The season is over, and with it my brief time in the Premier League. Season 3 of Master League 2013 will stick in my memory as possibly the most calamitous of my long football gaming life. It fell apart spectacularly in match after match.
Here is the final table (glued together from two separate photos, hence the very obvious join near the bottom):
When I return, I will do so in triumph. Every one of those 69 goals against will be paid back in full. However long it takes…
It’s interesting to look at the CPU teams’ goal-scoring performances. It’s one of the issues hanging over this edition of Master League. They simply don’t score enough goals among themselves.
I had thought CPU goal-scoring was much improved following the 1.01 patch. Perhaps it has improved a little. The top teams look reasonably healthy. But just look at midtable. Stoke scored only 19 goals all season. Swansea scored 20.
And I am relegated, about as resoundingly as possible.
Just one week ago I was crowing about the feelgood factor of my start. Having braced myself for Top Player to hit me like a freight train, I was delighted at winning 2 and drawing 2 matches from my first 6.
The freight train hit me soon after. I only won another 3 matches in the remaining 32 matches of the whole season…
Anyway, here’s the thumbnail sketch of my last few matches. With several matches remaining, I still had a mathematical chance of staying up.
I won the next match, 1-0 against Spurs— a tough, sweaty, straining effort that was always on a knife-edge.
I felt some of the old fire returning. This was it! All I needed to do, I felt, was focus really hard, and snatch the odd goal in each match. I could live to fight another season in the Premier League.
I drew the next against Liverpool, at Liverpool. This gave me much encouragement. I still wasn’t off the bottom of the table, but safety wasn’t out of reach.
I promptly took a 4-0 thumping from Southampton(!), and was relegated.
I’ve been relegated before in Master League—back on PES2011, the version where I abandoned ML and left it ‘unfinished’ for the first and so far only time.
This event doesn’t spoil my judgement of PES2013 as Da Best Ever—but certain things are tempering that feeling a touch. Just a touch.
I keep hitting the post. Sometimes three or four times in the same match. I don’t think it’s a statistical cluster. I think it’s the game’s way of keeping scorelines down while making things seem ‘exciting’.
But it’s too early to snap-judge PES2013 as ‘the PES where you keep hitting the fucking post’, so I won’t.
Another slight grumble is that the pace feels faster now, so much so that I’m thinking of dropping down to -2 speed. I think this is an effect of the jump up to the Premier, and the way you have to move the ball on quickly to keep possession, and the way it is very easy to misplace a pass on zero-bar passing (which I adore and have stuck with). These factors all contribute to a certain rushed feeling.
Overall, I have a sneaking happiness about this relegation. I’d still much rather it not have happened—I’m not looking forward to meeting Godzilla FC and the like again—but at least this way I get to write an even more glorious chapter in ML history.