The Fisher King

PES5 Mathieu

A football game has broken out. A short session of the PC version of PES5—the eight-years-old PES5—played on a Bootcamped installation of Windows, on a Macbook. Runs great. And it’s very handy, being on a machine that I already use for hours most days.

Perhaps I’m not sick of football games after all—perhaps I’m just sick of my routine that’s sprouted around them over the last many-many years. I play in the mornings, and my routine has been: get up, have breakfast, turn on the PS3, play PES.

I am FED UP of doing that. I needed to disrupt the routine, and I’ve done that in style.

Football gaming needed freshening up for me.

I’ve been playing this one PES5 save for years, usually for just a week of two every August in the downtime before the next PES release.

It’s the usual ersatz Coventry City. We’re in the Premier now. It’s an olde-school PES, of course. This is where I was most happiest. I’m not going to make any grand predictions about what I’ll spend the summer doing.

I just finished season 5, and finished 8th in the table. Playing on 4* difficulty still, and it’s plenty difficult enough.

PES5 2013-season 5 final table

Generally, I don’t really give a stuff about any football game right now. It’s going to take a lot more time for this empty tank to fill up again.

The only game I really want to play at this moment in time is Civilization V. I’m still playing the same game from last week. This isn’t me being lazy or not playing Civ very much either. I’ve played every day for an hour or two. This is how long games typically last.

And I’m going to lose this one (again). I’ve never actually won a Civ V game, in what must be 20 separate attempts now. I could play on a lower difficulty and guarantee getting a maiden win, but as all Civ players know, rolling downhill to a certain victory over hundreds of turns isn’t any fun.

Last week I posted a screenshot of a highly strategic point on my map. I revisited Istanbul last night with my more modern units, after deploying a navy of sorts to screen my army from bombardment.

Another shot at Istanbul

My navy lasted two turns before being destroyed. Two turns after this screenshot was taken, my army was destroyed. And then the Ottoman navy rushed into my coastal waters and destroyed all my fishing boats. Which caused a cascade of unhappiness and hunger across my nation. But that was the least of my worries.

Civ V Backstabbed by the French

All game long, the French have been the runaway technology leaders, and my staunchest allies.

I spied on them and took a few techs, and now they have invaded me, sending waves of units across the treacherous English territories. That’s the French blue units closing in for an irresistible combined arms assault on my city of Cardiff above. After my Istanbul debacle, I have a single cavalry unit in the field.

The turn after this screenshot was taken, the French took Cardiff. Weirdly, this happened at almost the exact same moment that the final whistle blew on the real-life Cardiff City’s promotion match last night. I was listening to it on the radio.

Nope. This is not PES Chronicles as it has been, but it’s the only PES Chronicles anybody is going to get. For now.


  1. Abbey-respect to you for lastimg this long..value dor money or what..opposite of me;-)

  2. abbeyhill – I remember at the end of my mega 2012 struggle for silver I posted that I knew that no matter what this was my last 2012 game. I’m not so sure now thanks to 2013s reduced appeal. 2010 is going a little too well (!) in that I’m maxed out on Top Player yet progressing at a far greater rate than my 1st season goal issues should have suggested. A non-dev 2013 may be the answer but I still feel I will simply buy a top player who will do exactly what Minandinho did. It might take longer but the route will be the same.

    Paul – not me, I have been aware of Cricket Life (which initially seemed similar) for years, and it seems forever stuck in development hell like a few of these sorts of ‘virtual’ management games. I don’t know if they’re just really hard to get right but I hated the Sims.

  3. Abbey-apologies for my typing earlier(mobile).when do you plan to crack open the shrinkwrap on 2013?

  4. Paul—I believe John found a basic OF for PES2010 that works with the vanilla game. Probably all too late for you now though.

    Re. Lords of Football, I saw it on Steam the other day. Great that it’s on Mac too (I love this growing trend!), but it just doesn’t look as if it’s for me.

  5. Uncle Turf—sounds as if you could contenance a PES2012 return—? I’ve considered it myself a few times and had a few games, and it does feel like putting on a favourite old pair of trainers.

  6. abbeyhill—surely the capital of Scotland still has the odd GAME store tucked away somewhere? Although maybe not. They’re drying up like puddles. It must be years since I was last in a physical games store. It’s been all downloads and Amazon/ShopTo for a long, long time.

  7. Aarrgghhhhh…… Missed out on Europe League qualification on goal difference. Now in transfer windows before season 4 and I am considering going up to SS, but not sure yet. Sold Coynborough for 4mil and replaced him with Ronald Koeman for 3mil(too good a bit of business to keep him I’m afraid)

    Nirasaki(Nakata) has been immense with 16 goals and 18 assists from midfield. Minandinho scored 33 goals last season and finished top goalscorer. Another 1st season buy who continues to shine is Shelvey with 12 goals and 12 assists. My team has quite a few players from Liverpool’s youth team. Suso, Spearing, Wilson. Regeneration Gerrard has turned me down a few times, but I will get my man.

  8. Well, a lot has gone on since I last commented here. I started a FIFA Career Mode with Bournemouth which got awfully boring despite my love of the gameplay
    So there was only one thing left to do; return to Saintragler.
    I won the double in my return and by the end of the season Antberk was 100ovr 😀
    So, with my reincarnation of PES, I have decided to reboot my blog. I have decided to just do a ‘daily dose’ of PES by sharing a captioned picture of my session. I am struggling to think of a new name, however. Will keep you posted on it.

    Sorry for double comment
    Updated the site.

  10. Werd – I’ll maybe give PES 2012 ML another season and a half and then turn to 2013. This season is going pretty well; quite easily through to the knockout phase of Champions League so a treble is still theoretically on. But I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to win the league, given the distorted form of other teams – PSG won it with 99 points (and 127 goals) from 38 games last season, and they + Lyon are winning virtually every game this season, there’s no way I can compete with that! So maybe win another cup or two to add to my Europa League, and then rest on my laurels

  11. NG – Lords of football is on steam but isnt on Mac, where did you see that?

  12. Abbey – I usually twek the league to my taste. Ibrahimovic back to Ajax, Rooney back to Everton etc..then shuffle players about. You may get a pleasant surprise when they trot out on the pitch..then it turns to “why did I do that?”when Lampard now a Volendam player put two past you 🙂

  13. abbeyhill – yes, I think with 2012 you hope you get an early lead and then hang on by your nads for the next 30 games. With my sole league win I had to not just not lose but actually win every game for months as the AI was in full on pressure mode.

  14. Paul—my mistake. It’s not a very Mac-a-like game now that I think of it. Must have dreamt it was on Mac.

  15. Adam – great stuff, I new the saints would rise again. Cant wait for the new kits. What about a white X on the front, akin to the scottish flag.

  16. No probs NG – I had already looked, just making sure I handn’t missed it somewhere.

  17. Well, finished bottom in my first season of non-dev SA ML on Pes 2013. My record was W8 D4 L26. I won the last game of six but it was a struggle to create chances lest alone score in those last few games.

    So, onto season two and I have some major team building to do. I have £4m in the bank and have already lined up a very decent looking RM. I’m still debating whether to sign Rafael again but I usually don’t like to have the same player in two different MLs.

    But my eye is mainly drawn to the free agents list which is bursting with classic players. Some show a 49% chance of signing for me so I’ve put a few offers in – even though I’m sure their wages will be mahoooosive.

    Oh, and just to put this one question to bed once and for all – players in a non-dev ML do not age.

  18. Dont Age??
    So you can sign a 25yr old and have him for 10 seasons and he’ll still be 25???

    I get the Non-dev part as in he wont decline/develop through age, but surely they should still age, and retire eventually??

    Literally means you can sign a decent squad full of players, say cheap 33yr olds and keep them going for years and years and ……..

    Konami’s decisions really do baffle me…..they dont have a clue.

  19. John—it’s amazing that we’ve had to wait until now to get confirmation of that. Non-dev MLs are a minor interest but some people have been playing them for years, and it’s weirdly hard to get a straight answer on such questions as ‘do non-dev ML players age or not?’ Something I’ve noticed on the forums for a long time. Even here when I asked abbeyhill, he didn’t quite answer the question, and I didn’t push it, wondering if it’s some kind of secret club that you have to know the handshake to get into.

  20. not-greg – apologies, I thought I was crystal clear on the issue of players’ ages not changing, certainly no secrets to conceal!

    Paul – surely this isn’t one of Konami’s more baffling decisions? There would be no difference to squad development from your players getting older and eventually retiring, assuming you re-sign them as identical regens

  21. I think Konami thought the immortal players in a non-dev ML would satisfy all those who used to play League Mode. That’s why they took it out.

  22. Who the f@ck told NG about secret club???

    Meeting’s off tonight lads while I have a rethink about the new name and handshake.

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