Rising up, back on my feet

europa-league-atmosphereI forgot to mention a few posts ago that I moved grounds. I moved from the generic lower-league-type ground to the mid-range one, as seen above, that really does remind me of the old Highfield Road. I added that blue tint.

Season 6 is going great guns. My previous post, last Friday, detailed the iffy start I’d had to Season 6. How I was struggling to score goals and win matches. How I was languishing in lower-mid-table.

Things have changed. The current table –pes2017-season-6-after-25Bit of a sea change on show here, yes? It seems as if the change has come quickly. That’s partly an illusion due to my festive blogging break. But it also IS partly a sudden, startling upswing of fortune.

Yes. I have reached this familiar point in my annual Master League story. The point where I suddenly start being able to compete with every team, and usually finagle some sort of positive outcome against even the stubbornest opponent.

Highlight of my swashbuckling run to within sniffing distance of the title was a 4-0 demolition of the reigning champions, Manchester United, at their place – check these stats:pes2017-turned-the-cornerA bit worrying from the AI’s point of view, there. Is PES2017 really capitulating so readily to my new slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach?

Torres has been performing very well indeed up front, and is my top scorer. I’m recording all my goals this season – every one, in all competitions – and will be showing them off in a single mammoth video at season’s end.

There are a few interesting goals among them, but as ever when I do this ‘All Goals, All Season’ thing it’s most interesting to look at the sequences of goal types.

I can already say that there’s a notable absence of two goal types: long-rangers, and headers from crosses. Neither goal type is at all common in PES2017 for me. Everybody misses long-rangers, but only I seem to be lacking in headers from crosses, oddly.

It’s not all been wine and roses. I crashed out of the Europa League at the group stage. ignominiously bottom of the table:season-6-europa-final-tableThat one hurt, because having a chance at the Europa League is traditionally just a one-season affair. Usually I’m in the Champions League the season after, and stay there. So it seems I’ve missed my one and only shot at the Europa League in PES2017.pes2017-season-6-burning-wallRivals matches continue to be one of the most disappointing aspects of this or any other Master League. Nearly every Rivals match I’ve played in PES2017 has been a frantic flurry of button-mashing mayhem.

I’ve still been too lazy to head into Edit mode and remove all three teams from my Rivals list (Villa, Birmingham, Leicester).

Partly that is out of actual laziness, but it’s also out of curiosity. After 6 seasons, surely I’ll get a high-quality Rivals match eventually?

I’m still waiting, but I’m not expecting. I believe the nature of Rivals matches has been foolishly misconceived at PES Productions towers.pes2017-rooney-arrivesI have passed through the January transfer window. I sold Dier, who was very decent but a disappointment overall. I’m still looking for my standout DMF in PES2017. I’ve come to suspect I’m not going to find him, given the ‘samey’ feeling of nearly all players in this football game. FIFA-style individuality – i.e., the wisp of individuality – is the rule. The requirement of ‘balancing for online play’ is, I believe, the cause.

I couldn’t resist getting Rooney, Payet, and Romero from my Youths. I put them up for loan immediately, of course, but nobody came in for them. So I’ll be developing them myself for the rest of the season. Rooney is already quite good, as befits his historical real self at this tender age.

Payet and Romero, as expected, are nothing much at the moment.

And will they ever be? Ten years ago (or even just four years ago), a Payet in PES would have been a true diamond. What chance has PES2017’s Payet got to really shine in an era of PES where silky, skilful, nimble players are the leaden norm rather then the delightful exception? Very little chance. But we shall see.pes2017-beating-the-big-boysResults like the great result above are a regular feature now.

I know how to win football games in PES2017. It’s about work and concentration, and focusing on making a couple of chances, and making them count. I do have an endpoint in mind for PES2017, but it’s still at least a few seasons away. I’m also about to revert to my pre-Christmas playing schedule, which is a very restricted one. I’d bet on this game lasting until March.

One bonus item before I sign off for today – the AI scored this 35-yard opportunistic snapshot against me:

A longer long-range strike than any I’ve had on PES2017. Insult to injury.

I’d just been defending in a button-mashy sort of way and my keeper was slightly out of position. The AI struck from about 35-40 yards and I was so surprised that I forgot to save the 30-second snippet showing the goal from my regular playing camera angle, where goals always look better from.

So I played the highlights package from the end-game menu and captured it there instead. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

By the by, what a curious feature of ‘highlights’ packages (either on TV or within football games) that they so often show goals from their least visually satisfying angles, as here.

Updated: 6th January 2017 — 09:55


  1. Yep – you’ve hit that ‘click’, much in the same way I did, albeit a season later.
    from now on you’ll struggle to lose games, every game will feel winnable and you’ll dominate games with possession and chances on goal
    PES17’s difficulty level suddenly crashes down around this stage.

    I still maintain that PES17 is a very cross-header friendly game, I have about 40 videos saved on my PS4 whereby I’ve crossed and headed and scored.
    I beat Huddersfield 6-0 last season, 4 of them were headed goals, from 3 different players.

    I think 10+ season ML’s are a thing of the past, PES is now aimed at online with offline ML a whimsical improvised nod to the old schoolers.
    Kind of a ‘we’ll keep ML mode in, to appease, but we’ll make it a quick win affair’.

    Beating Real Madrid 8-1 on aggregate in the semi final of the champions league in only my 2nd season as a premier league team, on superstar difficulty is testament to that.

  2. Paul – I’m not quite there yet, I think. I got within a point of Liverpool (in Feb of the season), only to hit a patch of seemingly nerfed games where I could. not. score. 0-0, 1-0, 0-0 etc. Back to 5 points adrift with not many matches left. I’d love to cheekily win the title this season, but as others have found, it might be just one season too early right now.

  3. Can I ask what the hell is going on with player contracts – why, in their ultimate wisdom, have Konami decided that players will generally only sign one year contracts. I sign an important player and the fecker will only go for a one year contract and now he’s playing silly beggars about an extension (which will also cost me a fortune in terms of my wage budget no doubt if he agrees to another one year deal).

  4. Because its Konami Chris.
    Youth players that you sign in January, will also only be contracted until August, then when you try to renew, a lot of them want ridiculously high wages, despite being a spotty little 17yr old who hasn’t played a game yet!!

  5. Did you stick with the 442 formation in the end n-G.

    I’ve now ended my 541 experiment – in fact I don’t think any formation is going to help end the horrible run of form I’m in. I’ve not won at home for six games against mainly lowly opposition. My only wins have come – somewhat suspiciously – at highflying Arsenal and Spurs. Both 1-0.

    I’ve now come to the conclusion that I need to rough out this latest shitty phase of the game and then hopefully chase down a European spot.

  6. Shed — I have stuck with the resurrected 4-4-2, yes. I’ll post a full squad pic on Tuesday. I’m considering changing formation again now though, as the old nerf gun has been well and truly fired once more. Suddenly no path to goal again.

  7. I’ve decided to play one last season on PES 17 before moving on to FIFA, see if I can add the FA Cup to the Champions League, Premier League and Charity shield.
    Also interested to play the club world championship games.

    So, 5 trophies to play for …… game on !

  8. Paul – don’t forget the Super Cup. Sextuple. Boom!!

  9. Paul – in your experience do you find that they get snapped up by AI teams in Jan unless you renew early after signing them?

  10. Oh, a match against the team in fourth where they only register one shot, that feels like the click into the final stage of ml, where you’ll never be out of the top two and win things as long as scripting stays sane.

    Skyrim ps4 is truly a thing of beauty. Nothing new just even nicer to sit on top of a mountain. Have you all stopped playing NMS?

  11. Uncle Turf — is that your first game of that nature (open world, vast, etc.) on PS4? For my money, other than footy games and the likes of Civ on PC, virtual open worlds are the last thing that interest me in gaming.

    And yes, I’m still playing NMS. I only have one session per week, on one of my days off. When I’ve got time for gaming in the rest of the week, I’m playing PES.

    Paul — I thought it was odd you not having at least one tilt at the Treble, and of course there’s a Quadruple/Treble/Sextuple effort on as well. I do think though that if you set your heart on a new FIFA adventure you’ll find it hard to settle on PES, knowing it’s only another season.

    My endgame scenario will be to win at least a Champions League, and have at least one season go at the Treble. Unlike previous years the Treble is not a set goal for ‘completion’. I have a feeling it won’t be as straightforward for me as you think.

  12. My lad traded in his Wii and games plus some DS/3DS games and bought NMS on sale in Game. I’m not sure if it will hold the interest of a 9 year old long term, but I might have a crack at it some time.

  13. NG – I’ve got a cracking Civ 2 game on the go at work. 1806 and my babylonians are slowly becoming a force, pesky vikings won’t leave me alone. Boom.

  14. NG – I think it is outside of the Lego games, they are fairly open but run out of steam once you’ve unlocked all the characters. I went for GTA on PS3 and I think I may revisit it on ps4 with a changed attitude – I was fed up of the quests and might just admire the view. Same with sniper elite, I’m often a bit too hasty to cash in. Given the way the games drop in price though I probably get what I then spend buying it back. Only time I ever got burned with a hobby was the world of subbuteo team collecting….but we know that’s a painful memory for some.

  15. NG, 2 days ago I WAS going to reply to your comment from last week where you said professional kept you busy for a good few seasons since you’re not a great player. My comment was going to be along the lines of “I don’t know what’s going on but I’m 14 games into the season, unbeaten and only conceded 1”

    But now the wheels have somewhat fallen off but it’s very strange. I’m REALLY struggling for goals. I had a run of poor results, only scored once in about 4 matches but good old AI decided to pretty much match me so after coming through that striiggle with a couple of wins I’m still top. My last 2 games before January (which also means they’ll be my last 2 games of the season) are Villa and Newcastle! Villa already knocked me out of the FA cup.
    The thing that really bothers me is players lack of pace, you just cannot run away from players, it’s very annoying.
    I’ve just arranged to buy K STEWART from Liverpool for just over 2m (nearly my entire budget) but I’m gonna sell ANYONE who is valuable and receives a good bid. Arcas has played every game and done nothing. Castledine has been good but my lack of affection for fake players means I’ll cashing in. I need a tall strong striker, Kozak at Villa has a 2 availability which is normally the sweet spot.
    I’m really hoping I DON’T get promoted this season, my debut season.

  16. Chris99 — after you’ve seen NMS in action you’ll see it’s absolutely the kind of game that would hold the attention of a 9 yr old. Imagine a chilled-out Minecraft type experience, in spaaaaace. It’s still only about 20% of what it could be, but so much better than release.

    Lloyd — I asked you this the last time you mentioned Civ2: do you have the original music?! As a PS1 Civ 2 player, there has to be that music.

    Mike — remember that the notorious ‘catch-up bug’ isn’t a bug. No matter how many times the forums repeat the phrase ‘catch-up bug’ it is not, never has been, and never will be, a bug. That’s all I ask.

  17. nG – He loves his Minecraft, but this is up against a brand new FIFA on a new PS4. I think when he completes The Journey today he might revisit. He’s already left the first planet, made some discoveries and done some trading.

  18. NG – I’m playing on a pc, think it’s the original sounds. Will check tomorrow.

  19. Chris99 – I should add that there’s no way NMS is even close to the full depth and complexity of Minecraft, but it has that same kind of open-ended worlds-to-conquer vibe to it. Minecraft-meets-Elite is how I grasped it pre-release and I hope the game eventually meets that expectation. With actual Elite coming out on PS4 this year, though, the NMS devs need to get a move on. Trading in particular in NMS is still a shadow of what it should be. I want to be able to fill my huge freighters full of goods, but the interface only allows puny amounts of goods at a time.

  20. Jarvis 60 yarder!

  21. abbeyhill – I can’t recall ever seeing an AI keeper take a free kick before. Great strike after it broke for you!

  22. thanks not-Greg, I used a manual long ball L2+O to get as much control over direction as possible and was delighted when the bounce took it just inside the post. Still no idea why the Guingamp keeper took the free kick as it was 0-0 halfway through the first half and not even shooting range

  23. I’ve got the full week off. Pes bliss! Or so I thought. The game has reverted to meh-ness again. Every match plays out as follows, I have the majority of possession and create about 10 to 20 chances. All off them whizz pass the post (narrowly of course) or are blocked by the hyper cyborg keepers from all angles . after this the CPU will get one chance and score it irrespective of whos my keeper, his condition and stats, same for their striker. Rinse, repeat. I get that football can be like that *sometimes *but surely not all the time. In any event I don’t care for this type of football. so I will be playing skyrim in about 10 minutes and pes will be on the back burner. At least for a while.

  24. Abbey – Spiffing shot, reminds me of my PES 2008(PS2). I had hastily edited some of the bald drone teams with numbers for names to get my Bundesliga started. In a game against Wolfsburg I noticed their keeper taking a corner which of course lead to an easy goal for me. He later took a free kick. I looked back into the edit suite and found that Konami had set all the drone teams keepers to take Free Kicks, Corners and penalties! Of course the great sportsman I am I edited the rest so the keepers went back to normal..but not Wolfsburg, easy return game that was 🙂

    Turf – loading times are great as well!

  25. #1 – I’m currently having a similar, but opposite experience. Most of my matches see me creating 10-20 chances, of which I’ll usually score 1 or 2. The AI usually scores 0 or 1. So I win most matches, draw most of the remainder, and lose the odd one. I’m still enjoying the game and having a good time. I can see the end in sight, though. Once you’ve heaved yourself onto the plateau there’s nowhere else to go. The first PES game that felt this way was the revered PES6.

  26. Chris – yes. If I sign a promising youth that I plan to keep and nurture then I always renegotiate straight after promoting them as come August they will be sought after by other clubs.
    Of course you can go into the transfer policy for each player and set it to reject all approaches and then you wont get any bids from any team for players that have this setting.

    That’s how I’ve held on to my world and European player of the year, Embolo, quite unrealistic but so is having Sheffield Weds offer 23m for one of your players.

    Played a friendly on FIFA 17 last night, World Class level, went 1-0 up against Man utd at old Trafford, as Liverpool, lost 3-1 thanks to an Ibrahimovic hat trick.
    2 scrappy goals and 25 yard top corner jobby. Mourinho subbed him in the 80th min to a standing ovation, and was nice to see him run on the pitch at the end, with his training bib on and grab the match ball off the referee.

  27. Paul – Have you noticed that around the 84 minute mark the announcer in the ground mentions the man of the match?

  28. Still enjoying PES 2017 but ML is messing me around so much with its nastiness that I’ve relaxed a couple of house rules enough to sign Delle Alli in the January transfer window.

    I’m also on the lookout for a couple more star quality players in the hope of getting even with the AI when it gets in shitty mode.

    Currently still in the January window of season 4, 12th but through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup which will be Brighton’s odd derby match vs Palace.

  29. #1, werd – got a real challenge on my hands with skyrim as I’ve gone up to adept for my new game and am sticking to my dead means dead play. Nearly died in my first bandit encounter, then there was a sabre cat that surprised me, never have I welcomed Lydia so much, she’s my meat shield till I level up.

  30. Chris99 – haven’t noticed that mate, will keep an ear out, have only played 2 matches on FIFA17, both exhibition games.

  31. Turf – aaahh Lydia. In my first ever play through she was left for dead in a blizzard after a sneak attack by snow trolls.

    Must get back to something as I’m itching to play something other than Mario Maker.

  32. Werd – with regards to your PES 2008 (PS2) I inherited your edited versions of the game, when you kindly sent me the copy of that game with the save sticks. I had more fun discovering stuff on there than I did playing the game. It was like an early prototype for No Man’s Sky and my very own journey into your mind.

  33. Turf – you’re doing that DiD thingy? It seems to heighten the experience in some way, but I never cared to try it. Whenever you do up the ante difficulty wise, companions actually become helpful as you say. Never ever used them on vanilla SKyrim myself. Just completed Skyrim on Requiem myself by the way – what a ride. It is what Skyrim should have been in my view. Squeezed another 200+ hours out of the game for me – that is insane. I must admit I cheated some on the Alduin fight as that has been made well and truly impossible on Requiem if you’re not at least level 70. Well and truly done with it now and have restarted WItcher 3 with expansions. Just an hour in, but had forgotten how good that game truly is. Exceptional quality in every department.

    NG – Usually when I get to that point with PES, the end is almost always one or two seasons away. In sight, as you say. Must say I’m very curious about your PES 5 experiment and hope it starts sooner rather than later. Myself, I’m some ways off that point with this years’ PES. On the one hand I enjoy it for its longevity, on the other it’s getting annoying as the patterns are getting repetitive.

  34. Darryl – I bet you’re yet to recover from that foray into WERD’s mind ?

  35. Uncle Turf – I hear there are PS4 mods available. not sure how many or what they do, but I’d hope there’s a perma-death option among them?

    I need an open-world game to fool around in, my appetite whetted by NMS, which just lacks that extra dimension of alienness to scratch the open world itch. (I mean, there’s no NMS equivalent of Los Santos or the towns and cities of Skyrim, or even the Afghanistan/Africa of MGS5, to fool around in.)

  36. n-G – I’m also looking for an open-worlder to wander through. I still haven’t picked up NMS and not sureI will now. It lacks character customisation for one and true varied locations, as you say. Open to suggestions but it’s hard to ignore the newly suped-up PS4 Skyrim.

  37. Shed – open worlds/virtual worlds that you can walk around in and look at things fascinate me. I’m going to plump for Witcher 3 or GTAV, with leaning strongly to the latter as its setting is so close to our own world, albeit through a violent comic-book mirror darkly. I was watching a video on YouTube last night about the level of detail in the world and I think I could amuse myself just wandering around and doing the odd mission. But then there’s Witcher 3 and its wonderful card game… I don’t know, I have little time right now as it is.

  38. There are ps4 mods, and some of them look great. You have to sign up for a Bethesda i.d, which I haven’t yet, because I’ve never even started the dlc in plain old skyrim legendary edition. Vampires, etc to kill before I get into all that tinkering.

    #1 – yes, DiD, it makes for a much more intense game as you know one false move either at lower levels or against the wrong enemy is fatal. Investing many hours to have to go back to escaping from helgen is a big incentive to get it right. The most annoying one was misjudging a jump and dying on the frozen river outside windhelm. It’s like being back on a spectrum playing atic atac.

    Lydia dying in one of my earliest games is among my top gaming heartbreaks, just after that fantasy one from that final thing you know… I now keep her for early dungeons then seek out an invincible like mjoll. That they can’t always accompany you though means you still need to watch out, and that annoying habit of disappearing cross country. I still despise the thalmor for what they did to lyd – I married her next time out.

  39. Uncle Turf – I meant that there might be a permadeath mod that would save you having to observe dead-is-dead as a House Rule.

    Long ago you asked me if I still play Dwarf Fortress, but I forgot to answer at the time. I’m sorry to say I don’t play DF anymore. The game was just too time-consuming in its then-relatively-simple form. There have been two or three major updates since that time, each one introducing ever-greater complexity that would essentially require re-learning the game from scratch. I’m so proud I played enough of it though to consider myself a Dwarf Fortress player. As did you, as I recall, despite your gaming ADHD. If you ever stumble into the Dwarf Fortress-inspired section of Skyrim, as I did, you’ll recognise it immediately.

  40. Darryl – bear in mind what you have there is there result of a meltdown. I had a full Bundesliga with bits and classic teams. I then got bored and decided to change stuff, and more stuff, until it resembled whats on the mem card.
    My alien self might be in there too… 🙂

    Paul – recovery courses are available in America I here.

  41. NG – do you own GTA V ?
    if not I’ve got spare copy you can use, if interested, happy to post to you.

  42. Hi Paul – I’d be interested to have a wander on it. How much do you want for it?

    That said, I’ll let n-G have first option as he mentioned it above.

  43. Paul/Shed – I do already have GTAV, thank you. I got it on release day on PS3, and then bought it again on PS4 for the 1st Person mode and the graphical upgrade. Typically for me in recent years I’ve probably played it for about 3 hours in total since, and literally spent most of that 3 hours ‘werd-style’, just wandering around looking at things in fascination. The Daily Mail isn’t going to be writing any stories about me examining the moss growing between the cracks in the pavements. If you want me to facilitate the exchange of email addresses let me know.

  44. Shed – wouldn’t charge you mate, I never play it anymore.
    happy to pass it on, if NG is kind enough to facilitate the email exchange.

  45. Paul – That’s really good of you. Made my day. I promise I won’t become corrupted by my virtual killing sprees!

  46. no worries mate.Once I receive your email from NG, i’ll mail you and get your address,then pop it in a jiffy envelope and bung it in the post. you should have it for the weekend.

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