You Kane always get what you want

I won the Community Shield match versus Manchester United – in a penalty shootout, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I never use the R1 aiming reticule when taking a penalty. I enjoy the game-challenge of gently tilting the analogue stick just a bit farther… and a little bit farther… and a little bit farther… often dangerously testing the ability of the player who’s taking the kick to get it inside the posts.

PES2018 (and nuPES as a whole) has the best penalty kick system we’ve ever seen in PES. The bitter irony is that we almost never get to use it. The single-player game is a virtually fouls-free zone, so you pretty much only get to take a penalty when you’re in a Cup penalty shootout. I’ve had 1 penalty in open play across 7 complete seasons, which is about 340 matches.

The Champions League Group Stage draw took place. I was drawn in a tough group. My first season in Europe is traditionally a horror show, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when I get to play the matches.

Fitting that I should get Barcelona, as this will almost certainly be my last season. But I won’t make the mistake of walking away from PES2018 with any feeling of unfinished business, so I’ll keep the door ajar for another season after this one.

Here is my Season 8 transfer and salary budget:

I was very interested to see if I could actually spend any of that 1/3rd-of-a-billion pounds. After my third-place finish last season and winning the FA Cup, my team ranking had gone up, but not by much:Above Sunderland, beneath Middlesbrough. You can have all the money, but if the players won’t come, there’s no spending it.

So I was amazed to discover that the 31-year-old Harry Kane was willing to discuss a transfer.

Last September, Harry Kane was one of the notable features of my Day 1 experiences with PES2018, when I typically play random Exhibitions and Internationals until I can be bothered to set the Master League juggernaut in motion.

Kane stood out in my matches with England. In an era of PES that sees the overwhelming majority of all forward players handle like interchangeable ninja-ballerinas, Kane’s in-game PES2018 avatar seemed to have weight, inertia, solidity, and that elusive spark of what used to be PES’s ace in the hole: individuality.

Such players are so rare in nuPES that they must be obtained where possible.

He was at PSG in the world of my ML Season 7-8. Aged 31, he is in decline, but it’s the gentle sort of decline. I’m only playing 1 more season – 2 at the most – so why not?

I got him, with instant results:

He’s scored a couple in my other matches too. This could be very interesting. I’d roughly estimate, extrapolating from my experience of 1400+ nuPES matches across 4 years now, that among the hundreds of samey players in nuPES, there are maybe 20-30 proper old-school-PES-style individuals. I think 2018’s Harry Kane is one of them.

I’m keeping an eye on how Top Player is going. Most matches do remain creditably tough, and winning feels like a proper achievement, but a few matches have started to go like this:

If matches like the above start to happen more than 1 in 3 times, I will switch to Superstar and take what comes.

I’ve got Kane. Not since Veldwijk in my early seasons have I had a striker who feels like his own separate creation. I’m really motivated to see how things turn out – and the transfer window has not yet closed. Last night I had to end a session with a negotiation in progress for a 94 OPR-rated striker, who I think I’m going to get.

The quest for the Treble is on. That defeat was a terrible loss to Stoke, where Stoke actually played like Stoke and frustrated me so much that I almost become one of these controller-throwers that I hear so much about.

Updated: 6th February 2018 — 11:31


  1. Good times all round!
    Have you changed up your kits for the new season? I did send you some new ones didn’t i?

    Good buy on the Kane front, even if I cant stand the collapsed face chav in real life.
    Have several players in my team who stick out on the individuality front, but way too many come and go without ever having any kind of affinity for them.

    I moved up to 63 in the Club rankings, and still cant tempt most 84+ rated players to join, I may just build a new stadium with all that surplus money instead.

    Or maybe we can cash it in for game points (GP) and use it in MyClub Mode instead???

  2. Harry Kane was an outrageous steal in 2015, along the lines of deli Ali and others who sprang from the fringes to stardom. When you play these old games you have the benefit of hindsight unfortunately the makers didn’t so sometimes they aren’t as good. I reckon my mid 70s are as best I’ll get for a while unless I discover a gem, something that seems unlikely in modern pes.

    No way I’ll jump to legendary, I’m in the peu league, the championship would be a much different prospect.

  3. Paul – I got those kits from you just after Season 7 started and decided to keep the ones I had until Season 8, and now you’ve reminded me. They’re on the USB in the PS4, just a matter of remembering later to add them.

    Re. Harry Kane, I’ve always thought he’s one of the most unfortunately-voiced footballers I’ve ever heard speak. Seems like a decent bloke though so I hope he doesn’t go to Real Madrid as English players just do not travel well for various reasons and I can see him being more of a Jonathan Woodgate than a Steve McManaman over there. His Pro Evo avatar is certainly remarkable. Shades of the devs stroking the English shaft once more (as per Football Manager and all of its simmed World Cup wins for England etc.).

    Uncle Turf – Kane was a standout in my Week 1 warm-up Exhibitions, probably the only player who stood out (the way Rooney used to stand out from PES6 to PES2010 or so). I’d resigned myself to not getting Kane until he Regenned, and then having to wait a few seasons for him to mature, so I’m pleased to have got the 31-year-old now.

  4. Look forward to seeing them 🙂

  5. Congrats on the signing of Kane, although I hope Real Madrid signs him next season and they get rid of Karim BenzeBAD…

  6. Nice signing there, let’s hope he keeps delivering. Refreshing when you do get that hint of individuality as it’s now so far and few between. Of the 12 players I’ve gotten I count 4 with varying degrees of individuality, Solanke being the standout by far. The cpu just treated me to some mild fuckery but the fact that solanke wasn’t in those games (tired / downward arrow) really made a difference for me. Didn’t help that I had to face united, city and Chelsea in a row either. Arsenal is next.

  7. Tough opposition there in Napoli and Barcelona, but even if you don’t end up overcoming them, there’s always the Europa League for shot at winning an european title before the end of your nuPES experience.

    You mentioned baseball in a previous comment of yours and I’m really curious about the sport. Never watched any game, never played any, though I’ve been thinking about getting either MLB the Show or MLB 2K for the PSP to finally introduce myself to it. As for american football, it’s a joy to pick up a game like Madden compared to watching it in real life, which can be a bit tedious sometimes. And one thing that bothers me is how quick the season goes by. Quite often I find myself forgetting the NFL for a couple of weeks, suddenly I remember I dropped it and want to catch it again, but in the meantime the playoffs are already ending.

  8. Surely no one would quit a pes without having played in a champions league final?

  9. Turf – I don’t view a Champions League final as a measure of success, or a yardstick by which to base a game.
    Its just about how much I’m enjoying it.

    My Most memorable ML to date is still the one from PES 2011. 11 seasons – not a single trophy.

  10. I finished a season yesterday in 4th in the Premier League, lost the Europa League final to Chelsea who finished 9th in the league. I was disappointed but consoled myself knowing I’d secured a CL spot for next season. Fast forward a few in game weeks and the end of season report informs me I’ve qualified for the Europa League. The game robbed me of the CL spot to give to Chelsea. I know this was the rule a while ago but it’s not been like this for a few years. I assume the in game logic can’t handle 5 teams from the same league. I hope Chelsea lose their qualifier.

    I also qualified for the upcoming Euros with England but had a really hard time along the way, only scoring 4 goals in the whole qualifying campaign. There was some gritty nil-nils in there. I’ve seen a few comments on the forums critical of high scoring games but it’s not my experience.

  11. Harsh that Cook, you must be gutted, they obviously just didnt change the rules in game.
    What level are you playing on ?

  12. True to form, nuPES ‘balancing’ ensured that for the next 4 matches, my new Harry Kane might as well not have been on the pitch. I’ve been playing this old fiddle for years now, but I believe it beyond reasonable doubt that there’s some coding under the hood that ensures a few standout performances must be followed by a deliberate nerfing. It’s not something I recall in any pre-nuPES PES. I infer that it’s an online thing that’s carelessly been allowed to seep into the offline game.

  13. NG – shame that. I’m not seeing it the same effect in my ml at all. Solanke is a steady performer and my standout player by far. Fosu-Mensah as well in defence… Saito is more hit and miss but never to the extreme effect you describe. Could this be y e or “adaptive ai” Konami were plugging before release that kicks in?

  14. #1 – are you saying it’s… ‘the adaptive AI that we need’?!

    Kane got a goal and handled well after his 4-match missing persons impression, but I remain convinced there’s a deliberate nerf-factor in play.

  15. Paul, I’m on SS. I was gutted at first but same as NG, the Europa League tends to get missed so another opportunity is welcome. Regarding the comment from the previous post about camera mods, the video was recorded from the replay saves because I don’t have the PC recording all the time like on the PS4, it tends to slow things down a bit (should’ve gone with the better CPU). Even in game I’m still using the default camera view, I like the closer view but on balance prefer to see the bigger picture. I play fairly directly, the midfield is absent from the game anyway so I tend to play long into the channels before crossing or squaring for a shot, much like the AI. Speaking of which West Ham scored the perfect ‘route one’ goal against me yesterday, long ball to Carroll, flick on to Hernandez and little dink over the keeper, it was a joy to watch.

  16. Lukaku seemed like a Misfit when I first signed him, despite being world player of the year for Man Utd, and league top scorer, I put that down to the Team Spirit factor and him needing to settle in.
    Haven’t really noticed my players go off the boil for a lengthy number of matches, similarly, players are supposed to suffer a fluctuation of form depending on their performance throughout the match, but I’ve never seen any proof of this, pausing the game and going into the substitutions screen and showing form arrows, even after the scripted Man City game where I ‘missed’ (scripted ridiculous GK saves) many many close range chances, my CF’s never moved off their original form arrows.

  17. Paul – you play pes to enjoy it? Sorry, I don’t understand. Pes has never been about enjoyment. It’s about pain, sacrifice and doing what you don’t want to because it’s right. Or have me and Abbeyhill wasted the last 20 years?!

    I’m finding superstar quite forgiving now I have a mid 70s side. It’s transfer window in Jan season 2 and there are three regens I fancy – carrick, Casillas and a big Brazilian centre half. I have 50m but only 1m wages so I reckon I might get one of them. Carrick would be the preference. My youth team continues to churn out churn, good for filling a 16th slot while you sell others. There’s so much average quality for sale, you could happily pay 10m for a 78ovr amf or just get a free agent who does exactly the same job. I don’t see the transfer budget as much use for anything other than trying to buy a really top player, and then it’s no use as you can’t make the initial offer. They should adjust it so Paul or NG could find a use for those hundreds of millions by allowing insane bids of 300million for Neymar, et al.

  18. Turf – Always have to enjoy what I’m doing otherwise whats the point!?
    Those early seasons on PES, scraping, scrapping, being turned over, dumped out of the cup in the first round….. all that pain and frustration ultimately leads to enjoyment when you push through it and come out of the other side.
    You can’t have the pleasure without the pain.

    Just wait turf, SS is yet to turn on you, its early days for you.
    Once you start climbing up the table, or getting past the first few rounds of the cup, thats when SS reveals its true self and employs every known method of f*ckery, scripting and just blatant cheating, which is definitely not enjoyable, I want to know I’ve won or lost because of my own ability, not because a game script has pre-determined that I will or wont.

    Transfers do have the infamous release clauses, the thing is, it hasnt been implemented properly because very highly valued players that have a market value of £60-90 mil often have pathetic release clauses of anywhere from £10 – 30mil.
    Aside from that, a release clause means nothing in PES, you never ever get teams trigger one of your players release fees, as a result theres no having to offer a player a bumper contract in order to keep him, on the flip side, you can pay the release fee for a player but it has little baring on your ability to be able to sign him, because they often reject the move anyway.

  19. If Kane stays in the Premier League, he’ll break Shearer’s record for sure. That’s assuming, of course, that Rooney doesn’t get there first. But if Madrid come calling, teams just don’t seem to have the balls to tell them no.

    nG – I see the salary budget hasn’t really changed this year either. That’s an incredible disparity between the two, but I’m sure it’s enough to put together a world-class side.

  20. The point Paul? Certainly not enjoyment. If it was I wouldn’t play pes while sitting on my home made judas cradle while listening to the game commentary on full volume.

    I got carrick for a bargain 500k. He’s always underwhelmed in my ml experiences but in season two he looks a good prospect.ive also sacrificed some back up players and full backs so I have a stronger 11 and weak bench for my budget. Let’s face it, arrows don’t matter, injuries don’t happen and stamina is still not a big deal so why worry about the squad. It’s not as if internationals do much any more either. I remember the pain of being deprived or seeing a player red lined with fatigue after ten mins. Now it’s like those international games don’t even happen, no matter what screen alerts you get.

  21. For the record I too have never enjoyed PES, it is just those moments of grim satisfaction every ten seasons or so that make it worthwhile. One of those arrived last night with WE United at last promoted in PES2011 3DS! The 3-2-3-2 formation we started the season with was solid at the back but too cramped to create many goals. So I changed to the 3-3-4 recommended by Orlando Jabulani on here; 2 DMFs sitting behind an AMF and LWF, CF, SS & RWF. Not usually a fan of these ‘exploit’ formations which would not work in real life, but after 9 seasons in D2 desperate measures were called for. A great run of form culminated in a key 6 pointer against Rubin Kazan, we were 2-1 down just before half time with Obafemi Martins repeatedly waltzing through the defence in a seemingly untackle-able manner. In frustration I held down shoot straight from kick off with Floccari, which had never worked before but this time bounced straight past an oddly static keeper. That was the turning point and two goals from Anderson (another horrendous piece of goalkeeping) and Iaquinta gave us the 4-2 win. Draws in the final two games were enough to limp over the line in second place.

  22. Odd, I don’t understand why anyone would do something regularly that they dont enjoy, especially when you have the free choice to do it or not.

    As for Carrick, I picked him up from the youths too Turf, hes rated 81 OVR, doesn’t play much as I already have 3 solid, better CMF’s, so I may send him out on loan, but when he has played, he’s played well.

    Deleted all kits and images off the PS4 last night and did a fresh install of the PESUniverse v3 OF. I had V1 installed on the day of release and some of the Bundesliga teams were messed up as in had fake player names and would often see teams like XYTFDESNEDBERG come in for my players, so re-did it with the latest version, and all looks good now, all teams and players correct and proper. Updated kits and graphics too, looks nice.

  23. Paul – I can’t tell if you can tell that they’re joking or not?!

    Carrick was a grand DMF when DMFs were grand.

  24. Cant always tell with those two either.
    I have aplayer called Dobson, playing DMF, rated 83 OVR now, tall, stolid, and has a great shot on him, he’s very reminiscent of a Dodo in his prime, but better.

  25. Paul – the golden era of Master League DMFs – Mathieu and Bradley and Camacho and Jaric et al – saw them regularly blasting in a 35-yarder from the position that I rudely call ‘the DMF hole’, i.e. the space between the penalty box and halfway line where cleared corners and the like would nicely drop. They pretty much removed that from PES around PES2014-15ish and I do miss it. With nuPES coming to the end of the line for me, I won’t miss it for very much longer.

  26. What Abbeyhill and I have never let on is that we actually belong to a medieval brethren who play pes and dabble in turf and finance when we’re not castigating ourselves for every slight misdemeanour. Currently I’m being wracked while writing this.

    Funny you should mention floccari as he’s my new young discovery, just scored a hat trick in his first start enabling me to list Callum underwhelming Wilson. Actually Wilson is a great new pes example, his stats are fantastic for this level – fast, strong and high finishing – and yet he does nothing, never wins a sprint, never finds the top corner, easily shrugged aside. For 800k per season it’s not enough.

  27. Uncle Turf – middling players like Wilson (stats aside) on that kind of inflated salary are the main factor that limits your squad. Wise choice to move him on. The real crunch comes when you do get a star man who earns a big salary, and then that effectively hornswoggles your budget. Happened to me with Emre Can. Everyone else on an average of £600k per year, Can on £3.8m per year. Took me a few seasons to bite the bullet and move him on.

  28. Turf – what you described there was my Lobato, very high stats, but never did anything of note, I moved him on after season 3 and now hes rated 94 OVR – one of the top 5 rated players in the game.

  29. I can’t decide if any of Turf, Paul or Abbeyhill are real, or if it is free will that is the illusion.

    Paul – Had a horrible shuddering moment when I misread your last sentence as “what you described there was my Libido, very high stats, but never did anything of note”

  30. Chris99 – for God’s sake leave Paul’s Libido out of this. And free will is definitely an illusion. A great and necessary one, but the truth is that we don’t think. We think that we think. The Daniel Dennett-style view – that whatever-it-is that thinks, is what we are in totality, and therefore we do have free will – is ingenious and poetically true, but not persuasive to me.

  31. If we think that we are thinking, aren’t we thinking? Or did I just think I thought I was thinking?

  32. All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream….

    Or is It? My Propoganda LP felt real at least. I was never into Kraftwerk though. Everything says I should have been, but it just didn’t click.

    Chris99 – the clues are there, it’s like a terrible dan brown novel (ie all of them); “abbey” – religious building, “uncle” – a male figure in a family, “Paul” – biblical name….and of course “in the beginning there was the Werd”.

  33. Oh heck! Now I realise the Christ basis of my own moniker. That only leaves not-Greg, unless he’s not-Pope Gregory?

  34. Congratulations Abbeyhill! How about the next season, is your squad D1-ready or do you have to make some adjustments? And how about the tactical system, how did it play out?
    The only time I remember seeing a 3-3-4 formation work was in 05-06, manager Co Adriaanse implemented it on FC Porto, a team who had had a horrible season before his arrival in 2005, and with his quirky tactical system they got the league title back. It played beautifully in those matches where you face a team parking the bus but if you’re not the best team on the pitch its flaws eventually will show up. So I don’t know if it’s going to work on your D1 journey.

  35. Hahaha Chris!! last time i checked that Libido was firing on all cylinders, shame the same couldn’t be said for my Lobato.

  36. Ah the glory days of the DMF rocket or when you almost felt bad if a member of your squad had not notched at least 1 goal by seasons end!
    Since my last post I got a penalty!!!!! Could not believe it in a 0_0 affair in the 76th minute which won the game. I have also won the champions league followed by the league title the following year my team is full of 85+ players but yet I know the game can turn on me at any time. I do not believe I will see a treble and think the end is nigh. After the league win and a new season start I encountered the most bizarre scripting and nerfing I have ever seen a 7 league game losing streak and I only managed to get 1 goal in those games!!! Thus was punctuated by 2 champions league wins one 4_0 and the other 5_2. All super keepers and other such craziness.
    I after 2016 gave 2017 a miss and wish I had left it there but can I really complain about a game I have spent 10+ seasons with? Of course I bloody can!!! I am an offline player unfortunately for me in konami eyes on well there won’t be a 2019 for me unless a change which I know won’t come happens.

  37. F’in ell, when the AI decides you’re due a whacking it doesn’t let up does it – 1-8 I got battered by a mid table side. Every goal a missile.

    I got 11m for Wilson. I also got an offer for my amf, he has the captaincy boost though and it would have dropped my team spirit from 82 to 64. It seems that’s one of the few stats that matters nowadays.

  38. Paul – it’s very good to hear that your Libido is firing on all cylinders…. And you’re definitely not Alan Partridge…?

    Gary – the answer to the mystery of why we play a game for multiple seasons that we moan about is that it is a very decent football game, even if the PES elements are watered down almost to invisibility. And once in a while there is a match that evokes the spirit of old.

    Uncle Turf – won’t be long now before you stop noting how much money you get for selling various players. It literally does become meaningless, as the cash just gets added to an ever-growing unspendable pile.

  39. And thats the issue With SS Turf, its unrealistic and unbalanced when you have mid-lower table sides all performing that way, every game, just wasn’t fun, we know you don’t play for fun but it gets a little sore being royally buttfucked every match.

    It ruins the experience too because being beat 8-1 by stoke feels no different to playing Barcelona in a Champions League semi, theres nothing to benchmark against or look forward to.

  40. Morning All, loving the daily dialogue as ever. My master league really did hit a brick wall for me after a particularly cruel “You will never get out of this Europa League group, even if you had a team full of Messis” run of games on SS. Then I got utterly hooked on a non football related game which has taken all my gaming time. For the first time since Fifa 09 I think, I have now been lured to try FIFA 18. I’m looking forward to trying it tonight and being spoiled by all the shiny kits and stadiums. Unsure how long it will last and I’m sure that the scripting will still be strong in the Championship mode or whatever its called.

  41. Keith – what was the non-footballing game? Just curious. And for me, finally having time to give some FIFA a proper go will be one of my great adventures post-nuPES. Removing newly-released PES games from my calendar frees up infinite time. They’ll never change the PES series’ direction now, no matter what is said every summer.

  42. NG – PUBG in XBOX Game preview. Don’t judge me….Its been great fun, was quite broken when first released (and still is in some ways) but they have consistently released patches to improve and finetune it. Although its a multiplayer shooter so much of the game is taken up with other stuff that it is really refreshing.

  43. Keith – I’ve followed PUBG’s progress over the past year with considerable interest, and even watched a few vids of players’ progress. It’s often compared to Battle Royale (film and book) which I’m a fan of. It looks too frantic for me of course.

  44. Yep, not to everyone’s taste for sure but has given me some really great moments.

    Definitely not very relaxing…….

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