The Big Banging-on Theory

Rodrigo Palacio is my player of PES2017. That’s him in action above, about to belt in yet another PES2017 long-ranger. And not one of the first-timer hits, no. A proper ‘running’ one with multiple touches before the decisive strike.

Replay here.

I’ve scored quite a few PES2017 long-rangers now, probably as many as I scored in PES2014 in the end.

This one is one of my favourites. Feeling this go in off the post was a great PES moment, and one of my highlights of PES2017.

As much as any player can stand out in this online-oriented, individuality-lite era, Palacio does it.

I racked up another win in the Champions League group — I am going to qualify there.

In the league I thoroughly enjoyed thumping Chelsea 5-0. It was a much-needed goalscoring jolt in the arm after experiencing a few dour, near-goalless sessions in a row.

As ever, I cannot tell what, if anything, I did differently in this game that made it a festival of goals. My dominant experience of PES2017 over the last few weeks has been one of battering myself against the most stubborn AI catennacio defences, one after the other. Saying ‘Norwich at home’ is linguistically almost the same as saying ‘nil-nil’.

This was a great session on PES2017, one of the best I’ve had. The kind of session that whispers ‘play a Season 11‘. Well, if they’re all like this one, I might, but they won’t be so I won’t.

But I thumped Chelsea 5-0. There are two stats here that stand out and provide talking points:

First of all, for Chelsea to have had just a single off-target shot is a disgrace. That should never happen on Superstar. I don’t recall playing an immense defensive game. Maybe I did.

Secondly – look at the fouls count. Still not many, but by PES2017 standards this match was downing in fouls.

Lots of fouls in a match makes for good football gaming. Far from impeding gameplay, fouls enhance gameplay in the same way that full stops enhance written language. Without them, things would just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and you get the idea.

I’ve been banging on about lack of fouls in PES2017 from the start. I’ve banged on about it all year, and last year too. You can be certain that I will be banging on about lack of fouls in PES2017 right until the end. It’s how I roll. I don’t stop banging on about something so banging-on-worthy, just because I believe some readers might have grown tired of me banging on about it. No I bloody well won’t ‘move on’.

Well, not until I move on to PES5 for the remainder of this football game year. Which is when I’ll start talking about the fouls issue again, but viewed from another angle. Brace yourselves.

(Example paragraph from about two months hence: Is it a coincidence that the greatest football game ever made is famous/notorious for having ‘too many’ fouls in it? Does PES5 not demonstrate that plentiful fouls, far from impeding the player’s experience of the gameplay in a football game, actually enhances it? Aaaand so on.)

Back in the sometimes-great PES2017, here’s the current league table. Still unbeaten. That goal difference needs to go up, up, up.

Updated: 28th March 2017 — 10:43

45 Comments

  1. The fact that Chelsea, one of the top teams in the game, had 1 off target chance, On superstar, and the fact that you have conceded only 1 goal in 7 top flight matches, on the hardest difficulty level, says everything about just how flimsy PES is.

    The difficulty level ids completely unbalanced and far far too easy once you reach a certain point.

    Great goal from Palacio, now thats a true long ranger, but then you’d expect something decent from a 98 OVR rated ‘near-perfect’ player, wouldn’t you ?

    Also the positioning and awareness of the CPU defense during that goal was shambolic, firstly only 1 cpu player attending the throw in fairly deep into the oppositions half? That rarely happens, teams crowd the thrower and an effort to win possession back in a dangerous area.
    then the way the Wolves back line is all rigid and strictly in line, and 2 players at once just gravitate towards the ball carrier like Under 9’s players, leaving Palacio completely alone in acres of space, to run in on goal.

    Thats the ‘Active AI’ in PES at work i trust !!

  2. n-G – I had Palacio for the last couple of seasons of PES 2016. Good little player. Does he still have the little rat tail hair do? Great goal by the way.

    I’m now a few games into season 6 and on another unbeaten run. I was very strict with the house rules in the transfer system and am already missing my talisman striker Rescaldani who retired at the end of season five. I now have a slightly weaker squad than my title winning one with no player higher than 85 rated.

    Despite the flaws that are obvious and the further gripes that come with prolonged play, I’m still finding PES 2017 satisfied my footy gaming pangs when I get them. Hoping for another title and a cup this season.

    Paul – I sense you’ve totally had it with PES. Is that because FIFA 17 really is the one? How’s the gameplay holding up? I’ve not been able to get on USB for any updates you might be doing.

  3. Paul — that seems to be the deal with PES2017 long-rangers — they’re reserved for the few. The other week in one of my PES5 test-sessions I scored a similar one with dear old Dodo. I prefer any player, within reason, to have the potential to do it.

    I share the extreme discomfort with how the top teams perform in PES2017. The likes of Norwich tend to offer more of a challenge. This has always been a problem, hasn’t it? One of the very many interesting things to re-discover in PES5 will be how the different levels of teams play. I honestly don’t quite remember.

    Shed — my Palacio has indeed got the rat’s-tail thing at the back of his head. I looked at a vid on YouTube of his real-life incarnation’s goals and he seems to be more of a Lineker goal-hanging type. I almost moved Palacio on after his first season for me as he felt so samey, but I’m glad I didn’t now. I will say though that the player-nerf is just as frustratingly strong in PES2017 as ever — Palacio did nothing for several matches afterward. (The player-nerf is what I call it where a player who’s put in a barnstormer will typically be useless for a random number of matches afterward. This began in PES2015 as far as I recall, and is another way the classic ML dynamic of squad-building and squad-bonding is completely undermined.)

  4. Shed – I’ve totally had it with PES. I have fond memories, PES 17 lasted me nearly 7 months, more than any other PES since 2013. I had some great times with it, and id say i got my moneys worth.
    But there’s so many basics it doesn’t do well, does poorly, or just doesn’t do at all, that really irritate me.
    Im not saying FIFA 17 is ‘the one’ at all, both are very good games in their own right, but its just so apparent how much PES lacks after only half a season on FIFA’s Career Mode. I’ve experienced so many different types of match, you just dont get in PES, every team plays one of two ways, complete catenaccio park the bus defence, or gaping holes all over the pitch, there’s no variation at all.

    PES – no fouls, no trophy, just about sums it up.

    NG – I’m really looking forward to your PES 5 exploits.

  5. Paul – the only real thing to decide before making the move to PES5 is whether to bother with Fraps or similar for screenshots and replays (thus keeping much the same routine as on PS4) or revert to old-school mobile phone pics and vids. I favour Fraps for quality’s sake at the moment but I’ll see.

    I actually played another tester on PES5 this evening. The final stats:

    Yes, that’s 11 (ELEVEN) AI fouls committed against me. I was quite restrained by comparison, only committing 5 (FIVE). 16 (SIXTEEN) fouls in one match. I’d have to play about 10 (TEN) matches in PES2017 to see that many fouls.

  6. no sign of my player of PES2017, R.Jarvis, retiring, in fact he has just been awarded World Player of the Year. However this encouraged him to ask for a 1000% pay increase to 8.8m euros in his contract negotiations, which seems a little steep for a 75 OVR striker

  7. abbeyhill – and looking ahead to PES2018, if it’s more of the same ML of recent years, there’ll be little attraction for me in another year of burning through dozens of samey superstars to find the sole Palacio among them. I’ll be sticking with the Jarvises and Rices of my starting squad instead, as you have done. What are your full rules, are Youths allowed?

  8. not-Greg – rules this year were defaults only until promotion and surviving one season in D1, then up to a max 4 youth signings per season allowed. Youths might have been a mistake though as they get insanely good in just 2-3 seasons, so it’s a bit too easy now. Like you I’d prefer to play with no house rules – PES2012 with demanding gameplay and a tough transfer market was pretty much the perfect PES

  9. No reflection on Abbeyhill’s sterling efforts but Jarvis, a relatively middling default, becoming world poty says it all. Why bother saving up for Messi, why bother buying 2018 really.

    In other gaming activity I’m curious to know NG, are you a wonder builder? I’ve started a roman game and I always aim for great library, Leonardo’s workshop and Adam smith’s thing. As the diplomacy always seems stacked to aggressive I find Great Wall and Marco Polo help. I still nearly always have to use the military though.

  10. My house rules now see me only ever dipping into the youth section in an emergency and then I’ll only sign non superstar regens. I still only sign available players (loans and listed) and have a £2m wage limit on all all my players. Ridiculous really but it keeps things interesting.

    n-G – Given the magnitude of the match (30 years since that Houchen final) and the fact mini-Shed and I are going to our annual Brighton game on Saturday, I have to ask if you’re on the road to Wembley on Sunday. I suspect not.

  11. NG I finally got my PS store 2017 installed……and the edits are NOT present. Well, some are. The team names are all real, but kits and badges missing. Back to the USB I go.

    In the meantime I began a ML on 2015 using Valencia. Only played the first game but I gave away a VERY soft penalty and had 4 yellow cards in a strangely satisfying 3-1 defeat. I didn’t give away a single penalty in however many matches I had on 2017 previously.

  12. Uncle Turf — I’ll be getting PES2018 – pointless to pretend otherwise – but won’t be doing the same old transfer merry-go-round as in the last couple of years.

    I assume you mean Civ II? If so, I am a Wonders addict – largely because on PS1 you got to see a thrilling 20-second movie clip, which seemed very futuristic at the time. The level of my Wonders addiction depends on the difficulty level. I’m not very good at higher levels and tend to build one or two. On the lower levels, I get loads. I have to have Great Library and Leonardo’s Workshop – a game without them is a failed game, usually, as I can never keep up in tech or gold. Pyramids in early game is a huge benefit and almost a must-have. I don’t have any other must-haves, I tend to cherrypick as the game goes on. And I’m usually a total warmonger, ending most games with every other Civ hating me.

  13. Shed – I’m not going, no, but I know a surprising amount of people who are. The 30th anniversary and nostalgia are big factors. There are street vendors in the city centre selling flags and it is very evocative of 1987.

  14. That’s not dissimilar to me, third level up is my max as the barbarians get too much. I don’t do the pyramids though as I never build enough aqueducts so city size doesn’t really feature. I was really annoyed this time as the aztecs got the golden age of philosophy first. That’s mine, it’s in the rules. Gandhi sneak attacked me too for which he will pay…

  15. Shame Mike – but i did suspect the edits wouldnt carry over due to the serialising feature i mentioned.

    Does Fraps run flawlessly on your machine NG?
    anytime i’ve ever used it, regardless of PC spec its seemed to have a large overhead that can effect framerate and quality of the live game.

    are you running PES 5 on a proper PC? or inside WINE or similar on a mac?

  16. NG – just looked at some pes 5 vids and it still looks so good in motion. are you going to be using an option file of sorts to get rosters up to date or are you going to be playing with the rosters of back then?

  17. Uncle Turf – returning to Civ II after all these years I’ve been impressed by how aggressive the AI is, and how successful it can be in waging war against the human player. Anything above that third level up and I’m struggling to keep up in tech/gold, and fight off invasions. Also, I never bother with Republic or Democracy. Just Monarchy to Communism and that’s it. I know this is why I struggle on higher levels, but Civ is as much a sandbox builder game as a competitive one. Perhaps more so.

    Paul – my PES5 machine decision will be between a proper PC that runs it (and Fraps) flawlessly, or a more convenient Bootcamp partition on a Macbook that runs the game flawlessly but not Fraps (starts to chug). Or – and I recall us talking about this years ago – do I spring for a nice custom made cube PC that’d slot nicely in next to the telly and be a pure gaming machine? It’s something I’ve been considering for a long time. Playing PES5 and Civ 6 and XCOM2 on the telly…hmmm. Still a week or so from final decision.

    #1 – I’ve got a 2010-era OF installed and I’m just going to go with that. I’ve looked and there are more current ones, and the vanilla option appeals too (its how I played it back in the day), but my existing install is there and convenient and plays beautifully, as you’ve seen on YouTube. Also on YouTube I’ve stumbled across a few current PES5 players – this one for example – who seem to be using pitch mods. I’m not going to bother with them either.

  18. NG – theres a mac app i use called Screenplay, that records seamlessly with not a single frame dropped, which can record your Mac based PES 5 if you did choose that option.

  19. Paul – It’s Windows 7 in Bootcamp on a 2010 MBP, not MacOS. That Mac would struggle with PES5 in Virtualbox. I’ll probably just go with the Windows laptop though.

  20. Ahh Ok, i run parallels on my 2013 iMac and PES 5,6,2013 and 2016 all run flawlessly

  21. And that’s all from me on 2017…. I nipped on to play my super cup match as it seemed an odd place to pause. At half time, winning one-nil v Roma I realised if I held on I would have won the fa cup, division two title, premier league, champions league, charity shield and super cup in 4 seasons and 2 matches. Not all at the same time obviously but a variation of the ‘career slam’ as it’s known in tennis (that Euro league being the missing pot due to the one season wonder it is – half a season when you jump ship). Four seasons….in t’old days season four was your first in the top division with a runners up spot to your name most likely. Not only did I hold on I won 3-0 with Roma mustering one shot on target and zero fouls to each side. It’s just not good enough, every year it gets easier, shorter and less interesting.

    I’m toying with the idea of fifa15, a game I never quite let run – 14 infuriated and delighted in equal measure and I think 15 ironed out the outrageous scripting (?) alternatively I might just whack it some mindless shooter – that metal gear thing might fit the bill.

  22. well this was quite remarkable/a bit crap:

  23. Paul – I run VirtualBox and enjoy fooling around in Windows on it, but I haven’t got a Mac that could handle running virtualised games. I have tried. Bootcamp (on the same machine) is fine really – many people say the best Windows laptop they’ve ever had is a Macbook running Bootcamp.

  24. Uncle Turf – FIFA15 is the best FIFA I’ve ever played. It came out about 6 weeks before PES2015, I recall, and so it got solid, serious play-time from me. Great game.

    abbeyhill – I lost count, did Ibra (as we have to call him) get 8 goals?! You really have picked up the heading trick eh? If that’s a one-off, I’d file it under ‘remarkable’. After a match like that, how did Ibra play in the next few matches (anonymously?) and how many goals were you ‘allowed’ to score? PES always corrects itself.

  25. Turf – fifa 15 is a “hidden” gem. Surprised it got such bad user reviews on metacritic. One of the best footy games ever and one I might be revisiting very soon as well. Pes 2017 has taken a nosedive in quality (yes, again…) once more so could be the end of the line for me, mid-season 8. Might be joining you there if you go the fifa 15 route.

  26. not-Greg – actually Ibrahimovic got all 10 goals, never seen anything like it and completely out of context with the rest of the season. I rested him for Jarvis next game, a scrappy draw with Marseille and then he was red arrowed for a cup tie v Nice, ineffectual when he came on in extra time

  27. abbeyhill – id have been intrigued to see the player ratings for that match, can guarantee you that Ibra wouldn’t have got above an 8.5 despite scoring all 10 goals.

    Another f**ed up Lazy Konami feature where they cant even get match ratings to be realistic.

  28. haha you’re spot on Paul, he got 8.5! I was wondering what more Konami could have expected of him

  29. I’m also thinking of wrapping up PES 2017 after my current season 6. I’m currently just seven games in and top again, unbeaten and feeling the grind a little.

    I thought I might have a go on this Rocket League thing for goal action after although I’m always intrigued about reviving an oldie. What was so special about Fifa 15 then? I think I only played the PS3 version and don’t recall much about it. Could be a nice budget option.

    Otherwise I’m eyeing this Rocket League thing for a laugh and I’m still wandering around GTAV-land aimlessly.

  30. #1 – I think I recall FIFA15 was attacked for not being very online-friendly. Or maybe that was FIFA16. Or both! We all know what the main criterion of judgement is for reviewers and probably 90% of football gamers – how much ‘fun’ it is to play against other people.

    abbeyhill – PES2015-16-17 all have this massively irritating thing where a player who plays well in one match will be rubbish for the next few. Or red-arrowed. Again, I’m pointing the finger at online-oriented ‘balancing’ code that has leaked into single-player. Johnny Online who destroys and I mean destroyyyyyyys (trololololol) somebody with Ibra or Messi or Ronnie or any of the favourites, will mysteriously find that player not so hot in the next game or two. I’m guessing. I don’t know.

  31. Shed – FIFA15 was a nice slow and steady game on release. Solid is the word. I recall trying to go back to it after PES2015 and not being able to settle. That could be because they’d patched it to meet the expectations of online players (as happened, infamously, a year later with FIFA16). Or it could just have been the post-PES doldrums.

  32. That could very well be the case NG. I hope EA didnt ruin FIFA 15 with a patch as I only played it very briefly (non-gaming year for me due to various circumstances), but it felt – as you say- very solid, with very good pacing, nice meaty shooting and a great overall package. as I recall no issues on fouls and very nice 60fps graphics on PC (awesome replays, I remember watching them fully everytime at halftime / fulltime). individuality not so much there but as you say, it takes a while to settle in (I had that same sentiment) and then you start noticing individual traits in some players. hmm…feel like having a quick go right now actually.

  33. Abbeyhill – it’s the jump the shark moment that seems to happen in pes. Last time I got it was when remy scored 8 in my second season on 2016. Killed the game stone dead.

    Fired up Fifa 15 for a dad n lad same side effort – Bayern Munich v Leeds on amateur. No downloads came up and it felt very pedestrian by comparison to pes (in a good way). Only won 2-1 in the last seconds so I doubt I’ll be troubling the top difficulty. Think I used to settle for world class, non-slided and begin with a div two side.

  34. Turf – normally some sort of scripting kicks in after I score the first goal, to avoid this sort of turkey-shoot, but for some reason it didn’t here. Was quite tempted to hook Ibrahimovic at half time on 6 but kept going in grim fascination to see how many he would be allowed to score. Had forgotten your 8 with Remy, similarly farcical.

    Would add my seal of approval to FIFA15, rock solid game. Got 10 seasons out of career mode, taking Exeter City all the way from the bottom of League 2 to the upper reaches of the Premier League

  35. Just spent two hours simply searching, scouting and failing to buy players. I remember Darryl having some master tips on fifa’s setup, doesn’t help much when you’re lowly burton Albion – then in div two.

  36. Uncle Turf – as I recall, the feeling of quality never really tailed off in FIFA15. I packed 3 or 4 full CM seasons into the five weeks between its release and PES2015’s release. Then I jumped across to PES2015, and of course the summertime attempt to jump back to FIFA never really took off (as usual – hence me skipping the attempt this year).

  37. Turf – the great thing about FIFA15’s transfer market is that it is really deep and rewards the amount of effort you put into scouting and researching. Even as a lowly league 2 club you could start by looking at the Spanish team Ponferradina’s players, exceptionally good value. Or domestically try scouting CM Woods at Hartlepool, Murphy and Hemmings at Dagenham, the very quick Amoo from Carlisle, Hughes at Fleetwood just round the corner from Darryl. Ali M’Madi was my star striker all the way through, signed on just £2000 wages initially

  38. Don’t forget looking at the free transfers and loans from the lower Premiership clubs.

  39. My gaming retirement seems to be now confirmed to just being a consultant role helping the 5 year old from time to time with games. The other day I thought he had broke the PS4 and my wife was taken back by my cool reaction to events. I have just bought Snake Pass for him. My guide was still as useful at lower level and will put up a condensed version over the weekend or on Paul’s site when he sets up as it is more Fifa specific.

  40. Welcome to my world Darryl.

  41. I hear what you’re saying Darryl – NG has always been against FIFA in this battle which can only have one winner….(I will resist the winking smile emoji)

    I love the scouting and could happily spend hours searching for players. I do feel there are very clear differences in playing with them too otherwise it would be a complete waste of time. The nippy striker and lumbering tank contrast is very evident, pes has lost all that and even masking attributes again wouldn’t resolve the ‘all much of a sameness’ feeling. What I’m trying to avoid is simply repeating previous purchases – the European loanee forwards and free agent keeper/cb. I’m also imposing a rule that I won’t buy anyone without a face, it just spoils the team screen. Not too worried about hearing recommendations as they don’t feel like spoilers in FIFA, I feel you can make a wide range of players into stars. I think Paul used to find yesil from Liverpool great but he never did much for me.

  42. Scaredy cat alert – had another rat turn up on the bird table the other day. Caught it in a trap this morning but the sod is still alive, it’s dragging the trap around. I’ve chucked a bucket over it to stop it escaping but I’m terrified of lifting the bucket as this thing is clearly the terminator. How long do you reckon I should leave it – a year maybe? Hate starving the thing but no way I’m attempting to despatch it.

  43. Yeah I had Yesil on loan for my MK Dons team in FIFA 16, he was useful, definitely a notch up in quality from what i already had.

    FIFA transfers are much much better, you aren’t guaranteed to sign any player, if the players club values him, they wont sell, simple.

    I’m still hoping to get USB back up and running, the only clawback is that WordPress is blocked at work, and id do most of my commenting/posts from there, i wouldn’t get time at home.

    Turf – just get a long thing sharp knife, like a pairing knife and a quick sharp thrust into the back of the rats neck will do it, over immediately.
    Then just wang it into a nearby garden for some stray cat to have a play with.

  44. Your best bet with the rat is too submerge the trap in a large bucket of water and leave overnight. We had to do this a couple of times when I was a student.

  45. I support the bucket of water solution. Rats have an extremely raw deal thanks to popular sentiment. Would you leave a squirrel to suffer like that, or any other creature with a nervous system? Imagine a squirrel without the cute bushy tail and the squirrel-lore. That’s a rat.

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