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.