In vino veritas

It’s season 4 and I’m back in Division 2, back on Professional difficulty, and back in Sky Blue. There’s De Bruyne on the right, looking a bit, er, festive shall we say, after scoring a goal.

I’ve also changed the Away kit. I kept the basic design, just changed the colours. This season I’ll be in red when I can’t wear sky blue.

So what’s it like being back in Division 2? The feel of this season, even after just a few matches, is utterly unlike my promotion season, which I remember as being pretty easy.

I haven’t done myself any favours by not getting any new players. The new bidding system means that at least we don’t waste time going for unrealistic targets—but wasn’t it better when we at least thought we had a chance? When we could dream that somehow, some way, that 30-something 83OVR striker might, just might, agree to sign?

I had enough spare cash to upgrade two staff members—my club doctor to level 2, and my Athletic Coach to level 3. The coach had a specific mention for being a good influence on players’ form. I bloody hope so. The purple and blue arrows are killing me.

I’ve been tinkering with formations a lot. I started pre-season with my customary 4-2-2-2 that served me so well in PES2012 and for the early portion of PES2013, but which failed so spectacularly last season in the Premier League on Top Player.

I find that PES2013 is one of the most formation-critical PESes I have ever played. For my second Training Match I started with a 4-3-3 for the first time since PES2010. I did well, but got caned in my next. For my final pre-season fixture I took to the field with an alien but sturdy 4-5-1.

This match was also where I uncorked a special bottle of wine that I had been saving up: Superstar difficulty.

I only took this one tiny sip, but found it delicious. My opponents were Besiktas, a tough European night out on any difficulty. The match was sublime, really: slow-paced, considered,  and somehow more dignified in comparison to both the hurlyburly of Top Player and the carnival of mutual counterattacking that is Professional.

I lost 1-0, and that was only because I was twatting about trying to see what the AI did when I just passed the ball along my back line. (It charged me down until I made a mistake, is what it did.)

Superstar is where the true game of PES2013 is, I think. It’s where I’m destined to spend most of my time and get the very best out of the game. But not yet.

And so onto the season proper. I decided to stick with the 4-5-1 to begin with.

Disaster. I lost the opener 0-2, and that seems to have set the tone. The balmy days of season 2 really are a long way in the past.

The table after 5 matches:

I need to stop conceding goals. I’m trying to play in an aggressive, swashbuckling manner with players that are barely above-average.

Maybe that’s not surprising. PES2012 and my old super-team are still fresh in the memory. I’m automatically trying to play with my C-rated PES2013 team in the way I was able to play with my triple-A PES2012 team. It’s just not working.

Two goals from my opening matches:

First is De Bruyne, finally getting an extended run in the team and finally showing the goods. Player indviduality in PES shows itself in his case. I play him out there on the left. Time and again he hangs off the last man and shows himself for that final ball at the far post. His strike in this clip was one of two almost identical goals that he scored in back-to-back matches.

The second goal is a first-time, 35-yard, Schwarz-esque blaster (albeit with his wrong foot) from my born-again starlet, Wroughllen. How I missed him when he got that 26-week injury last season. At the time he got injured he was my only regular scorer. I never seemed to recover my balance in the Premier after that. Fingers crossed for a good campaign this time.


  1. 26 games gone and I’m out of the relegation zone – just. A mad 2-2 draw at Villa (snatched an undeserved point with the last kick of the game despite being down to 9 men) was followed by a 1-0 win at QPR. A classic score early and park the bus victory. Only PES can do this.

    Tonight I have a massive game at home to third bottom Cardiff. I’m already thinking tactics.

  2. Also I’m on 3-bar passing. Gonna drop it down in the pre-season and see how I fair. Might do that first before switching to superstar.

  3. tommyk1985—1-bar passing is a great setting to play on. Consider settling in there before even thinking of zero-bar, which will unsettle your balance.

  4. John—seems like you’re going to do it. A fine achievement if you pull it off. It was definitely too early for me. Watch out for the scripting against Cardiff. Take a 0-0…

  5. N-G – Still a long way to go but if I do stay up I will consider it one of my best ever PES achievements. Every single game has been a battle.

    I beat Cardiff away 2-0 but I fully expect them to play like Barcelona and will treat them as such. I noticed they play a back three so while sticking to two DMFs, I’m going to play with two wingers/SS and a CF and try to hit them on the break.

  6. Just did some brilliant business for the window. I got rid of some dead wood (Holigeu) and bought 2 young players. Tolchotrzyn will replace king coy and J. Taylor is an experiment. They are both 22 years of age.

  7. After shipping 6 goals against Valenciennes last night I decided to ditch my ineffective DMFs and shift to a more attacking formation, with the aim of defending higher up the pitch. So I’ve just got (the peschronicles endorsed) Tolchotryzn as a CMF anchor in a 4-1-3-2, with Jorquera, Brunt & Shimizu and then Zarate + Ribeiro in front of him. Seems to be working well so far; Duffy & Camacho’s days might be numbered!

  8. John—watch our for the old dynamically changing AI formation switcheroo—chances are the relegation-threatened AI team will come playing like a combination of Barca in attack and George Graham’s Arsenal in defence.

    Sounds like an exciting scenario anyway, and so typical of Master League. That’s why we all play the mode, right there.

  9. Adam—you still had that Houelligo(sp?) character?! I released him while I was still taking the shrinkwrap off the game!

  10. abbeyhill—I am not knowing this Tolchotryzn character—I rarely follow up on player recommendations, and only tend to pick ’em up if I come across them naturally. Your mention of Camacho made me smile and frown equally. I think we all remember the joy of Camacho in late-era Classic PES—what a nerfing he has had since.

  11. not-greg – Tolchotryzn stands out for many of us as he’s a tall, strong, young central midfielder with decent stats that you’re usually allowed to buy at the start of ML. A fictitious KS Szelawce player though, so you may have missed him through option files etc

    Camacho’s still ok in PES2012 though? In my view the best midfield youth/default thanks to fast growth. I’ve never achieved much with Irjescu for some reason, he did not develop at all in my 5 season ML. Will probably miss them all when the time comes for PES2013

  12. NG – seriously? Tolchot is the one player that consistently appeared on my 2012 player list – a decent all rounder that would actually sign early and quite cheaply. He doesn’t do anything brilliantly but develops steadily and becomes useful all over midfield. Same this year, I grabbed their hand off and am currently he is 24y.o, 89ovr and in training to be a DMF with a long range drive.

    By contrast this ‘De Bruyne’ is 25, 78ovr and has a 2% chance of signing for me at an estimate of 6.7m. I won’t be joining that club.

  13. Whilst I haven’t had many scripting encounters the really irritating thing for me is the blatant shafting over of the international before a game. We thought in 2012 it might be an error, it clearly isn’t, it’s just another way of making life hard. I played Man U with a virtual reserve 11 whilst they happily played VP and Neymar all game – are they not internationals then…

  14. abbeyhill—new-style Camacho is still a decent player, but he’s a shadow of the Camacho I remember from PES2008(PS2/PSP), who was one of the all-time legendary PES DMFs for me alongside Mathieu/Bradley/Prieto et al.

  15. uncle turf—I don’t remember seeing this Tolchot(sp?) player in any of my games over the past few years. Doesn’t mean he hasn’t been there, of course.

    I’m surprised your De Bruyne is down as a 2 per center—he’s a 48 per center for everyone, Shirley? What level is your Scout at?

    Not that he’s really worth pursuing. He’s decent for what he is, no more.

  16. NG – I thought he was showing good potential cause he was 66OVR at 23 years old.
    Abbeyhill – I just got the guy (Tolchy). Is he any good? I guess he is as he’s 77OVR at 22 years. A couple of items will help that 😉

  17. Adam—I suspect a lot of the reason why many players seem low-rated and strangely ineffectual in ML is that we’re meant to utilise the boots ‘n’ items feature to the max.

  18. No no, if anything he’s overpowered. (This is Tolchy) I was talking ’bout making him absolutely world class.

  19. Adam – I’ve got the PES2012 Tolchy and I’d say he’s solid rather than world class potential at the moment. Judging by Turf’s comment he should develop quickly though

  20. Rocket shot Ronny Rodelin has just scored all four in a 4-1 win against Cardiff. It was 1-1 just after half time but got the vital result I needed in the fight for survival.

    Now four points clear of the drop zone in the giddy position of 16th with 11 games to go.

  21. Adam—sorry, thought you were on about De Bruyne. Who needs a face transplant more than he needs any boots.

  22. John—well it certainly sounds as if your ML story has taken off. Great result tonight, and with 11 matches to go there’s ample scope for plenty more thrills and spills yet. You’ll be gutted if you don’t stay up now, but whatever happens I think it’s fair to say you’ve settled on Top Player—?

  23. I’ve got no chance at De Bruyne. He went to CSKA Moscow in the transfer window. I really wanted him 🙁

  24. N-G – Yes, settled on Top Player now – even if I do get relegated. I’ll seriously consider Super Star if I do stay up.

    I honestly believe the only difference between your season 3 and mine is the quality of the teams at the bottom of the Prem and that I have maybe slightly better players and the benefit of your experience and the very real threat of going down.

  25. Adam—your team should pretty quickly be a level or two above De Bruyne anyway, so no loss really.

  26. John—maybe there’s something to the notion that you were on alert for trouble in the Prem on Top Player after hearing my experience, but it’s still a great performance…. so far. Don’t let your guard down for the remainder of the campaign.

  27. Having a very frustrating time with the game at the moment.
    After finishing 6th in Season 3 last year, I expected promotion this year – have just finished season 4 in 7th!!

    As my team slowly gets better (very slowly) the CPU teams seem to be getting better much quicker.
    I was quite surprised to even finish as high as 7th after a dismal run of 7 defeats in the last 12 games.

    The usual stuff, and nothing new, its always been there just coming more to the fore recently are annoying me, such as random form for players, mostly always poor form, CPU teams magically becoming Barcelona like when they’re a shit D2 team etc etc… As i say its always been there, was last year and definitely is this year but there are 2 things that are really frustrating me…

    Wing Play – Impossible in PES13. I’ve signed a very fast paced winger with high dribbling speed and accuracy stats but its virtually impossible to integrate any wing play due to the crap mechanics in game play.
    No matter how many times or in how many different ways i attempt to speed burst past a CPU player on the wing, use pace, knock on touch, or skills, the CPU player will dispossess me every single time purely because the physical element/jostling is broken.
    As soon as my player comes anywhere near the CPU player and a jostle occurs, my player goes into a stumble and the CPU player runs the ball off me or i lose control every single time, there is no way to counter it, its just crap.
    So i cant beat any players on wings purely cause of this.
    Also Referees – absolutely abysmal.
    I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I have been assaulted all over the pitch and not ever gotten a free kick, and I should have had about 30 penalties by now due to blatant tripping and hacking in the box, after checking the stats I’ve played over 120 matches – 0 penalties.
    On the flip side – if i even breathe near a CPU player its immediately a foul and more often than not a yellow card.

    in 18 Seasons on PES 12 my Fair play rating was A – Id had 3 red cards in all that time. This year I’ve had 5 red cards in 3 seasons and at least 3 bookings per match.
    It’s so ridiculously and unfairly biased in the CPU’s favour its laughable.

    Those aggravations aside I’m still thoroughly enjoying my ML despite its bare bones feel and the generally good game play but just such a shame that so many little niggles that all add up to a big thing that were present last year have not only not been addressed, they appear to have been ramped up.

  28. Paul—currently I don’t see most of your points at all, particularly regarding wingplay. (Yes, this is going to be one of those maddening ‘well, it’s not happening to me‘ replies….)

    Most of my threatening play comes down the wings, including speed bursts, knock-ons, all of that. The double-tap of R1 for a knock-on only works with some players now, Niellendner for example—you’ll see one in a goal replay on the post up at 12.

    And re. red and yellow cards—don’t foul so much!

    There’s no obligation for things to be the same one PES year to the next, and they’ve clearly changed the values for wingplay and the thresholds for fouls/cards.

    I think we reach for the b-word – ‘broken’ – far too much when it comes to PES. There’s nothing broken about crossing/heading for example. It’s just different from last time out. Same goes for most of your other points, IMO.

    But that defender-sticking-to-you-like-glue thing… god that annoys me. But again, that’s a feature of the game this year.

  29. Hey everyone, I started my own little pes blog if anyone wants to take a look and give me any suggestions. I don’t mean to copy or mimic anyone else’s efforts, just fancied starting my own. Early days so it’s a little sparse and rough around the edges. I would like to puts links in to all your sites, if that’s ok? Feedback welcome. Link in the name.

  30. NG – we’ll agree to disagree on this one as im well aware everyones game differs, for me, currently, these are just the only spoilers in whats so far been a v enjoyable first few seasons.

  31. tommyk1985—no problem, and as ever the best advice is: regular scheduled updates! Links are more than fine and I will of course add yours.

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