Seven Eleven

Another great couple of PES2011 sessions, covering about 7 matches, making a total of about 14 matches played overall. If I was doing my all-new End of Year Review for PES2011 right now, I’d give the game an easy 9/10. Great Master League, deep football game mechanics: a true PES game.

So why am I looking enviously over the fence at FIFA?

PES2011 looks great, even on the PS3. Graphics are not a problem at all. The graininess is initially startling, no denying that. How fast we get used to a new generation of consoles! But PS3 graphics are still more than acceptable.

Loading times remain a pain, as do the lack of home comforts like easy screenshotting and video clip record/export. I feel guilty, but I constantly allow moments and events to pass by that I would have recorded on PS4.

I play football games, or indeed any game, in order to play the game, not do something else that requires a lot of surrounding fuss and bother. When playing I’m typically in a groove (a literal groove, on the bed), playing with the controller in my hand, a podcast or audiobook playing on my phone next to me. Picture the scene when something happens in PES2011 that I actually go ahead and capture. I have to put down the controller, sit up, pause the podcast/audiobook, open the camera app, and then take the necessary picture or video footage. If it’s the latter, I must awkwardly hold the controller with one hand whilst manipulating the left stick to get the desired replay speed.

I know. Talk about a First World Problem. The peoples of Syria and Sudan must be shaking their heads in wonder at how I’m coping with the horror. I should be followed around by a documentary team or something.

Back at my Master League, I am deep into the first half of Season 1. A long way from the January window.

My semi-cheating Advanced Start means I’ll have money to spend when I get there, and spend it I will.

Iaquinta and Schwarz up front are an eye-catching combo on paper, but in practice they are average. In 10 League matches they’ve scored one each. Shimizu behind them is being Shimizu – small and weak, but skilful with it. He did put away a tidy finish in the Cup from the edge of the box that fair rocketed into the top corner of the net. I almost bestirred myself to record it, but then thought, nah.

I’ve got Palmieri and Schmidt in defence, but remember that these are promoted Youths too. I tend to start matches well with them, only to get overrun late on when fatigue sets in across the board. PES2011 seems to be faithful to its stamina system.

No goals worth showing. I’ve scored one or two that would have made it if I had access to PS4-style recording-and-uploading facilities. This is just how things will be.

I’ve noticed the stirrings of spring recently (despite the persistence of near-Narnian cold). In football game terms, this usually prompts thoughts of the next couple of football games. PES2019, it would be usually. It feels peculiar to have given all that up, but I remain absolutely 100% steadfast on that front. I’ll only be interested in new PES games again when PES actually makes a return. Which won’t happen, for all the reasons discussed at length here over the past few years.

Updated: 27th March 2018 — 10:02


  1. Great to hear PES 2011 has (re)started well for you n-G.

    I still feel a little too fatigued with the ML format to go full-on with any PES right now but 2011 will be my first choice when I inevitably do go back one day.

    I’m not convinced about playing games lying down on the bed. What kind of pillow formation are you using and do you have special PES-jamas?

  2. Even that screenshot above stirs up memories of my favourite PES ML to date, PES 11.
    those small gritty grounds….. ahhhhhh!

    What for you NG, is making PES 11’s ML superb? I remember at the time I thought it was great but it was just ‘the norm’, so now after all these years of PES devolving have embedded into your psyche, what stands out in PES 11’s ML for you that makes it so good, apart from the training as previously mentioned ?

    Also, the hassle surround capturing footage of the PS3 is a justified hassle, all those analogies to Sudan and Syria and other real world problems belong exactly there, in the real world, in context to what matters to this blog, your gaming habits, having to adjust your posture, pause apps, open apps, manipulate camera to take footage etc, is an actual dilemma.

  3. Chris99 – good point, they clearly gave me the memory of you sitting in that room shortly after they gave you the memory of having done that degree.

    Lying down is way too relaxed for a footy game. I’m seated, cross legged under me, like Buddha.

  4. Paul – just in town today and all the preowned copies of FIFA18 are still £30/£35 in CeX and GAME respectively. They should be £15/£20 or so for the duration of the PSN sale. I considered mentioning it to one of the skater-rock-loving beards behind the various counters, but I know from experience that I’d just be giving them a tiresome ballache they didn’t need in their working day, they’d refer to a slightly more senior skater-rock-loving beard, and the price wouldn’t be changed anyway.

    All the augurs point to FIFA17. My nice £5 copy is there anytime I like.

    And NOT now, no. PES2011 ML is pretty fantastic. To answer your question, the focused player training is a huge bonus, along with that PES/ML pull of getting a modest young player and developing him. Yes, I know, Career Mode does all that too, and arguably better…. Hence my temptation.

  5. Uncle Turf/Shed – I too am remaining with my nice cheap FIFA17 when the time comes.

    Re. my posture on the bed, I have a couple of those V-shaped bolster pillows that I arrange in such a fashion that I’m half-propped up like King Louis XIV, or how I imagine any other decadent aristocrat of the 18th century before the proles got hold of ’em. It’s more like a reclining armchair-style posture than a supine laying-down posture. It’s how I’ve played every ISS and PES since the late 90s. Much like Liam and his touching devotion to the D-pad, I can’t change this without changing my experience of playing footy games. One of the reasons why the PC move has never really taken off.

  6. That’s fair enough NG, I wasn’t asking whats so great about PES11’s ML from a ‘its not better than FIFA 18’ perspective, but more so out of genuine interest as I can’t remember exactly what PES 11 ML had that I loved so much, I just know I really enjoyed it.

    If you do play FIFA 17 and then leave it half way through, I won’t take that as ‘youve sampled FIFA’s CM and its not that great’ as FIFA 18 is a leap above FIFA 17 in so many ways.

  7. Also, as you are currently gushing about PES 11’s quality, any sign of re-emergence of this opinion from back in Jan 2011?
    Its a stark contrast on what is, the same game, just with 7 years time lapse in between.

    Just how is playing PES2011 a horrible experience? So many reasons…

    There’s the step-aside.

    There’s the stumble (God, the stumble!).

    Then there’s the extra touch, or touches, that the players always seem to want.

    There’s the way players will automatically run-on with the ball, leading to much confusion and hilarity. (Yesterday I had Schwarz run-on with the ball in midfield for about 10 yards.)

    There’s what I call the ‘proximity effect’, where the presence nearby of an opposition player will unaccountably destroy your player’s ability to make crisp contact with a football.

    There’s the transparent interference with aerial through-balls. Often I will spot one of my players hanging off the shoulder of a side-back, as he should. Right, I think, time for a classic PES aerial through-ball. But the resulting through-ball, even if powered to its maximum, is a weak ‘scoop’ that finds the first defender’s head. It’s as if the game knows what I’m trying to do, and is programmed to prevent it from happening.

    All of these factors and more make PES2011 a hesitant, jerky experience that simply fails to flow. Occasionally it flares into triumphant life. But not often enough.

  8. Paul – this new theme of yours is a bit of a head-scratcher. What does it prove? ‘Person reacts differently to a media product after X number of years’ isn’t a massively shocking turn of events. Ever enjoyed a book or a movie that you originally bounced off many years ago? I do, all the time. None of these quotes you’re pulling from 7 years ago are indicative of anything nefarious going on in the here and now. Everything is just dandy.

    The whole reason I’m PES2011-ing it right now is, as I have said many times, the sense of unfinished business as seen in all the old posts. My sense that PES2011 is the one that got away. That’s the whole reason I’m playing PES2011 and not, say, PES2010 or PES2012 (or PES5). PES2011 was the only one that eluded me when every other PES – including the egregious 2008 and 2016 versions – didn’t elude me, and yielded their maximum value. Time changes perceptions, and what seemed aggravating in 2010-11 does not seem so now. I have experienced the stumble, for example, but it doesn’t bother me today. Perhaps it would help to see this post and this post from the tail-end of the year of PES2011 to provide some balance.

  9. I never played PES 2010 or PES 2011 when they were released and only have them in my collection because I bought them at a later time. However, all this talk about Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 and “the old ways of Master League” has inspired me to dig out my old PS3 and give the game a chance.

    My first match was an exhibition match that didn’t really impress me. I alway find there’s a certain challenge in going back to the older entries of PES and FIFA, because the controls feel so different from what we have these days. I nevertheless decided to give ML a chance and I am really, really glad I did so!

    I haven’t been this entertained by a football game in a long, long time. The closest thing I’ve been to the “classic ML feeling” in recent years was my first season in PES2017, where I turned the difficulty up from the beginning. Playing PES 2011 makes me think of my very first experiences with the series, almost like I’m playing PES5 for the first time again: The sense of dread when you lose a match for the third time in a row; the frustration of missing your only 90% goal-scoring opportunity in a match; the challenge of learning everything all over again until things finally find a steady pace.

    I’m also quite impressed by the Edit Mode, which in some aspects (but not all!) feels much more advanced than anything we’ve had on PS4 to date.

  10. not-Greg – as I recall towards the end of the PES2011 year you concluded that the gameplay was designed to encourage you to release the ball before coming close to the opposition player. Once you accepted the game on those terms then the stumble, step-aside, proximity effect etc became much less aggravating

  11. Partick thistle had scuffled their way to third in the Scottish premier (how nice not to have to invent the thing) but faced Celtic for the first time. Wow, a noticeable injection of pace and quality in what I’m calling ‘the AI we want’. I somehow bluffed a draw though and am still exceeding expectations. Sadly this means a hark back to the crap ea should have got rid of by now – international management jobs after no time at all. The AI we don’t want.

  12. Phoenix – indeed so as the editing is much more slick and took me half the time it did on the PS4. Bit of a puzzle that the new gen of gaming is so user unfriendly.

  13. Phoenix – on the one hand it’s an abiding mystery why ML was dismantled from the heights it enjoyed in PES2010-PES2011… on the other hand, it’s no mystery at all. Consumers who spend months of realtime happily pottering about in a private single-player world aren’t spending online. I think it really is as simple as that. No mystery.

    abbeyhill – yes I think Paul thinks by quoting my old posts he’s ‘exposing’ me in some weird way? If so he has somehow missed my frequent references to this PES2011 re-play being a return to ‘the one that got away’. I.e. he thinks I’m pretending that I’m going back to play one of my personal beloved editions of the series, which is not the case. I’m trying to get to grips with a PES I didn’t love back in the day – as I’ve said all along.

  14. When it comes to modern football gaming, I can’t blame you not-Greg or anyone else considering sticking to a FIFA game. Even if I still don’t think the gameplay evolved as I expected, the game is a complete experience. PES is a bad joke compared to the amount of valuable content provided by the rival. Anyone playing PES2018 hasn’t got much to write about their ML or BaL ventures because frankly, what does the game offer alongside the gameplay? Not even trophies are shown when you win one…So how can you write about your experience if the platform you’re using offers no content for you to write about?
    When playing FIFA, one could write paragraph after paragraph only referring to the experience of, for example, setting up a scouting network.

    I’m currently doing a test-ML in PES5 with Parma – don’t have the necessary PES points to get to organize the leagues and teams in the ML, a feature that needs to be bought at the PES-shop. As I suspected from the friendlies I played, the defence needs an upgrade, only Bonera is truly good (very good actually). I’m trying out a 1,74m DM as a partner to Bonera, in a ballsy move that you’ll only see in old-PES – since the stupidly unrealistic overall ratings for players were not a thing yet – and in the real-life Chile National Team, and he’s mediocre at best. My bench is crap except for a few youngsters with potential to become decent at least.
    Two matches played, 3 penalties awarded total. 20min. + 5 star difficulty is truly a test of your patience and resilience, it’s a bloody battle out there. In typical PES5 fashion, won the first match 2-1 where both teams scored through penalties and the winner was a header from a corner kick.

    So far I’m just testing the waters whilst cashing in the necessary PES points to buy the ML structure thingy, the 6-star difficulty and something else I can’t remember right now. Need to do the same in PES3 and 4, as I plan to do a few ML saves there in the future.

  15. Ah, BaL – the other one NG considers got away….time for a revisit I think.

  16. I managed to win the League Cup semi-final against Brighton. I lost the first leg at home 2-1 and then won away 3-1 aet. The game seemed to want me to win, the AI CBs not chasing my forward with much urgency, maybe because I’m the weaker team I benefited from ‘balancing’. I now have Man Utd in the final and my league game has been rearranged from Saturday to Friday so I have 2 games in 3 days. Ho hum, trouble in paradise.

  17. Managed to drag myself off of PUBG to play FIFA18 and start my championship mode. Aside from it just being a bit of a treat in terms of presentation, the thing that stands out is the amount of fouls being committed against me by the computer. A couple of penalties and lots of free kicks in a handful of games. I must admit though that the level of options with training and scouts etc. is scaring me and slightly daunting after my last few years of arcade Master League.

  18. Haha NG…love the headline! 7-11 used to be my go-to convenience store in Madrid back in the day. Almost up there with “I am Hamann and I need to be loved”. Maybe a poll on the best headlines over the years wouldn’t go astray.

  19. ‘New Theme of mine’ NG???
    Bit defensive isn’t it? Having a bad day?

    There was no ‘theme’ as you call it, a theme suggests something that happens with regularity, apart from this one I have only ever recalled an old post of yours once before, hardly a theme.

    And it was a genuine question. Nothing else implied.
    Back then you clearly stated PES was a bad game, as quoted above, you might have had a bit more time with it later on after playing BaL but the fact still remains that after 4 months with PES 11 back in those days, you posted saying it was a poor game, with lots that annoyed you, you then tried a non ML mode, then finally came back to PES 11 but without any sort of conclusion, that isn’t the mark of a PES game that you was enjoying.

    So, to revisit a ‘poor game’ after 7 years absence, with all the increases in technology, graphics, animation etc that you have become conditioned to, I was purely inquisitive as to what was making PES 11 such a great game after all these years, when it is exactly the same game you granted as poor all that time ago, it was a fair and genuine question, no ‘theme’ as you claim.

    and No, I honestly haven’t ever revisited a film that I initially thought was crap, at a later date and suddenly thought it was amazing.

  20. Glad your enjoying it NG, I’m currently without a footie game or much to play in general. Deleted FIFA18 after it got stale although the best on the pitch in years. PES 19 will be an abomination. Curious about a last gen PES myself but would have to be PC and cannot be bothered .

  21. orlando.jabulani – bet you’re getting double-figure fouls in all them 20-minute matches too. Strange how they don’t ‘interrupt the flow’, isn’t it? We’ll never see their like again in any football game, so enjoy. I believe somebody at Konami actually spake the words ‘fouls impede gameplay’ a few years ago. The signs of decline were all there. We just didn’t want to read them.

    Uncle Turf – #neverBaL

    Cook – I don’t think that’s extremely unrealistic, despite it never happening in real life that a team would be expected to play a Cup Final that close to another game. A few months ago there was a CL/Premier League clash of 3 days I think.

  22. Keith – have to confess, I too am finding it unexpectedly hard to adjust back to a mode with things to do – and things that have to be done – between matches. I’ve heard that FIFA18 is a fouls-free modern footy game, though, so it’s heartening to hear you’re getting them. As ever, it should be noted that fouls per se aren’t the problem, but the seriousness of the football game that omits them.

    rhymes450 – ‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Bebé’ was when I decided The Smiths post titles had run their course…

    Paul – I’m playing a football game that I profoundly disliked at the original time of its release, to see if time and my nuPES-influenced perceptions have altered things. All the posts are there, and tell their own story, as you’ve (re)discovered.

    METZ – I remember you being the very first to denounce PES2018 way, way back in the day, when I and others were still pretty excited about it. I agree – PES2019 will be a further abomination, just another instalment of the anti-PES football games that masquerade under its name now.

  23. I think that gaming is getting worse in general (with some exceptions). PES now has really good graphics, physics, bla bla bla but less and less options and less deep. But it happens to almost every single game.

    Right now I am playing wrestling games. WWE 2K16 has amazing graphics, amazing roster… but way less gameplay options that WWE Here Comes The Pain from the PS2 era. And it is way easier than WWF No Mercy from Nintendo 64.

    It is a shame that older games are better than newer ones…

  24. Keith – I am quite literally getting zero fouls on FIFA 18. Now more than 30 matches I would reckon without one. Playing Career Mode on World Class btw.

  25. #1 – I have no idea how you are getting zero fouls. Especially in all those games. Are you PS4?

  26. Chris99 – maybe he is just simming all the games?

  27. Nope. Played every single game and now approaching the midway point of season playing in the prem with hull City, world class difficulty. I’m stumped. Am on ps4 btw yes.

  28. What is your playing style? Do you skill past opponents or L2 and hold up play waiting for support?

  29. I mix both tbh having recently discovered l2. Other than that, nothing special I guess? Winning most games as well… And I Was getting some fouls before, but none anymore.

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