After Friday’s 2000-worder, a much shorter post today.
Season 10 is well and truly up and running. Before it began, I received news of the UEFA Player of the Year awards. I was pleasantly surprised to find that two of my boys made the grade for their positions:
I’m going for honours in Season 10, big time. I need something this year. I’ll take any Cup. I’d love the League. The Treble would be a dream come true.
I had to get through a qualifying fixture against Vitesse to make it through to the Champions League proper.
After winning the away leg 1-0. I was confident before the home match.
It was a massively important game for me and my season. I have an almost Abramovich-like need to play in the Champions League.
Right from kick-off, the CPU was running its ‘1-0 down script’. Aggression was turned right up to 11. My own players’ abilities were suppressed in a very familiar kind of PES dampening field.
I’m not even slightly embarrassed to call it SCRIPTING.
My top-rated players, playing at home, on a healthy mix of yellow and red form arrows, suddenly couldn’t pass the ball a few yards. They couldn’t tackle. All so that the CPU could get back in the game. Scripting in PES is a bona fide, cast-iron reality.
Call it balancing, momentum, whatever you like, but it’s a mean and dirty trick. Control of your players and of your team is brazenly taken away from you by the game code and handed to the CPU.
Such spells can be resisted, of course. Getting a goal always helps.
I made a few chances and got through on goal a couple of times, but I was not allowed to score. The shots went straight at the keeper each and every time.
Vitesse were allowed to hoover up every loose ball, win every header, disrupt even the simplest of passing moves. By some miracle, it was still 0-0 after 60 minutes.
I was getting more and more wound up and frustrated, and remembering why I’d tried to give up on this game in the first place.
Then the best thing that could possibly have happened, happened: Vitesse scored. The score was now 1-1 on aggregate.
And suddenly, as if by the flick of a switch (which it was, actually), I was allowed to play some football.
The passes started connecting. Tackles were made. The Vitesse players were no longer waltzing through my formidable DMFs for fun.
I couldn’t get my own momentum rolling quickly enough to avoid extra time, but at least I got the winner pretty early in the first period, and that was that. I shut the game down like a pro. I made it through.
Here’s the draw—looks like a Group of Death to me:
The league campaign got going. I was pretty relieved to lose the unbeaten record from last season in my second match.
Aston Villa are almost unstoppable in my ML world. They beat me 3-1 at home. One of their goals was scored by Albrighton after a pitch-length dribble that saw him beat five men en route to goal. Stephen Ireland got a nearly identical goal late on.
But I’m playing well overall, and scoring more goals than last season. One of my aims this season is to score 80 goals. To achieve that I’ll need an average of slightly better than 2 per game. After 7 matches, my average is exactly 2 goals:
Then came the FA Cup, and the Treble was over before the campaign even properly started.
I was knocked out of the FA Cup, at home, by Blackpool, in the very first tie. It was hugely disappointing, and came in the middle of that first bad patch with the game since the Return.
I had 22 shots on goal, 14 on-target. Blackpool had 5 shots on goal, 1 on-target. I lost 0-1.
I won’t bang on about it all here. I already have, to some extent, above. The shooting is the #1 issue for me, and the #2 issue, and the #3 one…
PES2012’s shooting hasn’t got deep and hidden subtleties. It’s pretty wretched, actually.
The instances when shooting does work are satisfying, but what a price we pay for that satisfaction.
Finally, below are three goals that were all satisfying in their own ways.
The first two are R2 placed shots (with a lovely auto-trick from Stoichkov for the second). The third goal is an almost Di Canio-esque leaping half-volley from Mancini—more about him on Wednesday…
I have no idea why the first two shots in particular worked on these occasions, and not on others.
I’ve been playing these games for 15 years now. I know all about context-related shooting etc., thank you very much. I know enough about it to know, in my footy-gaming marrow, that PES2012’s shooting just doesn’t work. It’s a shameful, cynical, deeply insulting mechanic. It does what I believe it is intended to do very well indeed: it keeps scorelines down.