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.