Now my Heart is full

Photo 21-01-2016, 13 17 42Season 6 of PES2014 has ended with the clinching of promotion — albeit in 2nd place instead of the 1st that seemed so likely for so long.

‘Promotion already? That seems quick,’ some might ask. Well, this is a Master League campaign that I’ve been playing, on and off, for over two years now. This is by no means a quick promotion. In terms of real-world calendar time, it’s easily my slowest.

And it nearly didn’t happen. With about 8 matches remaining, my team suffered a substantial Heart-related wobble, and results went pear-shaped.

In PES2014, the Heart feature is more fundamental to player performance than the trusty old Form arrows, or so it currently seems to me.

In fact, when was the last time the Form arrows really, really mattered in PES?

For the past three or four editions, I cannot say, hand on heart, that a red-arrowed player handles or performs substantially better than a green-arrowed player. I still automatically de-select purple-arrowed players, but I have come to suspect that I’m just doing so out of habit.

Since roughly PES2012/13, I strongly doubt that there’s been much of a gameplay penalty to fielding a purple-arrowed player. A purple arrow still inflicts a -10 stat reduction across the board (we hope) — but what does that really mean these days? Individuality isn’t what it used to be in PES.

Individuality manifests in PES2014 due to the excellent player modelling and contextual lack of responsiveness, but what of PES2016 with its instant, silky-smooth handling? I have dark doubts.

Where was I? Yes, that’s right, my team’s wobble toward the end of the season, and why Heart is more important than Form in PES2014.

It started with a draw, followed by a defeat, and those things combined were enough to take my Hearted players from having full-on radioactive glowing chests, back to having sober, drab, green chests. Which seemed to be enough to sabotage nearly everything I tried to do. A run of results followed that threatened to spiral me out of the promotion places.

There was a stage when there was a serious chance of dropping out of the top 3. There are no playoffs in PES2014, so it was top 3 or nothing.

Photo 21-01-2016, 13 18 41I dug deep, ground out a couple of results, got some of my players’ Hearts glowing again, and went on a winning run that secured second place.

It could have been so much more. I drew my final match, and discovered afterward that Norwich had drawn theirs too. A win would have secured the title. I’m jinxed with these D2 titles in PES, Down the years, I don’t think I’ve won more than one or two D2 titles in any of the Master Leagues I’ve played.

Photo 21-01-2016, 13 19 41

I had only one player in the Best Eleven, my versatile and reliable striker MASSANA, one of the notable individuals.

Only having one player in the Best Eleven is about right. I’ve got a few other players who stood out for me, but my overall performance this season was too up-and-down to make the game take notice.

ADEBAYOR retired at the age of 34, which the game kept nudging me to remind me about as the last game approached. I took him off with a few minutes left at the end of the final game, expecting to see a cutscene of him waving at the crowd. Nothing. What was the point of the game making such a fuss about it then?! The bizarre world of Pro Evo.

Onward now to Season 7 in the Premier League. I’ve already started it, and I am loving it. Still loving PES2014 too. A football game with actual weight and inertia, with sustained build-up play, with frustrating goalless draws, with fouls, with a satisfying degree of player individuality, with goals that are hard to score and meaningful! Oh my.

39 Comments

  1. Thanks for the OF suggestion NG but I can’t say I’m a big fan of them purely due to the problems some folk encountered in the past. I know this is now a ‘dead’ game with no updates to spoil the files but I’ll see how much it annoys me and decide. Besides which the advert for the new lego marvel game was on last night so I know what I’ll be doing with any spare time while small people are awake.

  2. I’d be more inclined to say how can you play without an option file? Unless the problems you allude to are PS3 specific?

  3. Love that YOU’RE loving PES 2014 NG! I had 4 or 5 superb Copa Libertadores campaigns on 2014 and the game in general still really holds up.

    The only reason I’m not playing that version of PES is I…… *sob*…. deleted the patches and updates that are no longer available 🙁

  4. No treble again in Season 14. City dumped me out of the CL in the quarters.

  5. Congrats on promotion n-G. Great you’re still having a positive time with a game so hated by some.

    How’s the heading/volleys from crosses and general response times in the box? I remember that being particularly bad when I played PES 2014.

    Lloyd – Some more outstanding goals there. 14 seasons!

  6. Uncle Turf — problems? what problems? Do you mean the old forum fave of ‘Option Files change the gameplay’? Some certainly do, but only if they monkey with player stats. I’m just talking about a basic OF — team names, strips, player names, grounds etc — and nothing else. The one I linked to is at the other end of the scale, course, but I bet there are still ones like the basic one I’m using knocking around in plenty of places.

  7. Ridders — which is why I’ve made sure to back up my entire PS3 HDD along with all the data packs and patches (for PES2014 and every other PES game since 2007). PC players have it better of course, and there’s still that option. The forums at the moment are having a bit of a retro frenzy. Lots of folk are saying that PES2014 out of the box is the superior version, but the vanilla version’s complete absence of 20+ yard shooting was a game-breaker for me back then.

    Lloyd — you probably knew which goal would be my favourite. 1:05, VIVES, a true one of a kind, that.

    Shed — it’s all about timing and which buttons you press and don’t press. R1 disrupts and delays all other inputs, as last Friday’s post discussed. Awareness of this enables me to plan ahead and let loose with first-time rockets and headers in and around the box. So generally I’m finding that lack of responsiveness is contextual and based on my input. Many of the games are quite stodgy and pedestrian, much like an episode of Horizon from the 1980s or something. But that’s exactly what I’m looking for in football gaming. As I said in another post, PES2014 is the road not taken. All football games will handle much like PES2016 from now on — fast, flowing, fouls-free, and tending towards the frantic. The events of this footy gaming year (I’m thinking of the nerfing of FIFA16 in particular) have seen to that.

  8. NG – thought you might like that one.

    Uncharted collection dispatched today. Pro Evo’s days are numbered!! Boom.

  9. NG – no, not the phantom ‘not only has it changed the boots but the keepers now handle differently’ nonsense, I do mean the option files that have previously trashed certain physical aspects (but as mentioned I think they were due to conflicts with a released official game update) – there was loads of talk on it a few years back with faces being reset and all that guff, didn’t Paul have some problems? Im sure I haven’t made this up! People were really pissed off that they’d done loads of editing then it went tits up and it just put me off anything I hadn’t done myself. I also dislike the insertion of non core players – your own Mr twigg being the best example – as it’s no longer a game everyone can relate to. Ive still got all the old badges and the like its just the strips that stand out, and of course the insane lack of stadiums.

  10. Uncle Turf – no idea what you’re remembering there. If it’s happened, it was only once (maybe even this very year with PES2016?). The type of Option File I’m talking about wouldn’t be affected by anything else, least of all in a game two years old and completely defunct from Konami’s perspective. I can’t remember offhand if you’ve ever been a Week 1 Option File man – you know, the basic Option File that always used to appear with the release of the PS3 games – but if you have done them before then that’s the type of OF I mean. Or have you never been any kind of Option File Man (what a superhero that would be)? But you say you still have remnants of old OFs. You seem to be ‘frit’ about something – ?

  11. By today’s standards a sixth season promotion seems like a long campaign. Looking back it seems very realistic as when a team has hit rock bottom and morale is low it is very hard to turn round. From my memories of that game a 0-0 under such circumstances does amazing wonders for boosting the players back up. I remember Konami releasing one of thier best trailers inspired by Celtic beating Barcelona in the champions league and this was one of the inspirations for the heart feature.

  12. I sold my copy of PES 2016 (PS3) on the bay for a not to be sniffed at £22. When I get my new PS3 delivered (500gb, again off the bay) I’m going to return to old faithful, PES 2013. It actually makes me grin thinking about it, easily my favourite and most played PES games, I think last time I had it I had around 22 different ML’s saved but I definitely have unfinished business with it, never played it on superstar, never won a treble, and something I always wanted to do was develop a regen to become the World player of the year in game.

  13. NG – never, ever. Every pes has been hand edited with the exception of this year and pauls kits. I loaded up badges, emblems etc way back when and just reuse them every year give or take a new promotion addition. And I really do remember some issue with early option file loading which was subsequently trashed by a konami update – which as mentioned I know can’t happen now but has scarred me from them. And it was one of 2014-5.

    If I’m a superhero can I be Dr strange?

  14. Uncle Turf – nope, doesn’t spring to mind at all. I vaguely think you’re misremembering an early PES2013 OF from WENB that was purposefully released on the same day as a November Konami update, but then the OF turned out not to work at all, and we all reverted to the basic OF we’d been using previously. I remember being the first to try that particular OF. I don’t remember any instance of an already-existing OF being borked by any update. Given your admittance that you don’t do OF-ing, it’s likely you’re confabulating something else here. Feel free to dig back through the archives here or on Paul’s site and get your proof! You’re like a dungarees-wearing character who’s seen the UFO but nobody believes him. I’m sure you believe it, Cleetus, I’m sure you believe it…

  15. Mike – well, what brought on the end of PES2016? Last you updated here, you were going from Top Player to Superstar.

  16. NG Far Cry 4 brought on the end! I was getting well into that and just didn’t have the constant itch to go back to Pro Evo. I could never say it’s a bad game but it just didn’t thrill me like 2013 and others did. Much too easy to assemble a very good team, getting 10+ youth team regens every year who were good enough to go straight into the team or be sold for decent money, something else I can’t explain, it just didn’t have the “it” factor.

  17. Yes, you could be right, ive only ever had half an eye on the option file world and virtually none on that site that dare not speak its name (not speaking of which I remember a time you went bat shit at the thought of it being typed, has it collapsed as a troll issue? It surely must be way down on activity these days)

    Ive likely spent too much time in werd county recently, would account for the stockpiles of soup and suspicion of anything governmental.

  18. Mike – I could possibly be purchasing a PS3 shortly so that I have a set up in each room. Thoughts turned to which old PES game I would like to play and something kept telling me 2013. On the right settings that game was sublime.

  19. Btw lego marvel avengers looks fantastic. Even if I didn’t have a marvel fanboy in the house I’d be laughing myself silly over it. Still finishing off Jurassic park which has been fun.

  20. Turf/NG – even if I did have a normal internet access I would still edit by hand. I would get bored of the same strips after one season.

    Daryll – my PS3 has ben lofted as I got a cute little LG blu ray player which is less noisy and now I don’t skip a chapter by accidentally knocking R2 🙂

    I would be Powdered Toast Man from Ren and Stimpy

  21. Uncle Turf – WENB still triggers the air-raid sirens, but it’s been a long time since any passing commenter tried to mention them. It’s now been so long since Adam left the site that it all seems to have faded away.

    Darryl/Mike – PES2013 is currently being hailed almost as the new PES5 on a couple of the PES forums. I’d place it some way below the PS2 classics, and just below the likes of PES2010/11/12, but inly because of the absurd over-development of players in ML and the ease of the mode long-term. Never got around to a non-dev ML.

  22. What would Option File Man’s super power be? He sounds like a poor relation of Bicycle Repair Man…

  23. NG/Darryl I’ve just picked my new PS3 up, and got a copy of PES 2013 from a nearby scrotey trade in shop for £5. Installed everything and fired up PES, just the loading screens and sounds it makes were comforting. As soon as I get my own cds on the console and can get rid of the awful brazillian beach funk the better. Started a quick match and it felt strange, will take me a while to remember my settings etc but very much looking forward to it!

  24. Mike – nowt like an old PES, when 2014 went pear shape I mooched back to 2012 and won the double with Clydebank. Best ever cup final v Celtic 4-3 I think it was.

  25. On gameplay alone, I would say PES 2013 is my favourite on PS3. I Still have an intriguing non-dev South American ML save to go back to if I’m really stuck for a footy game.

    Right now I’m still happy to dip into PES 2016 when the mood takes me. Meanwhile, I find myself more drawn to gamey-games – thanks to Star Wars Battlefront really.

    Perusing stuff I may have missed out on, being late to the PS4 party, I got to thinking what happened to those of you who bought GTAV. Do you still play it and is it worth a dabble as a contemporary open world alternative to Fallout?

    Also, what was the problem with Watchdogs in the end. It’s dead cheap isn’t it?

  26. Shed – I haven’t played GTAV on ps4 but I was an earlier PS3 purchaser and early returner. I don’t think there was any issue with the game, it was entirely me – bored stupid by the same old routine of ‘this has happened, drive here, pick this up, drive away/don’t get shot/shoot someone’. The police AI did seem a little off but it was very much same shit, different city, a feeling I’d had with IV and its unlikable protagonist. Vice city remains my high point. I dare say as a dip in, do what you want, it’s as good as you get.

    Watchdogs was a great idea rendered shite. Honestly, the cool stuff was cool, but the AI was so bad it was laughable. The realisation started slowly but by the time I was stood shooting bad guys on an island where I could simply duck behind a rock to reset them and appear to have never been there was insulting. It contrasted hugely with NGs description of MGS’S ‘we’ve seen you, we are going to hunt you to the ends of the earth’.

    Surely mini shed wants lego marvel 2?

  27. another superb post not-Greg, sums up the appeal of PES2014 perfectly. I have a nagging worry about where my football gaming can go next after this game, but fully enjoying it while it lasts. Season 4 has headed dramatically south after a great start, with 6 consecutive defeats despite the help of regen Giggs. Maybe even a season 6 promotion will be beyond me. Switching from a flat 4-4-2 to a copy of your 4-1-3-2 and pressing on….

    Turf – never really been a fan of option files either, not installed one since about PES05 and DJ Saunders championship files on PESFan. Quite happy with fully licensed English leagues on FIFA, and continental/fantasy teams on PES

  28. Chris99 – I imagine Option File Man would be able to alter his stats to any value imaginable. He’d be capable of adding or subtracting any special ability. He’d be like Peter Petrelli from Heroes (season 1). He’d be invincible…

  29. Mike – now I’m confused about why you’re getting a new PS3. I’ve looked back over your historical comments and there’s no indication of the reason. Your most recent couple of comments implies that a new PS3 is part of your ‘narrative’ with which we’re already familiar. I’m not!

  30. Shed – GTA: Vice City was also for me the GTA game that I played, adored, and seem to have spent all my GTA gaming on. Never got into any other GTA since, and haven’t got into GTAV – as a game. As a technical marvel, as a fascinating simulation of a world, it’s amazing and I’m glad I own it to fire up if the mood takes me. And I do think I might give it a whirl as a game one day. As things stand, I’ve played about 5 missions and have zero desire to play more.

    After MGSV, I’m wondering if I might only have enough juice to play through one full-on game-game every couple of years.

  31. Well at the risk of diluting everything I played the season 1 ML friendly in 2014, gateshead v creussenberg (I don’t care about editing them). Oh my word, I’d forgotten how dumbed down 2015 and 16 had become. On 1 passing and -1 speed superstar is so much more intelligent it’s scary. It’s like bamber gascoigne’s university challenge v the paxman one, Magnus magnusson doing mastermind and the feeble ‘celebrity’ effort. I was taken behind the woodshed and thrashed 3-0. I did have 57% possession but didn’t have a single clear cut chance. I see exactly where you’re coming from abbeyhill, there’s no chance of a season two remy scores 9 in a game bollocks here.

    I’m putting it on hold till ive finished other things as this would be a major challenge. I’m still a little unhappy at the player switching response but everything else seemed much improved post updates.

  32. Shed – I only mooch around or do the odd mission. As NG stated the virtual world is staggering. I play in 1st person and sometimes just walk around listening to other peeps conversations other times or try to land a helicopter on the tallest building or I pretend I’m Edward Fox in day of the jackal :)..BOOM

  33. Oh no! The BOOMs are contagious.

  34. Uncle Turf – much of the maddening mystery of PES2014’s lag/player switching problems can be laid at the door of your own button-mashing. Don’t pretend you’re not guilty – I am. I’d put a substantial amount of money on you having spent most of your friendly match bearing down hard on R1 in the traditional manner. PES2014 really punishes that in the form of seemingly extraneous animations that hold onto player selection. My remaining issue is that sometimes the game won’t let me manually cycle between three defenders, insisting on offering me only two of them when I actually want the third, who happens to be closest and best placed to intercept an attack. That is a niggle.

  35. Erm..BOOM? Up to level 30 on the newly patched Star Wars Battlefront. The online Jedis are furious at nerfed Chewie bowcaster and explosive shot “cheat”.

    I do wonder sometimes why I’m enjoying the game so much as there is literally no narrative other than your own collection of weapons and stats over round after round of battles. Still, it’s Star Wars and I’ve always found that universe rather immersive.

    Thanks for the feedback on GTAV. I’d pick it up if I find it cheap for nothing more than a mooch around a virtual city. I played GTAIV and agree, I found the main character so unlikable that I didn’t care about the story at all. GTAV seems to have three such characters.

    Interesting that PES 2014 is holding up so well. I’d imagine a few will be tempted to follow n-G and Abbeyhill down that route through reading their impressions on here. It’s just a shame that Konami shut down the servers for PES 2014 updates so quickly.

  36. Shed – it’s interesting how the word-concept ‘cheat’ is misapplied by online players.

    In 2004, CounterStrike players used to moan like little babies if you ever dared to use a flashbang grenade.

    I hear some online footy gamers think it’s ‘cheating’ to try to keep possession and pass it around (i.e. they expect you to play fast and direct like they do, which concedes possession at the rate they have come to expect).

    I used to play an online snooker game years ago, in which most players regarded any semblance of safety play or putting them in actual snookers as ‘cheating’ (seriously).

    In online poker you frequently come across players who react badly to you having a good run of hands, and sometimes they’ll say you’re cheating – but it turns out they don’t think you’re literally cheating, i.e. meddling with the software, or able to see their cards or whatever – they mean ‘cheating’ in this special online sense, that you’re not ‘allowed’ to play well. (One time I kept raising a player who was trying to limp into every pot, making him fold each time. Not allowing weakened opponents to see a cheap flop is just standard poker strategy, roughly on the same level as ‘having a goalkeeper’ in football, but he went hilariously nuts about it in the chat window.)

    I haven’t finished yet. In online chess, you wouldn’t think there’d be scope for people to cry ‘cheat!’, but there is. At the modest level I play, optimum strategy tends to revolve around snaffling up an opponent’s pawn or two (many players are strangely careless with their pawns) and then brute-forcing material exchanges to get the opponent to the endgame, and then using the pawn advantage to force a win. No rules of any kind broken in any way whatsoever, but this tried and tested strategy also gets the ‘cheat’ tag applied to it.

    Note the common denominator in all my examples and yours. Online.

  37. NG – I didn’t to my usual extent because of your previous post, I restricted myself to short flurries down the wing – the game felt fast to me, even on -1 so I didn’t feel the need to sprint clamp. It was more the L1 player switching of the ‘I want that defender to intercept it’ variety (is this what you describe?) than a delay on getting a shot off. When I had the ball I had no issues but switching centre halfs was very slow. No matter, it’s parked for the moment while I Redskin up, something I haven’t done for a while as by the time I’ve mashed Lego dinosaurs I need a non-console activity. I’m enjoying The Wise Man’s Fear (aka Rothfuss 2) just as much but if the bugger hasn’t only gone and done a Martin and delayed the final installment. They really should write the whole thing then delay releases – the Night Angel trilogy seemed to have it right, one day all 3 were just there, now Weeks is having the same issue with Lightbringer.

  38. Haha, sorry NG. I was playing on a measly 12gb PS3 and had to manually delete EVERYTHING off it to be able to install Far Cry 4. I’ve upgraded to a 500gb.

  39. Popped Uncharted collection in the PS4 last night at 10pm just to make sure it worked…… And went to bed at 3am. Boom!!

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