These early seasons on PES5 are providing me with some of the most joyless, tedious football gaming I can ever remember. I include all recent PES games in this sweeping, startling statement. Even the weakest recent PES game (PES2016), when it was tedious, was never as tedious as these early stages on PES5.
For those like me who have perched a halo on Classic PES/ML in general, and on PES5 in particular, it’d be a useful exercise to actually play a season or two with the starting Defaults, just to see what we’re not missing, frankly.
In recent years I’ve often scored individual footy gaming sessions out of 10. I would give my most recent PES5 session a grudging 4/10. And that’s being pretty generous.
PES5 is still the greatest football game ever made. I know this because I have recently played it in its fully-flowered glory, with an ML team that can actually do things.
But it’s been many years since I experienced the Defaults at first hand, and these early seasons are not a good experience.
If a PES game were to be released nowadays with this kind of early-doors setup, it’d be commercial and critical suicide. Master League would almost never be played.
Here is the league table after 4 matches of Season 2. Promotion this season is unlikely again:
When I started this PES5 adventure into the past, I declared that I would be completely open and honest about my experience every step of the way,
I’m on record throughout all my years on this blog as believing that PES5 is the greatest football game ever made. There was a danger I might soft-soap things now in order to preserve my memories.
That won’t happen, as I hope this post demonstrates. PES5 is still the greatest football game ever made. But after the initial warming glow of nostalgia has faded, the early seasons on Master League are a poor experience. There’s no soft-soaping that.
There are flashes of light along the way. Glimpses of the excellence to come, once the players start arriving. There are islands of relief in the unending toil. Moments and passages of play when you think ‘wow’.
The way the game is set up to punish the perennial R1-squeezer is absolutely sublime, and urgently needs to be restored – at least to the single-player game. Let the onliners just have permanent sprint set to ON if they like.
Shooting is on a hair-trigger. I remember PES5 as the best shooting that PES has ever had – I might end up amending that. A few times I’ve been clean through in a one-on-one (and how we miss them in PES, eh?) and tried to dink it past the keeper, only to see the ball dart many virtual yards wide of the post. Sensitive.
So the PES5 halo has slipped, for now. A probably necessary stage of this journey. It would have been peculiar if this had been nothing but a victory procession.
There’s no suggestion that I’m thinking of abandoning PES5. But things do have to pick up in the coming week or two.
I will have enough Points to pick up a couple of players mid-season. That will change things, I am sure.