Pages from Ceefax

Without further ado — my final Season 6 table:

Final Table Season 6 PES2016I only pulled clear of 5th and secured that all-important top-4 place in the final few matches. It was nip and tuck until that point, with a Europa League spot looking likeliest.

In last Friday’s post, I said that I needed to stop drawing so many matches and start winning them instead. That’s what I went ahead and did. My record since last Friday is Played 23, Won 17, Drawn 3, Lost 3. That’s top-4 form, easy. Perhaps not quite Treble-winning form if translated to a season-long campaign, but it’s getting there, and it’s been good enough to secure me a shot at the Champions League next season.

Note as a curiosity how I’m 3rd in almost everything in that table. 3rd in position. 3rd in games won. 3rd in games lost. 3rd in goals scored.

I was happy to see some of my players among the honours at season’s end:

Season 6 goals ranking PES2016I doubt I’ll ever score enough goals with one player to match Cavalcanti up there. Wow.

The Assist Ranking makes for encouraging reading:

Season 6 Assist Ranking PES2016As well as Castledine (my Player of PES2016, without any doubt), my soon-to-be-ex-striker, Cavani, made a great showing here too.

Now for my promised end-of-season highlights reel, which is not as lengthy as it was meant to be, for reasons I’ll explain. There are still some decent goals and a couple of comedy moments here and there. Enjoy the music:

I had a ton of season 6 goal snippets saved up on the PS4 HD that I exported to USB to make this video. After the export was done, I made a mistake: I deleted all the clips on my PS4, assuming I had them all safe and sound on USB.

When I plugged the USB into my PC, there were tech issues with some of the vids. About a third were corrupted when I came to examine them. The ones that survived are the only ones in the above vid.

Ehhhh. I shouldn’t have deleted the originals, I know. It’s not my usual practice. I’m usually a cautious curator of my own digital stuff. Multiple copies, multiple redundancies, is my modus operandi. Except for this time. Oh well.

Anyway, it’s still a decent slice of Season 6’s goals, with some of my favourite moments on show.

One of the comedy moments is at 0:59 in the form of a blatant foul I committed on the AI that should have been a penalty. PES2016 is a mutiplayer game at its heart, and thus ‘interruptions’ have to be kept to a minimum, and thus we have a physical modelling system that doesn’t register even 1% of the fouls it should register, and it doesn’t in this instance as in so many others. PES2016 is an ultra-arcadey edition of the series that will never take a high place in the PES pantheon because of moments like that.

Which leads me onto something of an announcement. This coming season, Season 7, will be my last on PES2016’s Master League. I expect to win the title, possibly the Treble, and it will be a fitting finale either way.

For the record, I don’t have any real dislike for PES2016. It’s a good football-based computer game. It’s not a PES classic, but few are.

Instead it’s all very reminiscent of PES2013, which came to an early end at a similar stage (8 seasons). I didn’t abandon PES2013 in disgust, but simply recognised it had reached a natural end (and I even half-heartedly started a non-dev ML), and so it is with PES2016. Getting out of PES2016 while I still have a mostly positive view of it is probably for the best,

And so to Season 7. I’ll be going all-out for that Treble.


  1. NG – I’ve won the title once on goal difference so beware the Chelsea. No treble this season for me. Boom.

  2. n-G – That’s a classic long-ranger there at the end of those highlights. Nice.

    I’m a little surprised you’re ready to wrap up PES 2016 so early. I understand and share your reservations about the game but I still enjoy it more than PES 2015.

    That said, you’ve packed in a helluva lot of games since release – double the number I’ve played – and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m ready to come to some kind of stopping point seven ML seasons in.

    So what’s the post-Christmas plan? Fifa 16? PES 5?

  3. 2 games to go and I’m top on goal difference. Kershekov has 25 league goals and is 1 behind Soares.

  4. League and Cup double. Kershekov went a bit mad in the last 3 games. 9 goals for him and the golden boot.

  5. Lloyd — many congrats on the Double. As with last year it’s still an achievement to win any silverware on Superstar.

    Shed — 7 seasons is a lot of footy gaming in a short-ish space of time, so I’ve gorged myself at the feast. And there is so much that is good, even great, about PES2016! For example: some might recall me grumbling that Reyes was failing to take off and be an individual, but he has blossomed over the past season and a half. Ditto Aimar and a few other signings. But 7 seasons is 7 seasons, and I’m roughly at the point where I know if I carried on all it’d be for would be ‘appearance’, on the blog, as if I’m some kind of semi-official representative for PES with an obligation to play the current edition. That is definitely not the case.

    But you’re right, it’s all tied to our exposure and circumstances as individual footy gamers. At the rate you’re playing it could be April 2016 before you hit 7 seasons, and if that’s so then you might chalk this up as one of the best-ever PES years. That could happen — I doubt you’ll be disappointed in how the Premier League plays, in fact, for you the good times might be just beginning.

    I have packed a great deal into a short space of time. And remember I have a track record of flouncing away from PES editions (2012 springs to mind of course), only to flounce back sometimes literally hours later. Since I wrote the above post I’ve had two storming sessions on the game that I’ll cover on Friday.

  6. nice video not-Greg, I was scratching my head about the Pages from Ceefax reference earlier today at work! I’m wondering if these PES2013 references aren’t a bit unfair on that game – apart from the ML over-development the gameplay was superb, which few of you are saying about 2016

    JP – I liked your comments on the previous post. Could you elaborate on the awful FIFA16 AI – is it basically just the robotic and unimaginative AI attack and defence we have seen in previous FIFAs, or something worse?

  7. NG – That Cavani goal is sweeeet.

  8. Despite insisting that I’d walk away from PES until Konami address the more egregious inclinations of the 2016 AI, I’ve returned tonight for eight ML games (so far) with one adjustment – I’ve knocked the game speed down to -1. It has made a difference. Moments of frantic action in congested areas of the pitch no longer seem to resolve in favour of the AI quite as much. Even though the majority of matches I’ve played have been narrow defeats or stalemates in a tough run of fixtures in a first season in the Premier League with Wolves, I’ve generally enjoyed the unfolding stories.

    This has required a healthy measure of mental gymnastics, where I try to interpret certain events as old-school RPG number-crunching (“ROJO murders RYAN GAULD with a psychic studs-up assault! It’s super effective!”) to avoid volcanic emotional eruptions. But if there’s one thing that I really cannot abide about PES 2016, it’s this: the AI generally doesn’t score goals. It *takes* them. Every goal of the ‘passing into the corner of the net’ archetype is a blatant mugging. I feel insulted, then furious, every time I see it. How can they cheat so blatantly?

    If PES 2016 could at least vary the implementation of these sure-thing AI goals, perhaps I’d let it slide – and I’d certainly notice it less, perhaps even congratulating opposing attackers for well-taken strikes. But those horrific finishes where the ball is passed into the corner, especially when preceded by sudden bursts of high pressure where opposing players are surrounded by impervious magical barriers, are cause enough for *anyone* to snap their game disc.

    There’s clearly something lacking in my play style at the moment, and I know that my squad is only suited to a lower-table finish (with occasional flashes of relegation worries). But I’m pretty damn good at PES, and have been since the ISS days. Over my last twenty matches, I can’t think of many games where the AI has more than two or three shots on goal in the entire match.

    The problem is, of course, that my opponents have scored with 90% of those attempts.

  9. abbeyhill – I’ve played my fair share of Career Mode in FIFA since the 2008 edition, though I invest significantly less time in it than I do with Master League every year. Usually, I get no further than two or three seasons before I get bored with FIFA’s simplistic patterns of play. With 2016, I think I bounced off it after no more than eight matches – and that includes a few where I experimented with tactics and ‘slider’ gameplay setting adjustments in an attempt to coax it into playing at least a semblance of football. I suspect it’s a lost cause: sterile, soulless, bereft of wit or invention. Despite its very obvious flaws, the PES 2016 AI is markedly more sophisticated, interesting and varied.

    (It even cheats in a more engaging fashion. When the PES AI *really* wants a goal, it’s glorious when you defend against it – but it usually, at very least, sets up and finishes these chances quickly. FIFA 16’s top difficulty level, by contrast, will happily faff around and play keep-ball for an age before stealing a goal. It is depressingly, dismally mechanical.)

  10. NG – nothing wrong with 7 seasons as length is not important and it is the quality contained within those sessions.

    Talking of length (no not that) I have just finished the Brothers game and the shortish nature of the game was just right for that game and was a wonderful emotion filled journey which also took on a dark nature. What an experience.

  11. abbeyhill – and there’s a wealth of Ceefax material on YouTube for those moments when you just have to cast your mind back to those times when you’d actually sit and watch that stuff.

  12. JP – I’ve always played PES2016 on -1 speed. Many swear by -2, although at that level the input/response level is off-beam for my taste. 0 has always been fine until this year, but it’s too fast in ’16.

    Fascinating to see people going back to PES, and I might possibly play on after my declared end-of-days Season 7. PES enjoys a level of indulgence and multiple last-chances that would never, not in a million years of Sunday afternoons, be granted to FIFA.

    Darryl – 7 seasons of the frantic churn of PES2016 is probably the equivalent of 14 seasons on any other version. I finish the average session of PES2016 feeling pretty drained thanks to the uninterrupted multiplayer action. Which isn’t that much different from PES2015, really, except we didn’t have the all-powerful sliding tackle last year which contributes a lot to the feeling of frantic churn.

  13. Fond memories of watching the Ceefax football division 2 scores pages slowly roll on a Saturday afternoon. What a contrast to the huge wealth of score updates at our fingertips these days, although Ipswich remain at exactly the same mediocre level

    Lloyd – loved that final penalty on your video. Like to think that in real life I might have been able to dive the wrong way, get up and stroll across to pick the ball up! How many more seasons are you hoping to get from PES2016?

    JP – interesting, thanks for the reply. Got 10 seasons out of FIFA15’s career mode, although the stagnant nature of the AI gameplay was a bit annoying by the end. I was hoping that FIFA16 might be the ultimate footy game having relished the career mode beta but your comments are discouraging

    I’ve just brought down my 9 year old phat PS3 to take pride of place under our main TV, relegating the PS4, allowing me to play PES2014 late into the night

  14. Abbeyhill – minimum requirement is a treble, then all six trophies, unbeatable season as the icing on the cake.

  15. Abbeyhill – very fond memories, especially when your team was leading with minutes to go away from home as it added to the tension as you were willing it to turn to FT.

    I used to watch Lancashire’s scores in the cricket on ceefax and in the second innings you had about 8 pages as you had the bowling scorecards as well in the early days. It was excruciating to go through the pages just to see an over pass. Frightening to think how much of my life was wasted on ceefax.

  16. Four games into season 4 and my first in the Premier League. I saw that games at this level are far tighter straight away and lost my opening 2-1 away to QPR with a very dodgy last minute goal.

    Won the next 4-0 away to also promoted Villa and, rather surprisingly, my first home game Vs Man City. The latter a classic ML affair in which I somehow held on to a 2-1 lead – the winner coming from an own goal against the run of play.

    A new star is born too. The gloriously permed and lanky Brandao has finally emerged from the reserves to displace Rambao up front who was struggling to cut it against better defenders. Brazilian Brandao already has six goals in five games including a hattrick in a 6-1 demolition of Rotherham in cup. He’s also stopped the temptation for me to snap up Drogba from the youths.

  17. abbeyhill – is that a PS2-compatible phat PS3? If so, why aren’t you getting some PES3 on?!

    I had my PS3 on yesterday to grab my December PS+ goodies and was amazed at how creakingly slow it is to do the most basic stuff. E.g. opening the Store takes 10-15 agonising seconds and then a couple of seconds to transition between menus, whereas on the PS4 it’s instant. I think the technical reason is that the PS3 only has 256MB of RAM, while the PS4 has 8GB of the stuff, but whatever. The PS3 is still an essential item in my gaming life and it’s still the case that if something happened to it I’d immediately go out and get a replacement. Whenever the end comes for PES2016 (and it’s not certain it’ll be at the end of season 7), I’ll most likely be PS3-bound for some PES2014 too.

    Darryl – Ceefax memories for me are less about actually using the thing, than they are about watching random pages late night/early morning set to cheesy music. The BBC used to devote hours of broadcast time every day simply to pages from Ceefax. And I used to watch them sometimes. For me, this is the 1990s.

  18. Shed – I also had a surprisingly upbeat start to life in the Premier. The only real surprise with yours is coping well with Man City as you did. It took me a season or two before I started eking out draws against the likes of them. I hope your game’s not broken. Doubt it – the misery should soon strike.

  19. Bamber Bamboozle.

    That is all.

  20. And also Gamecentral – it’s bizarre that the most truthful game reviews were always on Ceefax (or Channel 4’s equivalent)! That team is now working for the Metro newspaper and still observing the same high editorial standards.

  21. Ah Channel 4 text, how the heart would sink when clicking on to 2/29 when you wanted to read page 1.

    Zero play from me for the last week. Between Thursday and Sunday I ate nothing. Not one piece of food. Instead I closely examined the inside of the toilet with a really awful viral something or other. I lost 7 pounds with the ‘feel dead’ diet!

    Just emerging out of it when the little fella falls ill and we end up in the local hospital – Scarlett fever.

    I think the thing that would do for me if I had a bad illness wouldn’t be the physical stuff it’d be the mental state you get in when all you can do is lie in bed and think about sleep. Soon as all is right I intend to indulge in vast quantities of pre-Christmas cake, pies and chocolate. And hammer season 4.

  22. Re. Teletext showing page 2/29, you’d go off and do something and come back after a few minutes when it should have flipped back to page 1, but you mistimed it and either missed page 1 again, or only caught it for a second or two.

    Didn’t you have a stomach thing almost exactly a year ago too? and lost half a stone then too? I remember because I had one last November and it was one of the most miserable times of my life. The curious thing about a stomach upset of severe degree is the conviction that you’ll never eat again, and idle wondering about how you’re going to live now. ‘I suppose I’ll have to have some sort of IV feed permanently plugged into me to keep me supplied with nutrients, now that I’m never going to eat food again…’

  23. n-G – Game broken? How do you know it’s not just my supreme PES skillzzz!?

  24. My first season on prem with Newcastle ended in a pleasing 5th place finish and another cup semi. My struggle for goals was all the more frustrating as my final result was a 5-0 hammering of Sunderland at St James’

    I went through the whole season with 63 opr regen Joey O’Brien at LB. He started almost every game and hasn’t improved a single point. Ridiculous. He’s neen replaced by regen Ryan Taylor.

    Decided to splash the cash, 33m of it in fact on Steven Caulker and Harry Kane.

    See what season 3 and the Europa League bring.

  25. NG – possibly. We usually book a last weekend before the Christmas madness somewhere – Edinburgh, Lakes, etc – and almost invariably one of us gets some sort of illness at this time. One of our regularly recalled holiday moments is the time we drove back from the Scottish borders, having spent the previous day shivvering under blankets, stopping every so often to spit vile lumps of stuff into the fields.

    I can handle pretty much most things – colds, coughs, sore throats, even the bombay twostep but anything stomach related sends me spinning. I have the classic Englishman in Cairo beset by seasickness type constitution, even a double egg omelette can make me a bit queasy.

    A wise man would keep the pounds off, I intend to restore myself to Falstaffian highs.

  26. ok, just turned on – half an hour update? what’s in this 2Gb file then?

  27. The patch notes are a little underwhelming…

    …but, as we all know, Konami rarely document match engine adjustments and refinements when they issue patches. I’ve just read somebody claiming to have had four – FOUR! – fouls called in their favour in a first post-patch match against the AI.

  28. Just starting a quick session, will report back.

  29. I had 3 post-patch games and got my usual 0 fouls in any. That’s par for the course with me and PES2016 so no change. Last patch I felt a heavier handling almost at once but so far nothing for this. I saw the claims on the forums too. Always amusing.

    The patchnotes are in the welcome messages after loading the game. myClub myClub myClub.

  30. Nothing new here either.

  31. Something cover all in there about adjustments to enhance gameplay or the like. Didn’t notice anything in my 0-1 loss to juve. Two offside goals, I don’t think pes has kept pace with the ‘when is he interfering’ interpretation.

    Abbeyhill – I trust you will restart because of the impact the altered environment will have…

  32. Turf – despite all the chat on the forums I’m a bit dubious that this PES2016 patch will actually change much in my PES2014 ML, so will plough on

  33. Very droll…however, the ground level placing, the main television interface, the no doubt altered seating arrangements….sounds like it’s a different ML to me. If you’re happy with changing the horse mid race though…

  34. superb Turf, you know me far too well – actually I did restart ML last night for precisely these reasons!! And you know what, it does indeed feel quite different, and even better, on the big screen

  35. Well, when I get back to PES2014 I’ll be continuing the ML I started back in 2013, abandoned as unplayable before Christmas of that year, and resumed in summer 2014 post-final-patch, and have played the odd few matches of here and there since. All told, about 3.5 seasons in, still in D2. Or should I start from scratch? I could go either way.

    I’m actually enjoying PES2016 again at the moment (and have been over the last few days – nothing to do with the latest patch), so it might be a while yet before PES2014 – aka The One That Got Away – makes its bow on the blog, but it’ll come.

  36. Just got fibre broadband installed, so I’m now basking in download speed of 38.7Mb instead of 1.8Mb. Waiting to see how long it is before the kids complain its too slow…

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