Over the Honeymoon

Season 7 of my PES2014 ML adventure has finished, and I’ll get to that. The final table, my aims for Season 8 and all that, oh yes.

Perhaps the more important news is that the honeymoon seems to be over with PES2014.

For the past several weeks I’ve been all ‘tee-hee, look at me playing the PES that nobody liked, myself included! Isn’t this so cool!’

That stage is now past. With over a full season under my belt since my full-time resumption of the game, the novelty of spending time with Pro Evo’s Most Hated has worn off. What’s left is a football game that must earn its own merits, and take whatever brickbats come its way.

And it’s about time. PES2014 couldn’t ride the contrails of its own notoriety forever. PES2014 must now stand or fall as a football game in its own right. The magic spell has worn off.

So, what’s caused this first wobble? Nothing much in particular, not yet, but I have got the general feeling over the past week that the game asks for a lot of work, and rewards with relatively little. A refreshing change after the arcade game that is PES2016, of course, but like I’ve already said, the honeymoon is over now. Now PES2014 has to earn its keep in its own right, not by comparison.

Recently I’ve been jeering that PES buzzword du jour, ‘responsive’. I believe that a managed unresponsiveness — contextual and consistent — is what distinguishes the good football games from the bad. PES2014 is a game that takes this kind of unresponsiveness probably as far as it can possibly go without becoming obnoxious.

I have indeed had those moments of wanting to take a first-time shot, only to see my player take one or even two touches first. Yes, I have been squeezing R1 in an illicit fashion, so it’s my fault. (Hoist by my own petard or what?) But still — it’s worth reporting the fact that I’m starting to feel slightly niggled by the thing that most PES2014-haters and dislikers would finger (pardon me) as its principal shortcoming.

And I could do with there being more long-range shooting. The vanilla version of PES2014 had no long-range shooting at all, so the current patched state of play is a marked improvement. But still, a long-range goal seems to be a one-in-20 matches affair now. That doesn’t sit particularly well with me.

So a good dose of reality has settled in. I still plan to play a full ML career in this game. I have to acknowledge that it won’t be all plain sailing, though. This PES will be afflicted by the same ups and downs as every other PES I’ve ever played.

The final Season 7 table:

PES2014 season 7 final tableI lost my chance of a Champions League qualifying finish thanks to a run of terrible results against the big boys. Notably Arsenal, who carved me to pieces 3-0 in the six-pointer between us.

Note as well that gulf between the top 4 and all the teams chasing them. Between Arsenal in 4th and my own team in 5th there are over 20 goals scored, with an appropriately inflated Goal Difference by comparison.

Here’s one satisfying medium-range goal I scored in the last couple of sessions that pleased me. PES2014 lacks goals like this one — a very good thing when compared to PES2016 and other thrill-heavy PES editions. But, sometimes, all you want to do is rip one into the net:



  1. n-G – We all get to that point with every game of course but, I have to say, I thought you would have got there quicker than this on PES 2014. The game sounds a little too much of a slog to me. Even that goal vid has a slightly depressing feel to it.

  2. Shed – it’s only the first wobble stage – the kind of thing you get to after a few weeks with any PES, or any football game. PES2014 is hard work. Maybe the best analogy is to compare PES2014 to watching BBC2’s Horizon in the 1980s, with PES2016 (for example) being more like Horizon as it is today. 30 years ago, Horizon was a baffling 50 minutes of mathematical formulae and unfathomable scientific jibber-jabber that you were lucky to follow the sense of. Today it’s all about being entertaining and accessible, with plenty of would-be mysterious, spooky music, and out-of-focus camerawork. That analogy works.

  3. Certainly the lack of long range goals, and more importantly lack of goals from crosses, are valid criticisms. For me the player individuality, momentum and difficulty are still more than offsetting this though

  4. A treble in 2014 would reek of blood, sweat and tears. None of your season two champions league qualification. My record so far is 5-9-6, with the majority of those 9 being 0-0.

  5. I had a thoroughly enjoyable session back on PES 2016 last night. Despite the overpowered nature of my Brighton side, it seems the ML gods are going to give me a run for the money with both Chelsea and Man Utd within a point of my lot at the half-way point of the season.

    Finally lost my unbeaten league record away to QPR (of all places!) and am through to the knockout stages of the Europa. My last group game was nothing game as I’d already qualified and playing my reserves really showed up the influence of Team Chemistry (or whatever they call it). Going from 99 rated to low 80s made for a much more gritty game which I lost 3-0 away to Monaco.

  6. I m a huge 2014 fan .May I ask if you are using right stick correctly.Its the shoulder barge button.This is the only football game where in speed is not so important because of this beautiful option unlike other football games where shoulder barge is contextual.If one uses this correctly this game would open up opportunities that you may never see again in football games.Leave the speed button use the shoulder barge then when u win it use the speed to go ahead

  7. Shed – you are trying to tempt me back to PES2016! It won’t work – not currently anyway. I’ve never actually said ‘never again’ with PES2016, as I’ve got plenty of previous when it comes to circling back round to PES games that I’ve abandoned. But I’m currently immersed in PES2014. The wobble is actually a sign of health with a football game – shows that I’m playing it a lot.

    Jamiey – thanks for the reminder re. the right-stick. PES2014 is indeed a one-of-a-kind football game with features I don’t believe we will ever see again in football gaming. They’ll never challenge us again like this game did – and does. This wobble was always going to happen, and if you’re a reader of the blog you’ll know that wobbles are rarely massively significant. I can report ahead of Friday’s post that the wobble has stabilised…

  8. I’m still on pes5 but progress is really slow. Real life getting in the way 😛

    It’s 2006 in my pes world and all players are from that era…

    Still only 11 games into my first serie a season with Milan. Tempted Adriano to make the move over from Inter in the off season but no one else was interested. Currently in 3rd place with 8-1-2 record. One of the losses was to table toppers juventus, and only because Shevchenko blew a one on one with the keeper in the last minute.

    Finding that both making and taking chances are pretty difficult. Otherwise all I would really love in a footie game!

  9. LC – that is very slow progress for a couple of months, and is the reason for your troubles with chances. With any footy game you have to sink into the groove and get instinctive ‘finger knowledge’ of the game, pardon the expression.

  10. I had forgotten about right stick, thanks – it’s particularly relevant in 2014 where pace isn’t the solution to everything.

  11. There will be NO treble in season 15, bloody Spurs knocked me out of the FA Cup.

  12. Lloyd – keep going! Your progress is always amazing and it’ll be interesting to see what PES2016 morphs into over time. It’s not impossible I might be back at some point too. The sun will be high in the sky and PES2017 will be in the air, but it could happen.

  13. Jamiey – I was aware of the right stick shoulder barge but struggle to use it effectively in defence or attack. Should I be flicking it or holding it down?

  14. Lloyd – Does the prem league table in season 15 have any odd team in it?

    I had a 3 game spin on 2016 last night. I whopped Blackburn(aka Palace)6-1 in my first game in 2 and half months! A couple of exhibition games with River v Boca proved much more competitive which I always thought to be the easier game mode. Enjoyed it though.

  15. I’ve got an embarrassing PES2014-related confession to make: I’ve never actually seen the supposed right-stick shoulder-barge thing have any kind of discernible effect on-screen. I’m not saying it’s not real. I’m saying I’ve never seen it do anything. Whether I flick the right stick or push and hold it; whether the other player is on my back, my side, tugging at me or whatever: nothing seems to happen, ever, when I flick/push the right stick. I’m not kidding by saying ‘never’: I mean it. Not even once has even the slightest hint of an outcome ever been seen or felt. PES2014’s right-stick shoulder barge thing is a great mysterious unseen entity to me. Is it possible that it doesn’t really exist? I doubt it, but it is possible that its effects are so slight that my unsophisticated eye doesn’t see it.

    This is why I forgot about the right-stick shoulder barge thing upon resuming PES2014 recently: all the times I tried it back in 2013/14, nothing ever happened and I got used to playing without it. It’s still the same now.

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