Steven Gerrard 2016

I’m currently preoccupied with work and life, so I’ve yet to see if my FIFA16 Career Mode can be Lazarused.

Today’s post is therefore short, but hopefully sweet.

In this strange period before the next batch of games come out, and while I’m fiddling around trying to see if I can maybe play some FIFA16, I have had a few sessions back on PES2016.

I’m not back on PES2016, and I doubt I ever will be. I’ve learned never to say never, though.

The game’s simply too fast and frantic.

After a lengthy spell on PES2014 and then a tantalising glimpse of what FIFA16 has to offer, I cannot settle with PES2016’s insanely fast and frantic and flowing and ‘fun’ gameplay. It is, without question, far and away the most arcadey edition of Pro Evolution Soccer ever made. Moreso even than PES2008. And that’s saying something.

I have sort of enjoyed my brief sessions with ’16, for all that. And I’ve had a few interesting moments.

Those with long memories will recall that I acquired a young regen Steven Gerrard in my latter few seasons.

Those with longer memories might remember this, from the tail-end of PES2015:

That was my favourite goal of many great goals I scored on PES2015.

Well, look at this from the tail-end of PES2016 this year:

An almost carbon-copy. When I got Stevie G into firing position, I recalled the goal from PES2015 and thought ‘shall I?’

I do prefer the first one, from PES2015. Something about the slightly wider position and the flight of the ball appeals to me more, aesthetically speaking.

But the second one made me shout out loud just as much, if not more, because of how unexpected it was.

Hopefully by Friday I’ll have revived my FIFA16 Career Mode career from its state of limbo.


  1. No one else playing?

    I took the Southampton job, I know that will sound contrary to the entire ml spirit but I’ve always wanted the feature in the game so now I’m using it. Gateshead not only had a mere ten mill in the bank but half a dozen players out of contract, I could have toughed it out but bollocks to it, it was never my aim to do a Lloyd. I’m more mourinho than wenger, have passport will ancellotti. I inherited a bloated squad who finished 12th so promptly sold a load of players to…Gateshead. Hmm, how did they suddenly get so much money? They happily let me have giggs for five million in return. And chivu was in my youth team, a 90 rated 16y.o with a weird cech like head guard. I offloaded the ageing likes of lambert and now have Gervinho and Robinho up front, no Spring chickens but relatively cheap and crucially they were high likelihood of joining. As they also have Luke shaw and clyne I may have to consider a different formation, more of a wing back 5-3-2 than my favoured 3-5-2. Season three feels very promising but they are only a stepping stone to a really big job.

  2. Uncle Turf – it’s the time of year, I think. I very much am still playing and…. I have revived my FIFA16 Career Mode! Those who mooted that I was falling foul of Board Requirements were actually correct after all – ‘win the League’ was the requirement. I don’t remember agreeing to that way back when I set things up, but I must’ve done. You can lower requirements by agreeing to take a lower transfer kitty, and I would have usually done that. But maybe I was feeling bullish at the time – or not anticipating getting to the end of the season. Whichever, I fiddled the last part of the season to finish 2nd and got a ticking-off from the board but not the sack.

    More on that on Friday.

    As for your Southampton move –your time, your game, your way of playing it. There is no purity in football gaming, no external authority to satisfy. That’s why it’s genius as a single-player pursuit. Your own world, your own reality.

    You can head into Edit Mode from the top menu and edit Chivu’s headband off if it starts bothering you.

    Incidentally, I noticed in my restored FIFA16 CM that Jamie Vardy is at Southampton. I didn’t notice who won the Premier in season 2015-16, but I bet it wasn’t Leicester.

  3. I did indeed switch to a 5-3-2 to accommodate shaw and clyne. I’d like them further forward – I really miss the old school pes wing back option, it’s much more my style, but I dare not push them too far into lmf and rmf. I traded a few more centre halfs, too many at their peak or on the way down. I don’t mind that so much in a wiley Dmf but I need pace at the back. Chris smalling came in for five million, that’s one thing about 2014 the prices are on the cheap side. I bought that Wiley Dmf in mascherano, my midfield is strong enough that lallana is surplus to requirements. I’ve always felt recent pes’s are overpowered in the midfield area. Perhaps it’s a reflection of modern football but you can easily have a bench full of top amfs having not spent much but keepers and strikers often end up being regens as they are much scarcer. I could have bought Isco on 89 for small change yet the best keeper I could sign I.e not 0% was someone I’d never heard of in the high 70s.

    Leicester are a yo yo club in my game, like wolves. The aim for Southampton is top six and Europe with a euro cup run next season, I’d aim to be away to a bigger club by season 5. Came as a King, left a god.

  4. Cubone pines for the mother it will never see again. Seeing a likeness of its mother in the full moon, it cries. The stains on the skull the Pokémon wears are made by the tears it sheds.

    There is more emotion in the back story of Pokémon #104 Cubone, who I caught this morning just past the royal botanic gardens, than anything in gaming since Ico.

  5. Uncle Turf – how I miss the days of Paul Mariner, Peter Withe, Trevor Francis, Tony Woodcock, et al. I think it was around the same time that teams learned they could game the system by pinching and pulling etc in the box and get away with it that the striker declined as a species, and reached its absolute nadir in the False 9 philosophy. Coincidence? I think not.

    abbeyhill – never say never is usually my motto, but when it comes to Pokemon Go I can confidently say ‘never’.

  6. not-Greg – but the skull Cubone wears as a mask is actually his mother’s skull. I can tell that you are intrigued

    I was surprised to read that you formed a strong bond with your FIFA16 Coventry team within one season – was this slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect of the sacking, or would you say player individuality has improved on 15?

  7. abbeyhill – I would say rather that PES individuality has declined to the point where FIFA individuality seems about the same. I honestly couldn’t get a cigarette paper between the two franchises on the individuality front now. FIFA might have improved slightly, but PES has fallen dramatically. PES2016 was shocking on that front. I never thought I’d see the day in PES when I’d get a top, top player and he’d feel just like any other player I already had. But that day has come.

    Of course, it’s a race between PES and FIFA to the lowest common denominator of pleasing the online multiplayer crowd, who don’t really want or care about individuality past the FIFA-style way of doing it. Which is essentially just to have 4 or 5 different types of players that fits every player, plus the Bales and Ronaldos of course.

    One of the reasons I bonded with my FIFA16 CM team was the custom training. I hadn’t played enough to learn if it was much more than a set of placebo buttons, so I haven’t decided yet.

  8. that FIFA16 playoff semi video did look really really good so hopefully you can resurrect the career not-Greg and we can watch your progress in the Championship. Did you ever find time to record some footage of PES3?

    I hated PES2015, with player uniformity well up my list of gripes, and 30 minutes of exposure to PES2016 in an airport felt sufficient. I wonder what 2017 has in store for us

  9. Undoubtedly the playing feel in 2016 was one of a mass produced ‘attacker’ or ‘winger’ but I still felt visually they were more individually recognisable than FIFA ever has been, it just feels slightly more ‘brown haired player’ in the latter game – perhaps it’s my camera settings.

    I have 61 Pokemon now but am a mere level 10 newbie, with one friendly gym fight to my name. It has however done wonders for me and the boy’s park walking experience. No longer do I have to sit waiting for boredom with the playground or watching the bouncy castle, it’s full laps of all the pokestops and efforts to hatch an egg. My biggest issue is the terminology – “I’m just going to go and put a lure on the under 6s playground”.

  10. Five at the back lasted one match, a pumping from Chelsea where I didn’t register a shot on target. Top player is superstar in all but name in my book. Much as it pains me, it’s now 4-1-3-2 so I can try and win a few more matches than I draw 0-0.

  11. pretty much the same, Turf, level 11 with 46 different Pokémon caught so far. Can’t see much fun to be had in the gym fights though, as they are all inhabited by much stronger Pokémon who crush mine instantly. The kids adore it, especially discovering new ones, reading their backstories and evolving them. It could be a brilliant mobile game if they can make the combat more tactical and give the player some overall narrative and purpose for playing. The way it interacts with the real world is great

    have you tried shoe-horning your new Southampton players into the favoured 3-5-2? PES2014 seems quite forgiving about putting players out of position with no performance penalty; I’ve played my AMF/CMF Vardani at DMF all the way through my ML. It feels like a game where you need to work out a formation and tactics and then stick to them.

  12. abbeyhill – the promised compilation talky video with all the suggested games is coming at the end of the month. PES3 is already captured, among others. I want to edit them into something watchable. Spoiler: the much-beloved original Football Manager is absolutely dreadful now.

    And re. PES2017, I continue to believe that whatever is said or shown now in preview season, the final game will repeat the no-fouls, frenzied arcade action. I want to be proved wrong.

    Uncle Turf – my equivalent of your beloved 3-5-2 is 4-3-3. I try 4-3-3 at some point of every PES. I haven’t had it work since PES2010. Worth a pop in ’14?

  13. I saw a video with he who shall not be named (is that still the case) at e3 and mentioned that slowing the game down was something requested by the fans, his response was that 2017 would introduce a more manual first touch that would make people slow down to think what they were doing… So yes, the game will still be arcade speed

  14. 4-3-3 is the only formation I can get to work in PES2014. It is not a game that rewards running, or crossing, or intricate quick passing. You just need to get the ball to the feet of a player on the edge of the box

  15. Pete – PES2015 and then PES2016 created an expectation that there would be constant frenzied action, super-accurate long-range slide-tackling without repercussions, and of course little or no fouls or free kicks to ‘interrupt’ the game. myClub is apparently very successful, and is built on the style of gameplay contained in PES2016 in particular. Nothing will be done to threaten that success.

    Whatever is said or shown of PES2017 now, there is no way that expectation will be rolled back. Even if they try to do it (and I don’t think they will even try), it’ll quickly be overturned. Cf. FIFA16 for a good example of what happens to football games that attempt to reverse the tendency of ‘fast flowing fun’ gameplay.

    FIFA16 is still a great game, it should be noted. Just as PES2016 is still a good game, as far as it goes. So PES2017 won’t be a disaster from the single-player perspective. But it won’t be the great counter-revolution against the multiplayer tendency in footy gaming that it’s being painted as.

  16. nG – Your spoiler really isn’t 😉 Last time I played it online I thought “how on earth did I spend hours at a time playing this”?

  17. Abbeyhill – is that only on superstar? As I think top player is more suitable for different approaches and is balanced by some horrible scripting. That said I still can’t get headers working well and we all know the long shot is just that and not the beloved regular of 2013.

  18. Turf – yes, the comment applies to superstar only. It is such a bugger of a mode that it has forced me into a very one dimensional playing style. You have probably made the right choice with top player

  19. NG just watched a gameplay video on Eurogamer (2 player unsurprisingly) it looks very similar to 2016 but with a few (very nice) new animations…

  20. Pete – I was amused by that Eurogamer piece today on PES (v FIFA) it seemed to be a rather different account of footy gaming reality over the years from the one I experienced

  21. Pete – it’s all too blurry and chaotic for me. And we never see any gameplay vs the AI. A token one or two vids, not enough to really know for sure. It does seem to be another no-fouls year though, as I expected.

  22. Abbeyhill – since that update it’s noticeable how more frequently they escape. I caught a fearrow this morning, eleven times, every time it escaped. Need a new area, fed up of the same old stuff.

    So far saints are having a mare, not won in the opening five games and can’t pick a settled side. Scripting has been truly awful, losing in the last minute, losing to ricochets, etc etc. Still, onward and upward.

  23. UncleTurf – during my recent wanderings I fired up PES2014 for a match and found it the same wonderful, slow, thoughtful game as it was. The last of its kind and well worth sticking with.

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