Hello Krul World

The puntastic Tim Krul was my big signing at the start of the January window of Season 1.

I’ve abandoned all thought of using House Rules in this ML for now. I am playing it ‘straight’ in transfers in and transfers out, and will see how far this gets me. I did get rid of Giorza, but mainly because I feel he’s too much a known quantity for me already. The £5m his sale brought in won’t hurt either.

The sturdiness of the AI in PES2018 is a pleasant surprise. I am still regularly having my ‘ass’ handed to me on a plate in sudden whirlwinds of devastating attacking play and/or my dopey defending.

My leaky defence needs rebuilding. I searched for Free Agents among the GK fraternity, saw Tim Krul, put in a cheeky enquiry for him, and just about got him by offering Appearance and Win fees (a good addition to the contract negotiations) on top of a reduced wage. My final offer had only a 74% chance of success, but it was accepted. I’ve had higher-rated offers for other players in the 83% range rejected. I really like this ‘do ya feel lucky?’ aspect of transfers this year. I enjoy playing with the various toggles and sliders. History tells us to enjoy such things while we can, because they tend to be mysteriously removed one or two editions later.

Krul started great, performing heroics in a 0-0 draw – the first goalless match I can remember in this ML.

If one of the metrics of a great football game is the sturdiness of its fouling model, another might well be the frequency of its nil-nils.

I’m not judging, for now.

Krul’s impressive turn between the posts was the main story for me. It’s started being said that PES2018 keepers are individuals once again. When was the last time a keeper made the difference in PES? Possibly as far ago as the middle PS3 years – the PES2011-PES2012 zone. Or earlier.

I’m looking for triumphs in PES2018. I’m looking for reasons to ignore the appalling removal of fouls. At the time of writing I have just completed a session of 4 matches in which there was not a single AI-committed foul. Not even one. Needless to say, this was the worst single session of PES2018 so far.

Never in my most fevered nightmare did I ever think Konami would do what they seem to have done with PES2018. They have quite blatantly removed fouls from this football game.

My fingers have worked out PES2018 well enough that I am no longer getting even a pathetic 1 or 2 fouls per match. At least 1 or 2 was something. Now? Fouls are gone. They are GONE.

A football game without fouls is free of consequences. There are effectively no rules. Anything goes. Everything must flow. This is a new low benchmark even for new-style, online-oriented PES. I fear the worst for the rest of the year.

But I am enjoying the here and now. Whatever the future brings, right now is good.

Why is PES so good? Here’s a winning goal near the end of a match that helps to illustrate why.

The goal itself isn’t that special, although it is good. The special moment of PESness, for me, came when the ball dropped to Rice just outside the box, and in that moment I knew I was going to have a shot. I didn’t know it was going to be a goal. For all I knew it would scream hopelessly wide, or just be blocked. No – the greatness was the anticipation of the shot.

The goal won me the match, and a precious – and rare – three points.

I remain rooted to the bottom of the table. But I’m on Classic mode now, so I’ll be receiving no marching orders (in the UK English sense of that phrase).

Updated: 29th September 2017 — 08:43


  1. Just had to check I had changed the difficulty to top player as I have won 7 and lost 2 on TP in the Premiership.

  2. After all the talk earlier, just had a 5 match session that was one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had in any PES, ever. Sod’s law.
    3 wins, a draw and a loss have clawed me Up to 12th. And overturned the negative GD.
    I played Barnsley who champion commented had the worst Defense in the league, it showed as I put 4 past them but still in true fashion, leaked 2 for a 4-2 win, stand in CF Hervey had a stormer and bagged a brace. Carrying that momentum into the next match against Burton Albion with a 3-0 win and Hervey getting a hat trick. Then a 2-0 win over Derby with Lobato and again Hervey bagging.
    The sesh ended with a tight last min 2-2 draw against Fulham away, and a 2-0 defeat to Brentford, they played me off the park.

    Every game felt different, realistic and totally enjoyable, with some beautiful passages of play for both me and the COM, only gripe was again blatant fouls not being given, and a goal I scored labelled as an own goal that was never a dubious goals panel jobby.

    My fouls count for those 5 matches were 0,5,1,0,1 – damn you konami.

    Darryl – that’s some great form there mte. How didn’t you find those matches in terms of variation of play from the AI?

  3. Paul – Mixed. This game really is a Jekyll and Hyde game as some sessions I get moments like you describe. However, early impression from the Premiership is that the better teams are poor and nondescript. Once you work out how to cut out the through ball there is very little the CPU has to offer as I have only conceded 4 in 9 games. Sometimes I forget who I have just played.

  4. Like Paul, I also had a rather enjoyable session with PES 2018 last night, the only difference being I didn’t win a single one of the five matches I played.

    I’ve now dropped from 3rd to 16th in this early stage of season two on Top Player but every match last night was gloriously tough without feeling impossible. As n-G said, it feels very PES 2012 but without the central shooting. That’s a good thing.

    Darryl – That sounds a bit disappointing. Do you think it’s because the top teams have sold their best players? I did play and lose to Premier League West Ham in the cup last night and they felt a class above to the usual Div 2 teams. Andy Carroll was very much like his real world and often injured self.

  5. Plan B.

    It took most of yesterday evening, but I’ve started again with Forest, on classic obviously, and simulated the first season signing nearly all of the players I had before. The one’s I have missed I will try and pick up in Jan season 2. Could sim all the way to Jan, but team spirit has taken a massive hit, so will spend half a season building that back up. Only half a season lost.

    Cheating? Sort of. Feel guilty about it? Hell no! The “Challenge” mode is a nice idea in principle but ultimately flawed and lazily implemented. Like most of the game really.

    I can also confirm absolutely no difference in signing difficulty/frequency or budgets between challenge/classic.

  6. Darryl, that was my fear. I’ve probably played about 40 matches on TP, inc the half a season in ML and friendlies, and to me, as I commented before, the level is so overpowered that every team just felt the same, no distinction between Chelsea and Brighton, or Arsenal and Bournemouth.

    I want to look at the schedule and think ‘Oh, Palace at Home, cut out Benteke’s supply and I should be able to grab 3 points here’ or ‘damn, Utd at Old Trafford, play a 5-4-1and go for damage limitation’ …… instead of every single opponent just meaning overpowered spammed through balls, backheels, and laser guided shots.

    Anyone played ML regularly on Superstar? Does it feel any different? Is that huge gaping holes in midfield issue still present ?

  7. Tommy – I do find it very odd that you got the boot mid-season having been so close to 9th. I was 18th in December when I was on Challenge Mode but was given a reprieve. I wonder what’s going on there.

    Paul – I see plenty of talk on the forums about Superstar being “broken”. Perhaps one or two of the PES hardcore are playing and suffering ML at that level but it seems it’s like you describe Top Player only worse.

  8. Paul – I’ve been on Superstar since January in Season 1. I’m currently in Season 3 and I’m very happy with the challenge provided, certainly no need for Legandary. Season 2 was weird though, I found it very easy and finished in 7th, qualifying for the Europa League. I was confident, huge transfer/wage budget and upgraded my team as much as possible all looking very PES 2017. . . .then Season 3 put me back in my box.

    CPU teams are relatively varied, Man City will have around 95% pass completion, Burnley about 80-85%. Still very high of course but there is a difference. The main reason I lost 4-0 to Man Utd last night and drew 2-2 with Villa was the quality of the Defence/Attack between the 2 teams. Ibrahimovic scored an absoulute amazing first time volley whilst Scott Hogan missed two 1-on-1s. I play 4-5-1 against the best teams just trying to get a 0-0 and then 4-4-2 against the rest unless I need a goal then it’s 4-2-4. I’m happy but can see why some would feel ‘cheated’. Personally I think the CPU beat me on merit and I can see the problem i.e. I need better players to compete.

  9. Yeah Shed seems Konami have really screwed the balance of the game up difficulty wise this year.
    Instead of intelligently increasing the difficulty by making COM teams close space down better, tackle more, attack with greater purpose, all they have done is seemingly give every single player a hidden across the board stats boost multiplier, so a player on professional may have say Passing 75, Shooting 78, Strength 72, Technique, 74 then the same player on TP is boosted to something like 80,82,76,80 then superstar the same player is 88,90,82,90 … and so on …

    This results in the same tired style and avenues of play but just that every player is way more powerful and able than your own players.
    In other words, another half assed poorly implemented Konami feature.

    You can imagine the Dev meeting …. “Feedback shows people think the game is too easy” …… “lets just make every player play like Ronaldo and Messi – that will be hard to beat”

    Professional seems the only level were things are realistic and balanced, but will ultimately not provide a long term challenge as players will beat it too easily quite quickly.

    Cook – Now that sounds more promising, i guess its a suck it and see type thing with SS

    A few new kits up on PESFX, inc a Ltd edition Sons of Anarchy kit

    View post on imgur.com

    Also, scored thgis goal last night, it was classified as an own goal, how the hell can this ever be considered an own goal!?!?! Lobato heads on goal, the GK saves with his legs, Lobato follows up and the shot flicks off the grounded keepers legs, its a Lobato goal plain and clear every day of the week……

  10. Shed – Hence why I didn’t think I was in an danger in Jan. I was 23rd in Jan in season one and nothing happened, it was in the summer I got sacked the first time. I was 11th in Jan season 2 and surging up the table, no defeats in 6. As I said, a great idea in principle, but very poorly implemented. Shouldn’t have turned challenge back on!

    For reference, if anyone is interested, my nearly identical squad finished 18th in my simulated season one and my striker bagged nearly 20 goals (compared with my 9). Finished with about twice as many points as I could muster.

  11. Paul – That is clearly not an O.G although I’ve seen my players robbed of a goal on many a FIFA and PES over the years due to this kind of confusion.

    On difficulty levels, I kind of like the fact they have been shaken up. Top Player feels like it would have been starting ML on Superstar in previous years. I just don’t have the ability or the players to cope with it yet which I’m glad about. I want to fight for promotion and need to sign better players.

    Legendary level may be there just to for the PES masochists. Like dialling it up to 11 on the bucking bronco ride, if you will.

    What this rezoned difficulty is also doing is tempting me to gamble with Team Spirit points with a change of formation and tactics now and again – something I haven’t done for the last two ML campaigns at least. I’m currently playing a fluid 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 but am now tinkering with a 3-5-2.

  12. Shed – the teams still have quality players left as I am only in season 2 but is a worry longer term. My form has taken a little dip but still echo what Paul says about team individuality and playing styles. The design is to have fast flowing end to end games and on that front it is successful in it’s aims.

    I am a cynical old get and I think the whole fouls thing is a bit deeper. As I think developers are trying to put into people’s heads that they want footy games without stoppages. The more kids are in the menus and not actually playing games, the more they are spending money on Myclub. Every second counts and time is money. It’s all about the flow of cash. Maybe it is time for some ebb.

  13. Daryl, on Transfer window day 1 in my first season, Arsenal sold 9 first team players, Man Utd sold Lukaku …. back to Everton, Liverpool sold Oxlade-Chamberlain, transfers are well and truly broken.

  14. Paul – It doesn’t stop there. If you keep watching, they will only usually spend one season away, then they’ll be on the move again.

  15. Tommy, maybe its part of Konami’s master plan, keep big name players on the move, keeps it fresh and interesting…. in their eyes.
    I really do think its a big case of the Japanese not understanding football, or soccer, properly, massive culture disparity.

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