Season 9 of my unexpected foray into the world of PES2014 has come to an interesting if unspectacular end. The final league table is below.
I suffered from poor form in the run-in, but my main problem this season stemmed from a right howler that I made in the mid-season transfer window. I let my second goalkeeper go and neglected to replace him. And then had to play the entire second half of the season with just one squad goalkeeper.
Inevitably, there were numerous matches where he was either unfit, or on blue/purple form arrows, or lacking in Heart, and often all three. Results were good one week, terrible the next, and usually mirrored my keeper’s condition.
PES2014 has a well-documented capacity to irritate the most seasoned football gamer. Case in point was my 6-pointer against Arsenal with about 5 matches remaining. At that stage they were 10 points clear of me in the coveted 4th place. If I won the 6-pointer I’d be 7 points behind them with 4 to play. In Master League, that’s an invitation to stitch together a few results and overhaul them.
I went behind, I equalised, I took the lead, they equalised, I took the lead in the 84th minute, they equalised in the 90th with a stinging 25-yard drive into the top corner. 3-3. In the 94th minute they scored their winner (another long shot into the top corner). 3-4 to Arsenal it finished.
13 points adrift. My last faint hope of finishing 4th dashed.
The maddening thing about this match was the way, every time I went ahead, I was not allowed to keep the ball. There was always an AI player snapping at my heels, getting in the way of passes, chasing things down. Realistic, yes, of course it was realistic. Even if Arsenal themselves never play high-pressure, aggressive football, it’s okay for an AI team to do so.
What annoyed me was that it was a script that kicked in only when I was leading. As soon as Arsenal got their equalisers (and their winner), like magic I was ‘allowed’ to keep the ball again for periods. And this isn’t realistic.
Ah, PES2014, the most enigmatic Pro Evo of them all. Is PES2014 a classic edition of the series? No, I wouldn’t include it within that hallowed company – perhaps just one or two PES games would make it there, for me – not unless you define ‘classic’ as simply ‘something one enjoys’. But PES2014 is definitely a cult classic. In this regard it is alone and unique. There is no football game like it and never will be again.
Onto Season 10 of PES2014. With summer looming, the unlikeliest journey shows no sign of ending soon.
I’m eager for silverware in this game. What’s the endgame scenario for PES2014? I’d like to be done with PES2014 by June at the latest, leaving me plenty of time to explore a few other options in what remains of the footy game year. So I think a Double of some kind would do me for this one. I don’t want to take it all the way to September.