An early Season 3 video digest today:
Season 3 is well and truly underway, and PES2016 is heading back in the right direction with me. I’ll be talking in detail further down the page about what’s on show in the above video.
First, some post-Season 2/pre-Season 3 wheeler-dealering.
I took the money for Coutinho and spent some of it on Alan Ljajic, but have decided to hold onto Arcas and Castledine and many other Defaults that the AI teams seem very keen to sign up. Giorza is a quality right-back who gets lots of offers every window. I’ll keep him too.
I sold Herrerin, the expensive keeper who staunched the flow of ‘corner goals’ last season. I signed up Friedel from the Youths and made him number 1. Sentimental reasons, based on PES2015 maybe, but having a Friedel in goal makes me feel good. It’s a risk going with a 17-year-old as my first-choice keeper, but this is the PES to take such risks in, I think. If it goes wrong, I can always change tack.
My Season 3 squad and formation:
Reyes, another 17-year-old, will start as many matches as his stamina will allow. He’s got a Player Skills page like nothing I’ve seen on any other player — as seen on the right.
It’ll be interesting to see if those Player Skills shine through with him as he develops, or if he’s just a decent but mostly anonymous midfielder. PES2015 seemed to nerf supposedly talented players, with them having maybe one good match every now and then. So I’m keeping a close eye on how individuality manifests itself in PES2016, and whether it’s consistent. My initial feeling is that it’s again been nerfed.
But I’m starting to see things in PES2016 generally that I didn’t see before, and there’s something slowly growing…
Now for a closer look at the video at the top of the page. Highlights from the pre-season testimonial through to Matchday 6.
00:40: a floated through-ball for Yankov to volley. I love goals like that and will always have a pop rather than take a touch. Something I’ve noticed about PES2016: the AI punishes you if you try to take too many touches with players. Defenders will pounce. Very realistic.
01:40: First game of the season, home to Ipswich, and one of my favourite long-rangers so far. Again it’s that man Castledine. See the way the ball moves in the air on the second replay.
I’m keeping Castledine. Most Master League players this year seem to be shedding Defaults and Youths in favour of the Classics and Established Names. It seems I’m heading down a different path with PES2016. I didn’t plan it like this. It just seems to be happening, and it intrigues me. I wonder where it’ll lead?
I went on to draw this match 1-1. I never made another chance. This being-shut-down thing is something that’s started happening in PES2016. After that weirdly open Season 1 and a portion of Season 2, the game has tightened up considerably. This feels like a proper PES now.
02:30: First goal from Ljajic. Peter Drury — the best commentator we’ve had on PES, by the by — pronounces his name ‘Lie-itch’. I’m going with that in my head.
Note the one-touch finish. Again, the game seems to reward one- and two-touch play. Experience of PES2016 so far already tells me that if I’d tried to take an extra touch there, the game would have smothered me out of it,
03:15: Later in that same match. A late, late winner, and my first real punch-the-air-and-stop-myself-screaming-aloud moment in this whole Master League. I’m going for promotion this season and I’d had a bad start and this goal and these 3 points MEANT something. This is how Master League creates meaning and makes PES what it is.
The give-and-go move featured Castledine, of course — I slightly delayed the return ball — and then a thumping first-time finish from Coulibaly. Rocketed into the net. A sweet, sweet moment.
Cambiasso, fresh from the Youths, made his full debut somewhere in these matches. Did well, the youngster.
04:00: My first derby match of the season, away to Birmingham, and a cagey affair was changed with this goal from me. Note again the one-touch build-up. One-touch passing/finishing is a thing in PES2016!
I only drew this match as well in the end.
A shame that I’ve dropped so many points so early, but as we all know, it’ll be a long time before I’m out of the running for promotion, and this is way too early to count me out. I think I’m going to do it.
Still, optimism aside, its not nice to be near the foot of the table — here’s the bottom 9 teams.
There are only 6 points between me and the playoff spots, though. That’s a trivial gap at this stage.
Before the window closed I bought another striker, Seferovic, to play up front. I don’t feel I’ve spent the Coutinho money very well. Instead of one great striker, I’ve bought two strikers about the same as Coutinho.
The intriguing thing for me this year, though, is how my Defaults-plus-Youths-plus-journeymen experiment will play out. I’m looking forward to finding out.
PES2016 has picked up considerably. I still feel that the ‘tumble dryer’ effect of midfield (lose the ball/slide/win the ball/rinse/repeat) is decidedly un-PESlike.
And I’m so tired of playing endless nighttime matches. They’re all at night for me now. Every single match is a night match, with a few dusk matches scattered among them. No daytime at all now. This must be addressed in the patch, and I feel it will be. It must be. Surely?
But the overall play is satisfying. Master League is as engaging as it’s been for years. This is the best that PES2016 has been for me since my first few days with the game. Things are definitely starting to warm up.