
What, PES2009 at no. 2? What have I been smoking?! But there you go, it’s what I believe.
This is all just ‘in my view’, of course. There is probably no such thing as an objectively good or bad football game. Not even next-gen PES2008, which I loathed but many people liked, or even loved.
If PES2012 didn’t have Master League, I would have no reason at all to play it. And this Master League isn’t even one of the best versions of itself. It’s damned weak in many places. But it’s still good enough to save PES2012, so more power to it.
I had a few matches on FIFA12 the other day. I loved them. Some people hate FIFA12 because it’s not like Pro Evo. I love it because it is different. I love the heaviness of FIFA12. After a few matches, your fingers really know they’ve been doing some work. When you connect with the ball and let one rip, it’s satisfying in a way that PES2012’s shooting almost never is.
Ugh. I feel sick just thinking about PES2012’s shooting: easily the least satisfying shooting in any PES game, ever.
I cannot stand the sense of deflation and disappointment when I finally carve out that precious goal-scoring opportunity, only for the game to override my input and send the ball to the keeper—or worse, to the opposite side of the goal completely. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all about the ‘shoot first, aim after’ technique. It doesn’t work.
As soon as I’m done with Master League, I’m done with PES2012. I’ll move on without looking back.
I’ll be honest: sometimes I feel like walking away from PES2012 right now, and Master League be damned. I did it last year. It was a wrench, but I did it. And I reserve the right to do it this year too, if I want to.
But I suppose familiarity can breed a lot of contempt. I’ve now played PES2012 for upward of 160 hours. Let’s see how I like FIFA12 after a similar amount of time, when its time comes.
In the meantime, I have a Premier League status to consolidate, players to sign, a team to build, and a Treble to work towards.