Any Schwarz in a storm

Truly these are the lowest points of the footy gaming year. After a mammoth Master League campaign, there’s just no appetite for anything similar until September kickstarts it all again.

Still playing PES5 on PC, and still playing with rapt enthusiasm. I’m not looking at league tables, and I’m not buying any players. Just playing.

I can’t score. I’ve gone five matches now without a goal and I love it. Remember when it used to be said of PES that it was hard to score? In PES5, it is hard to score.

Many another player will pop up at this point to claim it’s easy to score hatfuls of goals in PES5, in every match, using middling players, on 6*. It’s a curiosity of football gaming that good players regard their exploits as being literally par for the course. You never see Headshot Hank, topping the leaderboard in a Call of Duty round, sounding puzzled as to why everyone isn’t just like him. But the good PES players believe their experiences with the game must be generally true for everyone. I don’t know of any other game series or genre with this curious phenomenon

Anyway, anyway. I’ve seen a few trees starting to turn yellow. Has anyone else been tempted to turn on the central heating yet? I’ve thought about it, but not done it – pulled on a pullover instead. The end of summer is nigh.

I’ve stopped keeping an eye on the PES forums to see how things are going with the PES2018 multiplayer beta (not a PES2018 beta, it should be noted, but a PES2018 multiplayer beta. We can only hope that there is still a difference).

I have been thinking that I’ll want to do my PES2017 End of Year review before the PES2018 demo comes out. If, as expected, PES2018 is a fouls-free zone, it’ll make me disgruntled.

My disgruntlement will then have a huge influence on my PES2017 review, but I don’t want it to have an influence.

So I’ll get the PES2017 End of Year review done next week, at the start of August, instead of its end.

What this means is me playing PES2017 for the first time in a month or so. I find myself quite looking forward to it.

Updated: 28th July 2017 — 10:06


  1. Afternoon Sirs !!!

    Its been quite some time since I have posted or even looked on here, totally only due to the fact that for some strange reason, all of a sudden, the work proxy just decided PesChronicles was suddenly categorised as gaming and contravenes the acceptable use policy, so blocked the site, so haven’t been able to get on here, and i dont get any time really from home of an evening.

    Anyway, i sweet talked the IT lady into white listing the chronicles, so i’m back again 🙂
    Hope you’re all well.

    My gaming has been sporadic over the last number of months, mainly a bit of PSVR here and there, but mostly FIFA 17. the more I play it, the more I enjoy it.
    In my 3rd full season with Liverpool, after narrowly missing out on the title to Chelsea last season, I bagged the FA Cup and Champions League, and have set about revamping and going for the title this year, so far so good.

    Through to the KO stages of the Champions League after topping a tough group ahead of Sevilla, bagged the Community shield and sit 3pts adrift at 3rd in the table.

    On a PES 18 note, heard and read some promising stuff and seen a few nice vids, so was eager to try the online beta recently released, whilst i realise it wont be reflective in any way of the final game / offline game, it should still give a general overall feel of how the game handles and plays, well I turned it off after half a match.

    So disappointing, apart from being slower, i didn’t see hardly any change whatsoever in the game from 2017, none of these enhanced improved new animations or anything, nothing to suggest it was a game 3 years in development.
    Not sure if an actual proper offline PES18 demo is planned, I dont think so, so if this is the promotion vehicle in which to push PES 2018, it’s backfired.

  2. Found myself thinking of other Schwarz based puns, but for each one I immediately thought “that’s so cheesy I bet it’s already been used.”

    Central heating? Are you mad? I’m still in shorts.

    PS Welcome Paul. Is your keyboard at work chrome and ermine?

  3. Look forward to the review n-G. Sounds like you have a little of the Master League fatigue I’ve been feeling.

    I did mention that I was having some serious footy games pangs but they’ve passed – although I did have one more crafty game on the PES 2018 Beta. I won’t be retuning for one last season of PES 2017 after all but it’s there waiting for another time.

    Instead I’ve been back enjoying No Man’s Sky, exploring me home planet, building and pimping up my moon buggy thing. I now have a ragtag company of alien staff to keep me company but I seem to have wound up on a planet with only plant life. It’s pretty and there’s lots to find and salvage but I might have to move my base to somewhere a bit livelier at some point.

    Paul – Welcome back. I was looking forward to your FIFA 17 findings when you disappeared. Glad you have the Chronicles back as work distraction. How does FIFA 17 compare to 16? I see a lot have gone back to 16 saying it’s the better game.

  4. Hey Shed, the typical FIFA player is your usual 13-18yr old attituded up snivelling, rage quitting, online loving little freak, so dont pay any attention to anything most of them say or think.

    For me FIFA 17 improves on FIFA 16, but without comparison to anything, its just a great game. Presentation is superb, stadiums are modelled to perfection, the match day atmosphere is great, with crowds responses to things on the pitch really good, the refereeing is spot on, you actually get fouls and FK’s and penalties.
    All teams play differently, and my own players show intelligence with their runs,and checking and positioning, then there’s the animations, i’ve scored so many ‘real-world’ looking goals, bobbles, deflections, driven daisy cutters, the lot, i just really enjoy every game.

  5. Paul – hello again and welcome back. What did happen to the plan for USB to be a FIFA-centric place?! FIFA18 coming up, perfect time for a fresh start…

    The PES2018 multiplayer beta you played a half of (that’s a half more than me) wasn’t a promotional tool – it was a multiplayer infrastructure test. The demo is coming out as usual in August sometime.

    We’ve been here at this exact point of the footy game year so often. I’m gloomy about the medium- and long-term future of footy gaming. The future is going to be one of progressive stripping-away of everything that made the genre great, for the sake of meeting the expectations of online multiplayer. There’s no point declaring war on multiplayer – the war was over years ago, and we lost. What we can do is point the fact out. E.g. we can notice and highlight Konami PR saying that they’re working hard on fouls, when they know and we know full well that they’re doing no such thing.

    Thankfully they can never stop us playing all the great football games that have ever existed, and there are many.

  6. Chris99 – if/when you become a bald man, you will understand. The bald head becomes a sensitive weathervane. The first barometric ripple of lowered temperatures that indicate summer on the wane is registered by a bald head in a graphic similar to how Spiderman’s spider-sense used to be shown to tingle in the comics.

    Shed – a brief three-match session on PES2017 this morning, in preparation for the review which’ll be Tuesday’s post probably. It was very enjoyable. I’ll be slamming PES2017 for continuing the drift away from core values, predictably, but praising what’s there too.

  7. nG – That ship sailed many years ago. Maybe your weather vane is wonky? Or maybe it’s because I’m on the south coast.

  8. Morning Guys.
    Good weekend all round I hope.

    Was in London at the coliseum theatre for the Bat Out of Hell Musical , pretty damn amazing, best show I’ve ever seen. Thoroughly recommended.

    I hear the PES 2018 offline demo is due just after gamescom around end of August, will wait for that as the 2 mins of the online beta i played wos horrid.

    More superb games on FIFA 17 over the weekend, still really enjoying it, weirdly enough there is a distinct lack of any FIFA 18 game play vids kicking around.

  9. Chris99 – but are you completely bald, though? I went years with a Lombardo-style ‘bird’s nest’ before going full Lex Luthor. In my Lombardo years I never noticed heat leakage from the bonce. All was as before when I was fully-haired. But my first winter of full Lex Luthoring my head saw me huddling over radiators like a woman. Every year since, I’ve had a ‘where’s my cardigan’ reaction to the first waning of summer. It’s definitely here now.

    Paul – how strangely cheering to hear you like Meat Loaf. For some reason I had you pegged as a Kenny G type of fellow. The running joke here about your ‘land Baron’ lifestyle has influenced me there.

    I had no idea the PES2018 demo was end of August. I thought it would be second week or so? I must have made that up myself.

    I tried the FIFA17 demo last year, but it was nowhere near being the revolution it was painted as (similar to PES2018’s PR puffery), and one football game per year is enough for me these days.

  10. NG, i do like a bit of meatloaf, this play though whilst containing mostly meatloaf songs was actually written by Jim Steinbeck, the drummer in meatloaf’s band who wrote all the great ‘story’ songs, he’d also written for other groups and singers too, so was more of a rock n’ roll type musical than just meatloaf, bloody brilliant though.

    Dont mind a bit of Kenny G either though.

    I heard the PES 18 demo is right after Gamescom which runs until 26th August, FIFA 17 is moreish for me, the more you play the better it gets, and no need to do 1,0000,0001 skill moves leading up to every goal either, as per literally every FIFA youtube video. I’m curious to see what EA do with the career mode for 2018.

  11. Paul – What difficulty are you playing FIFA 18 on and have you had to fiddle with sliders? My biggest grip with FIFA in recent years (other than its lack of team/player individuality) has been that “Pro is too easy, World Class too hard” situation. Maybe, as you mention above, it’s just that I’ve never been a trickster player with footy games. I’d be interested to hear if FIFA 17 feels any different.

  12. nG – More Phil Mitchell than Yul Brynner.

    Paul – You may have seen it before, but on the Venn diagram of Meatloaf and IT this top one is the intersection

    Watched football IRL (as the kids say) this weekend at the Emirates. In FIFA 18 I will be looking to get an Arsenal 17 year old called Reiss Nelson out on loan. He was going past Benfica defenders for fun on Saturday.

  13. Hey Shed – playing on World Class.
    Haven’t touched the sliders, once you start fiddling with those all sorts of placebos and the need to fine tune the perfect game takes over and you spend more time fiddling and analysing things than playing and enjoying.

    I rarely ever use skill moves either, the only one i use now and then is the ball roll to the side which can be good for making a yard of space for an angle to pass or shoot, or go past a player.

    Chris99 – Im definitely not Meatloaf !
    I was literally just round the corner on Saturday, the pub we had a drink in before the theatre was full of gooners, good result too.

  14. Classic misdirection from Paul with the ‘I went to a meatloaf musical’ tale…

    Ex-footballer who likes his comforts – as he reverses the 3 series BMW off the drive it will be Phil Collins with ‘in the air tonight’ that comes through the speakers.

    (I’m willing to accept he may have an Audi but the Collins on the stereo is non-negotiable).

  15. Do like a bit of Phil collins too Turf, but you’re right, its a 2017 Audi TTS, not a BMW 😉

  16. I knew….mind the cameras I installed in the bushes and the directional microphone on the roof helped….they were going spare after Mrs Werd had the curtains lined and put an end to our little project.

  17. Turf – she now has drones circling the Durham area with a shoot to kill order.

  18. Don’t forget Paul’s ‘air-drumming’, Alan Partridge-style, to the drum bit in In The Air Tonight.

  19. Akin to the dairy milk gorilla ad eh NG 😉

  20. And of course the top down, intent stare, a la Miami vice’s finest moment.

    How I have missed posts that raise both mrs w’s anatomy and Paul’s Swiss Tony lifestyle.

  21. Incidentally, that song is the subject of one of NGs pet interests – a classic urban legend.

  22. Paul – no I specifically mean Alan Partridge. That’s you, that is.

    Uncle Turf – there is nothing urban legendary about it. Meat Loaf got it wrong. End of. Although he does offer a strong explanation there, but it’s one of these ex-post-facto rationalisation things (similar to the explanations of why Americans say ‘could care less’ etc.).

  23. Eh? No, NG, I mean ‘in the air tonight’ – surely you’ve heard of that one?

  24. Haha I love Alan Partridge.
    Have any of you seen that e-sports program on BBC 3 ? Last night they showed a monumental rocket league comeback, mainstream now!

    Nearly went out of the FA Cup at home to Wycombe last night, only a 91st minute Mané equaliser rescued the tie, I’m sure they’d paid the ref off, they kicked me all over the park.

    Did a nifty bit of business in the Jan transfer window, Vardy + cash for Aubameyang from Dortmund.

  25. Uncle Turf – oh, right, no, I’ve never actually heard of the ‘In The Air Tonight’ one. Just looking into it now, it doesn’t seem the juiciest of them, but still intriguing.

    Paul – Alan Partridge is almost like PES for me: something I’ve been with from the start (The Day Today on Radio 4 in the 1990s). There’s not a single piece of Partridge media I haven’t devoured many times over. Yes, I’m one of those who can recite great chunks of all the various scripts in a Partridge-esque fashion. The most concentratedly funny Partridge experience is the audiobook of his autobiography, I, Partridge, narrated by Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge. The great secret of Alan Partridge (and David Brent and other similar ‘cringe characters’) is that they are secretly sympathetic characters whom the viewer is meant to like. The I’m Alan Partridge episode ‘Basic Alan’ (season 1, episode 4) encapsulates this.

    PES2017 end of year review is up later today. Still playing PES5. Your mention of FIFA is nudging me in the direction of something I long-ago half-jokingly ‘threatened’ to play and feature on the blog: the PS2/PC version of FIFA07, which I thought rather good at the time in a 6/10 sort of way.

  26. Im a big fan of the ‘cringe-humour’ style that alan partridge, the office, young ones etc styled themselves on.
    I remember one particular episode of AP in particular where he was scoffing himself with Toblerone and his ankles swelled up or something and he got stuck in his car and was shouting for Lynn ….. just remember literally crying.

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