You Cavalcanti always get what you want

I’ve played two long sessions since the last post. They were good sessions. Very good, at times. The quality of the matches was a consistent 7/10 overall, shading into 8/10 occasionally. So not quite hitting the heights of a few seasons ago, when PES2017 seemed so solid and dependable for session after session.

The sweet spot for this ML seemed to be when the squad level was a good bit lower than it currently is.

As my squad quality has crept up, fouls have all but disappeared, and the general pace has become unfortunately hectic most of the time. It’s all very well setting out with good intentions to play ‘proper’ computer game football, slow and steady, but when you’re 1-0 down and chasing the match (or 1-0 up and being chased), the pinball effect soon kicks in.

Mid-season came and went. As stated at the end of the previous post, I did not bring in any new players. I got a £15m offer for J MATHIEU, who in these individuality-lite days has of course failed to show anything other than his name on the teamsheet.

I took the £15m. My 26-man squad is now a 25-man squad. So that’s Mathieu gone from PES2017, never to be seen again. (But stick around. Mathieu will reappear on the blog in another guise later this year.)

I’ve had great results, leading to this:

Wth 12 matches remaining in the season, I think it’s more likely than not that I’ll challenge for the title.

I scored another non-first-touch long-ranger. Palacio was the man taking several touches before lashing the ball in from distance:

I think that’s 40 yards. Definitely at least 35 yards. But more like 40.

As for the placement, it’s from the daisycutter side of the long-ranger family, rather than the postage-stamp-corner side. But see how it sneaks in at the side of the post, after whipping around the blindly jumping defender. You see some amazing things in football games, even our modern-day, all-action, run-and-gun, perfect-first-touch, multiplayer-oriented sprint-em-ups. If they didn’t have this capacity to delight us with visual spectacle, we wouldn’t play them as often as we do.

Palacio does special things occasionally, but goes missing for multiple matches. The above was scored in the final match of my final session before writing this post. I’ll pick Palacio for the next match, but I doubt he’ll do anything.

That’s the pattern of individuality in PES2017, as far as I have seen it. Any player who does something special is effectively neutered for several matches after.

It’s happened to Cavalcanti, my most expensive signing and still my first-choice CF. I received an offer for him – £38m. I was slightly tempted for a moment. He’s not been good for me. Or better to say, I’m not good enough at PES2017 to get the best out of him.

I had my finger poised over the Sell button. But thought ‘I’ll just play this next match and see how Cavalcanti does’ – and he got a hat-trick. That’s what the image at the top of this post is all about.

What a player! I thought. Magnifico! I have found my Star Striker of 2017!

But then in the next 5 matches, Cavalcanti might as well have not been on the pitch. Nothing.

I’ve kept him, though. Even if I got somebody else, I think it’d just be the same.

I said last time that this season (8) and the next (9) could be my last on PES2017. There might be a Season 10. I think I would like a proper go at the Treble before bowing out, and when PES2017 behaves itself it’s a perfectly fine football game.

But do you hear that rumble in the distance? That’s the sound of the greatest football game ever made making its way ever closer to the blog. PES5 is coming, probably in April. I’m eager for it.

Updated: 17th February 2017 — 10:58


  1. Great post – you really capture all that is exciting about (good) PES. Just out of interest, how many penalties have you had over the course of ML? What about injuries? I’ve played 5 seasons and have had 1 penalty and 2 injuries.

  2. Loving the title pun.

  3. Mr Sifter – I’ve had 2 penalties and about 4 training injuries.

  4. It’s great to see a few long rangers NG. In my 8 seasons I didn’t produce any screamers of note. I will attempt to put a video of my saved replays together at some point.

    I’ve not played pes for weeks now and I think I’m finished. I may pick it up for the odd tournament at some point before the next installment.

    I’ve just finished The Last Guardian. Has anyone else played it? IMO, a wonderful game and easily lives up to the standards set by ICO and SotC. I’m off to read some fawning on reddit.

  5. 1 penalty and 2 non-match injuries in 7 seasons


  6. Just had a weird Twitter exchange with Konami’s Asim Tanvir who really didn’t like me criticising PES 2017. The guy couldn’t wait to accuse me of being aggressive and then went all ‘Trump’ with a quite remarkable (and rather arrogant ) theory that I’d created a Twitter account just to troll him! Absolutely bizarre.

    It’s so disappointing that Konami don’t want to hear from those who’ve always invested in their product and fought their corner while others swooned over FIFAs prettier face.

    Anyway, it brightened up my afternoon.

  7. Werd – you didn’t warn me that minecraft has the Tetris syndrome effect! I’ve been playing modestly, certainly compared to skyrim/football manager/GTA sessions of old and yet I’m having the block dreams. I even caught myself looking at a section of the school wall the other day thinking how I could make it smoother and with a nice edge to it. I’ve restarted numerous times due to explosive deaths wiping out my front porch and could be trapped in this life for a while.

  8. Mr Sifter – your grievances would be single-player and the entire focus is the online multiplayers. If the onliners are happy, it’s mission accomplished. It’s interesting watching and listening to myClub YouTubers and learning just how very content they are with few fouls, ‘streamlined’ individuality, no injuries, and pinball-speed gameplay.

  9. Cook – still saving The Last Guardian for a few days off work. I refuse to allow this game to become just another ‘played it for an hour, then a solid week of work got in the way’ game.

  10. Uncle Turf – good god man no! That’s like starting ML again because you’ve lost a match. Getting blown up and picking up the pieces is a great part of the Minecraft experience. My main base was blown to bits several times by me not watching out for creepers, but I always rebuilt – sometimes doing it differently, sometimes using temporary materials until the next day etc. All part of the feeling you develop for your world. So later on when you’re established you look at the dirt wall back area and remember ‘ah, that’s where the creeper surprised me while I was faffing about that time’ etc.

  11. Don’t listen to that Mr Shifter he is fake news. That is funny.

    I started a new career on Fifa 17 last Sunday as I was inspired by the ‘Red or Dead’ book and wanted to revive one of the big clubs with a passionate fan base. So I chose Newcastle and am currently top after 28 games. Played quite a bit thanks to having a week off. The good start is just a taster of things to come as I have been putting the building blocks in place and have a good youth set up with a 16 player youth squad with the intention of the youth squad mirroring the type of players in my first team and reserves. My footballing philosophy for this one is to the team playing like how I used to like Newcastle of old teams playing with pace, power and passion.

  12. Darryl – sounds like you are getting set for another story there. Why not go for a Premier title on Legendary with Newcastle, to add to your Superstar title on PES. That’d be a memorable football game Double (I’ve never done it, not aware that many have). You’ve got just over 6 months to try before the 2018 games appear, and you could even just ignore them and extend the challenge to do the PES-FIFA Double on the 2017 games before the end of 2017.

  13. NG – that is the plan as I want to follow suit with the change up to difficultly with my PES experience this year. So the next challenge will be to go up to World Class, should I get promoted this season.

  14. Ah, NG, it was ok, I didn’t like the world anyway and it was the equivalent of the England Scotland match – road testing a new game and seeing what emerged. I’m now firmly settled in a mixed bag of a place, starting point an ice type environment with me recently adding some halfway houses and a new home in a more wildlife friendly zone. Got myself a pet wolf too. I do find it a really creepy game at times thoug, think it’s the blocky graphics, they make the wicker man style burnings in the morning quite sinister.

  15. Darryl – looks to be shaping up nicely, your FIFA adventure.

    NG – your last sentence…when it behaves nicely, it’s a perfectly fine football game. Isn’t that the truth and saddening at the same time, as that’s what we have to take PES-wise these days. As far as the “professional” critics go, PES is once again an automatic 9/10 or atleast it has been the past few years – but for all the wrong reasons. “Streamlined” gameplay indeed.

  16. I haven’t posted much recently, as I haven’t been able to bear more than two games of PES 2017 per session, and haven’t much wanted to talk about it afterwards. I suspect that my season with Liverpool, following a treble with Arsenal the year before, was affected by some form of bug. Every conceivable 2017 sin – but especially absent referees, constant charging opponents, and red card challenges waved away without a backward glance – seemed to pop up in all of my matches.

    I actually had a 5-0 win where, at the end of the game, I thought to myself: that was *really fucking unpleasant*, and I absolutely don’t want to play this anymore. And it really was that bad. The AI clicked into that weird mode where its slide tackles were consistently aimed at the player, not the ball. After a 1-0 for the first 75 minutes or so, I scored four more on the counter when it pushed everyone forwards. There was no joy in this. I didn’t load the game for three days afterwards.

    As I’ve been playing videogames for a long time, and had a pretty good idea that the PES match difficulty modifiers had been accidentally set to murder-mode, I decided to cut my losses and sim the rest of the season. I’m so glad that I did! I’ve gone back to my original Wolves model of (mostly) signing low-rep, lesser-known English players for my new Newcastle United side. And, occasional frustrations aside, it’s suddenly a different game: the PES 2017 that I actively enjoy.

    I’ve no idea how long this state of affairs will last.

    If there’s one piece of advice that I’d impart to the PES team, it would be to categorically avoid scenarios where its AI becomes a spiteful fucking cunt for dozens of games at a time. Can anyone think of a way to phrase that towards a PES developer without saying “YOU SPITEFUL FUCKING CUNT”? Because I’m all out of ideas over here.

  17. James – it feels like we are building a consensus here that PES2017 is at its best with a mediocre squad. Charming, interesting gameplay, plenty of player individuality and quirks, a bit of variety among opposition teams. It is when one signs a load of superstars that the gameplay degenerates into a churning mess with no individuality and the AI focused, as you point out, on running/sliding straight at your guys. In classic era PES when you signed the great players it transformed the way your team could play football but now the opposite is the case

    not-Greg – in contrast my J.Mathieu is proving a massive success at LB, was probably the key player in winning the title last season and his stats are rocketing, now 86 OVR. He certainly oozes individuality for me, but I guess in this case his individuality is defined by what he offers that E.Canning didn’t at LB

  18. Uncle Turf — for me the signature early-doors Minecraft experience was starting to dig to look for coal, then just keeping going and going, and before you know it I’ve hollowed out an entire Goonies-style underground cavern system, which I’d seal off, fill with torches to keep the boogeymen away, and furnish with all mod cons — which back then weren’t much, but I hear there’s all sorts now. I had about four or five such vast complexes dotted around and connected by underground tunnels that used to take me hours to burrow out. Some of the most absorbing gaming I’ve ever had, ever. But no, it’s ‘just Lego’ of course, as Paul would say, hardly original….

  19. James/abbeyhill — where do we typically find two teams of superstars pitted against one another, match in, match out? Where do we find that continuous flow, no fouls, high-tempo gameplay is valued the most? The case no longer needs to be made that PES simply isn’t made for the single-player anymore.

  20. not-Greg – erm, is it the NBA?

  21. abbyehill – no. It’s PES online multiplayer, is what. We’re gonna build a wall, and online multiplayer’s gonna pay for it.

  22. NG, I WAS going base this comment around fouls. The last game I played before leaving for work earlier, in my Milan career, was a 2-0 LOSS to Cagliari. A very aggressive Cagliari I might add, 5 fouls and 2 yellow cards before half time. It was a game I played poorly in and barely threatened.

    Now in my ML world, Inter are the current Italian chiefs. 7 points clear, only 1 loss all season (I’d only lost 2 before this defeat) and I’ve just loaded up for a late night session and checked the table. Still 7 points clear. Inter…….lost!!??

    I checked the results.

    Oh yes indeed Inter lost.


    To CHIEVO. Second bottom of the league, certs to be relegated Chievo. Oh and who’s that just above them? Yes, my sardinian conquerors.

    Absolutely konami fuckery!

  23. Mike – there’s no need to prove ML league table scripting. It’s a settled fact, and something we’d both make sure was in the game if we were designing ML too. Interestingly this year has seen quite a few instances where it hasn’t worked, but most often it still does.

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