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:
I 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: