You trade your passion for glory

The season is a write-off in League terms. I’ve had another two 1-0 defeats at the hands of Everton and newly-promoted Norwich. These and other bad results have put paid to any remote chance of storming up into the European places.

I’m 7th from bottom. At least I’m a good 10 points clear of the relegation zone, so there are no real worries in that direction. Yet.

January came, and with it came the appetite for radical change in this ML.

Lobato was sold for £35m. Cassano was sold for £11m. He scored one of my favourite goals of this PES. But there was no longer any ignoring the fact that in about 4 seasons that was all he’d ever done.

I have two main hobbyhorses when it comes to PES2017.

One is the lack of fouls and free kicks in nearly every match. It’s a rare match, and I mean a rare match (1 in 15 or thereabouts), when there are more than 3 fouls shared between me and the AI.

The other hobbyhorse is a perceived lack of player individuality. It’s arguable that the passage of time has given me an imagination bypass, but I no longer see anything like a traditional PES-style individual player in the likes of Cassano & co. (far too many to name individually). They’re all just identikit, swappable clones of each other.

I brought in quite a few new players. There’s still two weeks of the January window left at the time of writing, and I have other players in mind. A world-class CB would be nice. So I’ll save the official Squad screenshot until Tuesday’s post.

I will reveal a few of the players now, though.

Ibrahimovic (or ‘Ibra’ as I will never call him) appeared in my Youths. I snapped him up straightaway.

Ibrahimovic appears in everybody’s ML Youth squad eventually, as far as I can tell. I believe this Says Something about the State of Pro Evolution Soccer.

It says that the focus is on star players and on fun. You know, fun. That thing that PES has always been famous for. Remember? Come on, surely you do. FUN! FUN! FUN!

We always used to say that. I don’t know about anybody else, but I was always going around in 2002 saying that PES was FUN, that I was having so much FUN, that every time I booted up the game it was all about having FUN.

ISS and PES have always been about fun. Just as we have always been at war with Eurasia.

PES was better when the only time ‘fun’ was ever mentioned was when we were disparaging FIFA.

Back then, you could get a player like Jeremy Mathieu (not a star name by any stretch of the imagination, despite a great career at some great clubs), and turn him into a superstar through playing with him match in, match out, season in, season out, until something rather special occurred.

That was PES5 and this is now. I’ve acquired Mathieu is many a football game since PES5, but it’s never quite been the same.

Stats are different, positions are different, and skills are different. In PES5, Mathieu played at DMF and had the celebrated Middle Shooting skill, which made all the difference.

But let’s see what he’s like in PES2017.

I got him this time, despite him ‘only’ being a LB/CB/SMF. No DMF capability.

Yes, the game tells us that playing a player in an unfamiliar position will gradually get them used to it and turn them into it, but despite lots of experimentation I’ve not seen this ever work out in practice. In Seasons 1 and 2 I played the Default WF, Matthiessen, at AMF for dozens of matches without him ever ‘learning’ AMF. Much like injuries and AI team transfers, I think this aspect of this ML simply doesn’t work.

I’ve had my first taste of players refusing to sign new contracts. About 6 players all tried to rebel. I can only assume that my team’s newfound lowly status at the foot of the division has triggered this behaviour. Eventually I wrestled all of them back into line, save one: Darren Fletcher, we barely knew you.

One last surprising development. With there being nothing to play for in the league (apart from making sure I’m not dragged into the relegation mire), I’ve been playing with camera settings. We’re all prone to fiddling with the camera on occasion.

I alighted upon the Vertical camera, and gave it a shot again.

I last played regularly with a Vertical camera in a football game in ISS98. I have fond memories of dropping aerial through-balls behind the defence for ‘Michael Owenn’ to run onto.

I’ve not liked any Vertical camera since. But I played a couple of matches with it here, and really enjoyed them. The altered view alters the gameplay quite radically. You’re able to see all the intricacies of movement up front, and look to hit runners, etc. I don’t think it’ll lure me away from a traditional horizontal view, but it’s nice to have a change occasionally.

Updated: 27th January 2017 — 10:39


  1. NG – great link with the title and the theme of your post. You can’t blame them but the developers have sold the sole of the ML. I have played quite a bit of vertical cam on PES since 2014 and it is really good, especially the through balls and timing of the pass to the runner is much better on this camera. Defending is trickier but worth it for anyone who has time to invest in it.

    As for Fifa plan I am on Pro but plan to move up difficulty on promotion so that I will be on World Class if I get to the Championship and Legendary for the Prem.

  2. I read someone converted Aubameyang’s position after playing him out of position for an entire season!

  3. Vertical sound nice to give a try sometime. Your league ranking though NG.. Ouch! Doing a leicester indeed. Im in the semis of the europa league now.. Never had that happen, lets see. On a slightly strange note Huntelaar has earned the nickname “goal King”. Erm… Ok i guess?

  4. Vertical really brings out the ‘spotting clever runs and sending a pass’ angle to PES2017. Goals feel different too, and players feel a little different. I might carry the experiment on for the remainder of what will be a fairly meaningless half-season now, Europa League efforts aside.

    On the topic of star names, or even slightly-well-known names, and how they have come to be not just important in PES but the most important things there are (witness the covers, the PR, etc.), it struck me today that I would love the option for a completely fictional ML world, or at least one where all the players are made-up. No star names, no known names at all, just Ruskins and Coynboroughs all the way, forever.

  5. If you play PES on a PC there is indeed a way to play a fictional ML with all made up names.
    There’s a mod tool floating about that allows you to mass/batch edit names, even generate random names from any country locale, and apply them direct into the game.

  6. On the topic of fictional ML. I have started an Aussie league using the PAS Teams + players. Made up strips, stadia and players. Refreshing to say the least. 18 teams and a 2 legged cup. Game Time being a once or twice a week occurrence its a nice little Footy league.

  7. NG – id love that as well. Players would have to be fleshed out with proper individuality… Of course. Otherwise it would be the same as playing maarsfort and mythloxanthi and i dont know what else.

  8. NG – It takes up to a season and a half of pretty much constant play in an “unfamiliar” position for a player to master a new role – far longer than the game suggests in the related loading screen tip. I’ve engineered this for three players so far. The last one, Tevez, picked up the AMF role (and a five-point boost to his OPR for that position, only three below his maximum rating) after approximately forty matches.

  9. On the topic of Ruskins…..

    James – followed your tips, and having just finished season 7 (Super Cup, Champions League, Premier League and Community Shield won) I’ve been pumping regens, and a few low 80s players I don’t want or need, into Southampton. Off the top of my head I’ve given them 6/7 regens including Diego Costa, Astori and Vardy. I’ve figured I can probably strengthen 4 teams a window.

    On the topic of AI teams not playing a LM at LWF for example, I noticed Dortmund played two different formations against me in leg 1 and 2 of the CL semi.

  10. NotGreg – maybe we could all work together to make a fictitious OF? Or is that over ambitious?

    We’ve definitely got a good bunch of people and I know someone else who might be interested. For example Paul could make kits, James could specialise in stats, yourself in advising on what will make players individual?

    We could always just make a ficticious PESChronicles league of 20 teams to start? Could all make a team or two each and have like a points allocation system (if there’s 20 different abilities rated out of 99 you’ve got 1200 points to distribute) and could do the same with cards.

  11. Jay – I’ve noticed instances where teams will have sudden temporary formation changes as well, but I haven’t figured out why these occur. They’re still pretty rare, though.

    I’m also starting to notice that new signings can cause weird player reshuffles that don’t entirely benefit the team in question. I’ve taken a special interest in Cardiff due to their three world-class regen signings (94-rated Ruben Castro, 85-rated Dani Alves, and 84-rated Lambert). As their AMF was an awful no-name 66-rated hump, I gave them a 16-year-old Mata. This inexplicably caused the manager to drop Lambert to the reserves, move Castro up top (replacing him on the wing with a 70-rated RMF), with Mata now ever-present in the hole. Castro played a 90 as an RMF. If there’s any logic to this, it’s utterly beyond my comprehension.

  12. I knew there’d be a PC mod, and of course there is always the Werd-style human mod method. I was signing Mathieu and ‘Ibra’ (spit) at the same time and it struck me that the game really does overtly push us towards favouring big names and big stars nowadays. Just more evidence of the direction the game has gone in.

  13. James – Cardiff have just been promoted to the Prem on mine for season 8. I’ll take special interest in them. Ruben Castro is a highly-rated regen on mine, too. At Meauchawicz or whatever though, faced them in the CL along with Castledine.

    I really am enjoying this year’s PES though, so I’m willing to try anything to give it longevity and make it harder/more enjoyable.

  14. Sorry for multiple posts this evening but reading someone else’s Master League story I’ve come across an idea some here may like. This guy renames Regens (Robinho to Ribiero) as a measure to ease the frustration of regens some may feel. Taking it one step further you could only sign regens you don’t know who have “proper faces” (if you care about that) and give them a new names

  15. Jay – it’s a great idea but the mechanics of sharing OF works-in-progress (if it’s possible at all, the sheer fiddliness of it is likely to make me weep), then coordinating and debating this that and the other, is more of a headache than I want or need at the moment unfortunately. I was just musing aloud about the notion, rather than declaring a new course for my PES experience. I’m still really enjoying PES2017 too (Vertical Camera has… changed things, for the better) and my ML as it is constituted will run and run for a good while yet, I think. When it’s over I’m not going to want to jump into some immense PES project – I’ll be chillin’ with muh PES5, as you youngsters would say. Definitely an idea for a rainy day though. I’m toying with the notion of going full-on PC gamer at some point this year.

  16. Somehow i Just became eredivisie champions (season 6). It kinda snuck up on me but feels good. By the way, i did get a nice, shiny trophy during the celebration sequence – must be because the eredivisie is licensed. Also im in the domestic cup final and Europa league final. Boom! As some would say.

  17. Just started a new career on Fifa 17. This was not by choice as I committed a schoolboy error whilst moving the PlayStation and unplugged it, thinking it was switched off. Next news I got a “Serious” warning notice. Hardly serious in the grand scheme of life, but that is for another place and time. The result is everything has been wiped off the PS4 as I had no choice but to reboot the system. In the past this would have turned the air blue and me being grumpy. Far from it as it is liberating to now have a blank profile with no notifications, no friends, no updates and no avatar. Fantastic and is liberation of the soul.

  18. I left the house without my wallet and phone today. Luckily I had my car keys and £20 note. I felt strange.

  19. #1 – congratulations from a fellow Season 6 champion. Now see if your Season 7 is like mine has been and the game stiffs you.

    Darryl – I do that at least once a month on average, usually simply forgetting when I’ve left the PS4 on standby, or putting it into standby when I mean to power it down, and then switching the power off at the wall. I get the scary message from the console every time, but it has never wiped all my data. I think you’ll find all your data is still there? (Let us know as if your data was wiped, it’ll be the first case I’ve heard of of its kind.) Even if it’s gone, whenever you sign back into PSN all your friends and your avatar will still be there waiting for you.

  20. Does anyone know if saves are transferable? Could I play NGs save on my PS4 for example, if it was saved to a USB?

    I ask because I was tempted to sim a ML 50 (I know FIFA is limited, or was, at 30) years into the future partly out of curiousity an maybe to play on from.

  21. Jay – good question, but it isn’t possible as our savefiles are locked to our individual PS4 user profiles. One more reason why PC gaming beats consoles. I might have the time and space (and the relative dimensions) to embark on a new PC-centric football gaming odyssey in this coming year.

    And I’m 90% sure FIFA’s CM is limited to 15 seasons. That’s definitely what it was in the PS3 days. Good old ML has no upper limit as far as I know. I played 40-odd seasons back on PES5. 40-odd! (Compulsory mention there.)

  22. Fifa is limited to 15 seasons still.

    NG – Cheers for that as it will be me being naive to the workings of the modern. The console forced me into re-booting, so just presumed it was all gone. I will leave things as they are as I like the none identity.

  23. Yes, now you say it I’ve remembered it was Football Manager on the PSP limited to 30 seasons

  24. Darryl — you have to sign into the console to use it. There is no escape. You could always set up a new account of course.

  25. Jay – My ML is always homebrew kits and most players whether classics, old faves or made up. Another why Fifa never floated my boat was its anchored in too much realism for me.
    My Aussie league is great, loads of fouls, Com players being red carded and tough to boot. I love not knowing who is going to be top of the league as most of the star ratings are similar. The team names are based on the old 70’s league and kits match the PAS league badges.

  26. NG – I have set up a new profile with everything blank, just the way I like it.

  27. I was toying with the Idea of creating a ‘English Counties Pub League Championship’ structure in PES.
    Editing all team names to pub names such as the dog & duck, red lion, the maltsters, the cauffield arms etc, and renaming players to the traditional pub going English names of John Rogers, Dave Pitt, Mark Stone et al, and lowering all player stats to a range of between 45 – 65 across the board.

    This is something I feel would have a massive novelty appeal and be quite good fun to play, but the reality is that by the time I’d got done editing all team names, and player names and stats, kits etc, it would be time for PES 18 and no one would care.

    Nice idea though.

  28. Paul – I think we all have dreams of custom MLs we would play if only there was the time to set them up. Only Werd implements his plans, but with the outcome that he actually plays the game a low % of the time he expends on it. I couldn’t have that and so ploughing on with out-of-the-box MLs, or ones slightly tweaked with Option Files, is a good enough tradeoff. If I do make my shock transfer to PC gaming this year I’m looking forward to its modding options.

  29. Love that idea Paul. The club badges would be pub signs.

  30. PES2017: Pub League Edition would be a game I’d play. No player development, and maybe just one (free) transfer allowed per season to keep things real. I’ve got various editions of PES on PC. Is there anything like this around for them?

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