Vrany which way but lose

Wrapping up business at the end of Season 1, a certain amount of taking stock seems to be appropriate.

The acid question: do I like PES2018?

The answer’s not ‘no’,  but it’s not ‘yes’ either. It’s too soon to tell.

Sometimes I do love it. With a few tweaks – especially a certain very simple tweak that will prevent most matches playing out in a continuous, trance-like flow – this could be the Best PES Ever.

At other times, I dislike PES2018 quite intensely, it has to be said. PES2018 is a potential End of Year review to end all End of Year reviews, if certain things don’t change. Quite apart from the F-word, I find myself disliking the wider values it represents. Commercial appeal. Lowest common denominator gameplay. Tricks and flicks, stars, tattoos, and faces. Time and again since roughly PES2012 or so, the supposedly hardcore PES community has rolled over to have its tummy tickled, while essential elements of PES have been pared back, bit by bit, year on year.

Me too, mate, me too.

I wish I still looked as good as that. Like a trendy history teacher.

There are plenty of highlights. Vrany has been a surprise star for me this first season, playing at LB and DMF and CMF.

Krul, my big mid-season signing, turned all my heavy defeats into light defeats, and performed generally well enough to let me win and draw a few matches towards the end.

General gameplay, moving the ball around, trying to carve open defences and create chances – this was, and is, often excellent.

I also like the AI. A lot. I’m aware this is a minority opinion. It was the best of AIs, it was the worst of AIs… On the whole, I approve of the way the PES2018 AI sets about its business, fair and unfair. Any change to make this AI less deadly will be a change for the worst. It’s up to us to defend against it, or play on a lower difficulty level. Simple.

I’m going to have an unthinkably large amount of cash to spend in the transfer window.

I could bring in three or four good, solid, journeymen players.

Or one great player and a couple of Youths – which, let’s face is, is far more exciting and interesting, and so this is what I’ll probably do.

One of the great Master League traditions at the end of Season 1 is to splurge all your cash on a big star and start Season 2 with a threadbare squad as a consequence. And then limp desperately through to the January transfer window.

I can’t wait!

I played the FIFA18 demo over the weekend. Just the one match. 1-1. My goal was a penalty for handball. No fouls. Ultra-responsive handling. Lots of that lovely ‘flow’. I couldn’t tell you now what teams I played with or what players I controlled. There’s nothing in FIFA18 for me, at this juncture, that I’m not already getting from PES2018. And this says so much. The two games have almost become one.

Updated: 10th October 2017 — 10:41


  1. restarted Witcher 3 last night, making a big effort this time to learn all the systems, battle controls etc and get more immersed in the game world. Had forgotten quite how beautiful the graphics are – trotting on my horse up the river to the first village it looked like a shimmering landscape painting. JS Hutt/#1 – I presume that ‘swords and story’ would be the sensible difficulty level for a newcomer to the series?

    was enthusing to a colleague yesterday about Golf Story which set him off on a reminisce about how much of his university days were spent playing Nintendo Golf. We managed to find a NES flash emulator and played a few holes – damn these old games are difficult, no help at all on direction, distance, club selection, you had to base it all on what you saw on the screen. Took a 15 on the 2nd hole

  2. Abbeyhill – you’re fine just sticking with the default difficulty level. There’s a lot of combat but at its heart its a more story driven game. Especially on your first play through.

  3. NG – Liverpool v Man U games are rarely dour, boring 0-0’s, there’s usually something of debate in each game.
    The last 9 games between the sides have yielded 20 goals, over 2 goals a game average, and there has only been one 0-0 since 2006, and the fixture has the 6th highest amount of red cards out of all premier league fixtures.

  4. Paul- I completely agree with you regarding individual stats. I sometimes spend an hour tweaking the advanced search settings to identify the players I want, and i love it! Its so much more rewarding if you dobget the player aswell, and then in games observe and use those attributes to your advantage. I don’t really look much at OVR, probably a legacy of playing old pes.

    Shed- yeah I have a fantasy premier league team, i tinker with that even more than pes! In lots of leagues with friends and its enjoyable throughout the season 🙂

  5. Paul – I forgot to mention that Stevie G was always overrated 🙂

    Abbeyhill – don’t neglect Gwent. It’s the main reason I’m giving Witcher 3 another go, to be honest.

  6. I know NG – f*cker cost us the title 😉

  7. I’m easing off it for a few weeks now. Shadow of War arrived. I think playing it on my lunch break was making me irritable in work.
    Not been like that since Fifa 08-10 online days back when PES was broken. Probably a good sign

  8. What’s going on with all the emoji’s. Are we dumbing down on here as well?

  9. I think my PS4 is buggered as it is playing up on all games now. On Minecraft the screen is flashing all the time. All looking a bit grim, especially when you have a child with autism, who is obsessed with Minecraft.

  10. Darryl – get a USB stick into that PS4 pronto and back up all your saves, particularly your son’s Minecraft data. Back up everything.

    It’s always possible your settings have been altered by another user or an update, so try a few things.

    In the PS4 menu go Settings>Sound and Screen>Video Output>Deep Colour Output>OFF. That might work for the flicker.

    All the other stuff sounds more worrying. The ultimate fix might be to restore the PS4 to factory settings and then update to the current firmware ‘fresh’. Make sure you’ve backed up save data first. If you have to get a new PS4, it’ll be simple to restore to where you were.

    My emoji use was to reassure Paul of humorous intent. I’ve got previous on ribbing him about Stevie G.

  11. Some nice goals Tommy!

    I’m a Saints fan living in Croydon; going down to watch the game Sunday. What’s your prediction toon NG? I’m going 1-1.

    Ive finished the first month of my ML. Feel free to vote in the Goal of the Month on the Twitter I created for it 🙂

  12. NG knows i bite easily where Sir Stevie G is concerned.
    Sounds worrying Darryl. Definitely get that bad boy backed up mate.
    Booting into safe mode and then see if any of the issues persist might be worth a try before doing anything. Will give you an indication of whether it’s software or hardware related.

  13. Jay – a pleasing array of fairly straightforward goals to choose from there – typical OG Default fare for early seasons, so the concept is holding up.

    Between Goal B and Goal C for me, and C just takes it because of the covering defender tracking the runner.

  14. abbeyhill: the default difficulty is fine. After you play a little bit, you will find it is really easy except on bosses. But you can change it whenever you want. Try to enjoy the story and not the combat.

    yesterday I played another Fifa session and after seeing my players colliding with each other in the midfield I kind of felt sad about the way this game is coded…

  15. Met an old friend in my session last night – the ability nerf. Every mid range pass, through ball, shot, all going wide of where I actually aimed. I appreciate teamwork may be low in a new team but this felt like punishment for a blistering start. The games were very very fast too. Three consecutive losses before I stopped the rot with an absurdly slow cup match. Times like these you feel you’re being played. Had it continued I was ready to quit to RPGs.

  16. I’d go goal D Jay, nice touch to take it under control, side step the defender ad a good finish.

  17. Uncle Turf – the nuPES ability nerf is a definite thing. Most often seen when one of your players puts in a great individual performance in one match – and then effectively disappears for several matches afterward. My Palacio in PES2017 for example. If he scored a brace or a hat-trick in one match, I might as well not pick him for the next match. I don’t recall a single instance when this general principle didn’t apply. It’s too consistent an effect across every PES since PES2015 (and again in ’18) for it to be a subjective perception – it’s a reality. It’s a coding decision that might well contribute to online ‘balance’ (cf. the onliners’ moans about scripting), but helps to undermine the old-school ML feel of ML.

  18. Jay – Goal D is the best but Goal B is my favourite. Are the ML defaults OGs the same ratings as whenever they last appeared? How is the player growth? 3 seasons in and I’m finding player growth to be less overpowered this year.

    I’ve had a few days away with work so no PES which is probably a good thing but I am looking forward to getting back on it, I signed a cracking right midfielder in the summer transfer window and he’s a joy to control.

  19. Paul/Cook – I think Jay would like the votes to be cast on his Twitter as well as here, if you haven’t already. What I like about the goals is that they’re appropriate to the level his team is currently at. The best advert for the OG Defaults.

  20. Thanks for the votes guys 🙂 if you could vote on Twitter that would be great, if not I’ll happily count them from here.

    Thanks for the kind words NG.

    Cook, I agree on player growth being more realistic/less overpowered this year, too. I didn’t make the file for the Defaults so didn’t make the ratings but I’ll check for you and post. I know their overall star rating was 1.5. The lowest I’ve seen along with Millwall.

    I’ll post ratings soon 🙂

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