Strop Player

Season whatever-it-is-now – Season 6 – has come to an end. Not the most carefully-reported season of my blogging days, this one, due to a few factors.

Swanning off to FIFA in the middle of the season in a foul strop about PES was the main reason.

And then there was the distortion of spacetime that Christmas and New Year always brings about.

FIFA17 didn’t quite stick with me (this time…), and I’ve yet to get into PC PES (yet…), so PES2018 gets the nod.

It’ll be my footy game from now until its completion. Whenever that is.

There’ll be no PES2019 in my life at all – not without a radical shift in philosophy away from the awful crowd-pleasing ‘fun’ of the past 3 editions (at least) and back to the relatively sober seriousness of The Good Old Days.

For various reasons, that won’t happen. PES is always what its target market wants it to be. From ISS1 in 1997 to PES2012 or so, I was its target market.

From PES2013(ish) to PES2015(ish), I was still sort of in the equation when the Konami moneymen drew up their charts and graphs and decided what kind of football game they should make.

I’m not in the equation now. Since PES2016, I’m not the target market. I have finally recognised and accepted this truth. nuPES and I will be no more after PES2018.

I almost can’t wait for PES2019’s pre-release routine to get into gear, so I can demonstrate that my parting of the ways with nuPES is a real thing. I can’t wait to smirk at all the previewers’ returning from playing each other to gush about a game that they never actually played. I can’t wait to scrutinise the Gamescom footage (which I will do, avidly), see Fouls 0, and feel the relief flood through me that I’m not going to go through all that shit again.I spent about half my Season 6 on Top Player in the end, and results reflect that.

Top Player is often a touch too easy for comfort, but I can’t step up at the moment. Superstar is borderline unplayable for me. What I like about Superstar is the resistance to my attacks from the AI (that we need). What I detest about it is how, when you lose the ball, it feels imbalanced – in the sense that it feels predetermined that the AI will work the ball upfield with endless flicks and backheels, and you can’t get near them.

If you’re a goal down in a Superstar match and there’s 85 minutes on the clock, and you lose possession, the chances are you won’t see the ball again. The only way to give yourself a chance of getting the ball back is to spam-slide all over the place, hoping either to win the ball or at least halt things with a foul.

Top Player feels much more balanced in this sense. Maybe when my players get better and/or I get better, I’ll be able to step it up a notch.

The final table:

My current session-to-session experience with the game is decent. Things have stabilised at around the 7-to-8/10 mark, which is pretty good going for the flashy multiplayer game that PES2018 is.

Updated: 8th January 2018 — 17:10


  1. Keith – I think that’s exactly it, a combination of shiteClub emphasising the assemblage of huge star names (some of them paid for with real money), and the interruption for both human players would ‘suffer’ if there was an injury that forced one of them to the Formation Screen. No in-game injuries should be seen in that light first and foremost. There is no ‘struggle with the Fox Engine’ going on.

  2. You’re Only saying what we all think and agree with Keith.

  3. They should implement injuries the same way they work in online Fifa. Player gets injured, lowered stats for that game, and that’s it. Next game you have it 100%fit. But then in ML, you must substitute him.

    By they way, talking about penalties, I just finished the first transfer window in my first season in Fifa 15 (I’m in September right now). I already had 4 penalty kicks, 3 in the league and 1 in the cup. If PES wants to be like Fifa, they should copy this too.

  4. JS Hutt – PES is copying FIFA – others may disagree, but FIFA16 and FIFA17 were no-fouls games, for me anyway. FIFA18 is much the same I hear. It seems to be the default football game design philosophy of the mid-to-late 2010s. The nuPES design document, circa 2014, would have been stuffed with evil business-speak and would have said things like ‘online multiplayer is the cornerstone of any game property and users expect a certain level of experience, with interruptions and frustrations kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether. Our focus group testing consistently shows that users dislike interruptions due to fouls and injuries, and therefore our new PES must reduce these to the minimum, or scrap them altogether…’ In-game injuries were indeed scrapped altogether. Fouls, as we know, etc.

  5. Not so True in FIFA. In my 4 seasons of FFA 17 last year, I had 8 Penalties, and countless shooting range free kicks.
    There’s a video on youtube that suggests that going into exhibition match settings, and toggling injuries to off, then on again, then starting a ML ‘fixes’ the lack of injuries.
    If you are 8 seasons into an existing ML though, this isn’t much help.
    But may test it out on another account and a fresh new ML, with matches simmed.

  6. Had a penalty in the pre-season tournament in FIFA 18 this year, several fouls on me so far as well. May be it is your playing style nG?

  7. For those playing PES18 ML – which players have you signed, or developed that you have the biggest affinity with / has developed best ?

    Mine would be Diakite i CM, who’s my captain, rated 80 OVR now, from 72 when I signed him, but is a complete workhorse and personifies the ‘Anchor Man’ role.
    Another would be forward Iseya Leka, and unknown forward signed about 4 seasons ago, has been club top scorer and top or 2nd in the overall league top scorers list every season since I’ve signed him. Only 76 Ovr, not that fast, or strong, but a deadly finisher.

  8. @Keith your French is spot on sir!
    @NG yes it’s always the 1000mph games that kill me or the ping pong ai passing routines.
    @Paul Santa Cruz and Callaheho are the only 2 genuinely individual feeling players I have sc is 87ovr 6 seadons and call only got to 85ovr 7 seasons but feels like more. Have a 91ovr ibra who feels pretty good but only for half a season need more time

  9. Next game after my post, another penalty for me. The more I play Fifa 15 the more I like it, and not because of the penalties. I think it is the best Fifa I have ever played. Nice gameplay (but I still prefer PES, I don’t know why), injuries, free kicks, scout system, presentation…

    Today I started MGS2, let’s see how that goes too.

  10. Paul – been watching that unabomber thing. It’s oddly compelling, yet something’s not quite there for me – I think it’s how much the lead character is bigged up as the man who solved the case (I noticed he was executive producer of it) yet it’s another one of those ‘inspired by’ jobs where the actual work was done by a team of folk and he was simply one of a number. Interesting field of work but they still wouldn’t have got him if x hadn’t seen y (non spoiler). My first thought was isn’t that Werd’s off the grid, tin foil hat lifestyle…

    Universities must be full of 18 year olds thinking they’re going to be the next csi/Quincy etc but it strikes me the actual work is hugely tedious and time consuming.

  11. Turf – have you finished it? if not then you’ll see what you mention come to light at the end. I won’t say no more.
    Just found it really interesting as its all based on true events.

    I too imagined that little cabin with a Pasta pan on a stove and WERD washing down by the river and trying to use his walkie talkie to garner a signal strong enough to play minecraft online.

    I’ll just say this now, I hate windows and PC’s with a passion and think they should be banned.

    Stole my mums old laptop to get PCSX2 and retro PES running on it, she said I could erase it as she never uses it, its windows 7, so did a full restore, Installed PCSX2 but it wont load, as the C++ distributable is missing dll’s, and as it was a fresh restore of Win 7 its missing all the last 7 years worth of updates, so am going through the rigorously tedious process of installing them all via windows update, which is abysmal.
    MS servers have been playing up, windows updates keep failing, downloads from MS website going at paltry speeds despite a 90mb connection, yet other websites download files ultra fast, constant rebooting of the machine ….

    Absolute Chaos. I open my macbook pro, its there, ready to use instantly, and any updates are all done and installed whilst the mac is asleep. I hate PC’s.

  12. Uncle Turf — I’m 2 episodes in and loving the detection stuff, but not loving the main character. We’ve seen this journey into the heart of darkness too many times before. E.g. I can never watch that Gillian Anderson thing where she’s an English detective looking for serial killers because I saw a snippet of it once where she was sitting with a glass of whisky on her own in her flat after a hard day’s detectin’, and I thought, yep, I’ve already seen that a thousand times.

    I remember the hunt for the Unabomber vividly, and it’s brilliant on the detection side and all the flawed assumptions.

    Paul – under those circumstances you’d be justified in grabbing a fully updated W7 from the Internet somewhere. Too late now but giving your Mum’s installation a good scrubbing with Ccleaner or the like would have been enough for your purpose? I actually enjoy the fiddling around aspect of Windows (ditto Linux), but there’s a limit and your ordeal sounds like it’s well beyond it.

    I too love the ease of Mac OS X. (It’ll never be MacOS to me.) In recent years it nags for updates in a disturbingly Windows-like fashion, but other than that it’s still the Rolls Royce of OSes.

  13. Had I the cash I’d be living entirely Apple – for all their supposed underhand sneakiness everything I have just fits together without me pissing about and failing. That includes the horrible Android phone I used to have Mr NG. Games on a Mac would of course be entirely acceptable…

    No Paul – episode 7 today. Like the Crown I have to confess to being unaware of the back story – I didn’t realise for example how long the guy was doing this, it was only in the last 18 months or so of his campaign it seemed to make the news here I thought. It does worry me how people praised his manifesto and thinking though, regardless of his intelligence and ideas I’d suggest blowing people up should knock you out of the running for being worth listening to. i guess there were folk still angered by Waco, etc.

    Are you listening Werd? put down the blunderbuss and leave the cave quietly.

    Best drama for me for years has been Gomorrah. I once spent a very nervous 30 mins in Naples and that show ensures I’ll never return.

  14. NG – was discussing crime fiction with my brother in law the other day. We both agreed that for once we’d like to see a happily married, non-music loving, non-foodie who drinks in moderation and doesn’t have unresolved issues investigate a case. He made the point that at any time in the world of fiction there’s a chance at least two major characters are listening to the same Charlie Parker album while drinking ‘scotch’.

  15. I Might end up just grabbing a copy of windows 10 (does a 32bit ver exist or is it all 64bit?) and install that. I’m so out of the loop PC wise, I only use one at work for Coding, SQL server, DBA Admin etc, the rest of my computing time is spent locked away in Apple’s EcoBubble.

    I love the Unabomber show, but never really took to the main Character, Fitz, either, I think its more of a disliking for the actual actor, Sam Worthington, as I saw an interview with him after he did Avatar, and he seemed very arrogant and cocky, and a bit rude.

    I’m big into cinematics and video fx and all that stuff, and love how the film makers have used specific colour toning and framed their shots during certain scenes to emphasise plot points and characters.
    For anyone thats remotely interested in the creative process, there’s a great article here:

    Don’t we have a kind of modern day version of Kaczynski though, a man who spouts outlandish ideas about how the world should be run, and wants and needs to be listened to, and has the ability to blow up a lot of people with a single button?

  16. Paul – You may be able to speed things up by installing Windows 7 SP1. From experience I also remember there is a point where you have to install a new version of Windows Update or the updates won’t update anymore.

  17. Chris99 – thats what I’m trying to do, install SP1, once I have that installed I can download the Windows 7 rollup convenience package which then installs SP2 and all up to date updates.
    But getting SP1 in the first place is proving an issue.
    Windows update was at 0% and had been for an hour when I left it this morning, and downloading the standalone installer (iso image) from MS’s own website was a chore – kept failing saying network error, it wasn’t my connection as I have a 90MB fibre optic connection and i tried downloading a film that was 8Gb and that finished in 10 mins.
    So looks like MS’s servers are current dog poo.

  18. Paul – have some bad news for you, Windows Update in Windows 7 is notoriously slow and unreliable and you might be waiting forever to update. My last installation of W7 was in a VM on the Macbook about a year ago and it never did manage to update. I just left it in the end as, like yourself, I only wanted to run 1 or 2 apps on it and they ran fine on vanilla, so there was no need for it to be updated. Disable Internet though if you go that route just to be safe. Install PCSX2 and run it if you can as-is, and disable the Internet on that machine.

  19. Paul – I have quite a few high earners who suck up most of the excess. E.g. my Emre Can was earning £4m per year before I moved him on as part of the wheeler-dealering. At the moment my TS is anything from high 70s to low 90s depending on who plays and in what position, as I’ve just brought in a few new players. By mid-season I’ll consistently have a TS of mid-80s I think, and then we’ll see. After all the ups and downs this period right now is my best with PES2018 since release week.

    Re. your earlier comment, I recently conceived a proper full-on geek obsession with cinematography. There’s an incredible wealth of material on YouTube that has got me watching stuff like Martin Scorsese would. Until I looked it all up I never really knew what made a great director a great director (a great cinematographer makes a great director, partly…) and just what it really, really means when a review of a film says something like ‘crisply directed by A.N. Other’, etc. It’s all still sinking in, but knowing the rule of 3s and the way a static scene is composed with vanishing lines and each layer of the shot considered, etc.

  20. NG – the laptop has plain out of the box Win 7 on, no updates at all.
    PCSX2 is installed but wont run, because the C++ redistributable framework install that it does failed halfway through, I’m guessing because it needs Win 7 to have SP1 and/or 2 installed.
    SO PCSX2 wont run as it currently is. and I’m struggling to install the SP1 for win 7 due to MS servers being dead. Stuck.

    RE: cinematography, theres so much to it to turn a scene and story from a straight shot into something mesmerising that captures an audience, from lighting to colour grades, sound scores, sound effects, right down to the type of camera used and the film stock.
    There’s a great documentary on youtube starting soon called How to be a great director with Ron Howard.

  21. Paul – the cinematrograhy lesson is that it has to be mesmerising to capture us. The examples of uninspiring shot composition – two people talking in front of a blank wall, etc – versus all the ones leading up to Ridley Scott levels is a really eye-opener. I’ve been watching films and TV shows and even advertising all my life without being able to ‘read’ them in any way. I had a smattering of knowledge picked up over the years, but it was very general, e.g. heros get lots of close-ups but bad guys rarely get any, but that’s not even a fraction of a percent of the visual grammar that goes to make up a piece of film. This was one of the first ones I watched (predictably, YouTube is awash with material on the topic; we can only imagine how many aspirant filmmakers are out there). Even the way the lad is sitting to present that short film obeys the basic rules of composition – rules of thirds, depth of scene etc (presenter sitting on one of the cardinal points of the ‘grid’>wall with attractively arranged books etc>window onto a garden). If I ever do make that plasticine stop-motion epic movie with my phone (there’s more than one app for that), I’ll be using all the techniques…

    And is it really worth all the hassle for PCSX2 and PS2 PES is the question to be asked now. For me it would be, but considering that’s a 7-year-old laptop it might struggle to upscale the PS2 gfx very much if at all…? Might not be worth it.

  22. Agree NG, its a true art form, Zach Sader who directed the Unabomber series was talking about using falloffs at the edge of the scene for intense and dramatic scenes as it focuses the audiences eyes on the center of the screen and the character in shot, giving a greater sense of importance, and also scratching surfaces off certain film stocks in order to allow more light to leak through and give a more repressive feel to scenes.
    When we watch we just take it all in and generally know if something looks good and feels right, the science and artistry and creativity that goes into every aspect of cinematography is amazing and fascinating.

    I’d like to see that stop motion morph style video 😉

    I have a ton of new plugins for Final Cut Pro x on the Macbook, looking forward to playing about with a new PES video soon.

    I’ve started the process with PCSX2 now, I wont be happy until its installed and up and running a retro PES game, whether it will be decent enough to output to a large tv and be playable I’ll worry about later, but I’d at least like to finish the tinkering process and get it running.

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