The Youth Vote

House Rules are the long-term future for me in PES. The only outstanding issue with them is how to manage them, and how to tweak them to make sure things don’t ever stray again in the wrong direction. How to maintain the optimum experience. For now I’m delighted with the House Rules I have.

Results have slightly picked up, and performances have too as my Team Spirit has climbed through the 70s and low 80s.

I got to mid-season and bought regen Peter Crouch from Leicester.

Crouch – my highlight of PES2015 and scorer of my best goal of that year – is currently a 78OPR 24-year-old.

Which means he’ll likely soon be hitting my Logan’s Run-style 81 OPR mark and have to be transferred. Or I might adjust my House Rules when I get to that point. All depends.

One of the most unwelcome features of this Master League is the extraordinary array of Youths that the game provides you with. It’s an obvious sop to the new football gaming crowd who want to play with superstars, and do flicks and tricks and handstands and whatever else they think is ‘awesome’, or whatever the proper young-people-today term is.

I encounter quite a few under-25s at my workplace, many of whom are keen football gamers. Either they haven’t heard of PES at all (very common among late-teens), or they’ve heard of it but are dismissive of it. Which begs the question of why Konami bothers trying to court this demographic with PES’s superstar-themed branding, marketing and content.

I suppose there’s an economic imperative in play, which means Konami can’t not do things to court that market.

And so we have the likes of C RONALDO and A GRIEZEMANN popping up in our Master League Youth teams — which they just have, for me. All so those notional teens and twentysomethings can have the thrill of seeing Ronaldo doing his Johnny Wilkinsonesque free kick stance thing.

Note that I’m 2-0 down to Lyon here, and had the vague hope that Ronnie might stick one away and kickstart a recovery. No such luck.

Lyon went on to score one of the most sensational AI goals ever scored against me in any PES. It’s right at the end of today’s mini-compilation — also worth watching for a decent Peter Crouch long-ranger:

What an AI goal that was, eh? I’ve remarked before how much more threatening the AI is when playing with lesser players/low Team Spirit, and a born-again AI remains very much part of the born-again PES2017 experience.

I signed Ronaldo and Griezemann. Perfectly in keeping with the letter of my House Rules, if not quite the spirit. They’re rated 76 and 75 OPR each, both 16-year-olds, both very average at the moment. I’ll sell them post-season for sure, releasing them into the wild where they will hopefully come back to haunt me.

It’s a bit churlish of me to attack this aspect of Master League. One of the big draws of my longest-ever ML campaign, in PES5, was the Panini sticker album of great names I assembled in one mammoth squad.

Ah, but that was a PES that withstood such treatment. Old-school PES never got easy for me, no matter how many superstars I picked up.

I remain near the bottom of the league:

5 point adrift with so many matches left to play means I’m not panicking just yet. Another reason not to panic is that I wouldn’t mind a drop to Ligue 2. I’ll do everything I can to avoid it, but if relegation happens it wouldn’t be terrible. I would enjoy the challenge of leading Saint Etienne back to the big time.

Updated: 13th June 2017 — 10:42


  1. Can’t work out if you’re fighting for survival in Ligue 1, or if you’re on the run from the cops in 70’s New York. Either way, entertaining vid.

    House rules have been a revelation for me, I’m feeling that PES spark again. I’m considering getting a t-shirt printed with “No to the Youth”.

    A little bit more 2018 ML info

  2. Tommy – some great Japanglish translations on view at that link. I’m completely unmoved by the announced improvements to ML. They’re all just tweaks to existing systems (release fees) and/or reintroductions of things that were removed long ago (pre-season friendlies). As we’ve seen over the past few years, each newly-trumpeted overhaul of ML has turned out in practice to be an artful re-presentation of the existing, rather hollow skin. Moving an info panel from the right side of the screen to the bottom. Combining menus within a single dropdown. Etc. The only one that slightly interests me is the season goals. If the annual summertime demo/playtest traditions are followed, we will hear nothing else about ML or the single-player game until release week.

    Glad you liked my Driver tribute. I remember the PS1 game featuring an insanely hard pre-game driving test that you had to pass before being allowed to play the actual game. How times have changed.

  3. The ‘if you want to stay in your job’ line is a potential plus – if it means there’s a chance of an old school PES sacking. I somehow doubt it though, the offers to manage everyone from Man U to England whilst anchored to the bottom of div 2 have come thick and fast since the move clubs scenario was introduced. That dollop of realism (I know, that word can be debated at length) would be a big improvement – so no Messi for Gateshead in season 3, no youth Ronaldo, no Brazil job when even promotion has eluded you… as for the rest of it I just don’t get the interest in whether a player has the most recent hair or not, it’s gaming for the 5 minute highlights viewer and ill informed big team follower.

    I’m having a bit of a hard time with 2015 too. Having sold 2016 and 17 while the trade was high it’s my most recent version and fouls are just as absent, it’s really quite a shame that the game seems to have aligned into a pre-2014 and post-2014 split. And I haven’t had value from one since that apocalyptic year. I’m flitting around like a fly on a hot plate and am seriously considering binning 15 as well and using 12, 13 and 14 as my sole sources of play. I need the off the ball run aspect, without it I feel like I’m pretending the genie is still in the lamp, but unfettered waltzes up the pitch are too much.

  4. Just as I was singing Honda’s praises, the bastard declines a new contract and leaves on a free.

    NG, wouldn’t it be sweet if your SE met your ex in the Champions League…

  5. That PES 2018 tease is rather depressing isn’t it? Inevitable but depressing. That sounds to me that we’re in for the same old ML flopped out again. I’ll need to have a good break before PES 2018 if I’m going to avoid another bad dose of ML fatigue.

    Glad to see House Rules ruling for you n-G. I can’t imagine not playing with them ever again – unless ML gets a new rock hard mode in which you need all the superstar help you can get. And that is indeed a belter of an AI goal.

    I saw a few FIFA 18 details and that at least sounds promising in that EA seem to be addressing the samey feel you get between playing different teams. The most frustrating thing I read was that EA would be monitoring stats on attack vs defence aspects of the game to ensure its new system works properly. This used to be done before release and was called game testing wasn’t it?

  6. Full PES 2018 trailer including shaky cam crowd celebrations (sigh…)

  7. there is even flat out incorrect information in that link. new: player release fees..that’s already in this year’s edition. hope that are not all of the new ML features, looks awfully meagre…

  8. Uncle Turf — I still think PES2015 is a great PES game, even without the fouls. Which only makes it worse, really. Imagine what the strongest PES games of recent years — ’15 and ’17 — could have been with fouls.

    Shed — I’m scratching my head about what Usain Bolt is doing in the PES2018 promo stuff. I’ve been busy today and not had time to look properly, but I have this awful, sinking feeling that he’s in the game. Usain Bolt is in PES2018. I hope to God I’m wrong. If not, this is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to PES.

    It reminds me of something really obscure from 1980s TV that I think only I remember. ITV launched a competitor to Top of the Pops called The Roxy, which hardly anybody watched compared to TOTP. After a while ITV got a Blind Date winner to present The Roxy for a few weeks. His name was Paul and he was a window cleaner. I remember the TOTP presenters, Mike Read and David ‘Kid’ Jensen, laughing about it, on TOTP, the next week.

    Usain Bolt is in PES2018. Am I wrong? Have I misread/misheard something somewhere?

  9. MrNoodles — a Saint Etienne-CCFC matchup in the CL won’t happen for at least 2 more seasons. Not even ML league table scripting will lift me into contention for the CL qualifying places this season.

    #1 — Usain Bolt is in PES2018! I cannot wait to get him and Ronaldo playing together in my myClub team! (Sadly not a parody.)

  10. Just watched a 15 min slot at E3 with Adam B. talking about the game. Looks nice enough and he was talking about how they’ve worked hard on the appearance. Really touted the exclusive links with Barca etc. Also talked about working a lot to fix online. No mention of single player modes.

    Live stream around 8:30pm UK, I think he said.

  11. Tommy — the only way to fix online football gaming is to scrap it. They could just as easily have a Simon Says-style game that rewards the players who can squeeze their controllers the hardest for the longest, in a particular sequence. That would ‘fix’ online all right, and then they could actually focus on PES.

    Usain Bolt? It can’t be true, can it???

  12. Ugh. Usain Bolt. Surreal. It’s like pes 2017 has you thinking “the only way is up. Gameplay is sorted, just led them add fouls and focus on ML” and then Konami goes and goes even further off the deep end. How is this even possible? How was this ever a focal point for a football game? Actually has me slightly down on 2018 now.

  13. #1 — the hardcore forums are already Orwelling it by saying having an Olympic sprinter in Pro Evolution Soccer is the same — or not as bad — as the old animal heads. I disagree. It’s significantly worse than the animal heads. The animal heads were self-evidently a novelty item, part of the same whimsical spirit that gave us bouncing heads and ‘Loss Time’ Japanglish translations. Usain Bolt as a playable player is clearly meant to be a serious option. I’m assigning this to the same mental space where I put ‘online play’, i.e. inside a permanently closed room that stinks of piss. Bolt is not something that will ever affect me or will ever be thought about.

    I have been watching some of the live feed of gameplay from the show, and it does look really good. I’d like to know what hardware the game is running on. If that’s PS4 Pro footage, I might be tempted this year.

  14. Correct me if I’m wrong but did not the new game ambassador mr cheaty drughead maradona launch legal action against konami? The phrase ‘bought off’ springs to mind. Why draw the line at bolt, we could have tom cruise, Beyoncé and Donald trump up front. Its the thin end of the wedge I tells you.

  15. Uncle Turf – the last I heard of the Maradona situation was that he’d come to an agreement with Konami and would be part of the publicity for PES from now on. Which prompted musings of conspiracy on the forums, i.e. it’s ‘obvious’ that the kerfuffle ‘was all a clever trick’ to generate pre-announcement publicity for the deal. Did we have proper conspiracy theories pre-Internet? I know we did, but they were all about proper, large-scale things, Moon landings and JFK assassination etc. The Internet brought about a discussion space that generates conspiracy theories about football game licensing and PR deals. What a comedown.

    Back to Bolt. The forums (I’m giving them some grief lately, I know) are currently saying that having Usain Bolt in PES2018 is the same as Thierry Henry being in an NBA game, which apparently happened some years ago. As if two monumentally ridiculous wrongs make a sober and serious right! Like I said, I will not think of this whole thing at all except to ridicule it, so it’s literally nothing to me. PES2018 does look good on the feed from E3.

  16. Oh ffs…really? Just how pathetic is that.

    At the moment all we have are good looking graphics. The demo will be slower than the eventual release. The release will feel like one thing for the first few weeks (some people will be full on lovers/haters early – I will likely trade it at least twice in fits of pique) and then it will settle down to be a certain type of game, regardless of any cosmetic ml flourishes (bootgate seems so innocent now). 2017 has been unusual in so many of you feeling a second coming with it. I’ll be delighted if I get beyond Christmas. Chances are I might not buy it till much later as I believe there’s another Lego marvel game due.

  17. Bolt will surely be a base copy of Martins/Odonkor or Suazo.

    PES 2015’s transfer system is ass backwards! Every deal you attempt you can haggle 3 times (knocking a million off the price and a good few hundred thousand off the salary each time) and the free agents…….don’t come around until the END of the summer transfer window??!! Who programmed that!!?? In real life you don’t get players who sign contracts then float around in purgatory for 6 months. Infuriating!

  18. There is someone on the forums that has played 2018 for 8 hours on e3. That is eight hours. He was only able to play multi-player against he who must not be named here due to various filters. Gushing about ball physics and the new defending / shielding mechanics but not one mention of fouls. Not one. Eight hours played.

  19. #1 – I watched several minutes of one of the vids and saw a couple of fouls, the expected amount for multiplayer. 8 hours of multiplayer without a single thought given to single-player is standard. What gets me is the surprise and consternation of the testers when it’s mentioned to them. In everything being said, it’s assumed multiplayer is the default norm. PES today is conceived, designed, programmed, calibrated, fine-tuned, tested, publicised, and reviewed with multiplayer in mind.

  20. There is a moment about halfway through the gameplay video (about 5:15) where Ter Stegan takes a goalkick and Iniesta brings it down on his knee with ease. Nice touch.

  21. My summary of the trailer:
    1) I’ve ignored everything before 2:30 as it’s not relevant
    2) I’ve ignored everything after 3:20 as it’s not relevant
    3) No fouls, freekicks or penalties shown
    4) Can’t decide how much was genuine gameplay
    5) Celebrations are clearly deemed very important
    6) Skin still looks like a corpse covered in wax

  22. A fair summary I feel Chris99.

    I persisted with 2015 last night and was rewarded with my first win. It’s definitely a gritty ML beginning if you’re as basic as I am on the controls. I do like the added through ball freedom though – somewhat more control than the laser guided assisted pass yet less than the wrestling with a cat in a bag offered by the full advanced option.

    While not one for the hoo-ha of face accuracy 2015 feels like every non superstar was modelled on sideshow Bob. I think they’ve been trying to pander to the forums ever since.

  23. Tommy – moments like that on their own don’t thrill me in quite the same way, but I admit they’re nice to look at and know they’re there. How they’re integrated into gameplay is the crucial thing.

    Chris99 – the other vids showing gameplay from E3 (albeit the universal-at-this-time-of-year multiplayer) are much more encouraging re. PES2018. It doesn’t look like console footage to me though. PC?

    Uncle Turf – the forums are currently featuring full-screen screenshots of Neymar & co. For me, such things are a two-second ‘oh, that’ll be nice in cutscenes’ and then back to worrying about gameplay, about the lack of fouls, about the overpowered sliding tackle, etc. For many, though, faces and superstars and tricks and flicks are what it’s all about, or a large part of it. 10-15 years ago we’d have burned these face-loving PES fans at the stake.

  24. I can’t believe I posted the PES 2018 trailer without mentioning the Bolt debacle. I think I dismissed it as a gimmick and not something those of us who play ML will encounter.

    I haven’t seen any game footage other than the trailer but one thing that did concern me was the lack of shot variation. Most of the shots in the trailer seem to hit the exact corner of the net – some at suspiciously the same height.

    Not since PES 2013 have we had proper shot variation in PES. I can’t remember crashing one in off the bar in PES 2017 for example, other than via a deflection.

    Also, didn’t that certain site go on about the amazing physical aspects of the game last year? PES does have that weighty feel but I still don’t feel it does anything special in terms of hold-up play etc.

  25. Listened to the latest wenb podcast earlier. Talked about 2017 being the culmination of a 3 year plan, and 2018 is the beginning of a new 3 year plan by the developers. So presumably this is going to feel like a completely new game, or at least that’s what is intended.

  26. On the one hand, it’s great to see this much this early. But then I ask myself just what I’m seeing from the point of view of the game I’ll be playing come September. Has anybody seen any footage of 1p vs AI yet? There are dozens of hours of multiplayer, but not one second of single-player? Essentially, then, I’ve seen nothing of PES2018 apart from the graphics.

    Tommy – PES2014 turned out all right… 6 months after it was released. Fingers crossed there’s not another time-crunch development-wise.

    Shed – there are loads of E3 vids floating about. All multiplayer.

    Re. the physical side of PES, when there are no consequences for physical play (no fouls), it’s just cosmetic.

  27. I hear you all, but I am still excited. Every year I fear that Konami will just give up on Pes. The way I see it, the mere fact it is coming out, is a win. Now if only ML could be like it was in 2006…

    Got regen Carrick this week. He has completely revamped my midfield.

  28. Having watched a few vids and read up on previews, I’m feeling a little flat about PES 2018. The gameplay looks too fast and I fail to see much in the way of improvements. The new free kick system made me laugh given what it takes to win one. ML meanwhile looks utterly stagnant.

    Hopefully a break before the new gaming year and a quick hands-on via the demo will give me that pre-PES spark of excitement.

  29. MrNoodles – I had regen Carrick in my CCFC all-stars for a long time and he was as solid as they come. I was disappointed in his long-range efforts, though, which I appreciate isn’t really saying much in PES2017.

    Shed – I’m quietly encouraged by the way the pixels move about on the screen. But the kind of gameplay we’re looking at from E3 – multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer all the damn time – followed by some more multiplayer – doesn’t show us anything of what we’ll be playing come September.

    If I’ve somehow missed the single-player E3 vids, please somebody post one here.

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