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.
To 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:
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.