I Kane stand it no more

Today is positively the last Harry Kane-themed post title. I was desperately hoping that he could become a key figure for me in PES2018. I really wanted him to emerge as a classic PES individual in my ML team.

One of the canaries in the coalmine that betrays how PES has changed in recent years is the fact that I naturally assumed Kane would come to dominate and be a character in my Master League side, in the way that his various predecessors over the years – the Bergkamps, the Schwarzes, the Vieris, the Stoitchkovs, the list is endless – always did.

After a magical first session or two from Kane, he might as well now be called Generic nuPES Striker 9321 or something like that.

Okay, of course that’s an exaggeration. Things have not got quite that bad with nuPES just yet.

But it’s not much of an exaggeration. I’d argue until the end of time that the most individualistic player in PES2018 is markedly less of an individual than the least individualistic player of oldPES – truPES.

Another exaggeration, there (I love them more than I love life itself – see?), but again, not much of an exaggeration.

I’m back on Top Player in the game and loving it. This will almost certainly now be my last season. Over the weekend I blew a thick layer of dust off my PS3 and its controllers, plugged everything in, and checked that I will be able to play PES2011 without trouble, when the time comes. All went well.

Playtesting PES2011 almost distracted me enough that I had to force myself back to PES2018. Where I revelled in the ease of the PS4’s environment. Boy, I will miss the PS4’s screenshot and replay features. I will be back on the PS4 at some point in the form of FIFA17, but there’s hopefully a lot of PES2011 before that point. I would like to be still playing PES2011 around the time of PES2019’s release. Won’t that be fun?

Back in PES2018, my league form hasn’t picked up on Top Player in the way I thought it might.

Hmmm. Even ML league table scripting will have to go some to get me up that table from here. But I Have Faith.

Next is a slightly different mini-compilation of ‘moments’ from a single session in the game.

First, an extraordinary sequence of me blasting the AI goal with a sequence of headers and outrageous shots that cannon off the woodwork and/or keeper.

Then an AI free kick goal that hilariously fools my GK all ends up. It looks like a deflection, but I can’t see that it does get a deflection. It seems to be a random computer-gamey glitch.

Finally, in that same match, a nice little moment from Harry Kane that’s very evocative of this goal from PES2011 that I posted in comments over the weekend. Almost as if PES2018 is saying ‘hey! I can do that too! Don’t go…’

Updated: 20th February 2018 — 11:03


  1. If only that volley had gone in!!!!

    Kane is a beast in my game, very standout and realistic.

    Oooh Look…. Pitch wear 😉

  2. I don’t know if that free kick is a good thing or not ie. random event showing not everyone plays like a world beater every time vs what a load of bollocks that was scripted.

    As my old cricket team motto went… semper in excretum sum sed alta variat. Combine the two NG and welcome to the sport.

    I know little of soil erosion, I did flirt with being involved in a project on motorway embankment soil stabilisation but ultimately it was beyond my pay grade and I had to walk past the folk doing the testing when I went to hoe cabbages. I think it’s a regional issue, in so far as some soils are just dust and can’t be used for growing any more rather than a whole planet problem. There’s only four things in soil – minerals, organic matter, air and water, but it’s the ratio that means everything. Interested readers such as Paul will be glad to know you can download a free PDF of the European atlas of soil biodiversity….

    Not played much myself recently, had a nasty stomach virus and been asleep for days at a time.

  3. All i picked up from that post was Cricket and excretum !

  4. Paul – it’s not a great muddy patch, though, is it. Just a scraped patch really. And like I said, that’s really enough. We shouldn’t be seeing muddy quagmires anywhere. PES2011’s patches of tilled earth are probably quite enough.

    Yes, if only that spectacular looping half-volley had flown in. Now there’s something I’d have remembered about PES2018 in 10 years’ time.

    Uncle Turf – the PDF in question seems to be missing from the ESDAC site. WTF is going on?

    You’re prone to them stomach bugs aren’t you? I remember you gave up meat after your last one a few years ago. How did you get this one, from food or from people? And don’t say they’re the same thing.

  5. NG – strange, maybe it’s the first shot in the brexit phoney war.

    A few years ago? I’ve been one of them weirdy vegetarians for the last 30 odd years – I was always a picky child and got fed up of explaining why I’d happily eat the sausage roll but not the chicken leg. It was easier to say no to all of it. I stopped drinking about a year and a half ago, never particularly good at holding my ale I decided it was one of the few things I could do to offset the ravages of time. Wish I’d done it years ago, now when I’m ill there’s no suggestion of being self inflicted. I got this from the little fella. Prior to his arrival I was quite healthy but a combination of childhood germs and me being shut away on a laptop all day makes me the equivalent of the war of the worlds invaders. I’m a bit concerned that when I return to employment I’ll be the worst kind of office flake.

  6. True NG, there are ‘muddier’ patches on some pitches but not quagmires.
    I remember PES 12’s Stadium editor having an option to select pitch wear, you could design some gritty little threadbare stadiums on that gem, along with custom crowd chants, that played depending on attendance levels,m which was driven by performances, its that kind of stuff that I really miss in PES.

    Turf – lots going round, a particularly gastro strain of the norovirus at the moment, my little sister has it, and has been throwing up for days on end. feel better soon old fella.

  7. Cheers Paul, I’ll avoid the obvious mrs Werd style innuendo about being near to your sister. Particularly when she might turn out to be 12.

  8. speaking of pitch wear – fifa 18 has options as to how much wear you want on the pitch – over the course of a match that is. dynamic and all that. thought that was a pretty nice touch.

  9. Found a fantastic PES2008 option file for the PSP/PS2. A classic database – search for “OF classic laziale” and you’ll find it – that replaces most of the players and teams in the game for legendary ones from every era of football. The level of detail regarding player stats and appearances made an impression on me, solid solid work.
    It’s not 100% completed, though. Some national team players are still the 2008 ones from the original PES2008 database – mostly the players from obscure National Teams like Angola – as well as the free agents. I see the creators ran out of legendary players to put in the game which is not a surprise, given they pretty much covered all of the all-time greats, nevertheless I was keen on editing those players, and wondering what to do with them. The free agents group alone has 70 pages of 9 players each, so you can see the potential here. But how do I take advantage of it?

    First I thought of putting the best young players in the world as of 2018, which would improve the longevity of the ML, but in doing so I’d have to keep updating the database and it would never be finished, which this interactive Football Encyclopedia for the ages should be. Also thought of putting the best players in the world right now, but what I said above applies here too.
    So I had a great idea: why not simultaneously include more great players from the past AND pay tribute to Konami’s Golden Age of the PS2-era (PES2 to 6)?
    I’m searching PES2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 for players who didn’t make the cut on the classic database but were also great players in real life and in PES. Some of them are PES PS2 classics such as De la Cruz, one of the best equatorian players of all time which was a beast of a side-back in PES2. Others leave you stupified wondering how didn’t they don’t appear on a classic database such as Zambrotta, which was a fantastic side-back in the whole of the PS2-era and one of the best right-backs in the world for a decade. His absence is explained by the fact both Italy and Juventus’ classic teams have too many sideback geniuses.
    Another example: South Korea’s keeper Lee Woon Jae had the “peak” of his career in the 2002 World Cup, when Korea finished 4th. In PES2 and 3 he got a deserved boost on his stats, only to decline in the following PES versions, so I used his best statsheet of all of the PES. When you play the option file, you get to use the best version there was of Lee Woon-Jae, probably the best asian keeper ever and for a very short moment of time, one of the best in the world. He becomes “Lee Woon-Jae ’02” in the database.

    Thinking of including some of the greatest PES wonderkids like Vanden Borre if I still have some space left.

  10. Is Orlando.Jabulani really WERD under a different guise?

  11. Awesome listen:

  12. orlando.jabulani – sounds like a great project and I’ve got some thinking to do about whether I fill in some gaps in my own imminent PES2011(PS3) OF before starting, or just crack on.

    Zambrotta and Vanden Borre. I think I had the former in PES6, and I know I had the latter in FM2010, as he was one of my few stalwarts in a game and a series that I have never been any good at.

    Paul – every time the host of that podcast says ‘The Masters League’, I physically flinch. That’s not a figure of speech – I make a sucking-a-lemon face and suck in a hiss of breath between my teeth, and lean forward. Even if he started saying ‘The Master League’, it wouldn’t be enough. It’s ‘Master League’. Otherwise the B-Man has it spot-on. It’ll be very interesting to see the reaction when PES2019 emerges as just another in the online-focused series that we’ve had since ’16.

  13. He’s a Man Utd Fan, what do you expect 😉

  14. Cm/fm has always been notable for outstanding in game players not reflecting their real life experiences (and vice versa). Over the years the well known ones who have turned in astonishing stats for me have been Neil Lennon, Thomas gravesen and said vanden borre. Hardly the world beaters the game would have you believe. The wonderkids such as Fabio paim, serge makofo and frankly perplexing Anthony le tallec never even got out of first gear with their careers.

    NG – see the sketch referencing ‘trivial pursuits’ on Absolutely I believe it was (or was it naked video – I’m not keen to Google in case I uncover something much weirder than a comedy show).

  15. Uncle Turf – my CM/FM games are typically dour struggles against relegation with Coventry City. Strangely, promotion from the lower tier(s) usually happens quite straightforwardly, but as soon as I hit the top flight, the brakes are slammed on pretty hard – very realistically I should say, with the massive gulf between the big teams of the Premier and ‘the rest of them’ being very much in evidence in CM/FM. My last multi-season effort (which I still have the savegame of, and play a few matches in once in a while) was in Football Manager 2010, where Vanden Borre was one of my DMFs and either turned in a titanic 9/10 performance, or was poor. Incidentally, I often say that the various tactical settings in PES are mainly for-show. I’d allege, controversially, some of the same shenanigans in FM. No matter how I set my team(s) e.g. to attack down the flanks or the middle, I never really saw marked evidence of that being played out on the pitch, or statistically. Of course, a true FM fan will say that the FM tactical engine is so complex and tied into so many other systems – not just the other tactical settings but training, morale, form etc – that I’d be bound to see errant outcomes. Only in the case of PES am I certain that the tactical sliders are (almost) entirely for-show.

  16. Reminds me, need to crack on with my FM 2018 game as Liverpool boss that I started end of Jan whilst away on business.
    I was playing it on the train on the way home and actually nearly overshot my Train stop at MK, ad rifles through to London Euston, whilst my Wife was stood waiting on the platform for me, I wouldn’t have been happy, or popular.

    Just so much to do, and so time consuming.

  17. NG – I’ve never tried it myself but I’ve heard of people replaying an FM game numerous times with alternating line ups, tactics, decisions, etc – each to no effect as the result remains the same. I’d like to believe the basic approach has consequences – formation, target man, pacy wingers, etc but I’m no more convinced the more recent descriptive terms of trequarista, false 9 and so on are relevant than I am by use of the same ‘anchor man’ stuff in pes. The one tactic that did work, so well they nerfed it in later years, was the corner/centre half attacking the ball. You could get twenty a season from that.

  18. Who has time to reply FM seasons over and over to analyse the results??
    Unemployed people, thats who.

    I’ve decided, this season on PES 18 will definitely be my final season, there won’t be a final 10th season on Superstar, I’m going to play out the climax of season 9 on TP, in the hunt for 5 trophies, and leave it there, with fond memories.

    I want a little break from footy gaming, in order to look forward to Far Cry 5 dropping end of March.

  19. Uncle Turf — that’s my suspicion too, but like I said the CM-FM tactical engine is supposedly much more complex than the PES one is represented as being, so I’m prepared to take the real enthusiasts’ word for it. I would sometimes watch a full match in which I’d instructed my team to focus attacks down the wings or through the middle, and see no evidence of my team obeying whatsoever. Hardly scientific, but it is indicative.

    Paul — I’ve heard of those matches too (individual matches, not seasons), just as in PES scripting tests, and they are real. Of course we all play with suspension of disbelief engaged, just as when we watch a movie. It’s an illusion that works, for the most part, and probably best not to look too closely.

  20. Don’t forget students in your list of criminals Paul….those public sector folk too….and what about recruitment people 😉

    Yes, as NG clarified I meant games as in match, not an entire game (as in seasons). Outcome unable to be altered no matter what – not in so far as a goal is scored on minute x but the final result remains the same. Presumably when it’s all fed into some sort of formula there must be bits here and there that can be randomised but overall the lineups must power most of the workings. Maybe there’s a small percent chance of an alternative and it would take too many repeats to hit upon it.

  21. Howdy from across the pond, have not posted in years but enjoy reading your blog daily. I know how you hate the kiddie Wii, I am still playing Pes 2013 on the Wii daily and loving it. I still believe in over 30 years of gaming, using Playmaker controls this still is the best true sport simulation game ever made. I still do not understand why people never understood the tactic brilliance of pointing to where you pass and shoot and pulling every player anywhere you want. This games has fouls, penalties, two tier stamina (no sprint clamping or your team is dog tired by half) teams that play the way they should and every stat matters and it reflected in your strategy.

  22. Turf & Paul – This’ll bring a smile to your face. Yesterday I got sent a LinkedIn message from a recruiter offering me a job in New Jersey. I messaged her back but apparently they aren’t willing to pay travel costs for the interview.

  23. that is a gladdening comment BBlastmaster, I still regret that despite being a huge fan of the Wii and of PES I never tried the combination. It is excellent that you are continuing to enjoy it so much

  24. Chris99 – the commute is probably just slightly longer than getting across London first thing in the morning.

    My current illness has allowed me to reflect on possible scenarios once I graduate and I’m happy to retire. No pension to my name but on the whole I don’t really want to bother with work thank you.

  25. Chris99 – Haha you and turf well know my annoyances with LI recruiters, scum of the earth!

    Sounds like a great experience BBlastmaster. I have seen some youtube vids of the Wii PES13 and it did look fun, never having owned a wii I haven’t had the opportunity to try it myself.

    even the non-playmaker controls look like good old school PS2 PES but HD.

  26. bblastmaster – all I can say is ‘Imma real happy for you’. No power on earth or anywhere else is ever going to change my mind about the Wii. And my settled dislike of it wasn’t just because it spectacularly failed to allow me to play Tiger Woods in the way all the TV adverts promised it would. I also didn’t like the unique Wii take on PES. Plaudits to it for the different angle on football gaming, though. It was (and is) effectively a whole different genre on the Wii, and I’m firmly wedded to the traditional controller and controls.

  27. NG – PES 13 on Wii is playable with a traditional controller, as above and looks and plays like old school PS2 PES, but just better graphics.
    Certainly not worth getting a wii for but if you had one knocking around would be worth a look surely.

  28. Paul – I know and I did play it that way too, I was specifically addressing bblastmaster’s remark about not understanding why the specifically Wii way of playing it never caught on. I can see why it never caught on, as it’s effectively another genre of footy game and we’re used to the traditional way.

  29. Apologies, misread the comment, or understood your point incorrectly.
    I think it never took off ( the point & click mechanism) because its very much specific to the Wii and motion controller environment, and is a Niché concept.
    a large % of gamers own a ‘proper’ gaming console, so weren’t readily positioned to adopt a motion control style football game.

  30. I did play it the Wii way and can see the attraction but after a good chunk of a lifetime playing football games the classic way, the Nintendo point-and-click-and-drag way was always going to be an amusing diversion. I was much happier playing the Wii PES with the traditional controller, which was on a par with the best of PS2/PS3. But I have PS2/PS3, so the Wii – which FAILED miserably to play the game I got it for, Tiger Woods – had to go and do one.

  31. I think I might have another go on the Wii with the Playmaker controls. Had a crack at PES 2009 and found the learning curve very steep but I could see that it might be worth the effort. Question for bblastmaster. Is the upgrade from PES 2009 to 2013 worth it or are they essentially the same games with a different year on the box?

  32. NG – what didnt work about Tiger woods on Wii that you expected it too? as its quite a commitment buying a console just for a specific game.
    something to do with the swing and motion control ?

  33. What swing and motion control? It worked as advertised maybe 20% of the time. The rest of the time, a mighty thwack would result in my on-screen golfer perhaps twitching a bit. I don’t want to discuss all the advice I took online and in real-life from other Wii owners about the positioning of the sensor bar and calibration of the controllers etc. The upshot of it all was that the TV advert picture of faultless golfing was a fantasy. About a year after I got rid of it I heard Nintendo upgraded the firmware and improved things, but that bird had flown. I really don’t want to talk about it now. Fuck the Wii.

  34. Maybe some additional research, rather than just relying on a TV advert, before this big purchase would have paid dividends!

  35. The Wii can just go and swivel on its own useless nunchuk thing. Worst console ever. I’d take a ZX80 over the Wii anyday. Hell, a Binatone Pong box. A bucket and spade. A ball and a stick.

  36. So, do we assume from your less than positive comments NG, that the Wii may grow on you???

  37. #fuckthewii

  38. is that Fun United Come Know the wii ?

  39. rhymes450- There is a huge difference in pes 2012, 2013 on the Wii. If anyone played on the Wii before 2012 version, you need to try one of those two. I completely understand not-Greg. Playing with the playmaker controls is truly a chess game. You are always thinking three passes ahead. IN nupes, when in regular game play did a center back with high aggession rating join the attack and score a screaming 25yarder in the box to break your heart. Vertongen just did that to me yesterday! I wrote the comment yesterday since many on here are giving up on current football games that is they have a old wii or pick one up very cheap they should give playmaker controls a try. I have a question for you not-Greg. I believe you can run emulators for the Wii on the pc, I think you might enjoy using your mouse to play a football game? The best part of the Wii version using playmaker controls for me is every player ratings matters and effects gameplay. Quick nibble dribbler can destroy you but easily can be pushed off the ball with a strong defender. Almost all of you defaults and low technique players have a donkey first touch and control. Bad shoot accuracy and the ball goes closer to the corner flag than the goal. My favorite, weak foot rating has drastic effect on game play. You have to know your opponents strength and weakness and your own players to win.

  40. I think that emulating the Wii on his fancy new PC, and waggling his mouse frantically to pretend it’s a nunchuk, is precisely the right direction for not-Greg to take next

  41. [splutters]

  42. bblastmaster – it’s not completely unthinkable that my non-nuPES future might hold a Wii PES in it. There is great Wii emulation on the PC (fully playable Xenoblade Chronicles for one) and the Wii PESes must count as ‘lost’ games as much as all the PS2 versions that nobody played after the PS3 came along.

  43. not-Greg I just wanted to say thank you for this blog and coming back to it after your sabbatical. Your take on gaming is a breath of fresh air in a cesspool of the internet. Reading your blog and all the comments always bring a smile to me. If in the future you take the the time to try the Wii version is that you give using the mouse to point and click play a real try. I hate that the Wii became motion controlled non sense instead of what developers could have done with the AR pointer. I remember back in the day my military buddies use to say only first shooter gamer would play with a mouse. They never imagined using a controller, then Halo for the Xbox came out and look at gaming now.

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