Europa the moon

Season 8 has got into gear properly. This is my first ‘proper’ season, as I think of it. The first season where there are no echoes of other football games running through my mind, and where my team is good enough to actually challenge for honours, instead of just treading water.

The Europa League started pretty quick after the opening of the season. This is a very Europa League-ish sort of group:

PES2014 season 8 Europa Table after 1Yes, it looks like I was taking this photo in a rainstorm. Ah, the joys of mobile phone photography. Being on the PS3 I am, of course, having to take all photos and videos manually. When PES2014 eventually winds down, however many seasons that takes — 10 seasons? 12? — I won’t miss this aspect of playing it.

I’ve scored some decent goals, but when you have to record them yourself, with your phone, the bar is set much higher. Because you have to put the controller down, pick the mobile phone up, unlock it, open the camera app, point the camera, steady your hands, press the shutter button — and then you have to get the photo or video from the phone to the computer for uploading to the blog or to YouTube. I really miss just pressing a button or two on the controller to accomplish all this.

My opening Europa League match, that I lost, was against Nordsjaelland. This might be the one and only time I ever mention the team on the blog. They’re a real team — 8th in the Danish Superliga at the time of writing. They played pretty well, shutting me out with some ease, and they snatched a goal from nothing partway through the second half. I think I’ll make it through the group, but so far so Pro Evo.

The FA Cup began with a tricky home tie against Hull City. I squeaked it 1-0.

And in the league — well, here is the table after 5 matches:

PES2014 Season 8 League table after 5I have yet to play most of the big boys. My results against them will decide what happens to me in the league this season.

My targets for this season? A top-4 finish, at the very minimum. I’d love to take a cheeky run at the title. I’d also like to win one of the FA Cup or Europa League.

The pre-match screen for Matchday 4 reveals just where my team stands in this ML world currently:

PES2014 pre-Man Utd screenThat’s a healthy overall team rating of 82, but look at the Club Ranking. I’m not sure, but I’ve never heard of a team winning the league from 119th in the ML world rankings. I have a feeling the game will be going all-out to ‘manage’ certain matches to make sure I don’t get anywhere near the title. This match didn’t feel fishy, really, but I still lost 3-1.


  1. NG – that did make me laugh as you forget how spoilt we are now with clip recording and my ageing brain didn’t seem to be able to co-ordinate both commands and I kept pressing play on the controller, when I meant to press record and vice versa, which caused the recording to stop.

    Lloyd – we have got a Shiranian which is a cross breed between a Pomeranian and a Shitzu. Seems to be the fashion all these cross breeds as in my day they were just mongrels. He is lovely though.

  2. Ahhhhhhhhh… An ankle biter.

  3. How do they determine which name comes first? Could it have been a Pomtzu?

    What about if it was a Great Dane and a shitzu….

    I got the rat today, it fell for the old chocolate and trap routine again so it’s lost some of the respect I had for it. Going to try and hit end of season one by tomorrow as im very keen to get trading.

  4. Darryl — it’s probably my greatest issue with PES2014, this business of playing it on last-gen. My PS3 is staying with me, but the media features bundled with consoles nowadays make the PS3>PS4 leap qualitatively greater than the old PS2>PS3 one — and going back that much harder when you play a game that you often want to record bits of, for whatever reason.

  5. particularly as you have to press the right stick right on PES2014 replays to keep them playing at a decent speed, while holding your phone video camera still, it’s a challenge

    no gaming this week so far either – I injured my eye in a gardening accident last autumn and it has flared up again and become infected, a pirate-style eye patch. Fortunately some wine is taking the edge off the antibiotics tonight

    Turf/not-Greg – actually I’m very happy with player individuality on 2014, there is a big difference between Stramberg, Jaric and the weaker CB alternatives for example. It is only up front where Vratkov, Minandinho, Rustwyth and the other guy are interchangeable and all mediocre. Could do with a Castello

  6. Darryl – Sounds like a Middle Eastern ladyboy.

  7. Unprecedented in pes history! Un…preceee….dented (slaps hands together like the lawyer on my cousin vinny addressing the jury)

    What so unusual? Well ive played three matches thus far in my session and in each I have won a penalty. A penalty, that rocking horse shit pes beastie, some go entire seasons, almost complete careers not seeing one. Three, all of them thanks to 2014s afterwards motion foot in.

    If a fourth follows the shirt’s coming off.

  8. I love PES2014’s after-the-ball’s-gone fouls. Not strictly realistic, but they make up for a lot. Only got a few penalties out of it (and loads of free kicks of course), but a few is a lot better than none at all.

  9. Season 16 video coming soon. Cue imbecilic grinning.

    Went out of the CL group stage so still have a treble on, but not the holy trinity.

  10. Another very enjoyable return to PES 2016 ML last night. Just one match – a 3-1 win at home to Wolves who held out with gritty determination until the 74th minute.

    Currently second at the half-way point of the season, two points behind Chelsea and with a crucial home game vs third placed Man Utd up next.

    January transfer window will see Gareth Barry sold for £10m while I’m also trying to offload Drogba. Can’t be doing with these tried and tested PES 2016 superstars.


  12. Lloyd – ah yes, it’s very obvious which one is the goal that had you grinning. I’ve seen that type of finish once before on a video I think, but not when coupled with the Recoba (I call it the Recoba) dinked cross to set it up. I also like the Joaquin and Gerrard long-rangers.

  13. Lloyd – I love the way that Ibrahimovic goal is referred to as a “simple finish” in commentary.

    Are you still on Superstar/unassisted passing? If so, what’s the trick with crosses as this is the one aspect of unassisted settings I’ve always struggled with.

  14. Shed – your aim has to be spot on when crossing, also body position is important. Angle in towards to direction you are crossing to. Took me nearly a season to get comfortable with it but it’s worth the effort. Also the early cross(L1) is your best friend, very useful all over the pitch.

  15. Only in a Beglin commentary would the straightforward chipped pass into the box be more admired than a backwards overhead single scorpion whatever the f..k effort.

  16. Lloyd – Cheers. I assumed L1 early cross would be overridden by manual controls. Just shows that PES always has bits and bobs to learn about – even 2016’s version.

  17. No fourth consecutive penalty but niellendner did walk one in, literally, I kept pressing buttons and had obviously stacked up a load of inputs before the shoot one, whilst waiting I just kept running and it went past the prone keeper. Odd strange thing like that aside I do enjoy this fallible player setting.

  18. Turf – so did you score those 3 penalties? I do like the PES2014 penalty system, a great risk/reward trade-off, although did cheat by holding R1 (aiming circle) to get me used to the system

    Lloyd – superb video as ever. I’m still finding PES 0-bar manual crosses too tricky, it’s hard enough to do the 90 degree left stick shift between running with your winger and then crossing with him let alone trying to add the extra 5 degree adjustments to make sure it’s the right cross. Surely an L1 early cross is still a manual long ball, or does the L1 add some extra whip and curl to it?

  19. Abbeyhill – it has a lower trajectory to it and a bit more pace.

  20. Abbeyhill – first one I took a risk and sent low and to the left, keeper dived right, next two I did the down the middle halfway press (my usual tactic). All three went in. If I ever go to a shoot out I do all five down the middle as I remain deeply suspicious of scripting at that point. Record at the moment is 9/12/9 ish, maybe one higher or lower on either end.

  21. How are those now playing 2014 finding the heart system as this was really the only beef I had with the game as I originally played it on the xbox 360, which was a well documented smoother experience and I never had issues with loading times etc. Editing was a bit slow but that was livable and must have been as I can’t believe looking back that I edited all the div 2 teams with real players and went through the painstaking task of changing thier weight, height, age and nationality etc. Took me a good month and then abandoned it within months. Feel a bit of a plonker now having done all that.

  22. Darryl – same here Frater. 2 divs of Bundesliga/Austrian teams with homebrew classics each with 2 strips etc edited. My Rot Weiss Essen ML went after the 1st cup game. Also I bought a new PS3 as my old piano black died whilst playing Dishonered about a week before PES 2014 came out.

    Illustrations still being produced I have about 7-8

  23. Darryl — I’m liking Heart in PES2014. It seems consistent to me. When my players have none of the ‘glow’ about them, I have indifferent performances, passes not connecting, shots going wide. etc. It really is just another layer on top of the Form arrows, which in turn was another layer on top of stats and skills, so there’s an argument that we don’t need Heart as well (or Team Spirit in ’16), and it made things weirdly unbalanced and inconsistent, but so far I like it.

  24. Uncle Turf — penalties down the middle are a superstition we inherit from the PES2010/11 years when nobody wanted to read the manual or watch YouTube for 5 minutes to learn the system. The penalty system in PES2014/15/16 is the best we’ve ever seen in PES IMO, the perfect balance between simplicity and skill. A shame we get so few of them in general play, and shootouts are actually pretty rare. If the shootouts are scripted (and they are; everything is!) the AI goalie is just as capable of ‘knowing’ you’re putting it down the middle, surely?

  25. NG – my thinking is purely ‘at least it will be on target’, nothing worse than the penalty that fools the keeper but ends up half a yard past the woodwork.

    Darryl – can’t tell yet tbh, my players are still much of a muchness in season one and I rotate the squad every week as heart and arrows seem very inconsistent. Niellednder’s hat trick was followed by a blue arrow and general cooling, minandinho has rarely been warm. I haven’t noticed anything relating to this on the pitch. It will likely be clearer when I have assembled a leaner squad.

  26. Uncle Turf – I’m guessing you haven’t practiced the pens on the training ground and these relatively few ‘live’ pens are your first experience of the system. If so, aiming as with old-school (pre-2009) PES will always drag them wide, as it’s a pressure-sensitive aiming system with the left stick. Success is relative to the player’s footedness and stats and the power you choose. Hold R1 to bring up the aiming reticule to assist.

  27. Had time for two ML games last night in between another round of Star Wars Battlefront – complete with its rather excellent, well crafted and fully explained latest update. Konami take note.

    Anyway, drew the crucial home game with Man Utd 0-0 in a very close game that either side could have nicked. Then hammered Spurs 3-0 away to leave me still in second and nicely placed behind leaders Chelsea.

  28. Nope, never practiced and wouldn’t alter my approach anyway, I always feel you have a better than even chance down the middle which im not sure I would were i to go sideways.

    One game to go now in season one and I’m eleventh with a chance of top eight or 12th. Last few games some players have started to distinguish themselves; minandinho’s rocket is warming up as he grabbed a hat trick in a 7-0 dunking of leeds, houleigeu and orelaine have solidified the wing spots (not that crossing seems to do much, it reminds me of 2011s overpowered cross if you don’t go very easy on the button), niellendner is my star with 14 goals from amf and yet another penalty. The usual dross is still the usual dross but gellacza and rustwyth need to be worried alongside stramberg who is just a liability in this wonderfully foul marked world.

  29. Uncle Turf — in a penalty shoot-out the AI keeper is going to stay in the middle at least once and possibly twice out of 5. Next time you get a pen just press R1, move the reticule with the left stick, and you will instantly be enlightened. The system’s pretty good, a much better one than any I’ve seen in any football game. If the first time you got a pen in either of PES14/15/16 you just aimed for the corner and pressed shoot and the ball flew wide, well, that’s what would happen, as it’s a pressure-sensitive aiming system — like the dotted line one for corners and free kicks.

  30. Shed — XCOM2 is currently to me what Battlefront is to you, and similarly I’m luxuriating in the craft and care that’s gone into and still is going into it. Granted, this is a once-every-four years game rather than an annual sporting game, but there’s no reason why PES can’t at least get the level of attention that FIFA gets from EA, and ideally more. We’ll never see AI fouls in a football game again (IMO), but we could at least have other niggles addressed.

  31. NG – I agree I love the penalty system post 2014 as once you got used to the stick sensitivity it is very good indeed and as you once posted about 2015 the R1 gives you a really good indication of how this all works.

    I did quite a bit of practice on 2011 penalties and the system is not as good. The way it works here is to press the shoot button first and just before the player strikes the ball you give the left stick a flick but it really is very sensitive.

  32. Werd – sounds fab!!! I can’t wait to see them.

  33. Great session on 2016 this afternoon, Baggio is going to be some player when he develops.

    Finished off the day with an hour on my new purchase of Wolfstein, bargain at £12 from CEX.

  34. 12th. 11/14/9 gf53 ga44. The early struggle to create chances cost me.

    I was offered four jobs domestically, all three who went up – sheff wed, wolves and notts f, plus hull who came down. Internationally it was New Zealand, Mali, et al. I declined all.

    Bugger me what a struggle to recruit players though, I see why you still had defaults in season seven NG. I managed to get a striker and a Cmf in while shipping out four of mine. Not only are the percentages low but there are few rounds and limited slots to bid in. 2016 is laughingly easy in the transfer market by comparison, getting someone like remy in just wouldn’t happen unless he was a regen.

  35. Darryl – I quite liked the PES2010 and 11 penalty system, but it was never going to catch on. Much too high-concept. The current one makes much more sense.

    Uncle Turf – recruiting good players is pretty much off the table until you manage to get a high-place finish in D1. At the moment you’re stuck with spotting unexpected gems, journeymen mostly, but players who are just better enough than what you’ve got to uplift your team generally to the next level. In that respect it’s a solid traditional ML experience on 2014.

  36. I picked up PES 2014 for £3 yesterday so had a go last night. Straight away it strikes you as different to any other game we have seen as so much has gone into body weight and balance of players and passing on 1 bar is delightful. I also like the look of it more than any other title as it looks really crisp. The only downside is the keeper parry goals. Considering it is the vanilla version I was expecting more issues than what I have seen so far.

  37. Lloyd – Wolfenstein and its prequel are great. Old fashioned FPS fun, tongue in cheek with a dark twist. I love the opening and its much better than the old ps3 efforts.

    Darryl – I will have to old fashioned mobile photo and email them, I can send the originals also.

    Dividing my ever decreasing game time between 2016 and Fallout 4

    NG – tempted by Dark Souls 3? I know you resisted the lure of Bloodborne.

  38. Darryl – the parry has been an issue for me (in my favour) alongside the unmarked free kick lay off, in fact they’ve been my main source of goals. I’m anticating when players are better it will calm down. Besides which it’s so bloody tricky that I’m happy to accept all the help.

  39. Darryl – that’s it, build your PS3 collection back up. PES2014 vanilla isn’t as good as the fully patched one IMO, but many swear by it. As for the keeper parry goals, it’s peculiar that I go many sessions without seeing a single one, then I’ll get maybe two per match for several matches in a row, then nothing again for many matches. Some kind of random number generator is at work behind the scenes, I think.

    werd – my days of picking up games I don’t have time to play are long gone now, and you’d do yourself a big favour following suit by the sounds of it. If I ever get back on the Dark Souls horse I’ll be starting with Dark Souls 1 anyway.

    Uncle Turf – for a few seasons now I’ve only had keeper parry goals in maybe 1 session out of 4 or 5. Early on with PES2014 it’s possible to score a few cheap-feeling goals from corners where you pass to the free man on the corner of the box and then R2 it inside the far post. I scored plenty of them in my early seasons (not an excessive amount, but enough to change a fair few matches). Curiously, though, I have not been able to score a single one since coming up to D1.

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