A cuddly toy, that’s my only joy

This is all I’ve got today – a rather ordinary goal from FIFA16, on the face of it, but one I was delighted to be able to score, for reasons about to be discussed:

It’s that angled through-ball across the penalty area right into the path of my onrushing Rashford, for him to joyfully lash into the top of the net.

A straightforward sort of goal, but when trying to play that same through-ball countless times on PES2017, it never worked. Once again FIFA demonstrates its capacity to do something right. Both games have this capacity to do something well that the other one does poorly or not at all.

Rashford got a hat-trick in this match, and is a great FIFA16 player.

I’ve played to the end of that season in my Career Mode save, and got to the Championship playoffs. It’d seem rude not to play through them and try to win promotion. I’m still on Professional difficulty, so it would seem to be straightforward. And it probably will be straightforward, but when FIFA wishes to stymie the human player it can do so just as easily as PES can.

I don’t believe I will stick with FIFA16 for long. At the moment my plan is just to get up to the Premier and have a nose around for a bit, and then run back to one of the Pro Evos – same as it ever was, really.

I quite fancy taking another look at PES2011. The PES that got away, for me.

And there’s always my PES2014 savegame from last year. I just looked and I never won more than a league title. Barcelona defeated me in the only Champions League final I got to. I never came close to the Treble in that game. PES2014: the great hidden master of football games. If PES2014 was a person it’d be a wizened old man in a mountain hut, smiling beatifically down at the world.

But I fancy a spell on the PS4, with all the ease and comfort thereof. So it’ll be FIFA16 for another bit, and then probably back to PES2017 with ‘Lloyd Settings’, i.e. Unassisted Passing/Assisted Shooting.

Life is good with the flip-flops on.

I should say a word about the PES2018 announcement this week. This is not a general football gaming website, so I have nothing pseudo-journalistic to say about what might be in the game. All I have to say is that September already seems to be fully booked-up at work for annual leave, and I am sad. In every sense.

Updated: 19th May 2017 — 10:07


  1. Being well into FIFA 16 as I am right now, I can appreciate how satisfying a goal that is. Driven pass into the box was it?

    I have two games left of the normal season to secure my own play off spot in the Championship. I’m also only on Pro but I’ve found it pretty challenging. The depth to the gameplay is impressive and I still find myself having to look up aspects of the control system that I’m either doing wrong or not using at all.

    Goal scoring is my weakness. My Colchester side have the lowest goals-for in the division, other than the bottom three. Most of the goals I score come from crosses/corners with Kiefer Moore my main man up front with 15 this season.

    Looking forward to giving the play-offs a go although I’m not sure they’ll be the formality your think n-G. I had a torrid time in the Div 1 play offs if I recall. Really tough.

  2. While browsing 2018 previews I stumbled on one of them that journalist reviews of pes 2017 – he waxed lyrically about carving open defences with the through ball. In 2017. At the time I wouldn’t have known but now it feels yet further confirmation that they simply don’t play it for more than half an hour with their mates before putting keys to fingers. 2012 was through ballery extraordinaire but 2017 was the proverbial duck’s bottom for the triangle pass.

  3. Shed – it was a through-ball, on default settings. On PES2017 they’re always cut out but it’s such a basic football pass – the angled cross-field pass that takes out the defence and finds a well-timed attacking run, a keeper’s nightmare – that I often try a version of it.

    I found my League 1 playoff last year a formality on Professional, but that came about after several weeks of FIFA16. I’ll be careful.

    I can’t quite shake the ‘this isn’t PES’ feeling whilst playing FIFA. There’s always that voice inside me screaming ‘Ich bin ein Pro Evo!‘, but it’s convenient on the PS4, which is the main reason PES5 has stopped as my regular game.

    Uncle Turf – I remember a section of a PES2017 review in which the reviewer dutifully started to list the differences from PES2016. One of his main picks was that ‘you can now pinch the ball off the last defender and race through on goal’. As we all know, that was distressingly common on PES2016 and was actually toned-down a touch for PES2017. As you have revealed many times, as we all know, of course they don’t play more than a token amount before penning the review.

  4. User reviews on metacritic are slightly more dependable but even then the only way of knowing is playing the game yourself. Reviews are nothing more than amusing articles to me. “the king is back / still here”… Blablabla.

    And NG – very recognizable that feeling re. FIFA / PES. I can never shake that feeling either. One fifa may last longer than the other but eventually pes always calls me home. I’m near the midway point of my first fifa 17 season and it does some things very well that pes doesn’t. But I know I’ll be back on either pes 17 with full manual passing on PS4 or on PC with all the modding Bells and whistles after that.

  5. One last session on FIFA tonight then family holiday in Corfu. Boom!! Got another 19 days off when I get back, plenty of footy gaming in June.

  6. Continuing with season 3 on PES 2017 running away with the league 19pts clear after 28 games… Henry is on 49 leagues goals, he’s bagged 60 in 35 games in all competitions.

    not sure if season 4 will happen, if it does I’ll be implementing house rules to mix it up… Likely I’ll accept every transfer offer I receive, remember er doing the same in 2009 to drag out a bit more life

  7. I have been playing Minecraft for the first time over the weekend. Not a good idea for someone with an addictive personality.

  8. Pete – has there ever been a PES ML that has lasted you many seasons without you having to implement some sort of House Rules?

    Darryl – Minecraft might well be the best game-game ever created. Those who decry it as ‘Lego’ and/or ‘for kids’ have never played it. It’s immense. Playing solo is a must, of course.

  9. Playing minecraft solo is a very odd experience, happy and optimistic while you’re building stuff and sailing out to discover things yet also incredibly bleak and depressing when you find you’re all alone in the world. There aren’t nearly enough villages for the solo player and I find the prospect of being lost in the nether terrifying.h

  10. Uncle Turf – you’ve just summarised why Minecraft is the greatest game-game ever made. I put my 80 hours into it before there were any villages at all. Before Survival. Before there were beds. I spent those 80 hours happily tootling around in my own world, as the good lord intended.

  11. Just time for two FIFA 16 matches over the weekend. Lost at home to Charlton to set up a huge game away at Palace, the winner making the play offs. Went 1-0 down but rallied in the second half to win 3-1 with two goals coming from Kenny McEvoy – his first for my Colchester side.

    Finished fifth in the end, setting up a play off semi vs QPR. Might even squeeze the first leg in at lunchtime.

  12. PES 5 is going pretty well. Halfway through season 2, I’m only just managing to score in consecutive games, haven’t scored more than 1 in a game and no player has scored more than 2 in total. The shooting is SO sensitive though, so easy to balloon your shots.

    Went on a rampage in CEX earlier and bought PES 3, 4, 6 and 2008 for 50p each. Should keep me entertained in my hotel on Wednesday.

  13. Shed – I think the FIFA portion of my flip-flopping is over or nearly over. I just cannot get past the baked-in expectations I have that are shaped entirely by PES. Trying to FIFA is like trying to perform radical invasive surgery ‘pon my soul. I’m far from being one of these slavering forum-type fanboys, but that’s how it is.

    Mike – that might be an entry in a list called ‘You know you’re middle-aged when…’

    PES2008 on PS2, i.e. PES7 in all but name – one of the greatest ever.

  14. PES 18 available for £34.85 on pre order @ Simply games

  15. Love that song by Roachford – always under rated. Also greatly used in the Alan Partridge film.

    I’m still playing Master League after a brief BAL hiatus. Think I’ll be playing this until 2018’s release. The ability to mo r clubs has breathed new life into Master League for me.

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