No R1 was pressed in the making of this post

PES2014 for the fansSeason 6 of my born-again PES2014 Master League adventure has continued all week.

My enthusiasm for this venture hasn’t faded. I had been kind of prepared for a fade. I’d just finished 8 seasons on PES2016, a decent-if-unremarkable experience overall, and wondered if I was burnt out. And maybe going back to play regularly on the PS3 would prove too much. I wondered if I would soon be looking for the exit to FIFA16 and the home comforts of the PS4.

But now I’m starting to think I’m here with PES2014 for the long haul — at least until a Superstar Treble has been seriously attempted, and hopefully won.

This is a very good game of computer football. The most neglected runt in the PES litter does seem, to me, to be one of the strongest instalments of the series.

I’m about to start harping on a theme. It’s a theme that will recur again and again over the coming weeks, maybe months. Here is the theme: the reasons people give for disliking PES2014 are much the same reasons why it is a good edition.

I’ve now played well past halfway of my first full season. That’s Season 6 overall, of an ML career that I started in November 2013.

Here’s the current league table after 23 matches:

PES2014 season 6 after 23I’d like to think promotion is a certainty, but as I type I’ve hit a patch of poor form that has seen my team’s Heart rating dip dramatically.

Lack of Heart means that the team is less competent. Shots have less chance of going in. Tackles fail more often. Players in general are slower, dopier, and more rubbish. All of which means that a Keegan’s Newcastle-style collapse may be in progress – more on Tuesday. Today is more about PES2014’s general gameplay.

Perhaps the number one complaint people had/have about PES2014 is ‘button lag’.

This is where the game is slow to react to your button presses. Such an outcry went up about it that the word ‘responsiveness’ has since entered the PES lexicon as an unquestioned pro-word. Leading to the likes of PES2016 with its distinct lack of individuality and arcade handling. Arguing against silky-smooth responsiveness in football gaming is like arguing against democracy and human rights. People are shocked when you try it. But I will try it.

PES2014’s infamous lack of responsiveness isn’t a problem for me. Why? Because I don’t hammer R1 while playing PES2014.

We all hammer R1 when playing Pro Evo. We all hammer R1 when playing FIFA. People like to pretend they don’t hammer R1, but those people are all secret R1-hammerers too. In attack or defence, whether the ball’s at our feet or running out of play, in the first minute or the ninetieth, there’s one button we hammer more than any other. That button is R1

PES2014 is the only football game in my experience that overtly punishes misuse of R1. The way it does this is by delaying its response to your button inputs while you’re pressing R1.

The most notorious example of PES2014 button lag is when you’re sprinting a striker in on goal, and you press shoot – and nothing happens. The game completes a few more running animations first, and then allows your player to shoot — by which time the defenders and/or goalkeeper have smothered the shot. Aaaargh! Many a temper snapped numerous times over this, back in 2013-14.

But when you don’t hammer R1, when in fact you lay off it completely, the problem is — mostly — solved. First-time passes and first-time shots are all perfectly possible in PES2014 when R1 is left well alone.

This game won’t let you sprint willy-nilly. Well, you can, but there’s a cost. Sprint assumes ‘animation priority’, and will disrupt all your other actions. If you’re mashing R1 (and when is the modern football gamer not mashing R1?) and you press shoot, don’t expect PES2014 to peacefully cooperate

Here are some R1-free goals from a recent session.

Soundtrack courtesy of one of Coventry’s finest, there.

As you watch the above clip, shape your hands as if gripping an invisible controller and shadow my players’ movements as if you were the one playing – and feel your right forefinger wanting to bear down hard on R1 almost all the time.

See the moment at 0:05s when my player is running onto the ball in the box? If you’re mashing R1 in that situation and then press circle for a cross, then all that happens is the player runs the ball out of play. But I wasn’t pressing R1, and so the first-time cross was delivered for a first-time finish from Adebayor.

In any other football game — even The Greatest Football Game Ever Made, and regular readers know which game I mean there — I’d have had my finger on R1 at several points during the above vid, notably after playing the give and go at 0:45s. On PES2014, that would have wrecked the turn, the lay-off, and then the turn-and-shoot at 1:00 (strong echoes of PES2012 with that turn-and-shoot mechanic in PES2014, incidentally).

So there we have it. This is by no means a scientific conclusion. But every match, and dozens of situations in every match, bear out the truth of what I’m saying. PES2014 is a sprint-unfriendly game. We’re all R1 addicts. PES2014 tried to wean us off R1. Unsurprisingly, it failed.

54 Comments

  1. NG – I love the mobile footage, reminds me of grainy early 80’s Serie A or French Ligue 1. I love the animations on 2014 and I admit I hammer the R1. More so in 2015 than 2016 mind for some reason. I also love the trip on the Villa player at the end of the last goal replay.

  2. werd – I’ve got a HDVR gizmo tucked away somewhere but really cannot be bothered to dig it out. It’s mobile phone footage all the way. Retro days on the blog.

  3. Party like its 2013. I can almost feel my hair growing back.

  4. NG – I said this before and that 14 was the most ambitious footy game to date and one day people would start to appreciate it. Funny enough it has had a few mentions on the forums of late. It is very hard for a game like that when we have been programmed into adopting the multi player friendly games of late. I will continue to watch with interest and am slightly jealous.

    Werd – I would love you to do some illustrations for the book as that would fit in with the ethos behind it.

    Turf – yes it is autobiographical but it does link in with the theme of immersion and what we believe is our reality.

  5. How quickly things change in the world of PES Chronicles! I don’t read for a week or two… nevertheless, I can understand the joy of PES 14. I came to it late (as always it seems), fully patched and really enjoyed my time with it.

    I’m now in FIFA hell and remembered why I turned to sliders with FIFA 14. Pro difficulty got too easy very quickly and World Class difficulty is just a horror show of perfect CPU passing and tiki taka frustration. As a result, I’ve retreated to the ominous shadow of Operation Sports, tweaking slider sets whilst feeling vaguely dissatisfied with my lot.

    Is there anything that can kill a game more than gibbed difficulty levels?

  6. That’s it!! I’m don trying to sign Imoh Ezekial. What an ungrateful little sod! If he won’t take a 33% pay increase, a 10% goal bonus and crucial first team player then I don’t want him at Cardiff. He can stay in Belgium and drink fruit beer and eat chocolate until he’s too fat to play football. Now my only problem is that Kenwynne Jones has broken his elbow…

    Meanwhile I’m working on a theory that Turf and nG are one and the same, and not only that he/they is/are also Patrick Rothfuss and he/they are just trying to plug his/their book.

  7. Chris -one suggestion is don’t alter the sliders apart from one thing and that is to reduce the acceleration slider of the CPU on World Class by one point less than yours as it makes it more balanced. I like pro difficulty on Fifa but the CPU is a bit shot shy.

  8. Shed must be the rothfuss recommender, he’s the only option left, werd would have said Lovecraft. It was someone who also liked Abercrombie and weeks I think. I’m also reading a copy from the library…those lovely places of cafes, children, noise and fun (actually there’s a bit in the book about doing something in a library which he shouldn’t).

    And yes, I am aware that weather and colds don’t equate NG, it was more the huddling I imagined was a factor, but that outdoors life/lack of ailments possibly has a nugget of truth because it’s likely when I was at my most active and healthiest, with less chance of giving in and feeling sorry for myself. That and the lack of noxious miasma in the countryside, away from the imbalanced humours…

  9. Turf – Nope, wasn’t me. Now that’s really going to bug you isn’t it?

    On colds, I’m currently in the middle of an interesting experiment as mini and Mrs Shed have both had stinking colds in the last week yet I remain healthy. Either I am super human or those viral spores haven’t quite penetrated my defences yet. I do however have a very nasty calf strain.

    I have to say PES 2014 looks good as a blogged highlights package but I’m still not convinced. I’d rather PES 2016 on full manual to shake things up than to go back to that one.

    Headlines news from my gaming world is that last night I finally reached level 25 on Star Wars Battlefront – enough to purchase the Han Solo blaster. Sexy.

  10. I’ll happily hold my hands up to Weeks and Abercrombie.

  11. No! Apologies, I forgot Colonel Boom. If it’s not Lloyd then I’ll be bugged, but it is, I know it is as he also recommended locke lamora.

    Unfortunately for scott lynch it’s just been too long waiting for the new one, and as for george Martin, I’m not sure I really care now.

  12. great post! My favourite moments in PES2014 are when you’re not pressing any buttons at all, just letting the player’s momentum complete the planned manoeuvre.

  13. I read the four books in the Song of Ice and Fire trilogy many moons ago, and enjoyed them immensely, but have no desire to read the subsequent ones. I have also never watched Game of Thrones on the telly or bought the official colouring book (I kid you not, look on Amazon).

  14. Darryl have a Pat Butchers

  15. Werd – Love it. You have got the job.

    NG – Something noticeable about PES 2014 was for the first time in a game the ball seemed like a seperate entity rather than stuck to players feet. Does this still feel the case going back to it?

    I am after a PS3 myself as I attended a Christmas do last weekend where I knew it had a really good raffle. I said to everyone I wanted to win a TV as our second TV is an old one. That way I can have a gaming set up in each room. Well guess what I won a TV. So just need to purchase a PS3 now.

  16. Colds and cold weather are a very interesting example of correlation without causation. But the whole language and behaviour around colds and flu is so embedded in our culture (‘close that window before you catch your death of cold’) that they’re inextricably linked. No, I don’t get out much. Nor do I try to.

    Darryl – the ball does indeed feel ‘free’ in PES2014. I have to say though that I think the forums go on too much about ‘on rails’ vs ‘free’. I’d take a great on-rails football game before any amount of freedom. I’ve got a clip of myself on PES2014 playing an attempted pass straight out of play, yards behind my target. On 1-bar assistance. So it does feel freer than on-rails.

    Shed – my limited understanding of virology (I’ll really have to get out more) is that if you’ve had that exact cold virus before (there are about 180 different ones, I think, always mutating), you’re immune to it afterwards, hence why a cold can be going around one winter but skip you over.

  17. And I’m at work so I can’t look at werd’s clip. Better not be rude ladies!

  18. The cold folly is indeed familiar but not as bad as the ‘you could put someone’s eye out with that’ phenomenen. I once got in a lift with three old duffers whilst wearing a rucksack containing a rolled poster. Turning round to press the button I must have slightly ‘got in their space’. Cue the insane comment “watch it, you nearly had three people’s eye out” (I really felt like correcting his grammar but thought it’d probably finish him off).

  19. nG – You’d have to be in a bad way before a cold would be your cause of death. You’re rightish about the cold virus in that you have a reduced chance of getting it again, but if the mutation is sufficient the all bets are off. That was why the winter immunisation a year ago was so ineffective.

  20. Turf – talking of lift conversations me and a colleague once got in a lift and it was being temperamental and going to floors it shouldn’t. A girl in the lift asked us if we were going up or down as she had been travelling back down each time as the lift kept going back to the ground floor instead of up to the 3rd where she wanted. When we said we were going down she replied “Everybody’s been going down on me this morning”.

  21. Thanks Darryl – I’ll give that a go. Just one point, not 20? 🙂 that’s sliders, nothing related to the lift story…

  22. Chris – Indeed one point is all you need as it makes a world of difference and stops the cheating nature of the cpu on higher levels. No I wouldn’t recommend trying that out in the lift 🙂

  23. abbeyhill — changing a sprinting player’s direction 180 degrees is interesting in PES2014. It’s the perceptible inertia, much more pronounced than any other footy game of recent years. Maybe PES2010 was the last one.

    uncle turf — I did notice the library crack, but was at work and unable to respond with the 1000-word denunciation of the whole ‘community space’ policy that has effectively destroyed public libraries (there’ll be none left in 15 years’ time), and it’s late now so I still can’t oblige.

    No idea about the Rothfuss thing. I definitely recall somebody mentioning it.

    Chris99 — aren’t you conflating colds with flu there? After libraries and no-fouls in Association Football, I have a thing about people with colds saying they’ve got ‘flu…

    werd — I watched your clip. I don’t know what I was expecting. In fact, no, scratch that, that was exactly what I was expecting.

  24. Chris — sorry to hear about the FIFA troubles. Have you tried tinkering with the passing assistance levels on Professional to make that harder? I’d always go for that first before sliders. I don’t know of many who touch the sliders who don’tend up compulsively fiddling with them all the time. You might tend not to settle for an indifferent or even bad match, as would always be the case in any other footy game– the sliders will be the first port of call. Slider-twiddling is the first sign of the beginning of the end IMO.

  25. I think Rothfuss may have been me!! Anything by Brandon Sanderson is worth a read. Also China Mieville is very good, but also a bit mad.

  26. Fallout 4 just keeps on getting better and better. This morning I did some cases in a detective agency, defeated a robot that had been giving me a hard time by nuking him, made a settlement on an airport and then set up an artillery position on top of my castle before sending a flare up in the air to tell them where to attack, then sat back and watched the show.

    I have put in 56 hours so far and am completing every little side mission and exploring every part of the game. I am seeing it as if I am dining in a restaurant and having the finest meal I am ever likely to taste in my life. I am taking my time and savouring every bit. This is what gaming is all about.

  27. Got the Uncharted collection arriving next week. £14.76 from Ebay. Boom!!

  28. nG – That was kind of my point. People frequently interchange cold, influenza and pneumonia.

  29. Darryl – Any chance you can post up some pics/vids of your Fallout fun? Really very tempted to pick this one up.

  30. John – as you know I am not a big one for putting vids up but for you I will put something up when I come to the next decent mission.

  31. Thanks Darryl. I know there are lots of vids out there but it’ll be interesting to see one from someone who seems to seek a similar type of fulfilment from a game as myself.

  32. Lloyd – I think it was you, now, but I cannot find the comment. Might it have been on Paul’s blog?

    Darryl – re. gaming in another world, that feeling of being in another world and exploring its realities, rules, sights, sounds. The belief we have in it is much the same as the belief we have in this one.

    Shed – don’t neglect the Live From PLayStation option on your PS4. Instantly watch a live feed from people playing any PS4 game. I watched a few Fallout4 vids, and you do need to get lucky (with the connection and with the player) but it’s rather absorbing. And rather bizarre sometimes – I once happened upon a player who seemed to be obsessed with circling a single tree. I watched long enough to be convinced it wasn’t a bot or a bug of any kind.

  33. After all the faffing around with Ezekial transfer deadline day came around faster than expected so I had to fall back on players found by my scouts. I ended up getting two first team players; Naessens a 71 ST and Dendoncker a 73 CM both from Belgium. I also got a second team RB called Hodson from MK Dons. Onwards and upwards.

  34. John – I have made a couple of vids this morning and am just waiting for them to be up on youtube as mine take a while for some reason. I want to do 2 more later as well to give a flavour of what it is about.

  35. NG – indeed so and that is a theme I explore in my book.

  36. Darryl – any sign of the Fallout4 vids? It’ll be fascinating to watch your gameplay decisions made and which turns taken. And it might just persuade me to take up Fallout3 (yes, I said 3).

    Chris99 – thinking back over recent footy gaming years, on PES and FIFA, it’s rare that I can get excited about signing any one player in particular, because individuality has been nerfed so much in the games (it’s arguably improved a touch in FIFA, but it’s definitely declined in PES). Players nowadays tend to be ‘decent right-back’, ‘nippy DMF with a good shot on him’, etc. whereas things used to be ‘I heart Irjescu’ and there was no other Irjescu. I am destined one day to shout at kids to get off my lawn, clearly.

  37. I always had a soft spot for Dodo.

  38. NG/John – If you go onto my YouTube channel (Have I really said that) there are some vids on there but in all honesty I don’t think they do any justice to the game and a game like this comes across as a bit boring on video and does nothing to encapture how you get sucked into this world. So my advice would be don’t bother and just buy it or Fallout 3 and just see for yourself as there are so many pathways to playing the game.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC39phkfz1pRO4vuOP8o8aTA

  39. Saying that the second bid is my favourite moment so far as I find a Baseball Bat from a World Series Final and I hit a ghoul with it for the first time and it sends him flying and there is a roar as if a crowd are cheering a home run.

  40. was that just because of his hair, or his name, Chris99? My favourite DMF default was Cellini, always had that touch of class

  41. Darryl – Thanks for that. That’s my lunchtime viewing lined up.

    Four games of PES 2016 last night. Out of the cup in a horrible one-sided 1-0 vs Newcastle by cruising in the Europa group stage and top in the league.

  42. Darryl – you play Fallout4 in third person! That was a surprise to me, as I would have thought you wouldn’t want something between you and the world breaking the immersion. In Bethesda games I struggle with the camera in third person, and that seemed to be the case with your clips. Looks like you are well into it, though, and the game looks stunning and polished compared to its week 1 state.

  43. Darryl – Sunday must be Fallout day in Schloss Werd. Again as last week Mini Werd 2 fell asleep I my lap as if he knew Daddy needed a fallout fix. Kellog is defeated and what a journey it was, revelations a go go. I used Valentine to open doors, faff with terminals and general bullet sponge duties.
    I usually leave the main story in games like this on the back burner but maybe its Valentine who has replaced Dogmeat as my compadre of choice.

    NG – surprised at the 3rd person too. Even GTAV was switched to FPS. I’am playing unpatched of course and I understand lifts and certain map areas break the game. The screen froze yesterday for 30 long seconds in a lift before it chugged along and I breathed again.

    Mini Werds first footy game went well, two goals and she wanted to stay till the end!. Hartlepool may be an option as she is not being a Mackem supporter!

  44. NG – I don’t know what it is but my psychology has always preferred the 3rd person in such games. I think it is down to the fact that there is such a wide variety of oitfits that I like to see them. Agree though it can be a little clumsy but have got more used to it. Sometimes switch as I go along though.

  45. Werd – Well done on defeating Kellog as the length of that mission has to be one of the most gruelling experiences I have known, so god only knows what is to come later. His pistol is a nice bit of weaponry.

  46. Abbeyhill – He always seemed to be one of the last defaults in my squad. In my mind he was a Joe Jordan type figure who played better than his stats and knew how to handle himself.

  47. Darryl – I grabbed a load of loot and just legged it to my shack as I heard the front door go and the family was returning. I had a quick look at the gun and think I had time to modify it a bit.
    I used Righteous Justice laser Rifle throughout the fort. Creepy IRobot moments in there, may go back to that area as I saw a red rocket shack and some tasty looking buildings.

  48. Darryl – Thanks again for the vid. Couldn’t you have just shut the door on those two robo-guard things!?

    Fallout 4 does appear to provide a very engrossing and detailed world. I have to admit though that the general ambience of it all makes me wonder if it’s the best for pre-bedtime gaming what with all those creepy zombies and the like.

  49. werd — I’ve no idea how large the Fallout4 update(s) are, but considering the level of your devotion I’m surprised you’re not either getting the Internet at home, or at least spending 50 quid or so (which isn’t much more than the cost of any number of new games that you’ve never really played, yes, including PES2016) on a pay as you go cellular data dongle and doing it that way. You could walk into a shop tomorrow and walk out with a single-use device that will see you playing the latest, stablest version of Fallout4 tomorrow night. Then next time you need to connect to the Internet to update something (or just look at breasts, or whatever), you just put more credit on it.

  50. Darryl — certainly in Oblivion and Skyrim the sword-based melee combat in 3rd person is awkward, and has to be 1st to ‘make sense’. Fallouts 3 and 4 with their ranged weapons would seem to be more 3rd-person-friendly though.

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