Superstar stop

Jesus Christ, Superstar! If I hadn’t already used those words in another title a long time ago, today’s post would definitely have been called ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar!’, exclamation mark and all. But for different reasons.

On that previous occasion, back in 2012, I was remarking on how agreeable I found life on Superstar, relative to my doomsday expectations of what might happen.

This time, in 2015, I’ve found my latest attempt at Superstar formidably tough and nigh-on impossible.

Superstar in Master League on PES2015 has once again properly kicked my arse. Three times already I have tried to ascend, and been beaten back. This is the fourth time. After a few sessions of mostly disastrous matches in League and Cup, I have gone back to Top Player.

Pre-season, I bought the 16-year-old Arjen Robben, who is already 80OVR and fleet of foot. He moves uncannily like his real-life counterpart. It’ll be two or three seasons before I start getting consistent performances out of him.

I also bought another left-back — Lizarazu from the classic players roster. Lizarazu is a bit older and more developed, and has slotted straight in as a regular starter.

New Home Kit:

PES2015 season 9 New Home Kit

I kept two of my three alternative kits, but deliberately made this rather horrible 4th kit, in honour of a fine Coventry tradition of horrible away kits:

PES2015 season 9 New Away Kit

Games immediately went nowhere for me on Superstar. I stuck with it over two long sessions, but they were bitty, frustrating experiences. The antithesis of everything good that I was finding in PES2015 over the past few months.

I won some, grinding out a 1-0 here and there, but lost most, and they weren’t the good kind of losses where you enjoy the game regardless.

I was unhappy with the overall footballing experience on Superstar. Matches often featured long patches of tussling for possession. It was a nightmare without the ball. Frustrated slide-tackling returned to my game, leading to lots of cheap yellows and reds once more. And Superstar passing felt as if it was being excessively tampered with by the game. I’ve never had so many passes go hopelessly astray. Yes, I did check and recheck my settings, and I was still on 1-bar, the sweet spot where I feel I belong.

Top Player was calling me back almost before the end of the first session. I stuck with Superstar for a second session, just to see, but no. It’s too much for me right now.

Also, I don’t want my first experience of Champions League football on PES2015 defined by such a thankless struggle.

I qualified for the Champions League this season for the first time. Here’s the group draw, by the way:

PES2015 season 9 Champs League draw

My Coventry City is in a group with FC Copenhagen, Lazio and Barcelona.

(It is a little disappointing to see a few made-up Konami teams in there. I feel their presence kind of ‘dilutes’ the Master League. While setting up Master League, you’re asked if you want to include a league of made-up teams. I chose Yes and wish now that I hadn’t.)

Superstar killed me in the League and it killed me in the Champions League too. I played two matches of the CL on Superstar: away against Copenhagen and away against Barca. Both ended in 1-0 defeats, and to be fair the matches were pretty decent. At least I created a few openings, compared to the shutouts I was getting in the League.

I think Konami listened to people saying that Superstar on PES2012/13 just wasn’t difficult enough, and decided to create an insane mode. NB: I think this is a very good thing. Top Player is satisfying enough for me right now.

Many people reading this, and having a whale of a time on Superstar, will be puzzled. But I am an average football gamer. ‘So am I!‘ they might say. ‘No, you’re definitely not!‘ I’ll say back.

I might change my mind and have another go at Superstar this season if I start running away with things on Top Player. I have seen odd flashes of what Superstar can offer.

At least I know that Superstar is still there, for when the time is right. There are still worlds left to conquer.


  1. Superstar is really providing a classic PES test in this ML. The two-bar passing has helped even things up just enough for me to stick with it now. I had a great 2-2 away to Spurs last night followed by a 1-0 win at home to Wigan. I love how you have to concentrate and really grind out results.

    I haven’t got Crouch but I do have Kike who continues to keep out Luca Toni up front for me. He doesn’t score a lot but he does set up a fair few chances including a lovely knock down for a rifled winner vs Hull last night.

    Now heading to January transfer window, eighth in the Prem, with £50m to splash out on reinforcements.

  2. Tommy – loving the Suso. My second Superstar match was the charity shield against West Ham, a team who took me apart with Andy Carrol’s sledgehammer left foot the previous season. This time round my man of the match was the centre half tasked with man marking the big lug. But the plaudits went to the little spaniard who made his first appearance for Southport in the 74th minute and who’s third touch was a slide rule pass to set up the only goal of the match. Excellent!

    Speaking of R2 shots, I think I’m going to have to start using them more in the box. The usual smash it at the corner approach is constantly being saved by these ramped up keepers. I’m not sure if that’s a symptom of using manual shooting or just the difficulty level?

    NG – I agree completely but worry that we’re the gaming equivalent of dinosaurs and the marketing bods view us almost as an irrelevance. If only they knew we’d seen it all… I had a Binatone when all this were fields!

    Werd – hope your wife is OK???

  3. Chris – yep shes hardcore and just has a few scrapes. I was more worried than she was as I’m a wuss in situations like that and being 40 miles away and do not drive didnt help.
    Pics/vids of those Southport kits if you have time please.

    I changed my Cambridge white away to a black reverse of the home. My rule is home has to mirror away kit, random third and at the mo last years home kit is the 4th as it holds so many good memories and is now my Europa kit.
    Damn this game has its claws in this term.

  4. NG – agree in regards to Crouch as I am now utalising him more for his holding up of the ball and his link up with a Sitting Striker. You can really tell when he is out of sorts.

    I am excited as well that a regen Joey Barton will be boosting my sqaud in the winter deadline as I view him as footy gaming Messiah. Also as a player I thougt he was very underated because of his behaviour problems, which overshadowed his talent.

  5. Season 12 came to an end with elimination from the CL Semis by Sporting and a last day win to secure 4th spot. No major trophies this season, just Super Cups and WCC.

    I scored 45 goals in the League and conceded 32, Must Score More.

    I’m away next week, fishing in Spain with my mates so no Pro Evo until 20th April.

  6. NG, great to see the Chronicles back.

    Haven’t been playing much PES 2015 lately, just a few matches in a week. Season 2 for the AC Milan ML is slightly past the half way mark. Milan are top and 9 points clear of Napoli after beating them 2-1 at home, followed by a 5-4 away win at Fiorentina and a 3-0 home win over Roma. Destro, Insigne and El-Sharaawy are the main men contributing the goals. I still have to find/ develop some decent midfielders and CBs as the current lot are all ageing. Milan are also in the round of 16 in the CL where they play an unheard-of Portuguese team (the most dangerous kind in PES) and in the quarters of the Italian Cup.

    I might try to buy Peter Crouch after all the good stuff written here about him 🙂 Still on Top player and no plans to move up to Superstar, but I try it out once in a while – so far my players have been guilty of the most outrageous misses.

  7. Darryl – the old WENB/Adam comment filter that I had in operation in 2013 is still working, so it’s hoovering up any comment containing the word ‘messiah’ and holding it for moderation.

    LC – it does actually feel good to be back again, and even better to be playing PES every day again (nearly) after a couple of dodgy years. My comment policy has changed though. I used to respond to every single one no matter what, and at length. Can’t do that anymore. I might get the chance later to talk some more Peter Crouch – a true one-off in this PES.

  8. I won’t use that word again then 🙂

    NG -I have been reading through the chronicles and every comment from the start and as you posted nearly every day and replied to every comment that was a fair old commitment.

  9. Werd – I’ll try and get round to it but you’d only be disappointed. For season 4 I’ve actually nabbed one of the more obscure orange kits from my option file and just used that rather than fanny around. As you can tell, I don’t have your relish for kit design (plus there’s only home and away kits on the 360 version).

    NG – Just for a laugh, what other keywords does your W*NB filter pick up?

  10. Cheeky lunchtime session sees my Brighton boys through to the quarter finals of the cup thanks to a 2-1 win vs Spurs. Like Lloyd, I really need to score more but I’m creating more chances now.

    n-G – Glad you’re enjoying your return. I’m certainly loving the regular updates and the extra mix of comments. Is it purely coincidence that more of us seem to be enjoying ML more now the Chronicles is back?

  11. Do not underestimate the power of the Chronicles.

  12. Welcome back Chronicles! I’d do a search every few months in the hope it had returned, then stopped when I saw you posting on Ultra. Popped in there today, saw it was a bit empty and typed in PES Chronicles one last time – Bingo.

    Glad to see you’re enjoying the game. I don’t much care for it, but reading the posts again has given me an urge to load it up again tonight instead of 2013. Might drop down to Top Player to see if it’s more enjoyable as you say.

    Good to have you back!

  13. Evening all! Not had a chance to play too much PES 2015 since I got it, but I like what I see so far. Played through the international cup with England on professional, won it. There are some classic PES elements there, the shooting is delicious. Now I’ve set up my ML with Leicester (was tempted to go with a fantasy Coalville Town team, but it didn’t feel right) on Top Player, yet to actually kick a ball in anger. Spent most of my gaming session today editing team names and fiddling with some kits (Newcastle without stripes just ain’t right). Ready to go! Has anyone had any success with players from the youth team? My old friend Niellendner was in there and I’ve promoted him for nostalgia reasons, but he doesn’t look too promising. Classic Schwarz, where did you go?

  14. Filbert – My youth team has been worse than useless apart from a now sold Aartmen. However with all the juicy regens lingering on the free transfer list, it’s not proved a problem!

  15. Chris – the WENB/Adam filter list is top secret I’m afraid… Re. the online/offline schism, market forces will make the game devs force us all online eventually. Microtransactions are not a single-player phenomenon. And you can already see how online multiplayer is assumed as default in lots of PES forum chatter. E.g. you’ll read someone posting that they played Bayern Munich and Juventus that day, without mentioning online, but you know that’s what they mean. The fact they’re confident enough never to mention online shows that the ship is turning.

    John – I think the quality of PES2015 would have shone through for Paul too. Looking back you could see him falling catastrophically out of love with football games form the tail-end of PES2013 on. Remember when he deleted his FIFA15 savegame and didn’t seem that bothered?

    Liam – cheers, and you’ll never get me on BaL, but don’t be shy about suggesting it at some point 😉

    Filbert – that’s a huge demerit to PES2015’s ML. In past editions the poor Defaults and tight budget meant you were forced to go hunting for quality in the Youth teams. Decent Defaults and generous finances this time around mean that isn’t a factor. Bit of a shame really as I enjoyed the old ML model.

  16. Tommy – I tried R2 shots at every opportunity in today’s session but didn’t score any. I love the shooting animation of them though – the whip on the ball, the curve etc.

  17. Darryl – Crouch is as enigmatic in PES2015 as in real life. He shouldn’t work as a footballer, but he does. Then he has patches of quiet matches and you forget about him. Then he has a storming game. Perhaps this is part of a trait of PES2015’s that I’ve noticed. The game seems to model dynamic fluctuations of player form. That was something Paul noticed and didn’t like before he dropped off the radar. What it does mean I think is that super-players can’t be relied upon from match to match. Realistic I suppose, but it means that Crouchy will never be a consistent giant in the Schwarz sense.

  18. Bit of a poor session last night saw me win 2, draw 3 and lose 1. I have been playinf a strict 5 game a session routine up until last night. My last game was a tired 1am performance, where I lost 1-0 at home to bloody Leeds. I did have a good record against them. NG is correct about the enigmatic Crouch as he scored 2 in a win at Middlesbrough but was played like a donkey with his legs tied together against Leeds. As I focus a lot of my attacks through him now it has dawned upon me that he has changed my style of play for the worse. Very much like Liverpool having Crouch or Carroll in the team.

  19. All of my youth team lads have always been Spanish. Has anyone else had anything like that? All absolute toilet, the biggest name that came through was Raul, but at just 56 overall I let him slide.

  20. Alas my youths have been moribund also. I only have Aartmen who has had a flourish but still not a patch on my edited/bought team. Beat Manc City 2-0, Southampton 3-0 and lost 2-1 to Lazio in the 90th min, 1-1 draw with arsenal and a 0-0 draw with the mackems. Up to third, round of the cup and third in the Europa group. I need reinforcements soon as fatigue is setting in.

  21. My Youths have also been terrible from season 1 through to now. This is a shame I think as there used to be real satisfaction in finding a no-name Youth and coaxing him up through the ranks. Other than a brief sighting of Regen Robert Huth, they’ve all been Konami name players as well, so there’s no leap of recognition that there would have been even for a Ruskin or an Oswalt.

  22. I’ve still got Alex Revell as a youth signing. He was 56 rated when he signed and is now 60 after two different loan spells. He’s big, strong CF who used to play for Brighton in real life but I doubt he’s ever going to make the grade in this ML.

    Three games last night: 1-1 away to Arsenal, lost 2-1 at Man City and came from behind to beat QPR 2-1 at home. Currently ninth and awaiting a cup quarter final vs Arsenal.

    The January transfer window has not been great. Only signed one player; a regen Ron Vlaar who looks like he’ll be a good back up CB in time. My policy of not signing any player unless they are a free agent or listed for sale or loan has left me struggling for better than I already have.

    Oh and something else clicked with the game last night. n-G’s comment about the AI defence backing off if you slow down in attack really helped open up more chances for me. I do have a tendency to sprint-clamp at times which is clearly not the way.

  23. Had a good ‘ole session on ML last night/this morning (I’m on annual leave from work, meant to be sorting out my house as I’m moving in a couple of weeks, oh well). My impressions: Graphics are often terrible. One of the turf types you can pick for your pitch literally looks like it was drawn by a child with a crayon. The stadium I wanted for my team (from the limited selection) has headache inducing shadows on the pitch in sunny conditions. You’d think with so few stadiums, Konami could at least make the existing ones look good…hell even playable. Commentary is as horrible as ever, no change. The playlist of about 5 songs is driving me potty, will have to turn the music off soon. Standard PES stuff then. But despite all this…I love it, it just feels like a classic PES, and excites me in a way that FIFA just doesn’t seem to (apologies if that sounds sexual). The shooting is punchy, passing the ball around feels good, dribbling feels good, and the scripting so far seems more subtle (I may change that view soon). I haven’t really got to grips with the defending, sprint clamping seems to work best for me, it goes wrong when I try containing as I did in other recent PES’s. Even the goalkeepers are a bit better than normal. The defaults are definitely a lot better, I’m on top player and I’m in the top 6 after 6-7 games, normally I’d be rock bottom! I think I’ll stick on top player for the forseeable, I don’t have the time to put in as many seasons in ML as I used to, so rapid progress is fine by me, as long as there’s some challenge there.

  24. Last nights Leeds result has been playing on my mind all morning. In the back of my mind I want the day to pass and put things right tonight. This is the wrong mentality as is like a gambler chasing a loss. There is only me and a girl in the office today, so am going to say she can go home or have the afternoon off to leave me reading through the old posts and get it out of my head. Of course I could do this anway but want no interuption. She will think I am being kind.

  25. Filbert – you can go into Edit mode and change your team’s stadium to one of the unshadowed ones and it will carry over into your existing ML. I don’t know where the notion comes from that changes made in Edit mode don’t show up in existing MLs. They definitely do show up, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to change my kits every season.

    I also changed lots of other teams’ stadia to try and eliminate the shadowed pitches from the game, but there are too few stadia and lots of teams so I just put up with it when I see it now.

  26. Oh, I changed it alright, it’s just annoying because apart from the shadows it was the perfect stadium, but it’s no biggie. I’m always tinkering in edit mode, changing kits etc and seeing it carry over. I just don’t see how it gets through, surely someone playtested the game and said ‘errr, these shadows need dialling down a bit, you can’t actually see the ball in the stripey bit’. Never mind. I forgot to say, I actually don’t mind the pared back ML, the routine of sign a player or two, get on and play matches, is fine for me at the moment, I haved a much more casual approach to gaming than I used to. I wouldn’t mind seeing more in the way of player development and training but it’s fine. The biggest fly in the ointment, as has been well documented, is the lack of freekicks/fouls against. And I got a player sent off for two challenges that were completely innocuous. Annoying.

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