After 10 long, long seasons, with almost as many downs as ups, I have finally won something in PES2012’s Master League.
Not just one thing. Two things: the Premier League championship, and the European Cup.
These are my first honours in Master League since PES2010. A fine double. I’m happy.
I needed a point from any of my last three league matches to clinch the title. I got it straightaway against Fulham, at home. Beat them 3-1.
They’ve been a bit of a bogey team for me, have Fulham. It was not an easy match at all.
I took the lead, got pegged back to 1-1—and then scored an R2 beauty with Forlan. It was a textbook example of a finesse strike in PES2012—check the replay below, and watch how the shot animation changes mid-animation (rather clunkily, it has to be said) after I press R2.
At the final whistle, my team celebrated. NO trophy presentation, though, about which I was more than a little miffed.
The final League table:
So I met my pre-season target of scoring 80 goals with some room to spare. As can be seen, the nearest CPU teams went a bit crazy with the goals towards the end.
The end-of-season awards threw up something a bit strange and amusing. My left-back, HYAM, was the Player of the Season. That should amuse any Ipswich fans out there. Truth be told, Hyam has been a good left-back for me. His POTY status is a puzzle to me, though.
I was nowhere near the top of the top scorers’ list, but my two top strikers did a fine job between them. Forlan and Saviola are a great partnership, and kept van Basten out of the team for long periods.
And I had a few players in healthy spots on the Assist leaders’ list, too.
Barnes and Rivaldo feature prominently this season, but didn’t last season. It reflects my new style of play this season, which involves circulating possession until I see the killer pass into feet in the box, or around the edge of the box.
With the League tied up, my concern was to play well in the Champions League Final and win it. I thought I’d have to play very well. Liverpool have been relatively easy pickings for me in the League this season. I did the Double over them.
In the Champions League, however, things are different. CPU teams and players are all better, stronger, faster.
I went 0-1 down early on. Exactly what I didn’t want. Got it back to 1-1. Then went 2-1 up before half-time. Looking good. After half-time, it was Liverpool’s kick-off—and of course they got a goal straight from it.
It stayed 2-2 for an absolute age, and then I got a scrambled goal from a corner. A glancing Barnes header that didn’t even have any power but trickled over the line anyway.
I defended doggedly right up until the 85th minute. Then this total, unmitigated BULLSHIT happened:
My defender passed the ball straight to a Liverpool player, who played an instant pass forward, and they scored.
That’s scripting, right there. That incident, up above, is exactly the kind of thing I mean whenever I talk about scripting.
My defender, Nadal, is as cultured a passer as you could wish to have. Not under any real pressure. Not tired—he was not long on as a sub.
I wanted to play a simple pass to my midfielder. He’s off-screen at the start of that YouTube clip, but was NOT off-screen on my TV, whilst I was playing in real-time.
I’ve now played this game for 250+ hours. I must have played thousands of passes.
I know I was holding the stick aimed at 9 o’clock, aimed right at my teammate. I know I pressed the button for the right amount of power. I know that scripting is a reality in PES2012, as in all recent editions, and that the above moment is a glaring example of it.
The ball went straight to a CPU player’s feet, as it so often does when a script is running in contexts like this. Seconds later, Gullit made no mistake. That was Gullit’s hat-trick goal, incidentally.
I was very angry. Moments like that annoy me because they suggest that, you know, perhaps I’m not actually playing a game at all. Perhaps I’m the one who is being played.
I really struggled to concentrate for the first period of extra time. It just wasn’t fair. I’d been cruising, defending superbly. The game had blatantly manipulated this match into extra time.
Scripting is real. I don’t care what anybody says.
“Oh, you must have been aiming slightly off/your player was tired/under pressure/there was a plague of locusts…” No. NO NO NO. Just no. Okay?
Right, now that that’s settled, the rest of extra time was pretty easy, actually. I scored a cheap, deflected goal with van Basten that seemed to knock the stuffing out of Liverpool. Then I scored another two goals while they were upfield looking for the equaliser. I won 6-3.
“But you won so it doesn’t matter.” NO. I’m really not open to debate on this front.
As the final stats show, Liverpool just about matched me for shots on goal (at least one of which should never have happened, ever, in a million years).
Scripted BULLSHIT aside, the season was over, and it was a good ‘un.
It was my best single season of Pro Evo since the hallowed days of PES2010. Possibly even since PES5.
PES2012 makes life so difficult for the human player—by fair means and foul—that the sense of accomplishment really is very strong.
I sat back, just taking it all in.
Forlan—my personal choice for Player of the Season—was top scorer in the Champions League overall.
The final ‘tale of the tape’ made for happy reading. Getting that club ranking up to 13 is going to do wonders for my clout on the transfer market. I’m already planning a rather controversial change in personnel for next season. You’ve got to make the hard choices…
And so I move onto the next season.
New kits. New players. New targets to aim for.
In Season 11, it starts all over again.