I heart Heart

PES2014 Season 9 early doors

Season 9 of PES2014 has got off to a relative flier. Two wins and a draw in the League. Sailed through the first round of the FA Cup – an early-season match that always seems designed to trip up the unwary. I was wary, and played the tie – vs lowly West Ham – as if my life depended on not conceding. I beat West Ham 2-0 quite comfortably. The Champions League draw has taken place. Juventus are the team to watch out for, and in PES2014 that tends to mean something.

All in all, the stage is set for what should be a fascinating season. I’ll be happy with one trophy and a good run in the Champions League. I’d love a Double of some kind, and would be ecstatic with an unlikely Treble. My ‘PES sense’ tells me that I’m at least one more season from being ‘allowed’ to mount a challenge for all three major trophies. There are too many signs that the game still doesn’t want to let me ‘get away’. We all know what I’m talking about here. Any PES game tends to level up as you level up – but then once you hit a certain level, it seems to level down. It shows you its neck and invites you to sink your jaws in.

Transfer market. I said I wanted a top striker to go with Robbie Keane and a world class defender or goalkeeper. And any other miscellaneous others that take my fancy,

I swooped for another Regen wonderkid in the form of Nimeley. Yes, Kofi Nimeley. He’s only 23 in real life. But players retire early in the world of PES2014. My Macovshire just announced he’s bowing out at the age of 30. So Nimeley’s reappearance as a regen wonderkid isn’t that strange.

He’s straight into the team. Which means I have two wonderkids up front as my main strikers. Which means that this ML is by no means a standard sort of ML. That’s regrettable in one aspect, but in another, I find myself not being overbothered.

I also treated myself to Emre as a wonderkid. I think I could have got more, but PES2014’s inbuilt limitations brought a halt to my wheelerdealering until the January window at least. I did get one veteran player, Dasaev, in goal.

Here’s my Full First XI and Squad for the coming season (the first half of it at least):

PES2014 Season 9 Squad

PES2014 Season 9 with Heart

And here on the right is what that First XI looks like with Heart. Heart and Form, what they mean, and how they interact, is one of the big debates around PES2014.

It’s an open question as to whether Emre at CMF, for example, is a better player with a bright red glowing Heart and a blue Form arrow, than Mena at CB with a yellow chest and an orange Form arrow.

My personal impression is that Heart supersedes Form in PES2014, but I confess that it’s all about the feel of things with your own hands on the game over a long period. One of the most common critiques of PES2014 is that Heart was half-baked in various ways, and I do think that’s unfortunately true.

But still. It seems to work for me, and having most or all players with at least yellow chests and preferably red ones, seems to bring results more often than the Form arrows.


  1. I have to confess I don’t know most of the names in your option filed squad. Nimely is a new one on me, ditto all of your back four. Is it former soviet keeper rinat dasaev? Surely not as you’ve not mentioned classics. I’m finding it increasingly hard to know which players in pes are invented and which are european journeymen, I’d struggle to do one of those ‘only signing real people’ careers. Time was I’d have known their height, weight and favourite food thanks to Shoot.

    Booking in for a session tonight, with a bit of luck I might get close to season three transfer window.

  2. Turned off in disgust after four straight losses of the 20 shots to 1 variety. My opening seven wins must have triggered a rubber band script as I’m not even top any more.

  3. The full powered regen bug(?) Is odd, do they continue developing?

    I completed season 3 on pes2016 a couple of days ago, bagged the superstar treble (I did check after the CL final!) Beat Bayern comfortably 3-0 in the final and strolled the league, wasn’t planning on playing on but I’m 5 games into the next season and enjoy the team building element beyond the lack of challenge.

    Blew my entire budget on the £89m signing of Neymar and have started season 4 beating Chelsea 3-0 in charity sheild, arsenal 5-0 in super cup and in the league put 4 past Middlesbrough, 4 past West ham and 7 against Bournemouth… Not sure if I’ll have the drive to complete the season but pes2017 is a way off.

  4. NG -from what I have played of 2014 I would say that the heart overrides form.

    Got the Were illustrations today. Love em but that lad has a disturbed mind.

    Been playing a bit of Fifa 15 of late. Two things let the game down and that was overpowered dribbling on both sides and lack of fouls. Thanks to some amazing sliders both issues have been resolved and now it is much more physical and games average about 20 fouls and thanks to first touch dribbling is more balanced.

  5. oh dear Turf, I suspected that might happen, PES2014 can be an inscrutably evil game at times. How about a change of formation? I’m running quite happily in 5th place at the moment, still largely using the defaults as it takes a while for new signings to fit in, but there is some positive scripting going on, e.g. loose balls always break to my players, Minandinho’s shots always hit the top corner, which will reverse savagely at some point.

    not-Greg – after watching your link to John Motson saying Kuntz, youtube followed that with a video of Motson interviewing Brian Clough. The selection of modern football managers who are celebrated by the media as ‘characters’ would not compare well with the man

  6. Pete – great work on PES2016, that’s a phenomenal achievement on superstar! Is there anything you can do to increase the challenge such as manual passing/shooting?

    on PES2014 the regens come back with their retirement stats rather than ‘full powered’ apparently, so there is still some development. Apologies if you’ve already talked about it on here but what was your view of the game?

  7. Uncle Turf – the good ship Live-4-Ever struck a berg?! No way!

    Darryl – FIFA15 is the best FIFA game I’ve ever played and one of the best footy games. But I’m sticking with what I’ve got, which is a great ML experience on PES2014. Werd probably still has his copy of FIFA15, so you’ve probably practised some ‘werd-o-mancy’ there and made him want to play it…

    Pete – that’s disappointing to hear how PES2016 has caved for you. House Rules might not even save it, as your fingers and muscle memory now know the ways to create chances galore etc. Maybe unassisted passing/shooting might be the way.

    After a few great sessions on PES2014 this week, I doubt I’ll ever be able to take seriously again any football game without fouls and free kicks. Which doesn’t bode well for me and the future of footy gaming, as I believe recent games’ foul-free nature is 100% intentional and firmly here to stay.

  8. yeah me too, not-Greg, which is why I’m cherishing every moment with PES2014 as though it could be the final footy game I’ll every really love…..

  9. darryl any chance you have a link to your fifa 15 slider settings?

  10. abbeyhill – sneak preview of Monday’s post, I tried Superstar this morning for the first time, and was amazed at how competitive the game plays. Lots of realistic-seeming free kicks and interruptions – the punctuation marks of football. Much like written language, football needs regular punctuation or it doesn’t really work. PES2017 might confound me with at least 5 free kicks per match, per side. But think of the knock-on effect upon online play of that kind of fouling model on online play, and the consequences.

  11. NG- nope and nope. I only have Pes 2010-13 and 2015-2016. My final day off saw me trounce Olympiakos 5-1 agg in the Europa, beat Wednesday(Man City) 1-0. I also noticed Romario left QPR and their form suffered and they dropped to 4th. Im Top of the league by 15. Im expecting a 90’s Newcastle collapse however. Ive enjoyed my 9 days hols. Mario maker, Fallout 4 and pes 2016 have all been played and enjoyed in oodles. Back to the dark dark days of maybe a couple of hours a week….sigh.

  12. I’m consoling myself with the fact that until recently those four games would have seen me reaching for the green ink and firing off diatribes about cheating, awful AI, bugs, etc etc. Now I just lay down the controller and wait till I’m ready to go again. I almost resumed at half eleven but I’d cracked open a bottle and I never play under the influence.

    There are a couple of niggles for me though. That chest trap goal you had NG seems to me to be the AI default. Numerous times I’ve chipped the ball in just perfect for a volley and never have I managed it, it’s always the chest trap and shoot on the slow motion drop. There just doesn’t seem to be the instant reaction of later games to pull off the truly eye popping efforts. Also the long ranger remains a holy grail. It’s obviously realistic but one or two a season would be nice. On the up side the AI doesn’t half score a lot of varied goals. I honestly couldnt point to a regular method (turn and shoot to bottom corner, slalom, etc) to defend against, they’ve gone pretty much every way except the header from a corner, they also remain absent.

  13. werd — I’ve got a couple of days off coming up myself, and just the thought of the XCOM2 hours I plan to put in makes me feel stupidly happy. That feeling is always matched by the awful back-to-school feeling of the night before returning to work, with the sense that you’ve ‘wasted’ all that time. But nothing is wasted!

    Uncle Turf — such was the question I posed that still needs answering: is PES2014’s chest/knee-trap tendency baked in, or is it a button press timing issue? If we pressed shoot in the actual split-second that we wanted to shoot, with teh ball in a logical place for the shot to happen, would the player take the shot?

    I do incline to the former view, that it’s baked into PES2014 and one of this game’s foibles that we have to put up with and integrate into our overall enjoyment, but the other morning I had a classic PES ‘cleared-corner moment’ where the ball dropped, bounced up, and dropped again just perfect for my left-back, Ismail, to hit a first-time half-volley.

    I had plenty of time to think about it and prepare, and decided ‘right, no early pressing, I’ll shoot exactly when the ball is in position…’ This I did, and I got the shot without any pre-chest/knee trapping! (The ball flew high and wide. It would have been a great goal.)

    So the chest/knee trap isn’t necessarily pre-determined in PES2014, I now think. It’s just highly likely, as we all press our buttons a bit too early and are accustomed to seeing that as ‘normal’.

    Next time you chip in the perfect ball for the volley, try delaying on the shoot button until the actual split-second you want to shoot and see what happens. Hard to do though, as the ball bounces relatively slowly and those defenders are always closing…

  14. Leroy – indeed they are from a well known slider poster. I use these on World Class with a mixture of semi (Shoot/Crossing) and manual (the rest) settings and seems perfect for my abilities.

  15. NG – Very useful. I would hold my hands up to being an early presser – same with the headers, it’s just instinctive – I’ll give it a go tonight. I will also admit that when my bad run started I lapsed into the ‘right you bastards I’m going to bomb upfield after you’ mode and R1 took a hammering. Probably the easiest thing in the world for the AI to exploit and pick me off. Calm thoughts needed, I’m still second.

  16. thanks darryl!

  17. Abbey/NG – that’s a good point, not sure why I hadn’t thought of manual passing.

    Re PES 2014, I no longer have my 360 so haven’t played 2014 since early 2014… Played about 2 seasons before losing interest, the team build aspect is one of my favourite things about pes and the ml was especially hollow that year, gameplaywise it was too long ago to comment… I seem to remember the first time shot being an issue but ng seems to have figured that now but no way of playing now

  18. Pete — ‘unassisted’ is probably a better description than ‘manual’ for it this year, as it doesn’t feel fully manual (a very good thing too — I dislike fully manual passing in a footy game). Unassisted shooting also feels pretty decent, although you’ll still be hitting the corner flags at times as your muscle memory automatically makes you aim too far. Please don’t test this out in a regular match in your regular ML. You need a sandbox to get a feel for unassisted settings. 10 minutes messing about in the Training Pitch will sort you out one way or the other.

  19. Rot stopped – three decent wins and I’m five points clear again. Played fourteen, won ten, lost four. I suspect a session of losses will come around again.

  20. Top at the January window by four points and a hugely disappointing youth team. I don’t know that ive had any real players regenning through my youth ranks, it’s always been bixelkoven and the like around the 70 mark. I’m not sure you can do anything, is it club rank linked, it’s not as if there’s a hire a better coach option. Fortunately there have been a few free agents in the general pot and a few of them were at 65% likely (again im not sure what, why or how as some great players were keen and some also rans had no interest). Carlos puyol, tim Cahill and Hilario all joined. I could have had danny welbeck as well on a transfer but was annoyingly 500k away from the fee. Robbie Keane was a 65% er too but for obvious reasons I declined. Most of the defaults are leaving on expired contracts, ive had virtually no offers on any players, this isn’t a get rich quick ML.

  21. Uncle Turf — I think you’re well on course to get what you boldly stated you would get, but it won’t be the cakewalk you anticipated. Agreed there was no way you could get Robbie Keane after all my enthusing over him — I wouldn’t have either. My players have to be my players. I do recommend getting a similar sort of goalscorer as a type though. Having a regular goalscorer who just keeps popping up with them adds a whole extra dimension to the game, similar to your 2012 Ribeiro thing. The grin on my face every time Keane bags another.

  22. certainly seems like a PES that rewards strikers with dainty feet in the area rather than the usual pace/power/strength. That squad is coming together really nicely Turf, likewise I’ve never seen anyone worthwhile in the youth team

  23. I think it’s definitely a pes that needs different styles, not just the best you can get. Harry Kane is pretty so so, he doesn’t really have any one aspect to his game that works whereas beauvue is tricky and germain is powerful. I’m starting to see a lot of turf ML regulars – berbatov, et al – but I think this time I need to have a more strategic approach. I’d normally not get someone like puyol as he’s very short but his defensive skills make him a must in a pes with very few aerial threats.

  24. Vincent Kompany up to 99ovr and still developing. Could be my first 100ovr player on the cards!

  25. Lloyd – im a bit behind everyone else but season two brought Lampard into the youths. He started at 76 and is now 80+ in just a few games!. He’s a dynamo in DMF position and has scored some crackers.

    Romario left QPR and Messi is still at some club in the PAF league.

  26. When the PES2016 Euro DLC lands on Thursday I’ll definitely be grabbing it and giving it a whirl. Mainly out of interest to see if fouls/free kicks have been restored to their proper place in the new mode, after all the months of feedback on the issue. If they’re not, that has to be 100% confirmation for any doubters that no-fouls is here to stay in PES.

  27. 2014 has some filthy scripting at its heart. No sooner was I back winning again than my pass completion plummeted to 58% and I started shipping goals. Down to third now and fully expect to start winning again. It’s like your Arsenal like for like scenario.

  28. Now that I’m starting to do things in the ML world, I’m seeing the traditional PES scripting too. I’m just putting together tomorrow’s post where I’ll go into more detail, but basically having out in an heroic effort to get my nose in front in a massive game, I played a simple pass that was mysteriously redirected approximately 80 nautical degrees to an AI player, and they got the equaliser. So annoyed. But so enthralled, too. Maybe annoyance about scripting is a good metric of how a PES and an ML is going as an experience, which is ‘pretty bloody well’ in PES2014’s case for me right now.

  29. Yes, it’s what 2016 distinctly lacked in my experience, that old fashioned string of obscenities hurled towards the tv. It makes me completely guilt free about picking up puyol et Al on their veteran stats. Frankie lampard still not showing much though. I’d take a decent bid for him and Kane at the minute but I realise they will improve.

  30. And I was right…13 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw – it’s the pes no middle ground series and I’m back top again by three points.

  31. Uncle Turf — you’re still ‘only’ in D2 though… It’ll be interesting to see how you get on in D1. I’ve been having some interesting encounters with the top D1 sides and now the top European sides (more on that in tomorrow’s post). The AI levels up as you level up, and there are all kinds of hard-coded shenanigans going on.

  32. Yes, that’s what makes me thing this is a bloody hard ML and the need for a very good squad. Not having the suspension issue but I do need options to vary my play.

  33. Been playing a few different games of late as I try to find the game I want to sink my teeth into and I keep coming back to one game and that is PES 2014. I can see why NG is loving the game as it is probably the closest there is to PES 5. Started a ML on pro level and am 8th after 6 games. The big draw for me of the game is that it fits my life philosophy about going with the flow/momentum. The worst thing you can do is change direction mid flow and you have to follow the players movement and balance. FIfa 15 with sliders is a much better game but just is missing that vital ingredient. PES 13 is quite a pedestrian game in comparision but would be the less challenging option. For all I like 2011 the midfield build up just seems a bit one dimensional now. So I really need to get on with it now.

  34. Darryl – my post today will interest you. I’m really enjoying ’14 now. I was enjoying it before, but I was coming off the back of my 8 seasons on PES2016 and my general enthusiasm for the ongoing daily routine was a flickering flame. Now I’m past PES2016, and in a whole new phase where I’m thinking about my PES2014 ML progress on and off throughout the day and looking forward to my next session. It’s a great shame you can’t play the fully patched version, as that ‘fixes’ so much that was wrong with vanilla, particularly eccentric keepers. Otherwise I imagine the basic goodness of ’14 is there for you to enjoy as much as you can. The trick is not playing any other football games of course… Which will be put to the test for me on Thursday when the Euro DLC for PES2016 is released, and I know I’ll want to try it out.

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