Last year around this time, in PES2017, I picked up a young striker who became quite a character in the otherwise rather bland individual landscape of that game. F FRIDAY was his name – and no, I haven’t bought him again this year in PES2018 (yet). I have, though, stumbled across another big and relatively young CF whom I have taken rather a shine to.
B GUILLAUME is his name. That’s pronounced, it seems, Gee-yome, with roughly equal stress on both syllables, and a hard G at the start. It’s a surname that unfailingly reminds me of a traumatic childhood event when my favourite character left the sitcom Soap. The Tates’ butler Benson left for his own spin-off show, and I was too young to understand or accept it. If you know what the hell I’m talking about here, I’ll be impressed.
I’ve cleared a load of players out, and brought in a few including a youth GK to serve as understudy to Krul, who continues to be great between the sticks. I’ve had quite a few nil-nils since Krul’s arrival that would have been defeats beforehand.
I’ve abandoned my 4-3-3 and reverted to my favoured formation of the past few years, the 4-2-2-2 with two DMFs and two wide-ish AMFs. AUGUSTIN (that old Youth stalwart) arrived as backup GK after this screenshot was taken.
Arcas and Casteledine, alas, are nothing like their glorious 2016 incarnations. They’ll be moved on in a season or so when the time is right.
Here’s a goal scored by Guillaume on his debut. I like how the ball squirms into his path, and of course the half-volley is sublime. Best goal of my PES2018 progress so far:
Tacked onto the end of the goal footage is a replay of a shooting-range free kick I had in the same match. As it turns out, I blasted the kick over – though not by much. I tacked it on there to show the new BaL-style camera view, where it lingers for the few seconds it takes the shot to travel.
Maybe one day I’ll get to see the ball go into the net. At the rate these shooting-range free kicks are coming along for me – 2 in around 35 ML matches so far – I might be waiting a while.
No-fouls continues to disgust me. The word ‘disgust’ is not hyperbole, here. I really mean it. It really is actual disgust.
To see a distinguished, venerable series like Pro Evolution Soccer comprehensively and, it seems, permanently dragged down into the mud, all in the name of online ‘flow’ – what’s not to be disgusted about?
The bottom line is that PES2018 will have to stand without one of the most important supporting buttresses that a serious football game needs: a proper rules-based framework that restricts the kind of play both sides can get away with. In the anything-goes environment of no-fouls, button-mashing trance-states soon become the norm.
I thought PES2016 and PES2017 were as poor as the situation would get. I was wrong. Wow, was I wrong. I used to get ‘butt-hurt’, as they say on the Internet, if one solitary match in PES2016-PES2017 would end with zero fouls. One. Hah! Little did I know that they would come to seem like the good old days. In PES2018, entire sessions of 4-5 matches can pass without a single AI foul. This is a whole new level of outrageous.
What’s done is done. There might be a patch, there might not be a patch. It might fix things, it might not fix things. One thing is certain. They won’t ever do anything to upset the online players. This is a fact. So any fouls ‘fix’ that is truly meaningful will have to be optional on a per-game basis, much like weather and time-of-day settings. Which sounds like the kind of feature that gets rolled over to the next iteration in a series – or quietly forgotten. We’ll see.
Regular and irregular readers alike might be pleased to hear that I don’t plan to go all Chief Inspector Dreyfus on the fouls question. I’ve had my say in comments over the weekend on the previous post, and again here today. I’m focusing on the playing now.