Schwarz and crosses

I’m still playing the game that has 3 major claims to fame:

  • it is the greatest-ever PES game;
  • it is the greatest-ever football computer game;
  • and it is the greatest-ever computer game.

A holy trinity of greatness that manifests in the Godhead we know on earth as PES5.

I’m going through a phase with PES5 at the moment where I can’t score many goals. Matches stutter along, punctuated by an average of 8 fouls per side. ‘Shocking state of affairs!’ says the 2017-era gamer. ‘Football games should be end-to-end with a nice flow…’

I’m not playing the PES2018 multiplayer beta, but I’m following its reception keenly via the main PES forums.

It seems to be going down well, on the whole. When you’re an older football gamer, as I am, with different wishes and expectations, you learn to ‘read between the posts’, filter out all the lols and txt spk, and see what’s waiting for us in September.

A slow, measured game for one, with appreciable player weight – this alone might make PES2018 worth anticipating. But will the slowness and heaviness survive the first patch? Will it even make it to release day? EA notoriously caved in when they attempted a similar thing with FIFA16. As we have seen time and time again in recent years, Konami are not immune to ‘doing an EA’. In fact, Konami can easily out-Herod Herod when they feel like it.

AI fouls will be non-existent once more in PES2018. The best we can hope for is PES2017-levels of AI fouls, i.e. that there’ll be a match every so often with a good amount of fouls in it.

As has happened every year for the past 4 years, the PES forums have yet again awarded Konami a free pass on the fouls issue. 10 years ago the appearance of a PES game with effectively zero fouls in single-player would have clogged up the forums forever, basically.

However you paint it, however it’s protested about, Konami have got away with it again and will continue to do so. Pro Evolution Soccer is now, and has been for some years, a franchise in which fouls and free kicks and penalty kicks are a mostly insignificant part of the game, with little or no impact upon gameplay.

Konami have pursued the younger market, which has firm expectations of ‘continuous play’ and ‘fun’ [retch] shaped by FIFA and other online gaming experiences.

I am constantly surprised that the main PES forums keep giving Konami a free pass on the fouls issue. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Online is huge on the forums – many posters assume it as an automatic given.

When I started reading the PES forums – PESfan, PES Gaming, EvoWeb, even the WENB forum – they were absolute bastions of PES righteousness. FIFA was regularly crucified for being a fouls-free blur of arcadey goals.

Ever since roughly 2014, there’s been a moment in the PES release cycle when you know that the supposedly hardcore PES forums have accepted no-fouls with barely a shrug. It’s usually in the first day or two after the demo comes out. This year, that time is right now.

Updated: 25th July 2017 — 11:01


  1. First! (I saw this done on comments to some article or other online the other day and thought to myself, “I know who would LOVE that”).

    Anyway, you’re welcome n-G.

    Glad to see PES 5 still holding its own after all these years. I’ll return to it some day – probably when these digi only, no disc Playstations come out. What I can’t understand about digital versions of games is why they are so much more expensive than discs. Long live trade ins!

    I’m starting to think that I jumped off the good ship footy gaming too early because I have a severe want to play again. I’m enjoying No Man’s Sky and many nights of non-gaming activities but I feel the need, the need for PES again.

    Maybe I’ll play one more season of PES 2017 after all, if only to to fulfil my obligation as England manager. Even Sam Alladyce had one match.

  2. Shed – It’s similar to ebooks. The costs are significantly lower, so it is pure market exploitation.

    nG – Do I take it from the title that your internal voice is pronouncing it Shwortz?

    Still have an ongoing FIFA relegation battle and am 3 points clear of danger with 8 games left. Bizarrely Man City are below me and I’m in the FA Cup semi finals.

    Oh, second.

  3. Shed – comrade Chris99 has it right, the prices charged for digital products – no production-line costs or labour, no packing, no distribution beyond the virtual plane, no bricks and mortar shop required – is charged entirely ‘because we can’. As Leonard Nimoy in Civilization IV puts it (quoting Publilius Syrus): ‘Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.’

    Still no NMS update??

    Chris99 – I am a barbarian who cleaves to English pronunciations, yes. Any other road leads to us saying ‘Par-ee’ instead of good old honest cockney ‘Par-iss’, and then the Eurocrats will have won. Hands off our sausages, Helmut!

    The only non-German speaker I’ve ever heard say anything else was on Film 89 or something with Barry Norman (who died a few weeks ago, some readers may not know), when he pronounced ‘Schwarzenegger’ as ‘Schvarzenegger’ all the way through a review of whatever it was.

  4. Keep the flame burning NG, one day they will realise they should have taken the other fork in the road (maybe not but it will still be a crock of shit online).


    1. 2012 for me, just because of the experience
    2. I would also opt for an early championship manager, pre-excessive options
    3. Ah, you mean skyrim.

    Pes5 would not feature in my top any gaming memories, in fact I’d be unable to split it from any in the few years either side. Had I not found this blog I likely would have no attachment to any of the releases, it would just be the entire series. 2015s not getting a sniff at the moment as 6 weeks hols is full on Lego city.

  5. nG – I’m sure no one wants to get their hands on your sausage helmet.

    Whilst I agree with place names, people’s names should always have an original pronunciation unless an anglicised version is adopted by the person in question, a la Arnie. Christopher Lambert is an interesting case as he changed pronunciation part way through his career. In my PES world Schwarz is Shwartz.

  6. Uncle Turf – in terms of hours invested and dimensions explored, surely PES2012 trumps Skyrim even? Or maybe not.

    I could elevate the likes of Civ 2, MGS3, Final Fantasy 8 and XCOM2 above PES5. Any of the aforementioned could occupy the top spot. But it can only be PES5. When we examine what a football game is and why a great one is so great (convenience, immersion, satisfaction, accessibility) it comes out just ahead of any other genre. A Skyrim or a Metal Gear or a Final Fantasy have maps and controls and storylines. Not playing for a few days can be problematic when it’s time to resume. (Where was I again? What was I doing? Does Start or Select open the mini map? Etc.)

    A football game is as comfortable and familiar as a favourite armchair or pair of slippers. A great football game is like a thrice-weekly soap opera that is watched all year round. Other games with their special controls and plots are more like one-off mini series. The analogies could spin out endlessly, but you know what I’m saying. PES5 is da best.

  7. Chris99 – as most of my ML’s have been bundesliga my players are pronounced (as close as poss) with a comedy german accent.
    If you can imagine a speccy dude sitting cross legged on the floor surrounded by vintage footy yearbooks shouting at the telly in a weird allo allo accent its a bit like that 🙂

  8. Werd – Herr Flick of the Gestapo.

  9. “No, I said Flick, the Gestapo.”

  10. That was a very pissable accent

  11. How different 5.40pm on a Saturday afternoon used to be.

  12. Vicky Michelle was in panto near us a few years back. She still trades on having been in ‘Allo ‘Allo thirty odd years ago.

  13. I’d imagine they all do, not sure I’ve seen any of them in anything since (some of them were getting on a bit as well). Mind, there must be thousands of actors who never do anything, it’s like the guy who appears briefly in the first team for a top club, he’s done better than 99% of his peers. I think it must be soul destroying doing odd jobs while waiting for a chance.

    Whilst I have no ambitions myself I have to use this opportunity to remind folk I’ve appeared alongside a Bond villain, an ex doctor who, one of the professionals and general zod in my stellar acting career…you may have seen me in such films as….

  14. Chris99, if I’m not mistaken Christopher Lambert only started learning English for the highlander movies which could explain the pronunciation switch.

  15. Turf – Can’t resist. Christopher Lee, Tom Baker and Lewis Collins.

    I’m sure in the first Highlander he was pronounced Kristoff Lombear.

  16. Far too good for the likes of me chris99 – a henchman in casino royale, Christopher eccleston, Doyle and Terence stamp (the latter two in the same film). £80 and three meals per day, a decent return if you have the time/patience/student flexibility. I doubt my one line of dialogue across all of that will get me panto season this year, it seems not the way to be talent spotted. From what I’ve heard I was lucky with the things I was asked for, one lad told me he had been the only extra on set for a few days and they wouldn’t let him sit with any of the crew or ‘proper’ actors – 12 hours of being on his own with nothing to do, another had been dressed up as a napoleonic era beggar and made to stand around in bare feet all day during winter. Some very silly power games for some people.

    Wasn’t lambert considered for Bond during that mad period of brosnan/Remington Steele unavailability?

  17. Chris99 – she was (and still is) Vicki Michelle, of course, my fussy exactitude over the spelling mirroring your Schwarz/naming convention thing. We could and probably should start a believable urban myth that she changed the spelling of her name for ‘Allo ‘Allo from Vicky so as not to have too-obvious an echo of Vichy, and upset the French.

  18. Couldn’t be bothered to Google her, but I do like your new rumour a la Stuart Maconie and Bob Holness. Have you thought about becoming a Wikipedia editor?

  19. I had heard it was the Michelle she changed from Mitchell as she was being hassled by confused viewers thinking she was related to the eastenders bad boys, but I’m glad to be put straight on that. It makes sense they wouldn’t want Allo Allo to be offensive to foreign audiences.

    (By the way I’ve seen the programme on polish tv and officer Crabtree is dubbed the same way – flat vowels in his muddled words – it doesn’t work half as well).

  20. Just finished the Lego city game – 47% completed. Never known a game with as many collectibles aside from the main story. Hopefully the marvel game due in Nov will be as good.

  21. A very unusual event at the races today:

    Looking forward to a bit of Skyrim tonight as I haven’t been on for the last two days. Currently homing my thieving skills and have a nice mansion of my own in the woods, which I am slowly doing up and extending. I also own my own horse and had a case of mistaken identity myself last time I played. I came back late from a days thieving and looked to settle in for the night with my woman housemaid, when I spotted a horse wandering. I set of in pursuit of it, thinking it was my own horse, but mine was safely back in its stable.

  22. Darryl – I love stuff like that in Skyrim. I remember on the ps3 version following a deer for ages hoping it would lead me someplace cool. Also shouting an elf off a cliff who had been “visiting”my wife in our shop/house. Only after he trained me in archery one last time 🙂

    You have given me wanderlust now.

Comments are closed.