Humbug incoming

Could 3rd be the new 4th? Season 11 continues. I’ve been marooned in 3rd place for a few matches now.

After spending 95% of last season in 4th, I feel a little twitchy with the game seeming to hold me in one spot as it is now.

There’s a 5-point gap opened up between me and Man Utd in 4th (thanks to a recent 5-2 spanking administered by yours truly). It’s entirely possible that the top 3 as it stands will constitute a mini-league of its own right through to the end of the season.

PES2014 Season 11 after 14To get anywhere near the title, I’ll have to keep winning, obviously. I’ll also probably have to beat Manchester City in our return fixture later this season. And they’ll have to drop points. A tall order playing this game in this league against this AI.

I’ve noticed something about how I play PES2014. Despite knowing in my bones that it’s not possible to ping a few passes from defence into attack and fashion a chance ‘just like that’, I still try it.

I still get the ball in midfield, and play a one-two, and expect the move to almost automatically come off. I know that I have to use a bit more craft and guile, most of the time, but I always tend to go for the easier, quicker way, and usually fail.

Things are tricky in the Champions League, where I followed up my opening loss and draw with another dismal defeat against Malaga. But then I beat them in fixture 4, completed just before the time of writing, leaving the table looking very interesting:

PES2014 Season 11 CL group after 4

Excuse blurriness. Phone camera. Sunny day.

If I beat Motherwell in our return fixture, coming up next, and then beat Juve in the final fixture, I’ll qualify. I really want silverware this season, so these are two massive games coming up. That’s what Master League does: it creates situations and contexts that magnify the value of the time spent playing it. And now it’s time for me to get curmudgeonly.

Earlier this week I spotted the announcement that there is definitely going to be a PES2017. No release date yet – which is disappointing for those of us who like to book time off work, and have to do so as far in advance as possible.

The talk of reworked referees is slightly encouraging. But I simply don’t anticipate that fouls and free kicks are coming back to PES. The reason is plain. Konami’s PR flannel says something about the guiding concept for PES2017 being the ‘thrill of playing against another player’. Ouch.

PES2017 will not feature more than a token one or two fouls per match, if we’re lucky. Guaranteed. Online players have got used to squeezing all the buttons, all the time. They’ve got used to slide-tackling from all angles without any consequence whatsoever (or so little consequence, and so rarely, that it makes it worthwhile for them to play kung-fu football all the time).

Whatever noises are made by Konami now, there will be just as many fouls in PES2017 as there are in PES2016. I.e., pretty much none at all. An alarming amount of my PES2016 matches ended with no fouls of any kind, no matter how violent things got. PES2017 will have to handle much the same way, or the online crew will raise hell, and Konami cannot have that.

In the meantime I’ll continue playing my ‘old-fashioned’ PES with a great AI, proper physicality, and a satisfactory amount of fouls and free kicks. PES2014 might well have been the last proper PES ever made before the multiplayer vision thing properly kicked in.

I’ll still get PES2017. I’ll still take the week off work and get all excited about it. But PES is self-evidently no longer a game that’s made with the single-player uppermost in mind.


  1. A sad state of affairs NG when each year most of us feel excited for a new PES but deep down the disappointment is always in the back of your mind, and growing each year.

    For the record I m back on Fallout 4 playing the odd PES 2016 ML and Mini Werd 1 and I are excited for No Mans Sky which we have labelled “Daddy Daughty space game” 3 seasons + for an ML is a new record too.

    Turf – im up to the Belarus 2nd Div in PES 2015 editing 🙂

  2. werd – it’s like I say at the end, I’ll get PES2017 and be just as excited about it as any other and will no doubt play it for a load of ML seasons, but I’m no longer expecting the depth and solidity of instalments of years gone by. No matter what Konami say this summer, no matter what the early testers say (who will only play each other anyway), there will be no fouls in PES2017 in the same way there are none, or few, in PES2015/16. I’d seriously put everything I have on it.

  3. I have so little excitement for both new installments anymore if the truth is known. The thing about PES was that you never knew what to expect. Look at all the Pro Evo games up until 2014 and everyone had thier own uniqueness and no game was quite alike. The most similar for me was 2012 & 2013. But I know full well that 2017 is not going to be much different than 2016 was and you will be able to build your own fantasy team within the first year of playing your ML.

    Turf – going back to your previous post it does make a huge difference to the budget when you change stadium. If for example you change to Old Trafford you can expect to see your coffers boost by 13 Million or so expected earnings in an instance. I think I originally got the tip of yourself.

  4. Darryl – yes, I remember posting on pauls blog that altering the stadium seemed to alter the income but not many other folk saw it and I wondered if it had been patched out. I’ve tried it anyway, went for a stadium that looks like we’ve simply added a tier to Gateshead international (one of the worst, soulless, concrete disgraces of a stadium for football you’ll ever find).

    At the start of the season the pundits always point at a team and say ‘I fear for them’…well after my first two games of season 2, that’s me. Lost both 3-0 and had a player sent off (I don’t have enough players for reserves so my bench will be one light). I played Swansea and Sunderland, hardly top opposition, but when you are still fielding harty, gellacza, castolis, voleimann, stramberg, aakobjerg in your first eleven it’s a big step up in class.

  5. Turf – I don’t think it will have been patched out as it is still possible in 2015 & 2016 as well.

  6. Well I made 526k from my first gate receipts, difficult to know if the stadium caused that without going back to edit and swapping them back again. I’ll take it though. And the odd turn of events in my next two games. Away at Swansea in the cup hot on the back of a 3-0 thrashing. I win 4-1 in an absolute breeze. Next up Bolton, a must win, as they are really quarplefarth city or whatever from the made up league. I do win…5-4. I probably won’t know how this is going to go till match ten or so, at least I know Robert can get goals, just the other half dozen attacking players to replace.

  7. Now my other main striker Fekir is out for 2 months, so Macheda gets a promotion from my second squad to partner Coman. This spate of injuries meant that after having to field a strong team against PSV in the Europa League I was beaten during my defence of the League Cup in the next match.

  8. Chris99 – I do miss this element of juggling around the squad and dealing with long term injuries. Given that it is quite a hardcore footy sim the omission of any injuries from PES2014 is puzzling

    no gaming at the weekend – as the season enters a critical phase it is too risky to combine beer and PES. Instead I watched the film Margin Call and some of the BBC’s Chelsea flower show coverage

  9. Abbeyhill – I don’t know why as I find neither subject interesting but I love watching the flower show and Cruft’s.

  10. I’m afraid I’m the opposite, I detest the Chelsea flower show and it’s paid for designer gardens. They’ve got like chefs and cooking programmes, all overly pleased with themselves. Bring back Geoffrey smith doing a programme from his allotment with a couple of good marrows on show. (To be fair I don’t mind monty Don, he’s seems a decent sort, just not enough on massive vegetables!)

    I started a non-pes game last night to tide me over while skyrim is on its hols. Far cry4, or rather far cry 3.1 as it seems. Different country, seems exactly the same to me. Not the worst thing in the world as you can leave your brain at home and blow stuff up.

  11. I really enjoyed margin call though. In the opposite way to that really poor night manager series and the decidedly non-bond Loki tom doodah.

  12. After a long bank holiday working weekend, I finally got some PES2014 under my belt this morning (meaning there’ll be something to blog about tomorrow, which is always nice). And on the topic of non-PES games, this very afternoon I should complete the mighty XCOM2. My Steam stats show 92 hours played in total. If I were a games reviewer, and in some sense we all are, XCOM2 would get the unqualified 10/10 from me, something that only PESes 2, 3, and 5, Metal Gear Solids 2 and 3, Final Fantasies 7 and 8, and Civilizations II and III would also get. And ICO, of course — that goes without saying.

  13. I am currently sat on my own in the back garden. On Friday night we had some new garden furniture delivered and it is lovely. It was an absolute swine to put up as the holes for the screws didn’t line up properly
    Anyway we eventually sorted it and it was tea time yesterday before we could actually sit out and enjoy it. Today we were meant to be having a barbecue. The food was nicely cooking away and I was having a beer and the wife was having a glass of wine. The little one was playing nicely with his cars. The dog was asleep by my feet. Then a mouse appeared from the shed, as it must have been attracted by the food smell. It came back three times and now everyone has gone in and the mood has turned grumpy.

  14. Old fashioned traps Darryl, I caught 13 of them in my garage – where there is one there will be many. I don’t mind them too much in the garden but I don’t want them chewing up stuff or getting in the house. The rat was personal…

  15. Turf – The only problem I have got is that the rabbit can get into the shed as well, so don’t want him harming.

  16. Humane traps and a big hammer?

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