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.