Why was I not informed of this sooner? Why did it take until bloody March for me to be taken aside and told about the birds and the bees of PES2017?
Since Day 1 with the game, I’d had very little success with crosses and headers. I was nonplussed at reports of others enjoying festivals of goals from crosses and corners.
Little did I know that the mechanic being enjoyed/exploited by others was one where you pressed Shoot ridiculously early during a cross – when the ball is closer to the crosser than to the receiver – in order to effect a dangerous header on goal.
I say ‘ridiculously early’ because it is, in fact, ridiculously early. There is nothing in PES history like it as far as I am aware. This probably wasn’t intended by the game’s makers and I’m surprised it hasn’t been patched out.
I’d been pressing Shoot when the ball had nearly reached my striker. Turns out the optimal time to press Shoot is while the ball is still not even halfway through its flight. My sweet spot seems to be around the 30-40% mark of the arc.
But enough griping. Cheap it might be, but I am greatly enjoying the festival of goals that has resulted.
Once I’d discovered the trick, I went on a staggering run of goals-scoring and results. On the right is a snapshot of my results in this period.
As you can see, I only lost one match, against a scarily good Manchester United. That’s the only match of the 7 on display where I didn’t score at least one headed goal from a cross or corner. I scored two such goals in quite a few others.
These two or three sessions last week when I was discovering crossing and headering for the first time were among the most enjoyable sessions I have ever spent on PES2017.
But then I switched on the game the next day, and it felt completely different. None of the crossing routines worked. Not one cross/corner goal was ‘allowed’. A very amusing instance of a very obvious, programmed nerf.
Anyway, anyway. I have an interesting clip to show off from my golden crossing session with the game.
Here, it’s 1-1 in the last few minutes. A home match versus West Ham that I’d expected to win comfortably.
I win a corner in the 91st minute. My keeper’s up. Sneijder sends in the out-swinger. I execute the early-press, fully expecting a goal.
My keeper rises in the box and… well, see for yourself:
I was screaming when that one went in. This 2-1 win would never have come about if I hadn’t learned the cross/corner trick.
The current table:
Manchester United are the team to catch this year. I was lucky not to be walloped good and proper in the defeat by them. I lost my cool and went down to 9 men by the middle of the second half.
Sadly, the arrival in my game of cross/corner-goals wasn’t enough to rescue me from a terrible start in the Champions League group.
I had to win my last two group matches and hope for the best. I certainly did win them – in style, thanks to crossing and scoring from crossing – but other results went against me. The final outcome:
I wasn’t too disappointed, in truth. There will be another season after this one for me to try a Treble again.
Yes – there WILL be a Season 10 for me on PES2017, before I swan off into the past like some kind of PES5-obsessed Gary Sparrow.
I’m still a few weeks away from being set up to make PES5 on PC my new regular daily football game.
The arrival of regular goals from crosses and corners is also the shot in the arm that PES2017 needed.
And this way I get to have another go at winning the elusive Europa League this very season. As 3rd-place finisher, I’m in the Round of 32. I’ve drawn Bayer Leverkusen. A German team. Excellent.