Smells Like Team Spirit

A proper shellacking in MyClub

Well that hurt.

Easily my heaviest-ever defeat in any football game in any mode, ever. At half-time it was 0-8, so I did well to limit the damage in the second half and even grabbed a cheeky consolation goal with my one flowing move of the match.

It was an unexpected setback in my MyClub journey, as immediately prior to this match, I’d WON my first match.

It was a solid 1-0 win against a player rather like myself — a patient passer and mover. Judging by his username, which ended in 1965, he was an oldie like me. Perhaps that says a lot.

Then I met the player above: a 100% sprint-pressurer, and down-the-middle run-and-gunner. He blew me away completely. I can’t even pretend that I had given up after 7 or 8 goals. I was playing and defending all the way. Nothing was working.

Every single one of his goals was scored inside the penalty box, needless to say. He never even tried shooting from outside, not even when he was a million goals up. This lack of shooting from distance disappoints me more than anything else online.

But MyClub is a really good mode. I cannot ever see myself liking the way people play it online, but the supporting infrastructure is interesting and worth getting to know. I was never convinced by Master League Online and mostly ignored it bar a token few matches every year, but MyClub seems to fill in the blanks.

Success is all about the Team Spirit. Look at this side-by-side comparison of my average online opponent (the team on the left) and my own Best XI (on the right) — arrayed in an attacking 4-3-3 in this instance, as opposed to my usual 4-2-2-2:

Team Spirit Them And Me

I’m on a measly 62 TS, and that’s with everything tweaked and tuned to the best of my ability. It’s suicidal to head online with anything less than 80, from what I can gather, and 90 is considered optimal.

I’m bad at playing football games online, but I’m not that bad. For all my downplaying of my online skillz, it’s been quite rare over the years for me to be completely thumped.

I’ve been taking thumpings over and over again in MyClub, and lack of Team Spirit is why. Passes don’t connect, defenders don’t cover, the ball constantly bobbles, and easy shots miss.

Shellacking tale of the tape

I still got the most possession. But look at that passing %. That’s partly due to my opponent’s insane pressuring, but it’s mostly due to the low Team Spirit.

I go on. I’m loving the refreshing change after the rigours of Master League.

FIFA15 is still there waiting to be fired up again. This blog isn’t about me being a faux-journalist, and providing even-handed coverage to all football games, and giving FIFA15 a go because I feel I have to. I do hope to get back to FIFA15 before PES2016 arrives. But if I don’t, tough Titty Town.


  1. Werd – Touche’ (turtle). I doff my cap.

    Speaking of caps and the wood n willow, I saw Don Bradman is now low £20s for ps3 (ps4 still silly money). I’m almost tempted if this pummelling of the aussies continues but darryl’s review didn’t seem completely convincing. Have you played since Dazzler?

  2. Turf – still quite expensive for a PS3 game. I haven’t played since and have mixed feelings about it. The career mode is poor and the teams are all the same players throughout the entire 15 years career. It is a good simulation of the sport and has a steep learning curve. Also requires loads more attention in the stats department to give it more realism in terms of dismisal types (not many edges) and tail enders seeming to be as hard to dismiss as the openers. From a small studio it is a great effort but just needs a bit more work.

  3. Howdy Guys.
    I’ve been off work sick for the last 3 days, due to having the flu and tonsillitis, my first sick leave in over 4 years, this knock me for 6!!!
    So the last 3 days have been spent living off Hot Lemon, Honey and ice cream, blowing my nose, sneezing coughing and taking in the direness that is daytime TV.

    Had a fair bit of PS4 bothering though, flip-flapping between PES 15 and FIFA 15.
    PES 15 still exhibits far too many glaring basic mistakes, issues and errors that ultimately are un-ignorable and make me want to turn away from the game, much the same as I did back in December, and FIFA 15, feels quite one dimensional.

    Caught up on the slew of Gamescom videos this morning….. PES 16 was very underwhelming….. it looks identical to PES 15 except the zoomed out camera angle.
    Menus and UI all the same, same options screens, same dull, dingy washed out colour palette on the matches, i really didn’t notice any difference at all, i know you have to play the game to ‘feel’ it …. but this just did not look like a new game whatsoever.

    Id like in dept revamped ML mode details now to whet the appetite,

  4. Cheers Darryl, that helps knock me off the fence. They’ve never quite captured the game for me on any platform, its that split between those who watch the professional game, all genteel with their score books and picnics and those of us who play local leagues with the ever present threat of broken bones and being bollocked by the captain. I think the old spectrum mainly text based efforts were as good as anything I’ve played.

    Paul – ive quickly remembered the reasons I got annoyed – defending, fouls, generic faces, the ability to run a long way with the ball (especially up the middle) but I’m much more mellow now having embraced Skyrim and the idea of other things that can be huge game experiences. It’s now just a nice way to fill an hour or two, I’m on top player with no thought of purity superstar only and I’m looking forward to building my ml team whilst listening to the new season on the radio. I have low expectations of every football game to come as 2015 is clearly not a classic, despite the retweeting of certain community managers, and on that basis I can’t really be disappointed.

    Is your daytime TV watching onesie the skin of Cecil the lion?

  5. I’ve seen a few decent vids of PES2016 scattered around a few websites where they’ve got access behind the scenes and managed to sit down and play ‘properly’. I’ve not seen a single Gamescom showfloor vid that looked anything like the PES franchise I’ve come to know and mostly love. Same as every year.

    I was playing PES2015 this morning and loving it. I’ll be happy with a PES2016 that’s an iterative improvement and ‘beefs up’ what’s already there. I won’t be happy if ML is the same — it’s not been a great year for ML.

    Paul & Uncle Turf — I always thought it was a bit too late for you both to get back into PES2015 now.

  6. I have made my views before on the subject of ML and Career Mode in Fifa as both are dumbed down shells of past campaigns. The last decent career mode was Fifa 10 and the last ML was PES 2011. People may have had good campaigns since then but both modes looked in thier own right under the microscope and it is hard to argue that they are poor as we know they are no longer a priority. Fifa has been more clever in offering an illusion that there is more content but appart from the addition of Global Transfer Network more has been taken away. PES this year looks like it is following suit and a revamped ML is likely to just be a facelift of the same menu options. I wouldn’t excpect anything to change in future. Us offline players are dinosaurs of the past, who must be a nuisance to game developers as they still have to be seen to be catering for us.

  7. PES 16 boasts a completely revamped Master league, and new improved transfer mechanic, but we are yet to see any details of these, for me though, ML will never return to its halcyon days until they reinstate the stadium editor and give us the ability to load in custom stadium graphics. This was an integral part of my ML world and helped to build the story behind the team and success.

    Starting off in a 60,000 capacity stadium with global bran sponsor adboards, with the defaults in Div 2 just ruins the whole ML ethos, right from the start.

    FIFA 16’s career mode has been revamped too. looking decent, individual player training, more realistic transfers and fixed transfers, loans, commentary being expanded to really tell a story of your career mode by commenting on past results,players form, morale, transfers, key events etc….

  8. Darryl – more in today’s post at 12, but my last week or so of MyClub has paradoxically improved my regard of the offline game. Offline football gaming IS football gaming. The online game is something else – a game based on football gaming. Diluted and impure. I’ve played offline with my team and the game shines against the AI. Against people… ugh. Just a horrible, ugly experience, for the most part.

    Paul – almost one year ago you said that FIFA15 might arguably be the best football game ever made, and I agreed with you. I’d probably still agree with you. Your deletion of that CM save was a true fork in the road of your footy gaming year. I won’t be getting FIFA16 until next spring barring a disaster on the PES2016 front, but might FIFA16 be the thing for Ultra Soccer Blog?! You’re profoundly disenchanted with PES, that much is clear.

    Still, let’s see the demo next week and see what’s what. These Gamescom vids and related discussions, though… the usual hilarity applies.

  9. NG – I think I still have chance for a decent ml campaign; the matches are flying by (as there’s nothing else to do, as per recent ‘state of ml’ posts) and my treble of 2012 was only seven seasons. What worries me is the ease with which you can run with the ball in the game. I know I’m not on superstar and posts suggest div 1 gets much harder but castolis playing as an amf can run from one wing to the other without breaking sweat. I’m not sure if that was one of my huffy quit reasons but having played fifa more in recent times that seemed similar in terms of the design – get the ball, run with it, if an opponent comes turn back to your goal and wriggle away again. There’s a lot of backwards movement but while fifa rewarded patience and getting in the box pes has let me crash in some thirty yarders already, with aaokbjerg, orelaine, etc. I’m not saying it’s easy, just that it can begin to feel very samey. And the finance is ridiculous – bought eleven players including 2.7m Perez from newcastle and still projected to have 7m. In season 1?! Where’s the grind. Good job it’s not November otherwise I’d be off on one.

  10. There’s barely any grind at all in this ML, which is one of the main reasons it’s been a poor ML year, alas. As for running, it’s not my style so I never noticed it so much. You might need to go Superstar after all! Or zero-bar passing, or something.

  11. NG – My view may have skewed slightly as back then FIFA 15 NG version was superb, awesome graphics, deep attention to detail, etc etc…. but over time the game play irks slightly, not in as many ways as PES 15 does but enough to skew my opinion.
    in FIFA 15 speed and /or strength is everything, get the ball to a fast player, Bale, Ronaldo, Benteke et al…… and its virtually impossible to be stopped or stop them.
    Defending is very hit and miss in FIFA 15 …..

    Whilst PES 15’s grumbles are mainly all small things but very basic things that all add up to make it very irksome.
    Its enjoyable, but hampered and pulled back by the things that it doesn’t do or do properly that are so basic its agitating.

    I guess we won’t know the direction of the new PES until we actually get hands on with it next week, lets just hope that the game play refinements are backed up by substance and a decent ML mode to carry it through.

    This is a very good video, pointing out changes within PES 16 so far…

  12. I think if you’d had the time and circumstances to play PES2015 regularly for several months, you’d have come to like it a lot more for what it does than what it doesn’t do. That’s just what happens with PES and there are countless examples going back historically (PES2012 always springs to mind as a great example of this love-through-exposure factor).

    This year they tinkered with the magic individuality formula, and it wasn’t right. One or two good matches from talented players, and then you never got anything from them for the next 10 matches! What was that all about? Not very PES-like. And ML was bad, no two ways about it.

    My end-of-year review of PES2015 will be positive albeit with major caveats, and in a weird way playing online these past few weeks has made me appreciate how superbly it plays against the AI even more. I suppose you’ve got to have immersed yourself in it up to the eyebrows. That’s why I think it’s too late for yourself and others to get into it. A week or two and it’s over now. I’d be saving all my juice for PES2016, personally.

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