Season 1 has ended. Castolo has retired. That’s him above, strolling around on the pitch after the final match. He wasn’t even playing in the match, and he wasn’t on the bench either, but he still showed up to take his retirement applause. I cannot recall a single good moment from Castolo all season – and he did play most of the opening third of it. Nope, I won’t miss the overrated Myth one bit.
One of my mid-season Youth signings, Pelaez, has been a revelation in the closing parts of the season – as was Shimizu. Both are automatic first-choices. I’m wondering if the Advanced Start also triggered something under the hood that made these two youngsters better than they ‘should’ be.
I finished 10th in the end. The final table:
I did my best with the photo editor there, but really, PES2011’s lighting is to blame. You can just about see that I scored 36 goals, and conceded 36 goals. I lost as many matches as I won.
A mediocre season, then, but oddly, I had a couple of players in the Team of the Season:
Palmieri I can understand, at a stretch, but Iaquinta? He scored about 10 goals, all in all. The qualifying factor must be the overall average of his post-match ratings, which were always good. Iaquinta was one of my ‘cheat’ players that I got thanks to the Advanced Start.
PES2011 is slightly annoying me in a number of ways.
First annoyance: the COM AI is really not up to much. We’ve had much better AIs in every edition since, in terms of aggression and, yes, the occasional (or frequent) feeling of unfairness. PES2011’s immediate successor, PES2012, and of course PES2018, both featured the kinds of AIs that beggared belief at times.
Second annoyance: many of the players on the AI teams have names like PLAYER and TRANSFER, which not even I can manage to overlook. I should get into my Option File and perform some in-flight surgery. I probably won’t, though.
Other than the above gripes, the PES-ness of PES2011 is unimpeachable. The way the players move and react continues to startle and impress me. What a football game we’d have today if they’d only stuck with this vision. Granted, not many kids would be playing it.
I still haven’t scored a great goal in PES2011. This vexes me, as one of the principal joys of footy gaming in general, and PES in particular, is scoring the occasional goal that plasters a massive grin on your face. The kind of goal you remember years later. I’ve mentioned it before, but I can still remember one particular goal I scored with Michael Owenn in ISS98.
In lieu of a memorable goal, here’s one that is fairly typical of the 36 I scored all season long:
That’s a missed shot right at the start. See how lamely wide it goes. That’s player stats and context at work, there, classic PES-style.
Ximelez retrieves the ball and send the cross over. Shimizu… handballs it back across goal, where Aduriz is the Johnnie-on-the-spot to score from 1 yard out. Seriously, 95% of my goals are like this. No wonder, really, that the bigwigs at Konami decided to go the more arcade-friendly route.
Here’s another old friend from PES2011’s Master League – the post-season Void:
I have to laboriously go through every single one of the above weeks, one after the other. There’s no skipping weeks allowed. I disable Autosave for the duration, of course, but that only makes a 20-minute operation into a 10-minute one. It’s still aggravating.
In summary, then, after Season 1: the classic PES feel of PES2011 is wondrous, and feels even more severe and sim-like than I was expecting. The Option File I’m using is an absolute dog. And Castolo is a cunt.