I won the Invisible Cup!
It was a long Season 7, that has now drawn to a close. It finished in the small hours of this morning, the second day of February 2018. Is it me, or did January seem to flash past in about 5 minutes?
And today is Groundhog Day, of course, which is somehow fitting in a number of ways that there’s no time to delve into. I will be watching the movie Groundhog Day later today, as has become my February 2nd tradition every year. People think it’s just an amusing romantic comedy from the 90s. Which it is, but it is also the key to understanding life.
I put together a short video that features all the goals, in the order they were scored, from the FA Cup Final – a tough match against Manchester City. I had one of my CBs sent off midway through the first half for a sliding tackle from behind. It was still 0-0. I played the rest of the match with 10 men. Historically in PES (and before it in ISS), I’ve made something of a specialty of playing tough matches with 10 or even 9 men. There was one old edition of ISS – the beloved ISS98, I think – in which I so regularly performed heroics with 9 or 10 men, that I started to wish there was an option to play with reduced numbers all the time.
Here is the vid – there are a couple of League goals just before the Cup Final goals, including one very quirky goal that seemed to be scored with Kenedy’s neck (NECK):
Look at the free kick that I have from about 40 yards out at around the 55 seconds mark. That free kick is evidence of why fouls and free kicks are so crucial in a football game.
You can see me thinking over a shot, but deciding, rightly, that I’d just be giving possession away.
So I switch the cursor to a striker, Kubo, and walk him across to receive a sly pass. I flub the one-two – Passlack wasn’t supposed to receive the first pass – and there’s an attempted lofted one-two with that man again, Kenedy, but the ball drops kindly to Raya, who sticks the ball away. That put me 1-0 up in the Cup Final.
Fouls and free kicks have to be in football games, to regularly generate such alternative kinds of situations. Fouls and free kicks cannot be missing. They are missing, on the whole, in PES2018. For that reason alone, PES2018 can never be considered a serious football game, never mind a serious PES game. I’ve said my piece on this many times, but it always bears repeating. Hats off for Groundhog Day!
Man City scored their equaliser late on and it looked like Extra Time, but I straight-from-kickoffed the AI, a very satisfying turn-the-tables moment.
And so I got to see my in-game avatar David Pleating onto the pitch, and my players cavorting around, and then the anti-climactic moment of them huddling around a blank spot where the Cup was clearly meant to be, but isn’t. Would it kill Konami to create a bogus trophy, or let us design one in Edit mode, or something?
In the League I held on for 3rd place and a Champions League spot for Season 8.
With Season 8 being my final season, it means that I won’t ever compete in the Europa League in PES2018. As I say every year, the Europa League/WEFA League in PES is historically one that gets skipped over, bar the odd season here and there, as my team tends to finish either below or above the relevant league positions.
Overall my feeling is that this season was a solid 9/10 for overall experience.
‘So, does this mean you’re reconsidering your decision to drop PES2018 after the next season and then not bother with PES2019?’
Between now and PES2019’s release, regular readers will naturally have questions like this occur to them quite often.
The short answer is ‘no’. Part of the reason I’ve kicked back and relaxed with PES2018 over the past season is my awareness that I soon won’t have to play it or any other nuPES ever again.
The franchise has moved on to new territory where I cannot follow. I have football gaming needs that nuPES doesn’t meet. The only place where I can have those needs met is in the series’ glorious past.
The sums are in for Season 8, and this is the combined budget I have to play with:
Which is preposterous, of course, but when hasn’t PES and Master League been that? Sometimes preposterous is good, and in this instance, I’m inclined to view it as good.
This bizarre transfer/wages disparity factor at least prevents the transfer carousel that has blighted Master League for the past several editions.
I’ve been forced to stick with players for longer. Whisper it, but one of my strikers, Raya, is something of an individual for me now.
At some point in Season 8, I will revisit my ‘Individuality check’ exercise from the end of Season 2. Overall results will still be on the shabby side, alas (I still can’t really tell any difference between my AMFs), but Raya will get an 8 or 9 and a STAR MAN rating.
But all this is to come. I am very interested in how Season 8 will go. My first-time involvement in the Champions League will be interesting, as the AI teams traditionally destroy me in my first season in that competition.
If that happens, or if I feel the tug of unfinished business for any other reason, a Season 9 is not completely impossible.
There’s no PES2019 looming for me on the other side of summer, remember. So there’s no time-pressure involved.
Whenever PES2018 is done, nuPES is done, so I can take as long as I want here.