You wait months for one free kick…

FIFA17 lasted about half a Career Mode season. I played across several sessions from just before Christmas, to the morning of New Year’s Eve. That night, after the bongs were done, of course I had to wait for the world to go quiet and go to sleep before I could. And I spent the first couple of hours of 2018 playing… PES2018.

With huge enjoyment. With relish. With… humility?

It really does take FIFA to show me that we still have something worthwhile in PES, on the pitch – albeit only relatively worthwhile.

No PES game since PES2012 IMO has really been great in the classic PES sense. (Most of us will pick different end-points. There would be strong arguments to support the likes of PES2011, PES2013, even PES2014 or PES2015 as being the Last Gasp of PES. PES2012 for me was the one that rung out the old and rang in the new. PES2014 is a tempting pick, but that game was an outlier for other reasons.)

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Here are some highlights from across those first few sessions after the turn of the New Year.

Highlights of the highlights: not one but TWO goals direct from free kicks in shooting range. They came in back-to-back sessions. These free kicks would be taken on the forums as convincing proof of secret unannounced patches etc, but of course they’re just a statistical cluster, and having scored the first I fancied my chances with the second. I have barely had any free kicks since, and certainly no goals from them.

Also watch out for a goal reminiscent of Gary Lineker’s second goal vs Poland in the 1986 World Cup.

PES2018 is not shit.

From now on I’ll play PES2018, without further interruptions, through to its conclusion. That likely means at least another couple of seasons of Master League. Then I’ll take the PES2018 disc out of the PS4, put it away in its box, and pretty much forget it ever existed. Just like its two predecessors.

The problem with FIFA17? There wasn’t really a problem. As ever with me and FIFA, it’s a question of timing. Picking up FIFA pre-Christmas, while I still have an active unfinished Master League going on, was bad timing.

There’s a strong chance of me returning to FIAF17 in the future. Note that I haven’t said ‘before the end of the footy game year’, i.e. before September-ish. For me there are no more ‘footy game years’! I won’t be part of PES2019 (or FIFA19).

PES2019 will doubtless offer more of the same that we’ve seen in the series on the PS4 so far (PES2015 honourably excepted).

I won’t be there to see it. No fouls, no individuality. Those goddamn 30-yard 100mph backheels – Exhibit #1 in the case against nuPES.

I can now get on with the rest of my Master League. One of the great reliefs of deciding not to bother with PES2019 is not having to endure any more of these shite Master Leagues. It’s because I love Master League so much that I don’t want any more to do with any new versions of it after PES2018.

Look at this utterly ridiculous financial situation:

Master League would be better off being scrapped before they really do drive it off a cliff. Maybe that’s their plan. Contrast Konami’s neglect of Master League with EA’s remarkable commitment to Career Mode and other offline modes (The Journey etc). Online multiplayer has effectively destroyed Pro Evolution Soccer. PES2018 is another stage in the series’ decline as a whole.

Who would have thought we’d end up today where we’ve ended up?

I said it wasn’t all doom and gloom, and it’s not. I’ve been playing PES2018 with solid enjoyment, and there’s more to come. No, it’s not the consistent glorious rapture of PESes past, but it’ll do.

Updated: 5th January 2018 — 10:10


  1. Some nice goals there, I posted a goal compilation video up a few posts ago, but no one made a single comments so don’t know if anyone actually even bothered watching, but there was some quite similar goals in there.

    Ain’t it about time you changed that brown kit???

  2. To be honest I hardly ever watch the videos on my phone, and I only look at this site on a PC at work; still on my Christmas holidays by the way. Even then more than two minutes of goals to a random soundtrack just isn’t my thing.

  3. Paul – I watched and enjoyed your highlights reel. Totally forgot to comment amidst all the PES 2018 reassessment. Some great goals in there – the type I still feel FIFA just doesn’t have. It’s that oomph-factor as further illustrated by n-G’s goals reel here. It’ll be good to get back to more of this classic Chronicles fodder now a few of us are back on the game. I’ll get some goal clips together over the weekend.

    Played a couple more very enjoyable matches last night. I’m still only in season three in Div 2 but, with ten games left, promotion looks on. I beat runaway leader Swansea 2-1 with an injury time goal to cut their lead to seven points. Going up as champions would be a bonus.

  4. First match and I reckon I might struggle to muster a point if it carries on like this. I was bossing first half possession, 70+%, nice passing moves waiting for a chance, one stray ball, defence opened like a tin of fish and they scored. Ten minutes later, same thing – two shots, two goals, about 30% possession. I lost 4-0 andmanaged one shot on target. Don’t know if it’s the poor defaults, the difficulty or the AI but the outmuscling feels turned up to insane levels. Since 2014 I feel the settings for defending simply haven’t worked. I always opt for a very deep back line and edit my players position to as far back as possible, and yet regularly they pitch up way up the field, leaving huge gaps. This is going to be a huge challenge and the defaults have to go as soon as possible.

  5. Paul – I watched the vid too! To echo Shed’s point, as soon as I saw your camera angle I thought ‘now that’s PES all right’, and while we’re scrabbling for crumbs at the foot of the online table, it cheered me no end. And for all the other game’s shot variety etc., goals in PES2018 still mean more (for now anyway).

    Shed – all my doomy diagnoses of the State of PES aside, I’m having probably the best sustained enjoyment out of PES2018, session to session, since the first few days with the game. I think a few things have helped here.

    First, a week of FIFA always sends me shrieking PESwards again. I have to play FIFA first in any football game year, or it just doesn’t work out. Now that football game years are no longer a thing for me, FIFA17 at least should get a fair go at some random point later this calendar year. Maybe I’ll symbolically start playing it on PES2019’s release day, who knows.

    Second, making that firm decision not to follow nuPES any further where it’s going, has created a pleasant context for PES2018 to breathe in and achieve its full flowering, if you like, as my last ever new nuPES game.

    Third, that last remaining shred of PES is still there. It’s like when you bump into someone you were at school with 30+ years ago. Somewhere in the ruin that we’ve both turned into in middle age, both of us can still just about see a vague resemblance to the boys we once knew. Those encounters are somehow deeply tragic for both parties (nothing depresses me more than seeing someone I haven’t seen since we were both 15 – especially if they’re female, I’ll ungallantly say). Er, that didn’t go the way I was intending, but you get the drift.

    Uncle Turf – since the introduction of tactical sliders and switches (in PES2010 I think), I have always maintained, Spooky Mulder-style, that they do nothing at all. They’re little more than buttons and levers for us monkeys to press and pull and imagine we’re doing something. The offside/deep line settings are the worst sinners of all in this regard. No matter how you set up, formationally or tactically, your back line will still push right up. I remember PES2014 in particular being absolutely shredded on the forums for this particular problem.

    Don’t neglect the manual control of the backline, which still works in PES2018 – double press and hold on the left d-pad to drag the visible line on the radar back (or forward with d-pad right).

  6. Turf – are you on SS? Welcome to the world of PES 18 unbalanced unrealistic levels where every team plays like Barcelona in their prime.

    So, fired up PES 2012 on PSP at lunch, and wow!! Immediate reactions, even for a portable hand held game, were that if PES 18 had this ML then it would be 100 x better.
    I spent 45 mins of my lunch hour just tinkering in ML mode, without even playing a match.
    Accepted a couple of bids for my players, then went about identifying some new targets to bolster the squad, love how you don’t see all the players stats straight off, you have to scout them over time, and that process depends on the level of scout you hire.

    I immediately hired a level 3 scout, to speed up the process, and when trying to cut corners and negotiate straight off, the players club refused me permission to even talk to him.

    have several sponsorship deals that depend on me hitting targets, or they will be cancelled, and need to decide whether to invest money in physio, coach and youth team, all whilst stringing enough results together to keep the sponsorship deals, earn win bonuses and balance the books come next september.

    I got spanked 4-0 by Ruben Khazan in my first game, a true reminder of just how useless the original defaults were.
    There was a hold my breath moment late on when a quick stab of sprint saw sub Guiterrez knock it past a defender and run round him, and fire off a snap shot only to have it blocked by a sliding tackle from the defender, these tiny little magical moments were the complete essence of why PES was so good back then, an absolute far cry from what we have (or don’t have) today.

    Well worth the 50p from CEX.

  7. Paul – welcome to the world of seeing living, moving evidence of What We Have Lost. A basement club nobody like Gutierrez manifests more individuality in a few seconds than PES as a whole has in 3 complete editions. Exaggeration of course, but still Truth.

    And you’ve made me want to charge up my Vita with PES2012 on it again. I have an ML in progress there that’s still in Season 1.

  8. Cheers, I had forgotten. Match two got me that point! I scored my first goal after two mins – an arcas bundle in rebound. I conceded after half an hour and thence it remained, they didn’t appear to even want a winner. A new goalie helped though, a free agent half decent stick who likely won’t be there next year but perhaps keeps the goals against down.

    Ok on the vita, saves me some cash I don’t really have.

  9. NG – Jealous. PES 12 on the Vita’s larger more vibrant screen, with the much more responsive control sticks would be a thing of beauty.

    Turf – always check the ‘Other’ section of transfers, you can pick up some real decent unattached players from there.
    Also, if you have a decent looking GK in your youth squad, make sure you set youth team training for him, players will develop quicker when being trained in the youth team.

  10. n-G – Did they release PES 2012 on the Vita then?

  11. Paul – the colours certainly do ‘pop’ on that Vita screen, I remember. You might remember that you searched in vain for a PS Store Vita download. I imagine there are homebrew options of various kinds if you looked, but you’ve got the PSP kitted out now so it’s not worth the time investment.

    Shed – it was released on the PSP only, the last one on that platform I think (not sure). All PSP games run on the Vita but have to be downloaded. There is a sizeable section of the PS Store that sells them (as of about a year ago anyway). I got a couple of the Metal Gear PSP games from there.

  12. Paul – Cheers. I’ve given my son my PSP. Is the Vita worth the money these days? I quite like the idea of exploring a new strand of PES.

  13. Yeah I must have just missed it after it was removed from the PS Store.
    Nevermind. PSP will do, its only a lunchtime fix.

    a Native PES game has never been released for the Vita.

    just been reading up on an emulator PCSX2 which allows you to install a PS2 emulator on mac or pc and play iso’s of PS2 games.
    Theres a copy of PS2 PES 18, which looks very much like a HD souped up modern version of PES 5/6.

  14. Paul – eh? PCSX2 and running PS2 PES on it was pretty much all that was talked about here for several days between Christmas and New Year. You even commented saying you weren’t enthused?!

    All the lost PS2 PES games from PES2009-PES2014 look and move pretty much the same. All are iterations of classic era PES. All can be upscaled to near HD-quality graphics using PCSX2’s settings. Actual screens of me playing PES2, on PCSX2, on my PC, last week:

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    I’m sure you read all this discussion about a week ago?!

    I’m very confused about that PS2 PES2018. PES2014 for PS2 was the last PES and the last ever game of any kind made for the console. There are some very fishy-looking download links and password-protected files there. Is it a fan-made thing? There are some great looking vids on YouTube of Training Mode in a FIFA97-style indoor pitch. Off to investigate, will report back on whether it’s a scam or not.

  15. Paul – with a starting wage budget of 400k I realised choice didn’t really come into it. I’ve got myself a 70 keeper, a 70 young cb, an Austrian midfielder (arguably there are some half decent default midfielders in castledine, rice, hettich, etc but he has more potential) and a left back. Any attempt to buy a striker foundered on only receiving two bids for players. I had to release ten to bring in just four. The youth team seems dross but I’m training the usual suspects.

    My intention is to leave st Johnstone as quickly as possible of course. It’s heresy to you lot but I’ve always favoured the full ancelotti.

  16. As expected, this PS2 PES2018 is a fan-made modification of PS2 PES2014, which was certainly the last ever PES for PS2. Still pretty remarkable though that there are fans modding PS2 PES to keep it going in the here and now. Looks like they’ve been doing it for every PES since. What strange outposts of fandom exist in PES eh? Currently downloading a copy of their PES2018 effort, so I don’t know for sure yet if it’s going to melt my hard drive with a cheeky ‘lolwut’, I will update here later.

    Paul – however you missed it, see the comments on the previous two posts. Cook was last heard from a couple of seasons into PES2008(PS2) on PCSX2. I downloaded and installed every ISO for every PS2 PES (up to PES2014, the last official one) and played a few matches on all of them over a couple of days. The best that PES ever was or ever will be.

  17. Really NG??
    I must admit i last logged on here around the 22nd Dec, and then again after new year, I only skim read comments in between.
    I remember a discussion about old games, and them not feeling as great as they once were, but I didn’t see any mention of any PCSX2 emulator, so must have missed that chunk.

    Savour the early days of skimping and whealin’ & dealin’ Harry Redknapp style Turf, as after season 2 or 3 you will amass more riches than the Sultan of Brunei.
    Admittedly I’m on season 8 now, but having won nothing, and only finishing 5th in the prem, I’m now £240 million in the black with another whopping £40 mil to spend on wages. Quite ridiculous.

    Now imagine if PES 12 style, we could invest that money in better training grounds, hiring of scouts, youth team etc, it would be much more plausible, but as it is, that money just sits there and i’ll struggle to spend it as any player worth having, wont sign, and the rest aren’t any better than what I have.
    I might contemplate a move next season to a different club and try to build them up.

  18. Paul – yep, there were a couple of days where playing PS2 PES on PC with PCSX2 that was all that was talked about. We got into the settings to use to make the PS2 games HD. I downloaded all the PS2 ISOs one by one and reported on their quality. Cook discovered PES2008(PS2) and that’ll probably be him for good. Abbeyhill wanted the whole blog devoted to PCSX2 PS2 PES. Darryl cautioned against the dangers of treating me like a cult leader. Here’s a vid I posted of me playing PS2 PES2008 on PCSX2:

    PES7, that game should have been called on PS2, to differentiate it from the PS3/360/PC version.

    That’s the faux-HD upscaling at work there too.

    PCSX2 on PC is like having a HD PS2 at your fingertips. I haven’t tried it on the Mac but I imagine it’s equally faultless. We’re dealing with a nearly 20-year-old console tech after all, a cinch for today’s computer hardware to emulate.

  19. had the day off today so was able to test the “Incas” patch some more. Conclusion so far:

    – good teams still have high passing accuracy (approx 95 percent), lower teams markedly lower (low to mid eighties) than before
    – scripted goals and moments are most definitely toned down, along with the goddamned lofted through ball the CPU continuously looks to make on vanilla
    – fouls – hardly any difference
    – backheels – unfortunately also still there in spades
    – shooting – ball is heavier and travels a bit slower
    – stamina is one area I neglected to mention last time around – this now depletes faster or has more effect on stats or a combination. example, Mathiessen is now spent 60 minutes into each game and is utter shite from then on (was not the case before my run on the patch). > this holds true for CPU players as well (!)

    Approaching the midway point of season 1 in the championship in a very tight league. i’m 7 points off from bottom and 9 points off the top so I might snatch promotion in the first season. Got a keeper lined up for the winter break (Lamprou) and I’m hoping for a striker as well.

    Also am trying to get the realistic broadcast working but have to circumvent a number of dodgy files (generating false virus checks) first.

  20. #1 — that is still generally encouraging, but I remain sceptical as I’m sure you understand after being burned on so many patches. I sense you are still sceptical too, but let’s hear more updates as and when. The 2.2 avg fouls earlier was interesting news, how typical of nuPES that the next session sees that reverting to almost 0.

    Paul — finally managed to test this mysterious and unexpected ‘PES2018 for PS2’ in PCSX2. It is indeed a fan-made effort grafted onto the last official release from Konami for the console, which was PES2014. It’s that exact same game (which was just another in the long line of PS2 versions, btw, not the PS3 one). There’s a credits screen after the game loads with the names of the fans who made it (three of them) and they’ve somehow managed to add updated 2017/2018 rosters, custom splash screens, and other little touches. I’m very impressed as I didn’t think it was possible to modify a console game in this way. Makes me think what might be possible with PS4 PES in the future.

    I think it’s a red herring that isn’t worth pursuing though. If you’re going to set out on a PCSX2 adventure — and you should, old PES was ace (and old PS2 games were ace too — they nearly all work) — PES2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014 are the PS2 ISOs to grab first. The MLs in PESes 2010 and 2011 are disappointingly not the ones from their PS3 counterparts.

  21. Paul – indeed, they’ve upped the information provision in the ml yet removed the few things you could ever do – hire different levels of staff, etc. I never thought I’d long for groundstaff in Santa hats or that assistant in the tight pants but they seem gloriously bountiful years now. As for players it’s been on a myclub curve for the last few years – a while new team in season two, overpowered and identikit.

    As per NGs post it does now have the whiff of Spartan Missile going round Aintree for the umpteenth time. Konami’s lack of commitment to it ever getting back to its best should see the screens erected.

  22. Nice goals NG. Lately I am lurking here but not posting anything. Nothing interesting to say. I am playing PES 2016 and PES 2011 on pc. None of them is perfect. Both have really good stuff and both have really bad things, so mixed feelings here.

    Happy New Year to all!

  23. NG – sceptical I am, indeed. Just had two horrible scripted match with auto-goals, sequences you can see coming from a mile off, deliberately not being able to switch to the right defender…you name it. Still, I would say the patch has brought the game from a 6.5 tot 7.5 when it behaves.

    even through those shit matches, the changes the patch make are observable. the stamina thing being a very concrete and measurable example. Mathiessen again was spent by the 60th minute, me letting him sprint all over the place. pre-patch his stamina bar would have been at 25-40% at that point in the match. CPU also still trying more from range, even saw a scissors kick just now. STill, nothing can change the fact that off the pitch and to all non-gameplay related things, the game is SO horribly outdated. COmmentary is again making my ears bleed, menus are shit and ML is so bare, that FIFA18 already is inevitable for me, even though I’m in a good place with PES right now.

    Quirky thing I just noticed: I am using a commentary patch that makes the commentary team say all the correct team names (even if unlicensed). I heard Jim Beglin abbreviate Queens Park Rangers to “QPR”, and it seemed to be in the original script. never heard that before. (variation in team call-out names, that is)

  24. #1 – Are you saying that the patch encourages sprint clamping?

  25. Chris – no not at all. Meant sprinting in possession of the ball.

  26. sprung for fifa at 50% off. sticking with PES for now but as soon as that runs its course (won’t take months I think) I’ve got a hell of a football game waiting. the difference in gameplay – specifically controls – is minimal at best…PES is a tad heavier in dribbling and passing but only just. FIFA18 is definitely a heavier, more solid game than FIFA17.
    it should go without mentioning that it looks and sound sublime as well. the attention to detail is great. one example: you actually have 4 seasons (as opposed to PES’ two), you can actually choose the time of day (as opposed to just night or day) and there are weather types all over the place. small details of which I would previously have said “only relevant when the gameplay is up to snuff”. It already was last year, and even moreso this year and little touches like this enhance the whole package. I get now why it gets blasted on metacritic: the gameplay is so close to PES that FIFA fans have lost “their” game I think. Plenty of PES moments had in this already, played a few games here and there…this is certainly getting a proper run from me sooner or later.

    on the PES modding front: I am again leaning towards the belief (once again) that all mods so far do nothing and the game just granted me a good run a few days back. Don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not but the changes I observed are now dissipating at the same time my Team Spirit took a jump towards 70. Again I am seeing passing perfection by the CPU and killer, laser-like accuracy in front of goal. TS eventually ruined the game last year and though the difference is less pronounced this year around, it looks to do the same eventually once more. Matches are once more a generic blur.

  27. #1 – my scepticism siren went off yesterday when you mentioned that you’d ‘even’ saw a scissors-kick from the AI, as if that was an example of AI variety introduced by the mod. I’ve seen the vanilla PES2018 AI do loads of unexpected things, scissors-kicks included. Here’s something special it did last night that I clipped for Tuesday’s post (note the Paul-baiting title), but it’s relevant now so here it is:

    At 7 seconds, AI Harry Kane receiving a pass on the halfway line but allows the ball to run through his legs without touching it, completely wrong-footing me. This was the most magical part of this, and the reason I recorded and uploaded it.

    At 14 seconds, I try to foul him with my last defender, prepared to take the red card if it comes in order to stop a goal. We’ve all committed this last-man sliding challenge a thousand times by now. But no – AI Harry Kane jinks inside. And then it’s a great finish.

    If I’d seen the above after installing a mod (or, if I was on the forums, after downloading Boots ‘n’ Balls DLC), I’d be pretty sure there’d been changes too, as I’ve never seen the AI do something that stylish before.

    But it’s all on the PS4, latest version.

    FIFA18 sounds good in your description. It’s that heaviness of PES that I miss when I go FIFA.

  28. NG – right you are and I allowed myself to get fooled once again. no more, though. unless a jenkey style all-encompassing mod comes along I’m not gettng NEAR another patch or mod. Just read up one that is supposed to increase fouls…after some more inquiry it turns out the forum user in question changed a host of stats accross the board and numerous sweeping changes to the game..and then attributed them to a “modded” file.

    BTW – that CPU goal IS magical. would have me grinning ear to ear, just a much as scoring it myself. maybe even more so.

    anyway, I know exactly what you mean on the heaviness front. PES IS heavier still, make no mistake about it. but just minimally so. haven’t missed it once while playing this newest FIFA. One thing that is heavier and – of course subjectively – overall better on FIFA is shooting. IMO this is always been a staple of PES but FIFA’s shooting is just as heavy and with a ton more variety…never thought it would come to this but it has. THe iffy shooting prevented me from trying FIFA in the PS3 days (FIFA09 excepted but that also ultimately fell by the wayside due to the shooting), glad to see it’s up to snuff, sad to see (don’t know why) it seems to have surpassed PES in this regard.

  29. It’s a great individual moment but again the defensive AI is just opening space for Tottenham to counterattack when they should be doing the exact opposite.

    Look at the first pic. Soon after Coventry loses the ball (after a counterattack carried out by…8 players, leaving only two behind…sadly a common theme in PES2018) the defensive AI employs zonal pressure – though in a timid way, but correctly nevertheless. Even not-Greg himself is taking part in the effort, forcing Baceoglu to take a decision rapidly. As for the other players controlled by the AI, they’re forcing Baceoglu towards that circle in the middle where Tottenham’s counterattack will be controlled, either by having Coventry players marking Tottenham’s tightly or just by having Coventry’s close to that circle, therefore playing their role in the zonal pressure effort.

    Now this wouldn’t be a modern football game if someone didn’t f*** it up. Look at the second pic: the blonde Coventry player, who in the first pic was tightly marking his opponent, for some reason LEAVES his position, and starts running towards the opposition’s left back – probably one of the worse decisions he could ever take besides, I don’t know, marking the goalkeeper or the manager in the sidelines. Because of this, Toulalan – the guy he had been marking – is able to receive the ball freely and decide calmly where could he put the ball. Notice the difference between the first and second pics: it’s just one real life second that has passed but it shows how much this AI can mess it up in so little time.
    The third pic is a continuation of what I’ve been saying. Toulalan has all the space in the world to decide where should he pass the ball and finds Son Heung-Min in the left. Remember our blonde guy? He’s STILL running towards the left-back! Maybe he’s playing catch or something.

    I could’ve mentioned a few other things like the horrible positioning of Coventry’s left back (who was running back to join the defence again and for some reason interrupted his run and decided to stay in the midfield) or the fact that when Kane gets the ball, Coventry’s left-centre back had his feet set in the wrong way, and for that reason he couldn’t control the depth of the defensive line; but forget all that and look at the fourth pic, when Kane cuts inside: the other defender closer to the one Not-Greg was controlling for some reason starts running AWAY from Kane, in the direction I pointed on the pic! When he saw Manolas approaching Kane, he should’ve position himself by Manolas’ left, closer to the centre, making it impossible for the striker to cut inside and face and open goal.

    Now the fifth pic: another defender appears onto the play and instead of following the tiny arrow I drew, in order to meet Kane and force him not to shoot, he decided to run towards his goal!
    That’s already a terrible decision for any player who has ever had a practice in an under-13 amateur football team, but he could be trying to invade Kane’s scoring angle, which means if Kane shot the ball he could block it with his body, but no! Look at the sixth and final pic: the defender doesn’t even block Kane’s view and angle to score, he just keeps simultaneously running back towards his goal and away from ever incomodating Kane’s rather predictable goal scoring attempt! Also, just for fun, look at the brilliant positioning of the three guys on the right side of the defence. Ridiculous.

  30. orlando.jabulani — brilliant stuff as ever, and yes. I got your email a few weeks ago regarding your retro PES venture. I haven’t had a chance to respond in full with Christmas-New Year, but I think lots of readers of this blog (commenters and lurkers alike) would be intrigued, so feel free to post all about it at your leisure.

    #1 — re. heaviness in PES, it’s unquestionably a good thing from the old-school perspective, but we have new schools of PES to worry about now. I often worry at the ‘unresponsiveness’ chatter on the forums, because they never define what ‘unresponsiveness’ means. They just assume everybody knows what it means. I take it to mean ‘sometimes when I attempt to do this, my player doesn’t instantly do it’. Contextually, unresponsiveness/heaviness is a critical requirement for a good football game. The lightweight feeling of FIFA is an excess of responsiveness, while PES traditionally brings a heavier, comparatively unresponsive feel. I hope we all know which one is objectively better, just as we all know which way PES is heading now.

  31. The letting the ball run past Kane was decent, m unfortunately the rest of the goal is pretty ‘mehhhh’ as every single player regardless of stats in PES18 can and does do that drag back jink inside skill, and with alarming regularity, I see it done 20 times per session.
    So no, still not the AI we need, if Kane had done that as a one off, great, the fact that Burtons players do it, QPR’s do it, Messi does it, even seen CB’s do it, just shows why its the AI we do NOT need.

  32. Paul — I knew it’d tempt you into a rare Sunday comment!

  33. just setting the facts straight 😉

  34. Surprised there’s been no mention of a coupon this weekend – surely you had a pound on an accumulator NG? Seemed like a rare success all round for most of our ‘real life’ teams – fleetwood at least get some cash, pne won handsomely, my lot, Coventry, liverpool’s scruffy win, Brighton to come…think only those tractor folk in east anglia disappointed.

    No play for me this weekend, too busy watching the playoffs. If the titans winning touchdown had happened in a game the AI would have been labelled outrageous. For anyone who didn’t hear of it the quarterback had no obvious targets, started running, then threw it to a player, it was knocked away by a defender, rebounded back to the quarterback who caught it and ran in. The official play call was the qb threw it to himself for the score.

    Bit like a caught and bowled for cricket lovers like Paul.

  35. Paul – in context of my reply to #1, I was showing something done by The AI That We Need that we don’t often see. It does annoy me too that The AI That We Need ‘knows’ our button inputs and reacts accordingly. A huge problem at your corners (before the kick is taken) when you flick the cursor to a player lurking in space, and a The AI That We Need defender instantly moves towards him. Shouldn’t happen, and it prevents a Sheringham/Scholes-type corner.

    Uncle Turf – FA Cup weekend is terrible for betting. You don’t know who’s putting out their A team, who’s putting out their B team, or who’s putting out a mixture of the two. Meanwhile all the lower league teams take it as seriously as ever and it all skews performances and results to a massively unpredictable degree. Norwich 0-0 Chelsea would have lost me money. I didn’t bet and never do on cup football anymore.

    I saw the Titans QB touchdown and have been watching the playoffs. The greatest team sport in the world, not least because its rules are properly enforced. Imagine if the game officials were intimidated into not giving big decisions, or not giving ‘too many’ decisions in a row to one team or another. Imagine a professional team sport where such crazy outlandish officiating was the norm!

  36. After a couple months without playing Fifa, I started today a career mode in Fifa 15 PC. Gameplay is too fast and players are light as feathers, but everything else is just perfect. I am playing as Accrington, probably the worst team in the game (half star and the lowest budget in League Two). I wish PES had all of these options, presentations, etc.

    I also have now Pes from 3 to 2014 for pc, plus the ones from PS2, so I think I have footy games for a really long time.

  37. JS Hutt – fifa 15 struck me as one of the more sturdy and heavy feeling FIFA’s.. Mind playing tricks on me or was PES light that year as well? Did not play much of PES that year..

  38. #1: at least for me, there is a big difference between Fifa and Pes in 2015. For me the ideal game would be a mixture of the two.

    Now I have to adjust to the PS2 era. Never played them and for me they are too hard, but great about player individuality.

  39. Turf – Sounds like a caught and bowled if the batsman had smashed the ball onto the non receiver’s head and then been caught.

  40. Cricket question – why is the phrase ‘caught and bowled’ when it should be ‘bowled and caught’?

  41. because on the score card the manner of the dismissal comes first – caught, lbw, stumped, run out etc – and the identity of the bowler second

    JS Hutt – although you didn’t take to the game yourself, thanks again for reminding me about PES 3DS. I have already got 5 seasons of ML out of it and can easily see another 5. Personally really enjoyed FIFA15, much better than PES that year imho

  42. Cricket again …FFS …. ZZZZZZZZZZ.

    Made a good start to season 8 last night, won the first 3 league matches and came from behind to draw my first Europa League group game, also beat Burnley 8-0 in the FA Cup first round, and below is another example of the ‘AI we all need’ reacting all alarmed and aware and decisive in stopping my wingers run in on goal…

    As you see, the AI defender just ambles along beside me about 10 yards away and watches me run in on goal, the run started on the edge of my own penalty box, I was allowed to run 90 yards un-tackled.
    Can only assume the game logic saw another defender behind my player chasing him, so didn’t instruct any other defending player to close him down, totally unrealistic and un-intelligent, another example of disjointed, shockingly bad AI.

  43. New Set of Cov Kits in case you fancy a change up NG.

    GK –
    Home –
    Away –

  44. abbeyhill –– I found my 3DS Xl the other day and charged it up and played the games that’s still in the cartridge slot – PES2011. My hands are too big even for the XL to be comfortable play a real-time game on it. Yes I am reverse-Trumping you. I’ll have to stick to Fire Emblem – which, just like Awakening, I’m about to play a year or two after getting it.

    Paul – the AI that we need needs a word there of course. I find Top Player sometimes disappointingly easy, but Superstar is rarely enjoyable.

    Many thanks for the kits, a Talbot-era one now! After Saturday’s heroics, it’s like it’s 1997 all over again. (97 not 87, as the CCFC of 97 were the better team. Huckerby vs Man U, etc.)

  45. No worries 🙂

    I think I’ll give up on Lunchtime retro-PES sessions on the PSP, it’s just not enjoyable.

    The screen is too small even on the widest camera setting, you can barely see any players to build up a move, you have to pass blindly and hope it goes to a team mate, plus the colours and graphics are too wishy washy and soulless, on top of that the PSP’s thumb stick is atrocious, like one of those old laptop nipple buttons for moving the mouse, and as the PSP only has 2 shoulder buttons, you cannot use R2, which was an absolute essential Key input during the PS2/Old PES days, used for ‘special skills’ it was used to take little touches, protect the ball, stop quickly, turn sharply, control shots ….. playing without it is just like playing without a cursor select button.

  46. Paul – L2/R2 functionality on the PSP is with Select+L1/R1. Fiddly to begin with but it becomes second nature after a while. The experience as a whole also needs a lot of getting used to. I played for many wonderful seasons on the PSP PES2008.

  47. NG – its unusable. the select button is over the right hand bottom of the screen, when dribbling if you want to jink past a defenders tackle last minute, you could just tap R2, to have to take my left hand off the thumstick, move it all the way over to the over side of the console, press select then hold R1 down, and then let go, move my hand back and press the thumb stick in a direct to move, is a complete hassle and you’d never manage it in time.

    Its ok using select+R1 for att/def level changes etc but not for quick reaction movement.

  48. Paul – try it and see. You would use your right hand for select+R. It only needs one press as it puts R1 into R2 mode until you release (a bit like how L1+R3 to move your keeper at free kicks lapses after a release-and-tap of the buttons). So your right hand can go back to the shape buttons. I found it more useable than you would think in theory, but rarely did use it in practice. (Don’t forget to stand on your head and twirl your legs like a helicopter. That clinches it.)

  49. its completely counter-intuitive and impossible when trying to use for the reasons i stated.
    fin when selecting att/def levels but when you have to make that input command in a split second, impossible.

    AT least with the Vita you can use the back touchpad as additional shoulder buttons so your hands dont have to move.

  50. Chris99 – quite so, and its a useful point to reinforce what Paul was likely thinking – yes, it’s still a fair catch if it hits the non strikers helmet, but of course were that a fielders helmet it would be deemed not.

    Abbeyhill – perfectly described.

    I’m still a qualified umpire I believe – I’ve never been notified I’m no longer registered and I don’t believe there’s an annual cpd requirement – but I’d be terrified of being in the middle of a match today, the job is ideally suited to a QC with a love of wordplay, a couple of years out of the game and I’m struggling to get my head round half of them. The Moen Ali bad paint job stumping was a disgrace though, they should have insisted on a remarking after their inspection.

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