Iron, like a lion, in Bayern

So my first few competitive matches on Superstar, on zero-bar passing, went pretty badly. My very first match of the season was against Bayern Munich. It was the first leg of the qualifier for the Champions League. I was the home team—for what that turned out to be worth.

Bayern blew me away, in classic new-style PES fashion. They eased into a 2-0 lead by half-time. I performed heroically after the break, doing well to stop them scoring another. I somehow jammied a goal back, and so the game ended 1-2 to them. After the hurricane of the first half, I was actually delighted. It felt like a very recoverable deficit to overcome in the second leg.

In between the two legs, the Premier League season got underway. QPR were the opponents. I was at home again—and I lost 0-1.

Here was where I started getting fed up with zero bar passing. When zero bar is working, the matches feel natural and engaging in a way that football games need to do, I think, to be more than what they are. If that makes sense.

When zero bar stops working, as it sometimes does, it often feels as if it’s not your fault, that the game is interfering with things, and that feels very uncomfortable indeed.

I signed one more player before the transfer window closed. I very rarely follow up on player recommendations seen in the wild, but when I saw an AMF called LINCOLN pop up on my List of Targets for about £800k, I snapped him up.

At the time of writing he still hasn’t actually played a minute for me. He’s been on a blue or purple arrow since arrival. I haven’t risked him, not yet.

I spent the rest of my cash on upgrading every staff member to Level 5. So that’s that sorted, then.

I played the second leg of the tie against Bayern Munich.

And I won the match 1-0, at Bayern—a fantastic game and a great performance. Wroughllen got my solitary goal. That’s him exulting in it at the top of this post (and modelling this season’s Away kit). But those two away goals from Bayern had killed me.

What disappointed me about this match was that after I scored, in the 60th minute or so, there was plenty of time for me to get the second goal that would have taken me through. But it seemed that an old, old PES problem came to the fore: the game didn’t know it was the second leg of a two-legged tie in which it was still ahead. It reacted exactly the way you’d expect it to at 0-1 down in a one-off match: powerplay time.

I hardly had the ball for the rest of the match. I certainly didn’t get a shot on goal. Bayern dominated play and made all the running.

Into the Europa League, then, and in truth, I’m not too bothered. It was always too early for me and Champions League.

I played my first Europa match, against a team called DHROFFSMITZ. I had Coynborough sent off early on for going straight through the back of one of their players—a touch of frustration from me. Despite being down to ten men, I won 3-0, a great Superstar game of footy.

My goals included a 35-yarder from Jacomorac, playing as emergency DMF, which continued my tradtion of scoring screamers with the most unlikely players.

Also see a nice opportunist goal from Bebe on his debut, showing once again that, yes, keepers rushing out is a thing in PES2013:

[jwplayer config=”Standard Size 2012″ mediaid=”12562″]

Alternate Link if your browser won’t play the above.

I went back to up 1-bar passing around about here. I was struggling to cope with zero bar on Superstar.

I said somewhere recently that I wished there was a difficulty between Professional and Superstar other than Top Player that I could find my feet on. Well, Superstar on 1-bar passing will have to do. And it does very well, on the whole.

It feels good not to have to worry about the last-third nerf for a while. The game on these settings reminds me a lot of being in the deepest groove with PES2012. No bad thing.

Here’s the League table:

I suppose I should mention the 1.02 patch. There. I just did.


  1. Shane—I’m not sure than in-depth Football Manager-style player interaction/management would be anything other than really annoying after a while. ML is all about building the team and playing the matches. It’s a simple concept in essence that doesn’t really need more complexity as such—what’s already there just needs to work properly.

    Even last year’s player interaction model was getting towards annoying, so anything more involved would really take us over the edge. It would be good to have it as a customisable option, though. What I’d like to see by way of FM-style depth is the transfer system completely overhauled.

  2. That would be nice. The cutscenes with the crappy music annoy me too. I only want to see my team celebrating after winning the league etc. I think they should do it like Fifa and replace them with emails.

    I suppose player interaction might be a bit much, considering your the one playing yeah. The transfer system from FM would be awesome.

    Also, top of my group in le Europa league 😀

  3. NG – yes, this was a one I said from a while out that I thought man U and I would match each other’s results. I went on a long, not just unbeaten but winning run, and they drew once with 3 games to go. I promptly lost 2-3 to spurs having led 1-0 and 2-1, nothing would get me that 3rd goal, and then drew 1-1 against Villa where it was all I could do to hack down the ice skating forwards. 2 games completely at odds with the previous dozen. Man U won 4-2 and 3-0 to secure the title – their 70GF confirms my feeling – not a huge total but the only team anywhere near my own. Next year I’m going to take aim at an invincibles season rather than trying to win as my main objective. Aakobjerg’s gone for 2.5m, Deco for same. Final game about to be played.

  4. Season 4 has started great for me won 5 drawn 2 hitting 24goals. I scrapped through the cl qualifyer against Sparta Prague 3-2 in two really tough games. My CL group of death consists of FC Porto(my bogey team of 2012) Napoli and Barcelona. Each squad packed with 90plus players. I set up defensively and even having to field 1-2 blue arrowed players I managed two squeeze out two 1-0 wins to lead the group, up next Barcelona and the true test for my what my team might be able to achieve this season.
    On a different not I have noticed a change in the gameplay since the patch. I don’t read the forums and have the same view on patch hysteria as NG but I have noticed something that I am 100% sure about and means rolling back to 1.0 for me

  5. Had to cut short then. The difference I have noticed is in the shooting machanic of the knuckleball shot, i know most posters here don’t use the type of shot very often but I use it at least three times a game and I know if a shot is goal bound before it leaves my boot. The shot has been nerfted, in the 12 games I have played since the patch I have used the knuckleball shot probably 50times with zero goals and zero close calls. It basically is a tame shot that bounces to the keeper instead of the long range bombs I have posted here. For me it’s proof enough that kanomi do infact change gameplay without telling us.

  6. So I played that final, now meaningless game, I won 6-2. Away. Finished 2nd on w28 d5 l5 gf86 ga40. Man U won it with 2 more wins and GF76. Overall the GD wasn’t too silly but Arsenal taking 6th with 43GF and Stoke’s 15th spot with 23 goals scored were low points.
    Min top scored in the div again with 34, aleksic top assist. 7 players in TOTS (none from Man U…). £70m in bank, yet another pair of boots, turning down a bid of £12m from Man City all positive for next year….as long as the f’in scripting holds off!!

  7. p.s I’m up to 94th in the rankings.

  8. Just got through the Europa league group stage – Barely.
    Vinesse was my opponent. They came at me with world class crossing and passing. I couldnt get the shots on target, and when i did it was a brilliant save. My first goal was a screamer by Cacau, in which Castolis took a shot, and it fell to him outside the box. Bang. Top corner. Then, their goal. One of their strikers crossed it in, aiming for the striker at the farpost. Of course, Houlegiou(My LB) takes it with his horrific touch, and the Augustin had no chance. 1-1. I was starting to get desperate now, taking shots from a while out. A brilliant pass by Cacau was sent to the feet of Wroughllen(Minandhino had a serious injury, out for 30 weeks), and he hammered home into the top corner on the right. The other team kicked off and the whistle blew. It was brilliant.

  9. Shane—I still regret that I haven’t played Manager Mode enough since FIFA09 to see what happens when you win a trophy or two. Emails is it? That doesn’t seem very EA.

  10. Uncle Turf—shocking goings-on. I’ll be detailing my own (much smaller-scale) scripting woes in tomorrow’s post.

    94th? After your last few seasons? Hmmmm.

  11. Max—I don’t know enough about the knuckleball mechanic to contribute a sensible opinion, so I’ll take your word for it.

    Speaking of Porto being your bogey team, mine in the Europa currently is SC Braga. Was there a fanatical Portuguese footy fan at the heart of ML development this year?

  12. NG – Its in BAP.

    Also, i now have boots for everyone in my team except my second choice goalkeeper……

  13. After being 5th at Xmas, I finished 17th. SS Default Zero Bar is ROCK HARD.
    On a plus note I managed to sign Mutu on a free.

  14. Ng- im afraid I tested it by rolling back to 1.00 and the shooting went back to what i used to. Unfortunately I couldn’t play my ML as the save data was from a different version. Any1 know a work around? I loaded 1.2 back and went back to training and no more knuckle shot. I’m pretty pissed as I love my long range pot shots, it was the best way around zero pass nerfing!

  15. Two notable developments in my season 5 of ML over the weekend. One was my midseason signing of regen Clarence Seedorf on a free.

    The other was a place in the FA Cup semi final after beating Man City on pens.

    I’m still persisting with SS/zero and doubt I will change back to one-bar ever again now.

  16. NG – I thought ’94th hmm’ as well but looking around me Newcastle are in 106th and next PL team above me are Liverpool in 50th – the majority are ‘other European’ – Motherwell up in the 40s, etc or South American. I guess it’s based on last 5 seasons or so, or just another random Konami effort!

    Lloyd – my Mutu has been painfully slow to develop, part of the problem is he’s not up to playing up front in his low 70s state and I have to hide him on the wing as a second half sub. I don’t think he’ll survive.

    thanks to my 7 TOTS nominees I got hit with what you’ve all had already in close season – unwanted transfer bids; £14m for Hornamkis, £5m for Klose, £20m for Tolchotrzyn, £34m for Nomkis. I’d have taken the latter if I could have signed a keeper above 78ovr. Horny is 99ovr, Tolchot 102ovr – best I could bring in was Taraabt on 86 for £5m so it’s just not worth the risk. More and more I feel this ML is about internal development. Tolchot and Klose handed in requests but I just went to the item screen, gave them a couple of training things and the unhappy faces disappeared – I’d noticed giving someone an item had often caused a smiley face, maybe coincidence?

  17. Max—that savegame incompatibility shouldn’t happen. Are you using a sub-account to play, and your main to update/downgrade? That could be it. If so, I don’t know what the workaround would be. But I’d guess that you could use your sub-account to upgrade, save the game on 1.02 within your sub, then go back to 1.0, all within your sub.

  18. John—I’ve seen quite a bit of passing nerfing on 1-bar over the past few days, something I hardly remember at all from PES2012 on the same settings, so it seems to be a ‘thing’ with PES2013 in general.

  19. Uncle Turf—that happiness trick you describe reminds me of FM2010, where a player agitating for a move can often be wooed back simply by asking him to recommend a coach or player from his former club. The logic of football games, eh.

  20. NG – yep. Whether it was luck or design I don’t know but I have £80m in the bank and no chance of immediately attracting anyone who could replace Nomkis and the others. It doesn’t make sense to sell them whether they are happy or not, only a contract refusal will spell their end. I signed up a couple of 50 somethings figuring player and skill cards are worth more than low overalls but those games after internationals are going to be hard work.

  21. Upgraded to v1.02 and finished season 6, and started season 7 over the weekend.
    I hardly notice any core game play changes whatsoever after the patch, what I do notice, bare in mind I have been playing on v1.0, is that after the patch ( could be inherited from 1.01) is that the CPU is much more aggressive in its pressuring of you when you have the ball, they don’t give you time to play like they do in v1.0
    Only other change I noticed was that before the patch, whilst I dont want to use the word ‘broken’ I feel the attacking headers were unrealistically nerfed compared to previous years.
    Even with a tall player, in good space, with good heading stats, attacking headers from crosses, corners and FK’s would result in a soft feeble looping over the bar effort 18 times out of 20.
    Since patch 1.02 ive connected with various powerful and bullet headers from crosses and corners that pre-patch wouldn’t have been on target., so I feel this may have been tweaked.

    Finished 7th in the Prem in season 6, snatching the last Europa League spot.
    My club ranking rose 91 places from 211, to 122.
    I signed 3 new sponsorship deals and upgraded my coach, fitness coach and scout to 5million pound level.
    Sold Rincon, a CMF, and brought in Romalu, at RB, Ouala at RMF and signed a 16yr old Re-Gen Drogba who has bagged 3 goals in 3 appearances, 2 as sub, so far.
    5 games in to season 7 I’ve won 2, drawn 2 and lost 1, and drew my first Europa League game.
    Still thoroughly enjoying my ML.

  22. Uncle Turf—this really is an ML all about internal development first, and transfers second. Looking into the future, I foresee my youngsters being so good and me being so attached to them that I won’t want to get the Hagis and Rooneys in. The only external player I’m really hankering after is Scholes.

  23. Paul—I think if changes are anywhere, it’s in 1.01. There was an unusually high level of forum chatter after 1.01 to that effect.

    I’ve got my first slightly negative post of the year coming up at 12! But you’ll see it’s only about two specific examples of scripting, on Superstar. I never saw anything like it on Professional.

    Congrats on the 7th place finish, and if you’re tempted to take the Europa lightly, don’t, is all I’ll say. The CPU is waiting…

  24. NG – Thanks!
    Ive already played 1 Europa League tie away to Vitesse, it was no stroll, I went 1-0 down and pulled 2 quick goals back, led 2-1 until the 88th min then they grabbed a very dubious equaliser…… which leads me on to this….
    It eels as if the patch also increased the speed of the game, matches feel frantic compared to last season on v1.0, also the scripting seems to have been ramped up a bit, I’ve had more huffy puffy head-shaking moments in my 6 matches post-patch than I did in all of last season on v1.0

  25. Ng- yes i’m using other accountos on my PS3 but the weird thing is when i create a new account there is already save data from other games? that didn’t happen before did it?

    i have downgraded re-upgraded on my main account plus two others with now luck. Could be a problem with not having the data pack? If im using boots in my ML that arent out on release?

    when trying to load i get the message “unable to load save data of another user”
    very fustrating!!

  26. Max—ah yes, it sounds as if you need to have the exact same data pack that you were using before.

    Otherwise, try the same trick that is often recommended for installing Option Files:

    1. Transfer the problem save file to a USB stick.
    2. Delete the original file on your PS3.
    3. Copy the file back to your PS3 from your USB stick.

    That might sort it out by making the file your own again.

    Back everything up separately before you start meddling, though—as I’m sure you have already anyway. As we all do, regularly, right…?

  27. when i load from my original account i get the message saying “unable to load becuase data is from a different version. Download new contents to update data”

    Maybe i’ll be starting the South American ML sooner then i thought…

  28. NG- yes i copyied to usb cleaned my account and put it all back but same result. I have lost enough playing time already so think i’ll just leave it for now and finish my current season then decide if i will start again or not.

    After my PS3 slim YLOD earlyer this year i am a back up artist!

  29. Max—that message definitely means you just need to update the data pack to what it was. I don’t know anything about the packs though, so can’t tell you how many or what they were.

  30. I havent experienced much scripting. Then again, this is the first year of PES that im taking it seriously instead of leaving it to dust or for my brother or friends to use. I did play some BAL but it quickly gets boring. So i usually play on Regular. I would probably die if i went on to Superstar, but 0-Bar seems a nice step up, as im already on 1-bar.

  31. 47% after 1 hour of download looks like i wont be getting in any game time today 🙁

  32. Shane—you’re okay on Regular, especially with 0-bar passing. This isn’t the PS2 era, where it really was much too easy down on 3-star, and you always ended up on 5/6-star very quickly. The rebalancing of the difficulty levels in PES2012 was one of the best things Konami have done with the series in next-gen. Scripting or no scripting.

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