I got a goddamn penalty in a football game

Yes, I did. And the fact that it’s worth making the title of a blog post tells us something. Getting a goddamn penalty should be a routine, unremarkable element of a football game. But not in PES2017. It’s always an earth-shaking surprise – and that’s wrong.

I wonder if there are Call of Duty blogs that make a fuss about getting a headshot? Or driving games that feel the need to note every instance of a crash? I doubt that there are, because those things are intrinsic, regular features of those game genres that require no special mention.

But in the year 2017, our beloved Pro Evolution Soccer doesn’t do fouls, on the whole, and it also doesn’t do penalties, as a rule.

It was my 3rd goddamn penalty of this Master League campaign. I’m almost 8 full seasons in. 3 goddamn penalties is actually quite a lot. I’m privileged.

It came in the first leg of my Round of 32 Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

It was a barnstormer of a game that makes you wonder why they can’t be the norm. There were lots of fouls (well, 5 or 6, which is lots by PES2017 standards). There were yellow and red cards – and there was a goddamn penalty.

I savoured the moment. It’s my 3rd goddamn penalty of this ML. Let’s say I’ve played an average of 40 matches per season, for convenience sake. I’ve played about 7.75 seasons now. So that’s about 310 matches. I’ve had 3 goddamn penalties in 310 matches. That’s 1 every 103-or-so matches. Or 1 every 2.5 seasons. And I’ve got 3 more goddamn penalties than many have.

I believe I know why there are no goddamn penalties in PES2017. As I’ve mentioned once or twice, the game is now made entirely for online multiplayer, and coded accordingly. Think to yourself for a moment of how online multiplayers like to play. Now imagine that there were proper goddamn penalties in PES2017. And just imagine how many goddamn penalties there would be in a typical online match.

That’s right — every match would feature multiple goddamn penalties. They’d be nearly as frequent as throw-ins. Some matches would have 5 or 10 goddamn penalties. You’d get forum and Twitter chatter of ‘hurrdurr Pro Evo SO realistic with 20 [goddamn] penalties per match’ etc.

That’s the kind of thing they discover in early testing. Their solution? We’re living with their solution. No goddamn penalties. Hard-code the game to make it very unlikely, bordering on impossible, to concede a goddamn penalty.

And that’s the same solution we have to put up with in single-player.

I’ve run out of words to express how contemptible it is..

League update: I’m still in the top 4, still chasing the leaders. I’m a couple of wins away from the top. It’s February in my Season 8, as well as in this so-called real life.

Updated: 21st February 2017 — 10:45


  1. You’ve had triple the amount of penalties I have, You’re rolling in them.

    There is absolutely no point trying to justify, defend, or even slate PES anymore …. Konami seem to think its ok to leave out total core basics of the sport, and nothing will change.
    It’s a shitfest. a 6/10 at best.

  2. NG I’ve had 2 goddamn penalties in almost 4 full seasons. Scored one (daintily tapped it down the middle) and ballooned the second one wide. The sensitivity is goddamn ridiculous. Before either of them I had a goddamn penalty shoot out in a cup game, which I lost. I actually managed to save 2 or 3 but once the cpu cottoned on to me trickling my efforts down the middle I was doomed.

  3. Paul — the game is so good when fouling is respected, penalties possible etc, that the time has surely come when we players (note I don’t say single-players, just players) have got to stop supporting the release of a game with the sport’s essentials stripped out to accommodate online players’ habits and expectations. It’s time to start a full-blown PES separatist movement. One game for them in which they can sprint and slide and button-mash to their hearts’ content. Another game (a better game, based on hallowed pre-PES6 principles) for us, the players.

  4. Mike — goddamn penalty-taking tip: hold R1 to see a guiding reticule that will give you some indication of the direction and help to compensate for the intentional sensitivity. After a while, of course, you’re supposed to do without the reticule, but I get so few goddamn penalties in this game that I still use it. The other factors to take into account are the power and (in theory) the player’s relevant stats.

    I deplore the down-the-middle tradition that’s developed in football game penalty-taking, a holdover from the PES2011 system, which required reading the manual for 1 minute or watching a YouTube tutorial, neither of which anybody was prepared to countenance doing.

    This penalty system has been live since PES2014 and is the best we’ve ever had in a football game IMO. The perfect mixture of skill, judgement, and fortune. What a shame the only real chance we get to use it in ML is in cup shootouts.

  5. Paul – I agree. Just now I made the mistake of starting the game up – surely It couldn’t have been THAT bad? – after having abandoned it. The answer – it IS that bad, once you get to a certain point. I honestly can’t remember when I last had a foul-laden match at a measured pace. This last match just now was the ultimate shitfest and saw two instances of hyperscripting which I’ve never seen in any PES before: my KEEPER was hacked down with the ball nowhere in sight – NOTHING happened! Nothing. The second instance was me getting a free shot on goal with Totti – which often means a goal. But no – MY winger Jesus Navas morphed in front of the ball to deflect it – goal kick. It was so utterly insane that I switched off again after the solitary match.

  6. NG – playing a modern day football game is like going to the zoo nowadays, where you find yourself reading the placards in front of your about the animal you have been observing. You are told that if its numbers carry on dropping at the current rate, it will soon be extinct by the year 2030. Look at all the elements of football that we have seen disappear from our screens:

    – Penalties
    – Free kicks
    – Fouls
    – Player individuality
    – Injuries
    – Long range goals
    – One on one’s

    Did anyone watch the Sutton v Arsepal game last night. In the second half of the game, you saw a shot of Sutton Utd’s very large reserve goalkeeper taking a bite out of a pie. This he did when the last sub came on and he was not required. This moment offered the viewers a taste of the romance of the cup. However it has now been revieled that it was in fact staged:-


    This is where football gaming mirrors it’s real life counterpart. As football was pulled out from it’s routes, it lost the romance and drama that natrually came with it. But TV needs these components to market the game and so they are artificially created. If Sutton had have beat Arsenal we would have had to have turned a blind eye to the fact that most of the Arsenal team where youngsters and could end up in teams like Sutton in the future, if they don’t make the grade. The gulf is not as wide as they would like you to believe. Football gaming is the same as all the elements that created the stories in our living rooms have been slowly taken out of the games. This is why modes like ‘The Journey’ have to be invented. Like NG recently said, we all used to have our own ‘Journeys’ and we didn’t need to turn to Alex Walker for our fix.

    I truly believe it is all our duty to rally round NG’s call to arms and bombard the blogs, forums and twitter accounts with our message. The preservation of the offline game we all so love is at stake. Otherwise we could we be talking about its extinction. I doubt we would have to wait till the year 2030 to see it happen.

  7. NG – one thing I unswervingly agree with you on is lack of player individuality, though I haven’t really remembered any stand out “individuals” from previous PESes because they were “unique” or had “individuality.” Adriano stands out cos he had a ridiculous shot, Odonkor stood out because he was rapid and ugly and Beckham stood out because I idolised him regardless. I agree individuality should be in a good football game but I can’t tell if it has decreased or was never as good as made out.

    Either way, I wish to be the bearer of good news – PES have Fellaini down to a tee. I’d say he possesses “individuality.” I haven’t played with him – yet* but playing against him it’s clear to see he stands out as an individual. Using James’ regen distribution method a regen Fellaini is running the show at Blackburn behind Aguero and G.Denis. Fellaini stands out with his nuisance, his presence and he does genuinely seem “different.”

    *my only remaining goal with PES United is too see them at #1 in the club world rankings. We are currently 3rd. Once that’s done I’ll move to S.America and win a treble there and then Asia and win a treble there. (Trophies YAY). If I still have any zest left for the game I’m going to a European club – I like the look of RB Leipzig – and only sign players with long or big hair. Stupid I know.

  8. I should really wait till after Christmas before buying the new pes, or not, as by then we’ve been through every cycle – it feels like the irritation outweighs the love at the moment for most of you. What happened with the no mans sky players, did that hit similar skids as it did for me? I’ve got a feeling minecraft will go from huge smiles to same old repetitive boredom in rapid order, it is so like my early nms experience as a gamer. All I can do is enjoy it while it lasts.

  9. #1 – I was close to walking away from PES 2017 after a miserable last season where my Liverpool side seemed to face the worst AI dirty tricks and chicanery in every match. In a last-ditch attempt to salvage something, I applied for another job and simmed to the end of the season. I also made some tactical tweaks. I’m now having some of the best games I’ve had in weeks, possibly months.

    I had a match last night that showcased the best and worst of PES 2017. I went 1-0 up against Spurs in the opening minutes… and was then 3-1 down within thirty. I can’t remember the last time I conceded three. Each goal arrived in scenarios where I was powerless to intervene – the most memorable one being when my keeper automatically tore from his line in an utterly futile attempt to reach a high ball just outside the box, and Harry Kane nodded the ball over him into an empty net.

    It was a heavy rain game, so the AI was pretty brutal in its use of slide tackles – there’s definitely a correlation there. That said, the referee at least acknowledged most of them, and handed out four yellow cards. (How Dier stayed on the pitch is a mystery, though.)

    The *really* weird thing about this Spurs match was the quality of the possession football that they played for the first 60-70 minutes. They employed a system that must have had the team width setting on maximum, plus the “Hug the Touchline” setting, with the attacking area set to the centre of the pitch. This configuration gave them an unbelievable amount of space in the middle, and they passed the ball around brilliantly. I was chasing shadows. Though the goals were frustrating, I had no issue with their build-up play. I’ve had a suspicion for a while that the PES 2017 AI is capable of better move construction, but is held back by narrow, defensive-minded tactics. This absolutely confirmed it for me.

    In matches where the AI has an unusually strong performance in the first half, I’ve noticed that there’s often a secondary script that kicks in midway through the second half where they start making mistakes. And I mean *bad* mistakes – routine passes directly to your players, weak clearances, passing themselves into cul-de-sacs where you can hunt them down.

    I knew what I had to do. I kept things steady until 65 minutes in, brought fresh legs on up front, then switched to all-out attack within an aggressive pressing style. And, sure enough, the AI collapsed. With the score 4-3 with 85 minutes played, I could easily have added another couple.

    If I didn’t understand how PES (and videogames in general) function, I would be describing this as a personal triumph. But I can’t, because I’m always aware of the hand behind the curtain. What started as an awful match (blatant goal scripting) evolved into an interesting fixture (unusually excellent AI passing, lots of punished AI fouls), and then became a satisfying comeback story (staying sufficiently calm to capitalise on a scripted AI loss of concentration/collapse).

  10. Is it me or has the wave of apathy over PES 2017 suddenly grown to tsunami proportions in recent weeks? I’m not judging, especially as I’ll readily add my own deluge of doom and gloom into the pool.

    That said, | still think PES 2017 is a solid 8/10 PES. Not an 8/10 game but an 8/10 PES. The difference being that I’m judging the game compared to recent PES…es. We’re going over old ground here but ML has been stale and lacking in features for years now. Gameplay – minus the fouls – is way better this year but the illusion of an improved ML doesn’t linger long due to the ridiculous youth team section and the ease of buying and selling players in general.

    The issues we all seem to be facing with this year’s game is down to the fact ML is clealry not designed to be played over multiple seasons any more. We should all be playing on line but I don’t have to tell any of you why that’s not an option. I do play online though. Shocking I know but I don’t play PES online. I’ve gone to the deepest, darkest hive of scum and villainy for online: a first person shooter. Star Wars Battlefront is my game of choice of spawn-shoot-die repeat over and over at the hands of the great cheating unwashed/unfair.

    Anyway, back to PES. The failings of this and the last PES don’t get to me too much as I have less time to play and less inclination to play to be honest. I wonder how much that is due to not feeling that spark to want play caused by one or a few of our little family regaling us with tales of their ongoing campaign. I’m no sheep but I have to admit | do get inspired to try certain games/books/TV shows/crisps by the likeminded Chronicles folk from time-to-time.

    I’ll continue to play PES 2017 when I fancy the odd game (and I do mean odd), mainly to round up the one story I feel connected to in the game – that of my CF Eerie Rescaldani. He’s been with me from the start and will retire (aged just 30!) at the end of this season five of my ML. A league title (I’m ten points clear of second) would be a nice way to see him off and maybe even sign off from PES 2017 and – dare I say it – modern PES entirely?

    The question is, with the wave of apathy likely to crash down a few months at best into every new PES, what are we all going to be playing to preserve that cosy blog family feeling?

  11. sounds like I’m alone in looking forward to my PES2017 session tonight then!

    lost my unbeaten record with a bad 0-1 v Caen last night, a shame as I was idly contemplating an undefeated season after 8 straight wins to commence the campaign. Which PES did you have your Unbeatables not-Greg, I have a feeling it was 2012? Still 3 points clear at the top and a good chance of progressing from champions league group. Ibrahimovic usually comes on for Jarvis as a second half sub and looks quite promising, he has a venomous way of striking the ball, but the other youths Mascherano and Figo making little impression so far. Melikov extends his contract again, he may outlast that Sutton reserve keeper.

    That campaign idea sounds a bit pointless Darryl, it would be commercial madness to devote resources into a peschronicles approved offline footy game! In fact given the big changes to Konami’s corporate culture over the last few years I’m surprised they have even kept the ML mode in

    That penalty looked a little soft, the defender won the ball cleanly….

  12. abbeyhill – not at all, I’m still playing with more grit and gusto than not. This PES has another season or two in it yet.

    I really, really hate the no-fouls, poor individuality aspects of this PES, though. They’re always at the back of my mind. All it takes is a bad session or two to bring them to the front of my mind.

    Can’t recall my Invincibles season, but I remember not being as thrilled about it as others were. Maybe that’s the secret of having an Invincibles season. Nowadays, 10 games unbeaten and I get ‘Ken Doherty’s 147 miss’ quivers.

    Shed – I too think PES2017 is a solid 8/10 game all round, not just as a PES game. Barring something extraordinary pushing it up to 9 or down to 7, 8/10 will be August’s end-of-year score.

    I already know my summer footy title. The greatest football game ever made. Actua Soccer 2.

    I’m also playing Civilization II again in Wine on my Mac while I wait for Civ VI to get an AI patch.

    James – I always have those kinds of top-quality matches against the German sides in Europe in my ML world, for some reason. All the stranger given that the German sides are homebrew efforts.

    When I get my PC gaming setup set up this year, it’ll be for PES5, but I’ll be dabbling in the dark arts of PES modding on the side.

    Uncle Turf – 80 hours was the Minecraft exhaustion point for me, and really I only stopped then as my ability to spend 4-5 hours a day on it came to an end with a change of work shifts.

    No Man’s Sky is an occasional visit. The update improved it massively, but with so much else on, life and work and gaming, it’s been squeezed out for me. Keeping an eye out for the next update though.

    Darryl – the tragedy of football gaming is nothing less than the dilution of a potent brew in the name of mass market appeal. I watched nearly all of the Sutton match last night. I couldn’t believe what a sterile affair it was. Nice to see Coventry’s finest, Sian Massey, back on the scene though. I work with a girl who had Sian Massey for a PE teacher. A desperate claim to fame from me. Desperate claims to fame don’t get more desperate.

    #1 – I’d leave Nervous Breakdown 2017 well alone now if I were you….

  13. James – that is precisely what I’ve come to despise about pes. Before, and by that I mean ps3 era and before, the hand behind the curtain was mostly subtle. Just enough to know you’re playing a video game, but subtle in a way that made results seem believable and influenced by you the player. In nuPES this goes to Shit rapidly. Now I haven’t played 2014 and 2015 much at all but 2016 and 2017 declined into questionable territory quality-wise pretty quickly for me. It’s the sense of predetermined outcomes ( as you say you knew exactly what was coming in the match you described) which strips away any and all individuality and tactical nuances that were left in the first place. Combine this with no fouls and the other issues as mentioned by all of us and the game can get so hideously ugly fast. There’s brilliance there too, but its mostly on the lower levels team strength wise and difficulty wise.

  14. #1 – you might actually like the fully patched PES2014. I wouldn’t run out and get a PS3 for it, but it’s worth a shout on PC. Lots of fouls and bags of individuality. Penalties. A few shocking glitches (Regens regen at 16 with their retirement-age stats intact). But if I wasn’t heading PES5’s way this summer, I think I’d be resuming unfinished business with PES2014.

  15. NG – if you watched the Sutton game it would not have been lost on you that twice the commentary team made reference to there being a different rule book if it had been a Premiership game.

    Abbeyill – I know, I know. It is very clear where us offline gamer’s fit in their priorities.

  16. Darryl – the football rulebook is a constantly mutating thing depending on so many factors. I would like to see American Football-style 100% across-the-board application of all laws, in particular the law against holding any player. A hand on a shoulder is a foul and a free kick. There’s no reason for it to be there. Protest of any kind, no matter how mild: yellow card. Matches abandoned due to too many players being sent off: 10 point deduction and a million-pound fine. This kind of rule-enforcement regime would give us a chance of making exceptional, high-scoring matches (like tonight’s anomalous Champions League games) the norm. It’d take a Rugby League-style breakaway version of Association Football to achieve it though.

  17. Let’s be fair to konami, they don’t have the resources of EA, being a small independent games company….(runs out of the door before they turn round glaring)

    Message for Darryl – I was in Preston today and decided to go for a walk before my meeting. I was wearing a pair of adidas sneakers and the weather was thin rain, prolonged but not what you’d call a downpour. Almost impossible to gain any traction on your city’s flagstones, I nearly went full length outside Savers and ended up walking on the roads. Who the bloody hell in the council decided to turn the town centre into a skid pan?

  18. Jay – one of my most intense MLs ever was on PES4 when I played two main campaigns that year. First a ‘vanilla’ one as usual, but then one where I could only sign players from the former Warsaw Pact nations. A very werd-like thing to do, I think now, and it didn’t last longer than a season, but it made for some interesting decisions. Big hair is as good a criterion as any.

    I also sometimes have dark doubts about whether individuality in the old days was as good as I remember it being – but then I have an hour of PES5, and remember that it really was. The coming summer will comprise a full investigation of this question though.

  19. Turf – About 2 years ago they started work on doing up and pedestrianised the whole city (Town to me) centre. It is even worse if you have flat work shoes as you find yourself replacating moves, found in the World Skating Champion ships. I will also give you an example of the Council’s logic. When they completed the work they put a stop to traffic driving through the centre of town and they are diverted round on entering the centre by taking a left turn, instead of heading straight on towards the railway station. Only buses are allowed to do so. It took ages to catch on and many motorists carried on as before. They then installed cameras, which resulted in an outcry when the council had made a fortune in fines. So next the same council paid for about four traffic control bods, in thier high visible jackets to stand in the road and direct traffic the right way. So the same council employed people to stop itself receiving revenue through fines. Anyone still think the world has not gone mad?

  20. Returning slightly sheepishly after my rant last night as I had a really rather good session on PES 2017 last night.

    Maybe I was expecting to be irritated by the game’s obvious flaws when I picked up my ML in January or season 5 but for whatever reason my low expectations were hugely surpassed in five excellent matches.

    I sensed this would normally have been one of those nasty AI sessions but with my team now rather good and high on Team Spirit, it all made for some rather epic battles – with hardly any fouls of course.

    The upshot was two last-gasp all-out-attack equalisers to keep my unbeaten record this season. I’m also through to the quarter finals of the cup and still in the Europa. An invincibles treble? Surely not.

    I even had some off satisfaction in the January transfer window with two players, including my first choice keeper, deciding to up and leave there and then. Not realistic but oddly welcome given how easy it is to sign and keep players usually.

    Now, what wasI saying about this being my last PES season? I forget.

  21. That’s the whole problem – ‘when’ PES plays well, its great. those ‘when’ moments are too sporadic.

    This could have been a truly sensational PES title but has been ruined by the pure ignorance/laziness of Konami.
    Firstly, absolute bullshit about being a small dev team compared to EA etc etc, they have a dedicated PES productions team, 2 separate PES dedicated offices, and sold over 100,000 copies of PES 17 to date, that’s a generation of over £6million in sales.
    PES 17 did not cost 6mil to develop – Konami make profits from PES, healthy profits at that otherwise they wouldn’t continue to make it.

    They have adequate funds, and resources to develop the game to a high quality,but they don’t, missing trophy’s from league wins, p1ss poor commentary, fouls being non existent, penalties being non existent, injuries being non existent … core basis of the sport missing or overlooked or ignored.

    In Fifa, you actually SEE a player pull up from running and hobble off with a hamstring injury, then be out for 6 weeks, what do we get in PES? a little box in the corner of the screen saying ‘off for treatment’ then immediately a box saying ‘Player x has returned to action’ – those are the kinds of differences in being bothered about producing a great game, PES falls way short every single time.

    So how a game can be nominated for and win awards and be critically acclaimed when half the features of the sport its trying to represent are missing, is beyond me.

  22. NG – good shout and a good opportunity to try some modding on PC. Something else just occurred to me – I could try to get pes2017 for pc and try some modding of course …surely there must be mods out there to increase fouls / reduce hypercuntification / increase cpu transfer activity?

  23. Paul – I always think your ire is slightly misplaced, as I suspect you think things like no-fouls, low individuality, no injuries etc are all down to Konami incompetence or sloppiness. I believe the exact reverse is the case, and we have got the PES that Konami wants us to have. The game goes down well with the priority online customer base, and that’s all that matters. That’s why the game is the way it is. No-fouls isn’t due to bugs, glitches, or ‘the dev team getting used to the engine’ (as you still often hear said on the forums). Everything in nuPES is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. No in-play injuries is a classic sop to the famed online intolerance for interruptions, for example, the kind of thing that crops up in focus testing.

    Shed – I’ve been having great sessions on PES2017 over the past few days. Solid 8/10 games all the way.

    #1 – the vanilla experience with PES – no modding, no House Rules, no ‘seeding Regens to other teams’ kind of stuff as some here have been doing (pretty successfully, by all accounts) – is where PES stands and falls with me. PC modding will always only ever be a side-show. What I mean is, if you get to the point where you’re having to jump through hoops to get a good PES experience from a PES game, it’s over with that PES game, for me anyway.

  24. Yes, I have to concur with NG, every post or promo you see from konami is about the online ‘experience’ or ‘look at how realistic this superstar’s face is!!’ – that in itself shows how priorities have changed, it always used to be substance and some rather dodgy looking style.

  25. Spent the last week watching a series of 12 Unity tile mapping tutorials on you tube. Damn you nG!

  26. You know what? We should do more than merely praise and bitch and perpetually digress in this fine little community. Collectively, we have a lot to contribute to this game. We’ve been buying PES year after year, many of us before its true FIFA-challenging pomp in the mid 2000s, and it could be that we know much more than most about the PES secret sauce. If we can put together a dossier of observations and requests for Konami over the next few weeks, it might – just might – make a difference for PES 2018.

    I’ve got the contacts, and a thousand and one practical suggestions to offer. It would, however, be a much more approachable endeavour with at least a few dozen reputable PES players offering insights and assistance.

    Who’s with me?

  27. First objective complete and promotion achieved to the Premership on Fifa 17 with Newcastle. Played out the final 3 games of the season on theach higher World Class level and early impressions are that the next level is just as good or even better.

  28. NG Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve finally found a player with real individuality. Summer transfer window before season 3 starts, Memphis Depay had been on my list all season. Got him for a bargain 14m and………wow.

    Pace, strength, trickery, dribbling, good finishing. He’s the first player I’ve had who can actually run away from players. In his first game he got a goal and an assist, in his second d he scored a free kick. Exciting times!

    Unfortunately as a Man United fan he never showed any of this in real life.

    Edit: Just had my champions league group drawn.

    Atletico Madrid


  29. James – sign me up! The only thing the game needs, IMO, to make everything else better, are fouls. Simple as that. Fouls bring out individuality, stem the insane basketball feel of too many matches, and generally make things interesting. I’d like to see an average of 8 fouls per side per 10-minute match (yes, an average of 16 free kicks in total – it’s not ‘too much’ in PES5, the greatest PES game ever made).

    All they need to do is turn the fouls tuner up to 7 or 8 out of 10 (it’s currently set on 2 out of 10 or something like that) for every match, and we’ll be good to go. A simple fix like that makes a good football game a proper PES game.

    Let the onliners have their own low-fouls setting. Hell, let them turn fouls OFF if they want to (I think they’d want to).

  30. Darryl – you’ve got plenty of time to get that unique PES/FIFA Title Double in the current year. Keep it going!

    Mike – I had Depay in my early seasons in this current ML, and was likewise impressed – until the rest of my squad came up to the same level, at which point every player started to feel much the same. I won’t say much more about this here as it’ll spoil your experience, but FIFA-style individuality (i.e., 4 or 5 basic types of player – ‘nippy winger’, ‘big striker’, ‘solid midfielder’, etc.) is very much the nuPES way.

  31. James – I am definitely with you.
    NG – that is my usual stance as well (game out of the box as it is – or bust), but skyrim / requiem changed that attitude somewhat.

  32. #1 – for PES, I mean. I’m currently playing XCOM2 heavily modded (Long War 2 plus various interface enhancements, for the initiated). Vanilla XCOM2 was already great, but modded XCOM2 is even surpassing the likes of Civilization II and III as possibly the best strategy game I’ve ever played.

    Because I have only ever played ISS and then PES out of the box, that’s the gold standard on that side of the fence.

  33. Am I imagining it or did there used to be a referee strictness option on FIFA? If so why can’t that be in the pot now?

    I’ve had a half day of minecrafting and am about to fire up pes. I think it was season 4, no idea how long this will last…

  34. Uncle Turf — I don’t specifically remember any FIFA with a referee strictness setting, but it’s part of footy gaming lore that there was one. If there was, it must have been in the PS1 and PS2 days, when I had very little contact with FIFA beyond the OPSM2 cover disc demo. I bought FIFA2003 on the strength of a good cover disc demo, but took it back to the shop the next day. Imagine that. Shops!

  35. Hmm, wonder why I left the game there – season four, early doors – game seven v Newcastle with my 3/2/1 record and in both fa and euro league. Season three had been a div 2/fa cup win so I should have been keen to push on.

    Ah, now I know why. My team is ridiculously good for a season four effort. Except it’s not. I’ve got Buffon in goal who is definitely the best I’ve had but the centrehalfs are pretty much all the same, so much so I’ve sold every new arrival after a season, midfield is relatively interchangeable with the exception of dele alli (who scores the only goal of the game against Newcastle), and up front origi and aguero. Surely the leading striker (?) of the last few premiership seasons should be great to play with, nope, I might as well have any of my six centre forwards on – with the notable difference Andy Carroll makes. That’s it really, my team is 8 80 somethings and Buffon, alli, Carroll. Even castledine looks like any other player now.

    The game was fine. Only two fouls, despite it being a rivals match. Burning wall….? No of course not. Newcastle didn’t make any adjustments whatsoever to going 1-0 in the 20th minute and it was simply average football thereafter. I probably got tired of the easy transfers and identikit games, same happened in 2016 after realising Messi was just another small striker. I’ll likely play the odd game here and there but sessions of this would bore me rigid.

  36. Darryl – I did notice an unusually high number of traffic wardens, particularly young looking too. I’ve never taken against the profession like some but I did fear that these ones would be confronted a lot owing to their callow, easily intimidated appearance.

  37. Turf – that very thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions and you do find yourself fearing for them.

  38. Turf – you have not made it up as I think it was somewhere around the Fifa 2001 that they had the referee strictness setting.

  39. Uncle Turf – you had two fouls in a Rivals match? Bloody luxury, is what that is…

    I’m convinced the PES makers have got their concepts the wrong way round with Rivals matches, i.e. they’ve coded them to have fewer fouls, on average, than the typical match (which already have few of course). The reasoning being, one assumes, that they think ‘fast and furious flowing action’ is what a local derby should be all about.

  40. Well, I’m still in that lucky group of PES players that have fouls and cards in almost every game. And still I don’t know what’s the difference between my career and that of Yours, not-Greg. Maybe playing style?

  41. Huge game away to second placed Man Utd last night in which I played for a draw to preserve my 11 point lead over them at the top of the Prem.

    No surprise was United taking an early lead in what I suspected was going to be one of those matches. What was surprising was the eventual score of Man Utd 2 Brighton 3.

    Now 14 points clear with 22 games played and still undefeated. Surely even the most angry PES gods can’t stop me now.

  42. Brucevsky – I see a few reports on the forums that some players see fouls, and I always wonder: how many fouls is that? How many fouls are enough for you? What’s your average fouls per match? Mine’s still at 1.5. So I get 1 or 2 fouls per match, on average. Sometimes I get 3 or 4, and after dozens of low-fouls matches that really feels like a lot – so I suspect that these ‘3 or 4 fouls per match’ is what players like yourself are seeing, and you find it enough. Is that fair to say?

    For me enough fouls in a football match would mean an average of 8 (EIGHT) per 10-minute match. Anything below that figure is a low-fouls football game. Anything a lot less than that that figure is effectively a no-fouls football game.

    Roughly 2 out of 10 of my matches are literally fouls-free on my side – zero fouls, none, nada. 7 out of 10 matches see me hit the average of 1.5 fouls. The remaining 1 match out of a sample 10 will feature a nose-bleeding 3 or 4 fouls.

    Every now and then there’s a rogue match containing 5 or 6 fouls in it. I could accept this level of fouls – despite it being low by my standards – if it was the norm, but it’s completely not.

  43. In my case average is about 6-7 fouls per game. Not that much, but I find it sufficient. I agree with you that games with literaly no fouls or 1-2 per game are madness and unrealistic as hell, but I wonder if this 8 or more fouls per game is something to look for. You would really like to see your game stopped by almost every tackle?

  44. Brucevsky – you already know the answer to the question, because if you’re averaging 6-7 fouls per match then you must be having lots of matches with 8+ fouls (in order for 6-7 to be your average). That many fouls isn’t too many and the game wouldn’t be stopping for every tackle.

    Have you played PES5? That game and the few other football games like it that actively punish sprinting and pressuring are much better football games, as they force the player to play football, rather than just squeeze buttons. It’s not just fouls against you that matter but the ability to foul the AI, which nuPES also worryingly seems to downplay. My average fouls against the AI per match is probably about 3. This is also unacceptable considering the way PES encourages us to play these days, i.e. super-sliding with max-pressure and button-mashing to our hearts’ content.

    This is one of my chief gripes with PESes 2016 and now 2017. The main and most effective way of retrieving the ball from the AI is simply to hold two or three buttons and the game will do the work for you. IN a proper high-fouls match, that won’t work, as you will concede free kicks as often (or more) than you will get the ball.

    There is no serious case against having a proper amount of fouls in a football game IMO, and no serious case against an average of about 8 fouls per 10-minute match being the rough figure to aim for. 8 fouls per 10-minute match is neither excessive nor disruptive of gameplay immersion – quite the opposite.

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