My Superstar experiment with PES2018 lasted around 12 matches here in Season 8.
I’m returning now to Top Player, and will stay there until the end of my PES2018 career – which, I’ve now decided, will almost certainly be the end of this current season.
My first few matches on Superstar were respectably tough, and enjoyable. Solid 8/10 matches. Great stuff. Notably, they all came in the same session…
Session variance is very much still a thing in PES. Konami have removed much of the nuts and bolts of classic PES from the series. They’ve stripped back and consolidated player stats to the point where they often mean little (and sometimes nothing). And the majority of matches end with a big fat 0 (or a 1) next to the Free Kicks stat.
But they didn’t take away our precious session-to-session variance in the overall feel of the game.
Superstar in session 1 was great. In session 2, not so great. In sessions 3 and 4, bad-to-awful. In session 5, slightly improved – almost good again. Et cetera. This was always the PES way, and I suppose we should be thankful that there’s still something of the old girl left.
It wasn’t an easy decision to drop back down to Top Player. The chances are good of me romping to at least some sort of Double – and maybe the Treble.
Whatever happens, this season is now almost certainly my final season on PES2018 and nuPES. Konami’s overall strategy with nuPES is to jettison the stubborn single-player holdouts who don’t pay for things after purchase. It’s working! They can take their faces, boots, balls and tattoos, and they can stick them.
In my last session on Superstar I took on Barcelona in the final Champions League group-stage match. I’d already qualified for the knock-outs, as had Barca, so the fixture was a dead rubber. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling encounter.
This was a great match! One to remember in the months and years to come when I’m trying to think of the good in PES2018. I doubt that I’ll remember anything at all of PES2018 in 5 or 10 years’ time, but if I do, I’ll remember the ebbs and flows and epic feels of this one match. I had to work very hard for this win.
I beat Barca twice in the group stages, and took top spot on that basis. Nice to see the actual rules applied. Many an edition of PES would have awarded Barca the top spot on account of goals scored.
In the League, things are not quite so rosy at the moment.
The Superstar sessions saw me draw an incredible amount of games, lose one or two, and win a few as well. I slipped down the table. 10 points between me and the top spot. At this stage of the season, and back on Top Player, this is an easily surmountable gap. I’ll be there or thereabouts in May.
So, I’m 98% sure that this is my last season on PES2018 and on all new PES games, forever. It feels like the end of an era because it is one. It feels scary, knowing that in about a week, two weeks tops, I’ll be stepping off the carousel that I was so pleased and proud to be on for over twenty years.
I never wanted this stage to come. Lord knows I have tried my best to squeeze the essence of PES out of these nuPES games of the past few years. There is something of the old PES spirit in there – it’d be fatuous to deny that – but ultimately, there’s just not enough left.
I haven’t mentioned yesterday’s 1.04 patch because there wasn’t one. It was a boots and balls DLC. Which is nice for those who like that kind of thing, but eh, what’s a player like me supposed to think of it? Nothing, really, so I think nothing of it. I really don’t have anything else to say about it. It’s all part of the new culture of football gaming that I will soon be leaving behind for good.