I heart Stevie G

Gerrard arrives

I’ve pushed on through the January transfer window of Season 11 in my rather singular PES2015 Master League career.

I didn’t get any new players. But who needs new players, when you’ve got Stevie G? I’ll get to his heroics.

I’ve only got £32m in the bank anyway. To buy anybody better than the players I’ve already got, I’d need to pay all of that (if not more) as the transfer fee alone. Then I’d need a lot more to absorb the new player’s wages.

So I’m still rocking along with the same squad I’ve had for several seasons now.

Still playing on Superstar, 2-bar passing — which, I now accept in my heart, is where I will stay for the duration of my time with this game. Other, hardier football gamers than I will have to scale the heights of 0-bar and 1-bar.

2-bar is where the game plays best for me and where I’ll stay now until the end.

When will that end be? With June around the corner, I’m starting to think about the endgame.

Will I play PES2015 until the eve of PES2016? I doubt it, but given the difficulty of the game, it’s possible.

Traditionally, I play a PES until I snag a Treble (League, Cup, European Cup). In recent years, it’s been until I get a Quadruple (Treble+World Club championship) or Quintuple (Treble+World Club+Community Shield).

With International management in PES2015, a Sextuple is theoretically possible, missus, if you consider the World Cup as part of the deal.

That’s not how I roll. I don’t meddle with International management in ML, and I don’t believe I ever will.

So, all that considered, I’ll settle for a Treble, but would like a Quadruple or Quintuple. It all depends how I’m feeling about PES2015 as a whole if and when the Treble moment arrives.

At the moment PES2015’s endgame, whatever form it takes, is a long way off.

A typical season of ML in PES2015 throws so many obstacles in the way of progress, that it’s possible I might never get near a Treble, never mind any of the others.

At the moment in Season 11 I’m still in the FA Cup. I”m also through to the last 16 of the Europa League. I easily swatted aside one of the made-up Konami teams in the Round of 32.

And I’m sitting pretty at 2nd in the league table thanks to some heroic performances.

On Sunday night, mere hours after the much-maligned (by me) real-life Steven Gerrard was scoring his last-ever goal in the Premier League, his digital counterpart in my ML world was scoring a massive, massive goal for me.

Away at Norwich, I went 1-0 down. Going behind is always a heart-sinking moment for me in PES2015. The game makes it so difficult to come back for the win. A win is what I needed in order to stay in touch at the top of the league.

With 1 minute of normal time remaining, I got it back to 1-1 thanks to a messy goal from Robben, and 1-1 felt as if it would be the final score. Norwich kicked off, and slipped immediately into the PES2015 AI’s frustrating keep-ball routine. I chased and harried, but wasn’t getting near the ball. The final whistle would go at any moment. I’d have to pretend I was happy with the draw,

All 4 minutes of added-on time were over when I scooped up possession in midfield. That’s when the whistle usually goes, but this time it didn’t, and:

A bread and butter goal in any football game, but in the context of my attempt to win my first league title on PES2015, this was one of the most important goals I’ve scored in all 11 seasons.

And how eerily similar it was to the much-maligned (by me) real-life Stevie G’s consolation finish against Stoke on Sunday!

The goal left the table looking like this:

Season 11 after 25

Which sets things up very nicely indeed for my next league fixture. Which is against… MANCHESTER UNITED.

Talk about a big game.

At this stage in the season, with so many fixtures left, it’s a title 6-pointer in name only. PES2015 is far too capable of chucking a spanner in the works and indulging in all sorts of results-managing and macro-scripting shenanigans. So I’m not getting too excited.

But I’m still fairly excited. I’ll report on how this match went on Friday.

17 Comments

  1. NG – I love Stevie Gerrard as well as I have had him, Barton (another PES great) and Carrick all in my team from young 16 year old regens. They are about 20-22 age range now and are really starting to blossom, but the frightening thing is they have not peaked yet. They are the heartbeat of my side. It is a good job I did capture these players at a young age though as like you said earlier it is very hard to get World Class players later on in the game, so they key is to get these regens earlier. I do have little thoughts too about the end game but I have loads still to do and achieve in the game and my only thought is will I achieve this before the next game is due out and a very personal target I have set myself, which I will divulge at the end.

  2. Darryl — there are a couple of World Class players I would have bought — Totti, Recoba, regen Messi and regen Suarez — but they would have cost all of my £32m and then some, even the regens. (Those two are about 18 in my ML world right now.) That is one good thing about PES2015’s strange ML transfer world: yes, you can buy any player you want (I’ve yet to have a single transfer bid fail), but getting the money for the real high-end ones is problematic, with the Champions League probably being key.

    Hey that’s a thought — you’re in the Champions League now! If I’m not mistaken this will be your first taster of the CL license within PES/ML. Konami have done a decent job with it, as far as it goes. It’s nice to see the familiar logos and hear the music, and the matches undeniably do feel special. And you get a cool few million per home fixture too.

    I only got there once so far in PES2015, but I’m looking forward to getting back. I think I can count on a top-4 finish this season.

    Anyway, the financial bonus from Champs League football is probably what takes you over the edge of being able to afford a real top, top player. That’s if you find anyone much better than what you already have.

    Re. the endgame scenario for PES2015, I find the difficulty variance and the toughness of the AI — and, yes, the egregiousness of the scripting — so much of a factor, taken all in all, that I wonder if I have it in me to maintain focus and push on past a Treble (if it ever comes). It’s still the #1 target for me though. Whether I pursue a Quadruple/Quintuple depends on how exhausted I feel. I suspect a Treble will end things, but we’ll see. I ended up regretting giving up PES2010 and PES2012 too early and wouldn’t want to make that mistake again.

  3. NG – I did taste Champions League football last season which was as a result of winning the Europa Cup I can only think as I finished outside the top 4. It was a suprise as I didn’t realise this happened. My finishing place was 3rd despite winning 3 games. Agree with you as I love the presentation and feel of it. Is a shame this can’t be replicated in other areas of the game. It was also rock hard as the European teams offer a different tactical approach as in real life. There is also a downside to getting young regens as thier wage demands increase considerably as they get better. My wage bill has creeped up to 32 million.

  4. Darryl – my wage bill is £140 million. Ouch.

  5. Lloyd – I am sure mine is going to shoot up as I have got a very young sqaud.

  6. I accidentally left myself on a minus-£200,000 balance after wages day a few seasons ago, but nothing untoward happened. No Game Over, and no players sold from under me. I have no idea why the game seemed to let me off something that incurred Grave Consequences in recent editions of ML. It was scary and not something I want to risk again, so I’m very careful with Expected Earnings and wages now.

  7. As a United fan I could never have anyone even remotely linked to Liverpool on any team I use in ML. I’ve also come to realise what I hate about top player on 2013. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFEND FREE KICKS!!!!

    Seriously, if you concede a free kick within 20 yards just get ready to kick off straight after, even if it’s Joe Nobody taking it. So frustrating.

  8. Mike – seems like you need the old “move the keeper to the centre of the goal trick”. Can’t remember the way to do it, but Google is your friend for this.

  9. NG – I have always kept a tight lid on finances as I was worried about a game over prospect. I try to operate on running on a profit of about 10 million to know I have a safety net. I do tend to use appearance bonus a lot, which suits my sqaud rotation style management as this brings thier wage offer that they will accept considerably.

  10. My financial deficit was only £200k and it was insta-resolved by the gate receipts from the very next match – maybe that’s why nothing bad happened. Still, it’s not something I’d want to happen again. Game Over isn’t the danger anymore so much as having one of your players sold from under you, usually one of your best players.

    Mike – as Lloyd advises, move your keeper to the middle of the goal at every AI free kick and you’ll never concede again. I think (muscle memory time) it’s L1+R3 to gain control of the keeper. Something like that. You have to be quick about it and it feels a bit wrong at first, but it quickly becomes second nature.

  11. NG – That’s it. Also, don’t forget to press L1+R3 after you’ve moved him or he’ll just stand there as you will still have control of him.

  12. Lloyd – I recall that PES2013 altered the L1+R3 routine from PES2012’s way. In PES2012, you did have to press L1+R3 twice: once to take control of the keeper, and then again to relinquish control. In PES2013 the second press of L1+R3 wasn’t required as the keeper automatically became AI-controlled after a second or two. (Which caused initial havoc to those of us still using PES2012 muscle memory.)

    Mike – just press L1+R3 at your next AI freekick. Quickly move your keeper to the middle of the goal. Release all buttons. Don’t press anything else (unless you want to make the wall jump or whatever). Do this right and you’ll never concede from a free kick again. The first couple of times you try this, you’re likely to mess it up in some way, but don’t let that put you off. Once you get it, it’s got for good.

  13. Ahhh, Must be my deeply ingrained 24 season 2012 muscle memory. ☺

  14. Fell foul to the most blatant of scripting last night. I won my first two away games and then played Sunderland at home. They scored straight away and then it was an onslaught from me from then onwards and despite having every shot blocked or hit the post or cleared of the line I still felt I was going to score and duely did in the 78th minute. Sunderland then went down to 10 men. Then in the last minute they had a corner and my keeper Buckland went to punch it and turned round and punched the ball into the roof of the net. At first I thought it had gone for a corner as there was no real celebration from Sunderland at first and that was it. I have also now played 5 out of my first 6 games away from home.

  15. Sunderland are a bogey team for me, every time I meet them it’s excruciatingly hard work to grind out any sort of result. I’ve seen the wrong-way keeper punch just once in all 11 seasons so far – in my case the ball easily went out for a corner.

    PES2015’s most frequent form of scripting is the unstoppable player who single-handedly swashbuckles his way through your entire team, evading all challenges. Next most common is when the game pins you back in your area for extended periods of time, and doesn’t allow you to escape with the ball. Every bobble and ricochet and bounce will go the AI’s way. All your passes will go to an AI player. All clearances will be blocked.

    I’ll just say it again, it truly amazes me there are so many experienced football gamers who deny the existence of scripting. Scripting is an intrinsic – and let’s face it, completely necessary – part of the genre.

  16. NG – they are a bogey side for me as well, them and Charlton. Yep it is perplexing as the forums are full of scripting deniers.

  17. Thanks everyone, I’ll try it later.

    QPR are my bogey side, for some reason the PES incarnation of Joey Barton plays like a Ronaldinho circa 2004/Roy Keane hybrid, despite his always average stats.

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