I dunno—you wait 14 years for one bicycle kick to come along, then get two in the space of one PES year. And, for similar reasons, neither of them are at all satisfying… I’ll get to that.
A couple of fine sessions, the lowlight of which was another 3-0 spanking at the hands of the CPU.
This was from Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of my first knockout game in the Champions League. I have no idea how it happened. I didn’t play too badly, the CPU didn’t play too great. Put it down to ring-rust.
I’ll really struggle to make it to the next round of the Champs League now, needless to say. My only chance of silverware in this 17th season of Master League competition may well be the title itself.
I met Manchester United in the league, at their place—and beat them 1-0. I played most of the match with 10 men. I’d had Neeskens straight-red-carded in the 4th minute for a vicious scything challenge. It came while I was trying to cancel the CPU’s straight-from-kickoff momentum by any means necessary. I succeeded in interrupting that notorious script, but lost my captain.
The rest of the match was surprisingly easy. Farinos carried the weight of being the sole DMF with ease. I held Man Utd at bay and slowly, slowly, asserted myself as the other end.
I’d more or less settled for a 0-0 when I had a breakaway with Forlan on the right, who crossed for Perrotta to score my second bicycle kick goal of PES2012, and my second of all time:
Perrotta has been one of my unsung heroes over recent weeks. Mr Reliability, I call him. He can play well in at least three positions (CMF, SMF, RB). He started this game wide on the right of midfield. Note his dynamic run to the middle as Forlan carries the ball out wide. It’s this kind of stuff that has kept PES interesting over the years.
The only downer here was the placement of the shot. I’d anticipated Perrotta actually heading the ball, and so I’d aimed for a near post glancer with the analogue stick in the 5 o’clock position. Which should have resulted in me almost hitting the corner flag, right?
I took a screenshot of the moment the ball crossed the line (those are my red lines either side of the ball):
I whipped out my pixel-measuring tool (quiet at the back, please), and confirmed what my eye was already telling me. That the ball had crossed the line in the EXACT MIDDLE of the goal, utterly ignoring my input.
My reading on the above screenshot is that it is precisely 242 pixels from the centre of the ball to the outer edge of either post. There is, at most, a +/- discrepancy of 1 pixel either way. With different screen sizes and resolutions, you may have different results. If you have your own pixel-measuring gizmo at hand, knock yourself out. (MeasureIt, a simple plugin available for Firefox and Chrome, is a good ‘un.)
So this bicycle kick, far from filling me with joy and delight as it should have done, actually depressed me and reminded me of one of PES2012′s most unattractive features.
It’s a glaring example of what we have known all along: that PES2012′s shooting, to a large extent, is dictated by the game itself, not by user input.
How many times do you think you’ve planted one in the corner, only to look at the replay and see that it barely cleared the keeper’s central flop, if at all?
How dismal to see goals constantly travelling down the exact gemoetric centre of the goal, as on this occasion, when I know that I’ve aimed to left or right.
I really don’t care about the argument from stats. Or the argument that loads of goals are scored down the middle in real-life. Etc. Etc.
In football games, especially in PES, we’ve got used to being able to aim our shots, within reason. Pointing the analogue stick (or d-pad) at either side of the goal, and seeing the ball rocket into that corner, looks good and FEELS good. I want to keep doing it.
Shooting that is remote-controlled by game-code isn’t what I want to see in a football game. Even if there is some overlap—accidentally or by design—with features of the real game.
‘PES2012′s shooting sucks hairy balls’ isn’t some terrible last-minute revelation. Far from it. It’s a testament to the quality of the rest of PES2012′s gameplay that the annoyance of shooting can be overcome.
For so many players, PES2012′s shooting is its original sin. Of all the players who walked away from PES2012 back in October, what % were largely repelled by the shooting? I’d speculate more than half.
I’m puzzled and disturbed by the contradictory reports we’re hearing of PES2013′s shooting, with many people starting to say that it replicates the issues of PES2012.
I’ve already passed one PES year with wonky shooting. I would like to regard PES2012′s central/wrong-side shooting issues as a blip, not as the new norm. I really don’t know how keen I’d be to play another year with this uninspiring, unintuitive, unPESlike shooting.