Thanks be to God

Finally, some relief from the twin time-sinks of work and life, and a chance to live as God intended me to live: just chillin’ in my yard, playing my Pro Evo.

A long session of 7 matches on Monday has moved me all the way through the mid-season Transfer window. And then some.

Suddenly, I’m in late April of Season 1.

The end of the season is in sight. Intriguingly, I might be within sniffing distance of the playoffs (if there are playoffs in PES2011’s D2; I really don’t remember).

Goal-scoring has been a major problem for me in PES2011. The nuPES methods of moving the ball forward and creating chances had become so baked into my muscle memory that I’m still even now only partially free of them.

I still revert to the awful, anti-PES, online-friendly, pinball-style approach.

Or I try to – PES2011 won’t really let me do it.

It takes the longest time to get used to the novel notion that players don’t have a universal great first touch. They can’t all spin in place, ballerina-style, without losing the ball. The kind of one-touch ‘ping-pong’ passing that nuPES has notoriously made feel normal, is largely missing from PES2011. You can still do it, but so rarely that they feel like special passages of play.

I’ve started creating the kinds of chances that are optimum in PES2011, and the goals have started to come. Not in a flood, but in enough of a trickle to keep me in mid-table and in touch with the leaders.

All of which was helped by a very active Transfer window. I shipped out a ton of the Defaults, without regret. I’ll be seeing more than enough of the Defaults throughout all my retro PES years to come.

I brought in some solid professionals.

I brought in the ageing Aduriz, in a rare case of reverse-influence across PES editions. We often get players whom we’ve had in past PESes. Here I am, getting a player in PES2011 that I had in a future PES. Aduriz was one of my star strikers in PES2017. Seeing him pop up in the List of Targets section was really a no-brainer.

31 years old, 79 OVR, and of course in decline, but I’m here to relish the world of Pro Evo, not to be some 1337_haXXor_Gam3r, or whatever the average online player calls himself.

The online gaming toxin that infected PES a few years ago now (probably around the time of PES2011, ironically) will never destroy the affection and regard that I hold for the series’ historical reality. No matter what happens (other than personal death or debilitating injury, of course) this timeless PES world will always be available to me.

Here is my full First XI and Squad for the second half of Season 1:

Yes, the Advanced Start has bought me a short-cut past the traditional Season 1 grind. That’s fine by me. I needed this non-grindy start to my past-PES adventure.

How are fouls? Intermittent – surprisingly many matches whizz past without any fouls, just like the very worst that nuPES has to offer. But most matches feature an acceptable 3 or 4, with some matches having many more. PES2011 is an honest football game that penalises both sides’ over-aggression, unlike all the PES games of recent years.

Still no great goals to report. I keep nearly scoring them, so they’re not too far away, I feel. I had forgotten just how seldom old-school PES dealt in spectacular goals. Rarity increases value. When one comes along, I believe I will emit a shriek.

Updated: 17th April 2018 — 10:45


  1. Darryl – I’d go even further and say there’s no difference between sub-flocks and the main flock – the main flock being itself composed of many sub-flocks. As soon as you ‘rebelliously’ dye your hair orange or wear whatever the cool kids are wearing these days, you’re affirming the value and even the reality of whatever you’re supposedly rebelling against. There is no essential difference between a suit-and-tie-wearing conservative and a safety-pin-through-the-nose punk rocker. They’re both wearing uniforms, have both conformed in different ways, and both move as part of the same flock.

  2. Turf – its like the lack of chavs in York city centre. Its like they have been removed in the dead of the night.
    Goths arent what they were.

    I used to have pair of New Rock boots.

  3. Re the back pocket phone thing – I’ve also seen that recently and thought ‘well that’s a bit dodgy’ every time. I put it down to phones being back to massive again (plus in some cases a fat arse squeezed into too small jeans pushing the device skywards) but on reflection I think you may be onto something.

    I guess you baldies are the group that’s hiding in plain sight, just don’t let anyone see you eating rats when you think you’re alone….

  4. Uncle Turf – I’ve seen the tucked-in mobile phone on plump ladies’ and skinny ladies’ arses alike. The phone is always tucked into their back pocket in exactly the same way, with the upper half sticking out. I think it’s the young-woman equivalent of lads wearing baseball caps backwards or slightly askew (peak pointing at either 10 or 2 o’clock), if indeed that is still a thing. I keep my phone in my front pocket at all times and often check it’s still there when out in public. The hazards of keeping it tucked half-into a back pocket are so numerous that there must be some meta-cultural fashion thing going on.

  5. SO its been confirmed by Konami then that they have lost the UCL and Europa League licenses, and Bhatti tweeted saying ‘Sometimes in football you have to pass back to move forward, not long until you see some amazing things’ …..

    No one knows what was written into the UEFA licensing contract but I can almost guarantee there was clauses that meant Konami had to promote the UCL and other licenses, online and via e-sports and these legends data packs etc, hopefully now Konami don’t have that noose around their necks they can focus on delivering innovative, great game play experience, as per old PES.

  6. Paul – I hope so too. I hope that they dont lose the licenses they have; Liverpool, Dortmund, Ligue 1+2 etc. If they do I know there are option files but to punters it may put them off buying it.

  7. WERD – The Champs league & Europa licenses do not affect teams in any way, the license was only to use the UCL and Europa League name, likenesses and presentation graphics, sound track etc within the game, all club licenses are negotiated individually.

    And if this could be the first stepping stone in PES becoming less of a ‘Shiny Facade but no substance’ type product, and having to go back to past glories, ie game play making up for lack of any real licenses, then I’m all for it.

  8. Paul – I’d put money on it going the other way. Konami will now have to ‘double down’, as the newly popular phrase has it, on the shiny online/microtransaction front, to appeal to the kinds of online-focused gamer who will naturally drift towards the licenses etc. What remained of classic single-player PES depended on them being able to shape it around a coherent single-player world. The CL was a big part of that in ML especially. The usual PR noises are being made but if this development turns out to influence the game back in the direction of Golden or even Silver Age PES, I will eat one of my baldy hats.

    As a rule of thumb, here’s an amusing wager: if the first full-length SINGLE-PLAYER PES2019 gameplay video from wherever – maybe Gamescom (lol, I know, fat chance) – features more than 1 (ONE) AI-committed foul in the whole match, I will start loving Castolo.

  9. NG – Gamescom will be full of button bashing Mate vs Mate matches, you know that, there won’t be any playing against the COM, so your wager is null and void.
    (But if there was any Human vs COM matches I absolutely agree there wouldn’t be more than 1 foul, if any)

  10. Paul – my wager isn’t tied to Gamescom, it’s whenever and wherever the first single-player vid appears. We’ll know what fouling model is in PES2019 – and thus what kind of general gameplay it’ll have – from watching the torrent of multiplayer action of course. But in the first single-player vid, if there’s more than 1 AI foul in it, Castolo is my man.

    I can’t remember what my ‘price’ was for returning to the nuPES fold, but it’s fouls related. Average of at least 3 per match, something like that. That’s not the ‘popular average’ that’s taken to mean ‘nearly all matches have 0, 1 or 2 fouls, but there’ll be the odd match here and there with 3 or more fouls in it’. It means a proper mathematical average of 3 fouls per match across 10 matches (a reasonable sample size). I.e., almost half the matches will have to have many more than 3 fouls to achieve the average. We all know this won’t be happening, ever, so I’ll be an amused and distant spectator this summer and autumn. The CL license loss makes this scenario MORE certain, not less.

  11. NG, there won’t be any single player footage throughout Gamescom, E3 etc, all multiplayer setups.
    You may get the play test days organised by Konami but whoever attends will be embargo’d and wont be able to record video.

    The first ‘taste’ of single player vs com that’s accessible will most likely be when the demo drops, and even then we all know too well that the final game that is released is often extremely different from the demo, usually in a bad way.

  12. Paul – there are always a few single-player vids between Gamescom and the demo, every year. Not many, but some. Here’s a famous/infamous example overseen by the Adam himself. (from August 22nd 2017). One of about six or seven that I remember watching. I clearly remember them all and the discussion around them – the thrill of finding a rogue single-player vid on YouTube, etc. We’ve had numerous discussions at the times. I anticipate the same again this year.

  13. I do remember that one you linked to, as Adam was playing the game whilst being interviewed, we should have known the future of fouls in PES when Aubameyang was professionally fouled by the last defender, red card every single time, yet the game allowed play to go on, defender was unpunished.

    There may be 1 or 2 rogue videos but certainly not enough to act as a controlled indication of how fouls may shape up.
    To base fouls on one random match from an unfinished game only having 1 or 2, isn’t accurate, look at PES 11, considered one of the best PES games, one of the last ‘Tru-PES’ games, and a game which you are thoroughly enjoying all these years later, and even that has matches with barely any fouls at all.

    Having said all that, I’m as confident as you are that the fouls situation won’t change. It can’t get any worst than PES 18, bit highly doubt it will get any better.

  14. Paul – I’m surprised you don’t remember, but there are many more than 1 or 2 pre-demo single-player vids. I haven’t got time to search them now, but they’re there, every year without fail. At Gamescom itself there are private sessions for journalists and YouTubers in which people sometimes play single-player (as an afterthought, and grudgingly).

    Anyway the point is which way the loss of the Champs League license will take the game, and I don’t believe for one moment it’ll suddenly prompt some forehead-slapping moment at Konami HQ: ‘My God! What have we been doing all these years! Let’s get back to traditional PES values right now!’ It will go the other way.

  15. I agree with you NG, Konami have made so many poor decisions, or just illogical choices, and cock ups with the game the last few years that I don’t believe the ability to return PES to its core values is there, even with Bhatti on board.

    The ‘Cant wait for you to see some amazing things’ line is just once again, pure hype train PR fluff, and should always be based against ‘PES 18 is the best package we have ever created’ line from last year for reference of credibilty.

    Will be somewhat amusing, but also disappointing to sit back and see what ‘amazing’ things PES has, or doesn’t have, either way, unless it has decent fouls counts and and vastly improved ML mode, it won’t be amazing enough.

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