I have 8 matches left of Season 7 in my born-again PES2014 Master League adventure.
The overall experience continues to pan out at a high level. Building attacks takes time. Rare indeed are the fast breakaway goals that characterise the 2016 edition of the franchise.
The most common PES2014 experience? Trying to build attacks in ways that the game doesn’t easily allow. Realising you lost the ball because you were too impatient. My own impatience is a wall that I dash myself against time and time again.
In ’14, you have to take your time. You have to be aware of players’ running speed and direction and momentum. No wonder so many people hated this ‘unresponsive’ game. No wonder that a peculiar process of natural selection has brought us to the uber-responsive, arcade-oriented State of Football Gaming today.
‘Responsive’ should be a swear-word in football gaming, not the seemingly unquestioned pro-word that it has mysteriously become. But I digress slightly.
The current table is an exciting one:
I’m in 5th, 4 points behind Arsenal in 4th. I’ve a vastly inferior goal-difference. But with 8 matches left, and ML league table scripting as prevalent in this PES as any other, I fancy my chances of sneaking an unlikely Champions League spot.
It’d be very unlikely, as this is still pretty much the squad that squeaked promotion from Division 2 a season ago. (I’m still playing ‘only’ on Top Player difficulty, I should add here.)
Truth be told, it’d be something of a travesty to sneak into the Champions League with the squad I have, and the kind of patchy form I’m showing. But this is Pro Evo and fantasy football is the name of the game.
The only top-4 side I’ve beaten all season has been Chelsea. All the others have mostly beaten me quite easily, with a few draws sprinkled among the pain.
At least I should definitely be in the Europa League, barring a Leicester-style collapse (oh yes, I can see the real-world future…).
The other day, inspired by talk on the blog of other football games, I fired up PES2011 and then PES2015 on my PC to take them through their paces. On my Windows machine I have all the Pro Evos sitting in a nice fat folder of their own. I nearly said a nice phat folder, there, but stopped myself in time, what with me being a middle-aged man and everything.
On a PC over time, any program’s installation tends to degrade while Windows metamorphoses around it. Since my Windows 10 upgrade some months ago, I’ve only verified PES5 and PES2013 as still working.
I had to do some monkeying around to get PES2015 running. I had a SweetFX patch installed that Windows 10 didn’t like. But PES2011 worked first time, albeit in a quarter-screen-sized window that I couldn’t be bothered quitting out of to fix via Settings.exe. (Alt+Enter did nothing, before you ask.)
I only played about half of a single half in each case, as I never mix football games. If you want to play a football game, never mix them. It’s a simple and effective rule.
Back in PES2014, it was even more obvious that this game represents a curious crossroads in the history of the franchise. You can definitely see what they were trying to do – trying to give us the most PESlike PES they could. Casting my mind back, I wonder what the outcome would have been had the vanilla PES2014 been more like the final patched version. I’m pretty sure I’d have liked it from the start.