Carry On Clamping

I’ve just passed the mid-season point of Season 5. I spent the January transfer window chucking anonymous players overboard like so much ballast from a hot-air balloon. I can barely remember their names now.

Player individuality in our modern PES continues to be a highly contentious issue. I say that player individuality – PES’s principal reason for being PES – is all but gone from the series. Some swear passionately that it’s still around. Some even say that player individuality never really existed – that it is I who has changed, not PES.

Verratti arrived some time ago, a star signing, with the same physical stature of a Shaqiri (or a Shimizu), and the same intriguing cocktail of player stats. He had everything he needed to be an individual star in this ML. I’ve now played I think a full season with him. He might as well have been called Player 321-A, or something like that. I got rid of him without a moment’s thought.

My big signing was Lacazette from Arsenal. They sold him to me for a bargain £14m. His wages were affordable.

The CMF is R BENTANCUR. The DMF is L TOUSART. Both look very good, with very strong back-screen stats. Whether those stats will manifest themselves in any meaningful way is, of course, in the lap of the nuPES gods.

The table! I have quietly been plummeting into the relegation zone. Look at the state of this:

3rd from bottom.

I’ve won and drawn a match since this screenshot was snapped. I still think I will survive. I keep getting threatening messages from the Board. What is the point of them?

Lacazette made his debut, and got a goal that was noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it was noteworthy because it was Lacazette’s goal on his debut. It’s always special in real life when a new player does that. It gets the whole thing over and done with.

Second, this goal was special because I consciously recreated a real-life situation that I had just watched on MOTD2 on Sunday night.

The boys in the studio were looking at Lukaku’s goal for Man Utd, and praising Ashley Young’s cross from the left wing. I remember absorbing the way Young cut back, looked up, and curled one over to the back post area.

In PES2018, about an hour later, my LB, Kenedy, was in a similar position. I cut back with him, and noticed my new boy Lacazette hanging off Chelsea’s last man, Dier (who promptly darted a few yards forward for no reason). Thank you very much, I thought, and sent the cross over in a virtual carbon-copy of the Young-Lukaku goal. Except Lacazette chose to guide the ball home with his instep rather than his head.

When PES echoes real life it is always good. The counterpoint to that point is that I always expect PES to be better than real-life football.

The festive season has us by the throat, and we know what that means. It means discovering the likes of Carry On Camping where you expected Newsnight. And it means an altered posting schedule for PES Chronicles.

Friday 22nd December: normal post.

Tuesday 26th December: no post.

Friday 29th December: normal post.

Tuesday 2nd January 2018: possible post (i.e., no text, but I might upload a special video highlights reel of my festive season exploits).

Friday 5th January 2018: normal post, and all back to normal. The evenings will be noticeably lighter by the end of the month. Roll on PES2019!!!

I will of course be active in comments over the entire period. I have some time off work, and anticipate putting in quite a few hours at the ML coalface.

Updated: 19th December 2017 — 11:15


  1. I see J Correa is still in your squad. I seem to recall he was an early signing of yours so must have survived a few culls. I had him in my team for a few seasons because he had just enough to distinguish himself from the AMF carbon copies. I’ll be interested to see how Lacazette gets on, he should be the perfect PES 2018 forward based on stats/physicality.

    I haven’t played PES in nearly a week but I do have the urge for a session this evening. I’ve mostly been playing Dead Cells, an early access platform/slasher RPG roguelike, tremendous fun and frustration in equal measure. I did notice how much easier using the PS4 controller is now on Steam which is a welcome change from the last time using a third party programme.

  2. I have Correa in my team also. I’ve not yet found anyone I think who would improve the position enough for me to splash out. I am finding it’s very hard to impose the sole AMF I play into the game when compared to previous iterations. It does get very clogged up on the edge of the box and he rarely gets the space to have a ping. Maybe I just need a better player in there but I do find a lot of my goals coming from crosses these days. That was until they dried up. My Europa League campaign has started abysmally and i’m Languishing in about 8th or 9th. I really thought I could push for the title this year but I think that may have gone.
    United beat me last night with a Lukaku exorcet into the top corner after they’d barely had a sniff all game. I took a deep breath, saved the game and turned the Xbox off. I’ll be back tonight, I’m hoping for some session related upturn in fortunes.

  3. And that’s one of the main gripes/issues/irritations with this game. The AMF role has been largely made redundant due to the abysmal AI and positional/tactics links.

    Every team plays in such a similar way that they totally pack the penalty box th whole game, the transition from attack to defence is so super quick, that you cannot catch COM teams out anymore, their players go from losing the ball high up the pitch, to back in their original line of formation in a nanosecond.
    Someone tell me if they have ever played a counter attack whereby they had 3 or 4 of their players attacking 2 or 3 of the COM’s players ???

    If they have then i guarantee its a very rare occurrence.
    Same with the AMF, its null and void because of the packed boxes, you cannot operate an AMF in his true sense of the position.

    The game play is so one dimensional, rigid and stifling it becomes frustrating and annoying very quickly.

  4. Cook – my Correa certainly is a survivor, not because he’s exceptional but because I know there is no other AMF/SS hybrid player who is going to come in and be any better, so he might as well just stay. Him and Prieto on the other side are both solid.

    I’ve played about 5 matches with Lacazette now, and as ever with PES since PES2015, he has done nothing since match 1 and his debut goal. I’m currently trying to play PES2018 in a different way, very slow and methodical, and it is yielding much better matches. The last few years of run-and-gun arcade action – PES2016 in particular – have reprogrammed our muscle memory. But it is so easy to transition from defence to attack in 1-3 passes.

    Keith – unlike many, I remain impressed by the AI, no matter how unfair it is. It got a goal against me last night that had I scored it, I’d have uploaded it for viewing here.

    Paul – just one long-ranger for me in this PES – and I still blaze away at them whenever I can – says it all. You’ve probably forgotten my PES2018 long-ranger, so here it is again:

    No, we don’t get that kind of space on Top Player and above.

    The AMF role in PES is a wide-man role now I think. They’ve programmed the AI to plug all gaps in the central areas very efficiently – too efficiently.

  5. n-G – A ML relegation? It must have been ages since that last happened.

    Paul – I do love the fact that when you go off PES you REALLY go of it. I agree with much of what you say about PES 2018 but given you were at the same point with PES 2017 and enjoying FIFA, I did find it slightly surprising that you jumped on the PES 2018 bandwagon so eagerly. Not a criticism, merely an observation.

    I played a few more games on FIFA 17 last night, having started a new Career Mode as Colchester United in the bottom division. In six games, I’ve already had a penalty and a couple of injuries and the individuality, while similar to PES, is heightened by the bells and whistles of the excellent CM.

    I’m certainly not ruling out another round of FIFA fatigue but PES now has plenty to bring about a similar sense of the mundane – even more so I would say.

    Playing FIFA 17 really underlines how little difference there is between PES and FIFA in terms of gameplay now. I used to fantasise about a PES with a ML of the depth and quality of FIFA’s. While £2 FIFA 17 feels a bit like that fantasy has come true, I don’t feel more sad about the demise of PES than I do over joyed by the state of FIFA.

  6. Paul – Must admit, I knew that post would be right up your strasse and would likely get a response. It is a frustration as the AMF historically has always been my favorite position. The counter attack scenario (or lack of) is also a frustration, Michael Oren bursting through one on one just doesn’t happen now.

    I am still really enjoying it for now though. I cant say how long it will last (I’m only in my 4th season). I guess i’ll know a bit more by the end of this year.

    Just to quickly dip my toes in the FIFA 18 debate, I thought i’d try the demo as I haven’t played one since about FIFA 11. I reckon I could have a cracking time with a Coventry career on it if PES didn’t exist but for me it still doesn’t play as well. (Admittedly I only played a few games)

  7. Shed – I was in town today for a few of the famous ‘bits’ that everybody is so keen to pick up in the week before Christmas, and I came home with a nagging feeling that I’d forgotten something. Now you’ve reminded me – I meant to pop into CeX and get FIFA17 for £4! Never mind, I think I’ll be back in town later this week, and they had a shelf-full.

    I really don’t want an ML relegation and will be pulling out all the stops to prevent it. Playing for a 0-0 and taking any scraps that come my way, etc.

  8. Keith – I have fond memories of Michael Owenn (ISS98) single-handedly destroying teams with pace. Get in behind the defensive line with Owenn, and put away the 1-on-1 chance… Wonderful.

    I’m in the same place with FIFAs 17 and 18 – was not impressed after trying both demos, last year and this. But I do have the full FIFA17 in my future hopefully.

  9. Only FIFA 16 in my local CEX………

    NG – I did have an absolutely thwack scored by the AI last night from a very odd positon. Left wing, right on the edge of the penalty area. Absolutely nailed it straight through and over my keeper into the roof of the net. I’ve never ever seen one like it.
    I still swore though.

  10. One thing I immediately miss while playing FIFA 17 is that PES 2018 AI. As I said a while back, I think many of us are going to miss that opponent AI when moving on to whatever game on whatever console, PC or whatever.

  11. I can’t say I didn’t see that one coming with Verratti. He’s short, not fast, not a winger-like dribbler and he’s not particularly known for being a scorer…but he’s a fantastic passer and he’s probably top-5 in the world when it comes to hold on the ball in tight spaces. In real life, you spot him rightaway because there’s hardly any space to play and, unlike 90% of his opponents, he feels rather comfortable in that situation; in PES, there’s so much space in the midfield you don’t need a guy like Verratti. He excels at creating space, but the space is already there so he’s useless because he’s basically Pirlo if Pirlo looked like a lesbian. Might as well replace him with a typical box-to-box who attacks the space and keeps the flow of the offense running.
    A wise man once said “give me Renato Sanches and 10 Oranges-001 and I’d win the Champions League in either of 2017’s football simulations”.

    Interestingly, both PES and FIFA have paved the way (foreshadowing, maybe?) a revolution happening in football these days: the classic nº8 is becoming obsolete. Look at Man.City, a team who’s breaking all records in the PL…they supposedly play a 4-3-3 but while this tactical system used to have a defensive midfielder and two centre-midfielders (or at least a CM and an AMF, like Xavi and Iniesta) they play two side-midfielder/winger/AMF combo there (De Bruyne and Silva). Portuguese top teams have been doing this for years – usually in a 4-4-2 with an anchorman and a SMF/WG/AMF hybrid transformed into a nº8 – and the PL is catching up on this right now. Modern offensive organizations for top-3 teams in any football league need only 3 defensive-minded players to prepare for the defensive transitioning (two DCs and a DM: Otamendi, Kompany and Fernandinho), the remaining 7 play a carousel, almost handball-like, increasingly positionless game of deceiving the opponent’s marking to find way through the best defensive organizations the world has ever seen tactic-wise. In order to do that, you need not players who excel at one particular thing (like Verratti and his passing) but a type of player who acts as a box-to-box, a creative passer, a very good dribbler, fast, agile and why not, a good shooter of the ball – and depending on the situation, he’ll become either one of those…De Bruyne comes to mind. He’s a threat on many levels and not just one; and the higher the number of possible threats a defensive organization has to worry about, the less effective will the defence be.

    Forget the classic nº10, the classic 8, the anchorman! Now your goalkeeper is also a defender and a midfielder, your centre-backs are midfielders, side-backs are wingers, midfielders are attackers, your attackers are midifielders, wingers and strikers, and everyone is a defender when the ball is lost.
    Player individuality is losing track not only in PES/FIFA but in real-life too.

  12. orlando.jabulani – agree with all of that too, great stuff, what’s bothered me about the Spains and Man Citys of our brave new footballing era is that so many of their players are interchangeable, just like the multi-hybrids of PES and FIFA since 2015. I don’t think this is PES and FIFA shrewdly mimicking footballing trends, by the by. They’re both definitely just clawing for the multiplayer dollar (and clawing rather well). Football gaming in the online era reminds me of one of those melee shooters with three or more different ‘classes’ of character to play. I.e. a sniper, an explosives expert, a gunner, etc. You can probably picture the publicity packshot right now. Sounds great in theory but in practice the demands of ‘balancing’ means that all the classes have to play pretty much the same, and typical gameplay is just a frantic rolling melee of constant deaths and respawns, with no one class or faction ever gaining the upper hand.

    Poor old Verratti and so, so many others fall right into this deep dark hole in PES. 10 years ago, he’d have changed the course of my entire ML and carried matches on his own and been missed when absent for any reason. In 2017, I cannot recall a single notable thing he ever did in a season of matches. Not one. This right here is the reason why the nuPES philosophy is a betrayal of the series.

  13. not-Greg – Exactly, I’d argue “hybrid football” in real-life is becoming the new norm as a response to the lack of space to play in when attacking and the increasingly competent defensive organizations: attacking organizations had to step it up. In a few years someone will have to crack the code and answer back with a defensive style that neutralizes hybrid football (maybe Mourinho’s son?) and the cycle goes on and on, refueling our passion for the sport.

    Now, modern PES and FIFA just took the lazy route and created a world where the defensive organization willfully creates the space for the attack to take advantage of, and that breaks the cycle I spoke of. Without a defence that makes you work for a scoring occasion, you’re free to dumb down your attack because a lazy effort is going to work anyway…why would we need a Verratti to build the play then? And if the attack is dumbed down, the defence doesn’t have to find ways to improve its positioning, so here’s a negative cycle spawning up for you and probably the reason why 2017 football gaming not only does not look like the real-life sport at all, but also took several steps back in this decade. Attack and defence have to be always jostling for the upper hand in a football game, otherwise it’s not football. For me, that’s what’s boring: lazy defences and lazy attacks, a dumbed-down match.

  14. Shed – I jumped on PES 18 day one because like many, unless your turf, its a build up, anticipation and something new to look forward to, plus, the demo was really really good, and They had stated that ML was revamped and improved, so why wouldn’t I have bought it!?!?
    The fact that they drastically changed the game from first Beta, to Demo, then to full release, in such a way that it was unrecognisable, and blatantly lied about ML being revamped, nothing I could then do about that.

    I did enjoy FIFA 17, my 4 seasons with Liverpool gave me more enthralling, tight, edgy, and rewarding, and ultimately fun, experiences than the last 25 seasons on ML spanning 3 different PES games.
    Absolutely DO NOT judge FIFA 18 by the demo, EA released a huge patch just 5 days after the game launched which fixed and addressed a ton of stuff, where as we PES players had to wait 2 months for a placebo fouls patch.

    I’ve had several opportunities to play this week, but just haven’t, the appeal of firing up PES 18 just to be annoyed hasn’t enticed me to do so, and I need to bring this season 7 to a conclusion, then I can move on.

    The issue with PES 18 is that so many shortcuts have been taken, the biggest being that the tactical system is heavily linked with the AI, so players only move in a rigid, structured formation, like table football.
    This is why you never ever catch a team out and get behind their defence for one on ones, or outnumber them in a counter attack, you never ever see the Right back stuck up the field Glen Johnson style after an attack breaks down, and out of position, you never ever see the defence step up and try to play offside, ever.

    its just constant monotonous structured lines of players sliding up and down a pitch a few yards each direction, never any mobility, never any freedom of movement, never any variation.
    Also because of this and the rigid way the AI plays, there is also very limited ways that they attack, all just one dimensional.

    I’m gobsmacked how any intelligent, football loving player, can even remotely enjoy or suggest that this is a good form of AI. Its infantile at best.

  15. Xmas PES 18 kit for anyone that fancies a bit of festive fun.

  16. Paul – I can’t seem to crack the Superstar AI either, and I’m seriously considering dropping down to Top Player so I can enjoy the game more. This kind of AI was necessary to counter the ‘5-season collapse’ syndrome that has dogged PES in more editions than not.

    I will be picking up FIFA17 this week at some point – hopefully that magic shelf of preowned £4 copies will still be there in CeX when I pop in tomorrow or Friday – and I believe I will give it a good old go over Christmas. PES2018 fatigue is very apparent with me at the moment and I need something fresh.

  17. NG – its not even ‘cracking’ the SS AI that’s an issue, its being subjected to it that is the problem.
    The way it cheats, nerfs your players, and the one dimensional approach to its play, is the issue.

    I’m pretty confident that as Konami are putting all their eggs in the online basket, they dont need to worry so much about AI as its all human controlled, so the offline AI system was just another afterthought, minimal time spent on it, shortcuts taken, and just cobble something very crude together for us ML players, with absolutely no testing at all.

    I’ve stepped down to TP too, results were no better, probably because i just don’t concentrate or focus, and have little interest in the matches, just want them played.

    I will have a session tonight, and really concentrate and try to gleem some small nugget of enjoyment from the matches, but I know there is no longevity in PES 18.
    It does way too much wrong, or just doesn’t do basic things at all, there is nothing to keep me wanting and waiting to play ML from day to day, its another hollow, shallow, poorly implemented mode with little to do but play match after match against a crap AI.
    Pointless winning the league, you don’t get shown a trophy or anything, no reward factor.

  18. Paul – it sounds to me like you need to drop PES2018 right now. Even if you manage to wring a few good sessions out of the rest of your season, it’s emotionally over for you. I’ve yet to step down to TP but definitely will be doing, as my last few sessions have been pretty poor, and it’s no good masochistically plugging away for bogus abbeyturf-like Purity reasons.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree about the AI. My other favourite games, XCOM2 and Civilization, operate by giving themselves ridiculous bonuses at higher levels. The PES2018 operates in the same way. The only alternative to this would be an AI so weak that it would be worse. The AI as it is is the lesser of two evils. Game AI in general is still stuck in the 1950s, across the board. Recent well-publicised ‘breakthrough’ AI experiments are a very long way from ending up in any computer game that we might play anytime soon..

    I totally agree about ML, though. I’ve done my best to make do, but the finances for just one thing are hideously misconceived. I currently have £110,000,000 in the transfer kitty and £100,000 in the salary budget. Big teams’ lineups are unrecognisable, with their former big players popping up at random everywhere (including Lacazette at my basement-dwelling club). Player growth is meaningless because individuality is as good as meaningless. They did a bad thing to our PES when they went for the online dollar.

  19. I agree wholeheartedly with your ML analysis NG, even if AI was really good and game play was spot on, there would still only be limited life in PES 18, because there would be nothing to do with the game play.
    ML offers nothing to keep the attention span focused, or no reward for squad building, it’s so limited in features and the features that are there don’t work properly and/or are highly unrealistic.

    The whole reason we loved ML so much in the past was the journey, the building of a no-hope squad into one that can beat anybody, via careful fund management, wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, making the right signings etc.
    These days it’s purely aimed at casual, almost-instant success type play.

    One example recently. Started season 7 First season in the Premier league after being promoted as Championship runners up, Owner objectives for that season should purely have been to avoid relegation, but No, he wanted european football, in the first season.
    I finished that season 14th, and was met with a message from the Owner who said he was disappointed that i’d failed to meet hos objectives and wasn’t sure he could place his trust in me to lead this club anymore. Highly unrealistic.
    Then the end of season finances message came, that I already had a strong enough squad so wasn’t being given any more additional funds, and it was a paltry increase, something like £250k for transfers and £65k for salaries.
    Next screen…. I was offered a new contract and told the board were happy with me and as a result id been given an extra £18 million for transfers and £6.5 million for salaries.

    I started the season with £133 mil / £14.5 mil respectively.
    The real life winners of the premier league ‘only’ get £90 mil – again highly unrealistic.

    Release fee’s – If you are some crappy club and want to sign Bale, you have no chance, yet if you meet his release fee (which is always ridiculously lower than his actual fee) it’s a guaranteed signing, as long as you can afford his wages.
    Contract renewals – nearly every single player insists on having a release fee when you try to renew a contract, if you choose no, the chances of him signing drop to 0%.
    Then, because nearly all your players have release fee’s when clubs make bids for your players, 90% of the time they offer way way under his market value, have a 85 OVR rated CF who’s value is £16 mil ? Com teams offer max of about 8 mil. Pathetic.

    All the big teams sell their key players every transfer window, players move around like travellers, if you loan a player to a club, the com team can, and does sell them, even though its not their player.

    The database is full of ‘Player Removed’ slots after Konami’s last update.
    And this is just one facet of ML mode, and so much is broke with it.

    Factor in that the in depth tactical options really dont make any difference because its so crudely linked together, and you can easily play RB’s at AMF, LWF at CF, CB’s as CM’s etc and it really doesn’t matter. Oranges 01, Oranges 02, Oranges 03 was perhaps a premonition.

    No hiring of staff anymore, so saving up for a level 5 scout so you can unlock player stats quicker is gone, no injuries so you don’t need a physio, Youth team players being filled by household names.

    Pointless and confusing nicknames being given to players at random (El Imbustre Catillio ??? a creative genius name being given to a player who had made one sub appearance for me in 6 months) …
    Favourite players feature ….. why?? whats the point???

    PES 18 will forever be remembered as the core Superb game play, bludgeoned by Abysmal AI, shockingly broken ML mode and total online focus.

  20. Paul – the ‘Player Removed’ nonsense is just embarrassing for Konami. Totally deflating.

    I just got around now to listening to that podcast you linked to on the previous post. Great stuff, but the host kept referring to something he called ‘The Masters League’. No such mode exists in PES. As we know, it’s just Master League. No definite article ‘The’. No plural ‘Masters’. I was massively triggered every time he said ‘The Masters League’, which was often.

  21. “it’s no good masochistically plugging away for bogus abbeyturf-like Purity reasons.”

    Dear oh dear look at the state of this sentence, no wonder PES has gone to the dogs! Next you’ll be telling us not-Greg that PES5 with the defaults is a boring slog and too difficult…

  22. Yeah I clocked that NG, that aside though, what they said was spot on, and that B-Man guy, obviously has had very close ties with Konami and what he said about Japan just doing what they want to do is what we’ve been saying for years.

  23. Paul – Unbelievable stuff right there, for a guy like me who hasn’t bought a PES game since PES2015. Way back I used to wonder how would the ML be like in 10 years time, maybe a ultra-real simulation with RPG-like elements to go along with the sport itself…but just like flying cars we’re nowhere close to that. They’re struggling with creating a rather simple yet stable simulation, makes no sense to me. I’m starting Season 4 in my PSP ML and an interesting thing has been happenning throughout my career: despite turning on “high transfer frequency” at the beginning of my journey, I’ve been seeing teams like River Plate who four years later changed maybe one or two players max. – though their magician Ortega has retired this season – and other sides in the same league with similar finances and reputation changed almost their entire starting 11 – Rosenborg, for example, bought 9 players in the first season and they were in the 2nd division. I can’t be sure about this but I don’t think this discrepancy in clubs’ attitude towards the transfer market remained the same in next-gen.

  24. Abbeyhill – I’m interpreting that sentence as ” no good plugging away as if I was a bogus form of abbeyturf’s uncompromising purity”. It’s surely his reasons that are being called bogus and not our principled stance.

    May I recommend another purity title – madden 17 – I have restarted three times without ever playing a game, such was my irritation at trades I felt could have been better handled. I love the smell of a good deal and offering the browns sam Bradford and an anonymous right end for their round one pick one draft was a master stroke. I used it to secure Todd gurley. I can’t stomach the redskins with their current owner so it’s Philadelphia eagles for me. If I ever complete a season.

  25. Uncle Abbey – there’s no value at all to be gained from plugging away at an un-enjoyable game of any kind, out of some sense of duty to Purity. PES5 from the start with the Defaults didn’t fit into the summer just gone – my multi-season ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ ML in PES5 saw me through. PES5 is the greatest football game ever made, the greatest PES game ever made, the greatest computer game ever made, and the greatest thing ever made. Right up there with antibiotics and sanitation. Above them, in fact. PES5 is the best thing.

  26. (Thinks….)….nope, sorry, no idea what you’re on about. ‘No value at all to be gained’? ‘some sense of duty’? Think you’ve been at the Bristol cream a touch early this Yuletide old son. Myself and Abbeyhill are the Hillary and Tensing of ML – it’s there so we’ll aim for it – unlike those who choose to amble up the Matterhorn by cable car.

    Pes5 isn’t even the best thing with ‘5’ in the title. That would be Fry’s Five Centres – surely a classic in anyone’s much loved chocolate bars of yesteryear collection.

  27. After my much bitching and whining about the sorry state of PES recently, I come reporting a better experience last night.
    All my previous comments stand true and I haven’t suddenly changed my mind about the game, those are facts, but I said I would try to gleen some form of enjoyment from my remaining matches of the season and last nights 4 game session was one of the much better ones.

    Not before time either, as I was well overdue a ‘not abysmal’ session.

    I changed things up a little, I dropped down to Top Player, Changed game speed back up to default 0, and changed the camera angle, its now a deviation of pitchside/long with lots of angle and zoomed in a bit, its basically as close to the broadcast angle as you can get but without the annoying zoomed in cut scenes and you can see more of the pitch to plan attacks and defend decently enough, really enjoying the isometric view and larger player models.
    I also adopted a new formation as shown below:


    Mixed bag of results, 2 wins, a draw and a defeat, but quite enjoyable matches, interspersed with the rubbish that ML throws up, shitty transfer offers for your players, silly nicknames, etc.

    I’ve said all along the actual core game play in PES 18 is the best we’ve ever had, its just everything else that hangs off it that ruins it, luckily last night the game play was allowed to shine through and not much ruined it.
    Except one game vs Leicester, one of those games that immediately you know its scripted for you not to win, or even score, the game was littered with incidents such as that shown below. Of course, I didn’t win. I lost.

  28. Also just bought myself a xmas present ….

    Ironwing Exile PC (Custom Config)

    PC Cases
    1 x CiT Prism Gaming Case – White [RGB]

    1 x AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.70GHz (4.00GHz Turbo) Quad Core CPU

    Graphics Card
    1 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Graphics Card

    1 x Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo Tower CPU Cooler

    1 x Gigabyte F2A78M-HD2 Motherboard

    1 x 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 (2 x 8GB) Memory

    Hard Drives
    1 x 240GB Solid State Drive
    1 x 1TB Seagate FireCuda Solid State Hybrid Drive – 5x faster than HDD

    Power Supply
    1 x Aerocool Integrator 500W 80+ Power Supply

    Internet Connectivity
    1 x 300Mbps USB WIFI Adaptor

    Operating System
    1 x Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

    Other Cables
    1 x 2m HDMI Cable Male to Male – Black

    Boot Drive
    240GB Solid State Drive

  29. Uncle Turf – PES5 is better than everything. This is a fact. And how’s the Legend ML coming along?!

    Paul – good shout on the cooling. My only real gripe with my own custom PC is that the stock cooling is very noisy. Granted we’re spoiled console peasants not used to the intricacies of the masterrace platform, but I wish I’d sprung for the extra cooling now as you have.

    I do love having two hard drives in one machine. It really is the business. You can say ‘oh, just plug a HD or large USB into a port on your existing machine’, but it’s really not the same as having two HDs integral to one machine. I’ve got my Steam library split between the two, with my main games on the SSD for speed of access and all the others stored on the 1TB.

    My first experience with a 16GB RAM computer as well, and it lives up to its billing. Really zippy.

    Another bad session on PES2018 last night for me, even on Top Player. I even started up FIFA16 to see how the other half live(d). The essential character of both games is much the same these days, isn’t it? The same core gameplay principles shape them both. As B-Man said on that podcast, Japan doesn’t seem to understand that we don’t want to play their version of FIFA.

  30. I remembered what you said about the cooling noise NG, so opted for the upgrade. I plan to plug the Pc into the Big 4k TV in the living room via HDMi so the quieter the better.

    Last nights enjoyable session just made me even more disappointed that there is a corker of a game there somewhere with PES 18, if only so much wasn’t wrong with it.

    How far have you got with installing PES 18 on PC and pimping it up ?

    That Podcast just perfectly summed it all up, with regards to PES now being only in name but a clone of FIFA.
    Online multiplayer is where its at now, that’s the mass market, that’s what companies develop for, and its such a sorry situation as most online gamers are casual pick up and play, instant gratification type players, win at all costs.

    This is clearly evident even with mobile phone games, I play a snooker game on iphone and literally 8 out of every 10 people I play against treat it like pool. There’s no strategy, no safety shots, no positional play, they smash into the pack from the break, if a ball is a very difficult pot right up on the bulk cushion and the cue ball is down on the base cushion, they’ll still attempt an ultra fine cut in from 12 feet, and the game itself supports this style of play as once another player needs a snooker, its game over, the other player wins, so if you are 19 pts behind with all the colours still in play, and you could easily pull it back, the game just ends, and awards the win to the first person to make the other need a snooker, surely this isn’t snooker, if you want to play the game like pool, go and play a pool game.

    So infuriating.

  31. Paul – still no PES2018 for PC for me, I’m really in no rush, first because I’m playing the game on PS4 and don’t have time, and second it was never the reason for me to get the PC, just a flimsy pretext. I’m enjoying myself porting all my PES games onto the new machine, one by one. It was PES2011’s turn last night, and I had a match to test everything out. 0-0 Eng vs Sco, a tight, tense affair in which I mustered I think 1 shot on target. That kind of outcome just isn’t allowed anymore. Tonight I should get PES2013 on there with the Jenkey patch.

    Online gaming would be the best thing ever if it wasn’t for other people.

  32. This was my PES 2013 PC Ver using Jenkey’s patch, and that was running on a iMac VM, so on your super PC it should run beautifully.

  33. Not started any kind of pes ml yet, madden has taken the little free time I have. That and watching smiley’s people for the first time. Read the book years ago.

  34. Paul – other than the cooling (how I regret not shelling out the few extra quid for that), your PC is the same specs as mine and I can happily report that it plays any game before around 2015-ish without any exertion, on max settings. I’m happy enough just using it as a PC too, and getting the benefit of that RAM and processor. Although I love my Macs, I’ve never been one of those ‘Apple people’, and I really love getting to grips with my own PC again. I’ve had a laptop of course but this is a big step up. Is yours arriving before Christmas?

    Uncle Turf – what’s the best Madden of the past 10 years? What’s the Madden series’ equivalent of PES5/PES6? Or of PES2012? Looking at the forums, they seem to love Madden 08.

  35. Sorry, I’m not qualified to say – I played madden years ago when it was blocky sprites on the snes but didn’t stay with the series as, like the demise of channel 4s coverage, I found alternative diversions. It’s only in recent years with the BBC and Sky mix redzone that I’ve returned. I’m struggling to see much change between my last version (15) and the one I bought, primarily for roster updates (17). I guess it’s partly due to how you play it – if all you do is eg. chuck the ball then like the online sprint clampers of pes it’s purely cosmetic. Like all sports games though they have numerous things I don’t see as i won’t click that ‘ultimate team’ button.

    I did used to enjoy the management sims of the sport, there was a plain old game one and a much deeper head coach on the spectrum. I’ve not played any on of, I’m not sure there’s much out there and I won’t bother with app ones.

  36. Turf – one of my end of the year dvd/blu ray rituals is:
    Brideshead Revisited (series not the god awful film)
    Tinker Tailor
    Smileys People
    Parades End
    I’m up to the last episode of Brideshead so TTSS is next.

  37. Turf – I used to play Head Coach on the Spectrum. Very deep/tactical game. It was one of the few games that held up when playing it on the PC quite a few years later.

  38. not-Greg – apologies it sounds like I gave you duff advice on the cooling. I had assumed that if they can stuff all this processing power into a slim laptop these days without excess noise then a large box should not be a problem especially as the 1050ti is an efficient graphics chip. Hopefully apart from that your new PC is running well, presumably the boot times are transformed with Windows on the SSD?

  39. Head coach was ahead of its time I felt, especially as they included a draft which is really quite a complex setup. I think EA released some sort of game but I’ve really not seen much over the years. I do know that fantasy NFL makes our footy fantasy leagues look like an office sweepstake – sports illustrated regularly features articles discussing last minute touchdowns/suspensions/calls that will impact points.

    Werd – mrs turf loves brideshead (the irons original) but I could never get away with it. Smiley is a classic that would never happen today as no one leaps across rooftops, shoots their way out of a situation, etc etc, it’s all in the dialogue. I’m considering starting the wire over Christmas, never seen it despite having owned the DVDs for years.

  40. Had fierce email me to say there is a problem with the order and it was showing as ‘abandoned’ on their system, which is odd as it went through the checkout process step by step with no errors at all.
    I said id phone up and make the order but wont have time until after xmas so the PC is on hold for a bit.

    In the meantime i tinkered with installing windows via bootcamp on a dedicated partition on the mac and BCA has royally screwed everything up, it failed during the windows setup phase, due to disk formatting errors, and other stuff, and I know have 2 seperate partitions on my mac, one a 100GB and one a 200GB, after several failed attempts, that windows wont install to, and I cant get rid of, so effectively losing 300gb of HD space.

    Seems the only tidy solution is to boot into IRM from the mac and do a clean install of the OS, i have everything backed up via time capsule but what an unnecessary shitstorm.

    For a company reknowned for making software that ‘just works’ apple have done a disastrous job with Bootcam Assistant.

    All this aggro to try and play an old, decent PES game, think I’ll just give up.

  41. werd – no Barchester Chronicles? I’m very surprised.

    abbeyhill – no, I knew the risks having had an overheat-prone, hi-spec desktop PC in 2005 that caused me no end of trouble. The new PC is in no danger of overheating, I think, as the bloody fans are so efficient! They only kick into high gear in truly demanding times, like XCOM2, which I have maxed out.

    Paul – sounds like a cookie expired in the middle of your order, did you get up and do something else whilst filling it in? Of course in that scenario it shouldn’t then let you go through checkout. Perhaps fate is offering you the opportunity to think again.

    I’m baffled with Apple lately. They seem to be doing their best to become just another big tech company. When I Bootcamped my Macbook a few years ago it was seamless (and like I said, the resulting Windows 7 partition running on Mac hardware with Apple software supporting it, might be the best Windows installation I’ve ever used on anything).

  42. Uncle Turf – I made it through most of a season of The Wire before bailing. Overrated IMO. If you’re interested in gang culture and dynamics, it’s great. The dialogue is pleasingly dense.

  43. NG – Nope. I sat and completed the customisation, then paid, and it all went through ok, so no idea where it fell over, like you say, maybe fate.

    Bootcamp has only ever given me a ballache, I bootcamped my old work MacBook pro and that went tits up too despite following the BCA rigorously and step by step.

    I have now created a windows partiton of 100GB manually using Disk utility, then holding option key when booting to launch boot manager, then choosing the EFI drive that BCA previously created, and choosing to install to the manually partitioned windows drive which is formatted as NTFS, but still no, still throws up errors saying install couldnt go ahead because the drive is formatted as GPTR.

    Research and googling has shown a fundamental flaw in Apples BCA software that relabels your Mac HD as a hybrid GTPR/MBR drive when creating a windows partition, windows only sees the GTPR bit and wont proceed, there’s some terminal commands and other bits that are supposed to fix this, so will try at some point over xmas when i get time.


    My mum has an old 4GB Samsung Windows 8 Intel i5 Dual core laptop she never uses as my dad bought her a macbook air last year, so may steal that just to get WE9LE running and HDMi it up to the tv.

  44. Paul – all that rigmarole isn’t how it should be. Launch Bootcamp Assistant, follow the prompts, job done. Anything else is instant failure. When I installed my Windows 7 partition on the MBP – years ago now – the only wrinkle was the time it took, which I hadn’t counted on. It was after midnight and I put the MBP on the floor to finish while I read a book, but fell asleep with the book on my chest – I know, #middleagedproblems – and woke in the morning to find that Apple Santa had visited in the night and I now had a Bootcamped Windows 7 on an MBP. I actually used that as my main computer for a few weeks and it was brilliant. I still have an installation of PES5 and PES6 (with Solly patch) on that. A 2010 machine as well.

    The 4GB Samsung laptop will run WE9LE no problem, and maybe even every PES up to 2013. Of course if you could get the Bootcamp working it’d all run great on that too.

  45. NG – it does take an age. the whole process is at least 2hrs maybe more.
    for it to fail, then you have to trouble shoot and restart, a whole day can go by without any success.

    Its more about the not being defeated part now, rather than getting PES running.

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