The inevitable wobble

Into the January transfer window of season 2 in PES2011 on the PS3 – and I have experienced my first real wobble with the game itself, rather than with the platform.

Earlier this week a regular commenter, Darryl, remarked that he had picked up FIFA18 and wasn’t having an easy time with it. The reasons he gave – sluggish players, peculiar defending – darn near made my mouth water. He made the game sound great. So much so that I found myself heading to the PS Store looking for FIFA18. ‘If it’s £30 or under,’ I told myself, ‘I will get FIFA18 and play that, and return to PES2011 at a later time.’

But FIFA18 is incredibly still £60 (SIXTY UK BUCKS) on PSN – for the Basic edition – so that put the kibosh on that little plan.

But why was I even thinking about it?

I’ve spoken a lot about my struggle to adapt back to the PS3 platform, but really that’s more about not liking the change to how I capture screenshots and vids for use on the blog, rather than the playing experience itself. The graphical drop to PS3 is not that great, and it soon becomes normal.

It all comes back to nuPES, and what those games have done to us all over the past several years.

PES2011 is totally unafraid to be plodding and pedestrian. All the PES editions since roughly PSE2015 have been whizz-bang, in-your-face, online-friendly sprint-’em-ups. That’s slightly unfair, of course, but not very much so. nuPES is the anti-PES.

And after playing those accursed editions for 4 years now, my perceptions of what constitutes a proper football game have been… not changed (no power on Earth will ever change that). But I have been influenced.

It’s like when you sit in one position for too long and a limb goes to sleep. nuPES is the sleep of PES. It takes time and coaxing for that limb to come back to life.

Likewise, it is still taking me time to re-acclimatise to PES2011.

PES2011 isn’t bothered about whether I’m scoring goals or not. PES2011 doesn’t care if my strikers are about as useful in front of goal as Mr Blobby on Night Nurse. PES2011 is quite happy for the ball to be bogged down in midfield for several in-game minutes, rather than endlessly sweeping left and right like windscreen wipers.

All of the traditional PES values have been watered down in nuPES – arguably, even removed completely. So PES2011 is a pretty formidable transition for the PES gamer who has spent 4 years playing Konami’s Super Online Soccerball Panini Simulator, or whatever the hell it’s called these days.

Unfair? No. Not even close to being unfair.

But I continue. FIFA18, and whatever secrets it holds (if any), can wait.

The table is interesting at mid-season:

I doubt anyone’s catching the Villa this season, but the other two promotion spots are well within my reach. No playoffs in PES2011, remember, so it’s top 3 or bust as far as promotion goes.

Updated: 4th May 2018 — 11:22


  1. I have given up on my All-Brit Only New ML, only half a season in, it just holds no allure or interest for me, I’m not looking forward or excited to play the next session, and each session I have played has just been a ‘mehhhh’ type affair of literally picking in form players, playing match, rinse and repeat.

    The game whilst looking and moving superbly on the pitch, is just so damn bland, it doesn’t hold any interest any more.
    No matter what tactics you employ, what formation, etc etc, every single match is the same stale, bland, lifeless, soul lacking affair.

    Pick team knowing any player form or formation or tactics make absolutely no difference

    Wait an irritating amount of time for screens to load

    Greeted with nonsensical, ill-placed, boring repetitive commentary

    Watch the COM perform 1001 back heels in every move

    Finish match with zero fouls, penalties or injuries

    Repeat process X 46

    No Trophy.

    Wasting my time with it, so no more football games for me before the next lot come out, and maybe no PES again, if PES 19 isn’t a complete removal from the lifeless product we have today.

    The next few months will be spent on Far Cry 5, finally finishing Uncharted 4 and will be picking up Detroit: Become Human end of the Month.

  2. NG – add to that list the AI of the CPU which attacks you with ferocity on anything proffesional and above. The intensity of thier attacks is nothing like we saw on Fifa 15 to 17 which was flaccid to say the least on Pro.

    A bit of an annoyance has come up. After a bit of practice I have started my career as Fleetwood. I changed the ground to my preferred Ivy Lane. But no matter what you chose the game plays you in the stadium that is set up for that team and with Fleetwood it is Crown Court or whatever it is called. This is a problem as Fifa on the smaller grounds looks nowhere near as good as it does on the Premership and bigger stadiums and the camera alterations don’t work the same either. This has been the case since 2014 as consistency of product is not there.

  3. Paul – I think every footy gamer is also a gamer at heart, but the problem when we get older is that only football gaming is a perfect fit for our lives. We’ve spoken of this many times. If you have a spare 45 minutes later, what are you going to do, play the open-ended Far Cry 5 for literally 45 minutes and come away feeling dissatisfied at not playing it enough, or fit a few matches of a football game neatly into that exact amount of time, and come away with a feeling of completion and closure to a session? Football games feel self-contained and convenient in a way no other genre does. If I had my free choice I’d play Civilization and XCOM and Metal Gear and the rest for most of my gaming time, but they just don’t fit. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is so. Have a go at it anyway and let us know how it goes.

    Darryl – is that a known bug in the setup phase? Sounds like it should be and should have been patched by now.

  4. NG….yes…2016. Aside from the travesty that is pes5 it’s the only one I own, retained in its Euro form as small turf likes playing as Brazil on amateur to beat up on other nations. (There are no minnows in international football my arse, he whacks them 10-0 and doesn’t care that it’s meaningless).

    And it continues to feel good. I stalled on FIFA, I can’t say why, everything is there for it to work but last night I scored a goal which saw seiffert swing a cross in after good build up play by rice and siegenkude got a deft flick to send it over the keeper. It was an out of the seat moment. I just don’t get that whatever it is with FIFA. Affinity? Recognition? Lack of polish?! I don’t know why but even a dud release pes has something in it at least for a short while. It’s the old head says one but heart says the other. I’m mid table, I’ve signed one player and it’s a happy place. It’s no pre 2013 grind, especially in France, but it’s going to see me through the World Cup I feel.

  5. Uncle Turf – well, I got multiple seasons out of it and it wasn’t bad until the PES2013-style acceleration of development and collapse of difficulty kicked in. Maybe PES2016 with a dash of the AI That We Need might have worked out better.

  6. Darryl – there is a workaround for the stadium-choice issue. I can’t remember precisely, but I think it may be down to choosing ‘current customised’ squads rather than ‘download latest’. May not be much use to you now you’re already well into a Career Mode!

  7. I’d take a game that is realistic, has a lot of variation from match to match, is presented superbly and is actually realistic, but has a limited stadium camera angle to one which is dull, bland, and lifeless any day.

    What you said above about the convenience of footy gaming is exactly why I haven’t already finished Far Cry 5, or Unchartered 4 – time, and convenience.
    If I do have to go back for a fix of footy gaming it will be back on FIFA, PES just offers absolutely nothing. If I’m not going to enjoy an hours play then I may as well do something else for an hour.

  8. For those of us with slightly longer than 45 minutes in their working day I’ve just bought final fantasy XII for 2.50. It’s one I never played and it now feels like I’m getting payback for all those games I spent £40+ quid on back in t’day.

    A new irritation at the snooker – how many times I’ve heard the referee ask for people to turn off their mobile phone. Apparently there’s an announcement before the match, along with what should be a sense of common sense/restraint/politeness…what the fuck are these people thinking. Surely if they go to the snooker they should be the sort who enjoy quiet and concentration. Of course if they’re playing Pokemon go that’s perfectly acceptable.

  9. Looks like the right choice there Paul. Same reasons why I quit. There’s just nothing there. Perhaps the world cup update can entice you back to fifa?

  10. #1 – Its not a case of needing to be enticed back to FIFA,. I didn’t leave it in a state of disappointment, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 seasons I played, just wanted to try the experiment in PES, because, well, it is PES, but to no avail.
    I’d happily pick up FIFA again and carry on the Career Mode, just with less time during the summer months, and a few other games on the go, it isn’t likely I’ll be able to dedicate the time needed to an actual career mode, so I suppose in that sense, the WC mode would be ideal as a pick up and play whenever, shorter option.

    Just read that the FIFA WC mode will have all 12 official stadiums included.
    Half of PES’s total number of stadiums included in a FREE DLC mode. Just shows.

    Turf – Why don’t people just put their phone on silent?! Same as in the cinema.
    No need to turn it off, if you want to glance at an email at the snooker, or a text, or check other news, you can, just on silent.

    Liverpool FC Ltd edition Champions League Final Kit.

  11. Have you guys got a collective attention deficit disorder? I have never seen so much chopping and changing over the course of a footy gaming season!!

  12. Not in the sunny south Abbeyhill. Still on my first career mode. Spent a large part of yesterday having to renew contracts. The signing bonuses are killing me.

  13. abbeyhill – not in the sizzling Midlands either. I played PES2018 from September to April, and PES2011 all the way since, with just this one almost-wobble over the past week. I know from my own experience that flip-flopping, once begun, never ends. It’s like the sliders in FIFA on another scale. Compulsive tinkering in search of a permanent ease that no football game can ever deliver.

  14. I live permanently in flop, with just the odd period of flip. I can’t even settle on a console.

    Btw have you heard of people being shadow banned from PG? I heard a few people mentioned and since then have only seen terrible basic poks. I don’t use any apps, apart from being registered on discord for the local group, so it shouldn’t have happened to me, just paranoia.

  15. If you get banned from PG does that mean Mr Shifter won’t bring you a cup of tea? Apologies to anyone under the age of 45 who may need to do some Googling.

  16. Discovered a game changer on Fifa 18. In the trainer settings there is an option to set it to movement and target now. What this does is just bring up the players little direction arrow and a little dotted line for shooting and passing. By having this selected you don’t see the command buttons (as per previous trainer). It is similar ish to advanced shooting and through ball on PES but is better thought out and really works. The length of the dots vary dependent on how long you press the pass button. You can also see the flight and elevation of shots. It is hardly intrusive at all and gives you an idea on manual or semi support as to where you are going wrong. But the real interesting thing is to see the subtle difference, depending on player stats. The indicator tells you in theory as to where it should go but this is not always the case with weaker players. It is hard to explain how good it is without just seeing it for yourself.

  17. I sometimes accidently enable it during a frantic moment of game play. The only way I know how to turn it off mid game is to enter the camera settings, change camera, then change camera back and exit the camera settings. This can appear despite the standard trainer being disabled.

  18. No idea what you mean chris99 but if you hum it, I’ll play it….

  19. Nice Turf. Nice.

  20. Season 3 of my fifa career is going quite nicely. Now that I’ve made the switch to Everton though, I’ve noticed there is still some truth to the old “fifa is shiny but substance is so-so” adage. For example the game still thinks I’m managing Hull so all competition related commentary is focused on hull instead of Everton, as it should be. Also, you inherit your predecessors manager trust rating and you don’t get any goals, causing trust level to go all over the place without any reason whatsoever. Transfers all over the place – not as bad as pes but sill no rhyme or reason to it. Also, I’ve noticed scripting, much in the same vein as pes’ “storyline scripting ™” has been ramped up significantly making for some weirdly flowing matches. Still a solid game, though this season will be the last. I’m weary of football gaming at the moment and both fifa and pes are simply not made for any longevity in any way shape or form for single players.

  21. #1 – that’s unexpectedly disappointing news. FIFA18 is/was a strong contender for my mid/late-summer footy game. Any other FIFA18’ers with any thoughts on this, and is it game-breaking? The commentary one is more annoying than anything, ditto the lack of informed goals – but these would only apply to a player changing clubs mid-career, something I would never do. The transfers one is more worrying. How does the game hold up on the pitch?

    Perhaps it’s really the case that the past contains the only true singleplayer footy game satisfaction in our brave new Online Panini Soccerball world.

  22. NG – on the pitch it’s still more than worth it, especially when experiencing it “fresh”. Don’t let my comments deter you, I’m sure Paul has a more positive / less cynical view on it than I have. It is a case of the initial flash wearing off for me I guess.

  23. n-G – I saw FIFA 18 for £25 in CEX the other day and for just £17 in Cash Converters. I’ll give it a while when it drops under a tenner once the nu footy games are out.

    While in Cash Converters, I picked up a PS2 slim for £25 which is a bargain compared to the £40 CEX charge. It’s in great condition too. This is the first PS2 slim I’ve owned and it’s a lovely little machine. Perfect for gaming in the shed and small enough to move into the house for the odd session too. It’s much quieter than the phat PS2 too.

    The new console and the copy of PES 2011 I picked up gave me a real sense of PES Day even though the weather is way too hot for it. Very impressed with the game play on PS2 PES2011 so far.

  24. I’ve never changed clubs in FIFA 18, so I can’t comment on that. If you think about it there must be a degree of randomness to transfers otherwise every career would see the same ones. I really enjoy the transfer side of a career, especially in a cash strapped club, but I know you’ve been willing to almost forgive this side of PES, so I don’t know how important it is to you. Given you’ve stated the only thing that matters is on the pitch I don’t think you will necessarily prefer FIFA, but there are player and team style differences. I still think you should play it, but the decision to be made is what is your buy price.

  25. #1 – Maybe its a bug in your Career Mode, as I changed clubs on FIFA 18, having started as Newcastle Manager and moved to Liverpool.
    Once I moved the commentary and everything was focused on my new club, Liverpool, not stuck with my last club, I also saw my Trust level adjust accordingly because I’d gone from Managing Newcastle to a Premier league trophy, when I left them it was 93, Upon joining Liverpool, a bigger more ambitious club, the rating went down to 75, about proportionate I’d say.

    Also see much more realistic transfers in FIFA, clubs don’t sell 9 of their starting 11 in one window like they do in PES, also players will only go to realistic clubs, in PES Alexis Sanchez was at Swansea in my ML, and a regen 18yr old Messi was at West Brom, and was largely anonymous.

    Far Cry 5 is ridiculously hard, even on Easy level, its virtually impossible to complete some missions due to the aggression and intensity of enemies and fire.

    Playing Uncharted 4 through to conclusion now.

    See during the televised El Classico over the weekend, big animated Adboards saying ‘PES 2019 – Full Reveal 9th May’ that’s tomorrow.
    Also all the seats in the Nou Camp had big PES 2019 banners behind them, really hyping it up….I’m fully expecting to be seriously disappointed when they no doubt, release a teaser trailer for another trailer in a months time with no substance of anything.

  26. Paul – try levelling up an bring companions with you…or try the arcade map maker 🙂
    I’m a bit amused that some here are doing a classic me and flipping between games.
    “mwah hahahahah my mind ditherer 2000 has worked, Igor to the Werd Copter”

  27. #1 and Paul – having switched clubs several times mid-season in Career Mode, a couple of useful tidbits. I’ve never experienced the issue with commentary not switching BUT I have experienced a farce relating to the manager trust rating. Playing a Career Mode with Hamburg, I got knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals in the third season. Deciding to get a new job (I was dominating the league and wasn’t enjoying the club enough for another go at the Champions League), I had a look around. Brentford was my chosen option – 5 games left of the season, and they were 3 points from safety in the Premier League. Took the job, turned up, manager trust rating went from around 80 at Hamburg to 28 (if I remember correctly – it was in the 20s or low 30s for sure) at Brentford. Bit odd I thought, and seemed a sackable number. I still thought FIFA couldn’t possibly be that stupid. Turns out it can be – after having a look at the squad, seeing a good amount of talent to develop, I was getting excited. Yet the first game, a scrappy but successful 2-0 win over Swansea , would also be my last. The mess that is the trust rating system meant no matter what I did in the few days between taking the job and post-match, I would always get sacked. I reloaded (something I never do) to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake anywhere but sure enough, the game would always decide to sack me. In the end I opted to go back to a previous save point and leave Hamburg all over again.

  28. WERD – I’m currently struggling to liberate falls county, the little town with bars and the water tower, just get completely overrun by enemies, bullets come at me from all angles and its impossible to spot and counter them all.

    Also en route to falls county, I came across the railroad yard that’s being used as a Cull Outpost, I can liberate that as a side mission, I take out a few enemies with stealth kills, then find a mounted gun on a rooftop, use that to wipe out large numbers, but then, they call in backup and about 10 jeeps full of baddies come down the dirt road and just open up on me, its once again impossible to dodge the bullets.

    Neither mission allows me to use companions as I don’t have any following me.

  29. CD452 – that’s totally off, definitely either a bug or just a poorly implemented mechanic, but either way, should never have happened.
    If anything your trust rating once moving to Brentford should have been at least the 80 it was at Hamburg or higher, a small club like Brentford bringing in a manager that has had European success at some level with a well known European club… surely that breeds trust.

    Just shows even EA get things tits up sometimes.

    Like #1 said, I’m wary of football games at the moment, I don’t expect PES 19 to do anything other than continue to go down the E-Sports/Online route, with all efforts and attention going into those modes, ML will get a ‘revamp’ as PR Hype which means the menus will be a different colour, maybe a new font, but nothing else of any substance will change.

    Shed’s idea of picking up a PS2 and a copy of a classic PES game may be the way forward.

  30. werd – once that flip-flop button is hit, it stays hit.

    Paul – yes, tomorrow will be interesting whatever happens. Konami’s marketing strategy for the past several years is to court the single-player market in summertime with promises of this, that and the other. If they are making any substantial concessions to the single-player market in the shape of fouls/injuries/renewed depth in ML, etc., they would shout about it tomorrow. Really though, I’m expecting the usual 20 seconds of [insert star name] doing stepovers and Rabonas and bicycle/scissors-kicks, etc.

    Shed – I had a play on the PS2 version of PES2011 yesterday after you mentioned it. That classic PES feel. Wide cam. Angle 1-9… No, I wasn’t tempted. There’s no new PES for me ever again, remember (barring a true miracle), so I’ve a long, long road of retro PES gaming ahead of me. I will doubtless play EVERY past PES game at some point of it.

  31. Konami would never announce improvements to fouls and injuries etc in as plain a manner as that as they wouldn’t want to admit they were f*cked previously.
    As you said it will be some short pointless video clip of a corner flag blowing in the wind, and then the forums will erupt with glee over the presumed use of a new global lighting and physics engine or some other complete fanboy nonsense.

    Unless they bullet pointed revisions to Master league, then showed screenshots of these revisions in action, there’s absolutely nothing that will give me any hope that PES 19 won’t just be PES 18.5 with transfer updates and a new cover star.

  32. Paul – the only thing that could save single-player would be a customisable referee. The flowing arcade blur of nuPES is never going to change on its own and I will never, ever play any new PES with that gameplay. A customisable referee is, for me, the only thing that could save PES, going forward.

  33. n-G – I’m still only playing friendlies on PES 2011 (PS2) at the moment to get used to it and to earn the PES Shop points I need to buy the ability to edit leagues and the top difficulty before starting a ML campaign.

    As a comparison, and to test my old memory card is working, I’ve also played a couple of matches on PES 5. I was surprised how much faster that game is to PES 2011. I also noted that fouls were also greatly reduced in these laster PS2 PESes compared to the glory days of PES 5.

    I prefer the speed of PES 2011 actually and it has just enough fouls in it to be passable. Certainly more than nuPES. Most of the matches I’ve played on Top Player so far as England and each and every one has been challenging – to the point of being bloody hard compared to what we’ve become accustomed to.

    I’ll be starting a ML with the defaults as Brighton on Top Player which I expect to be extremely tough. I’ll edit team names for the English sides but I still need to work out what to do for Div 2 as I don’t have an option file and I don’t fancy prolonged editing.

  34. NG. It doesn’t even need to be customisable.
    Just build in a number of fictional referees, with names, each with a strictness setting from 1-10, 1 being that he lets absolutely everything go, never issues cards, through to 10 being the Mike Dean of referees, giving absolutely everything and being card happy.

    Just assign a random ref to each game that way, you will get a good variation and come to learn how refs behave, and will know whether you can play a physical game or not.
    It would be very simple to code too, the ‘logic’ is already there because players gesticulate and crowds boo when a foul happens, so the game recognises a foul, but there is an overriding flag that tells the game to ignore it, in keeping with the ‘fun’ flowing online style of play.

    say you had 10 refs, all with a different strictness settings then something as piss easy as:

    RefID………… Strictness
    1…………………… 1
    2 ……………………2
    3…………………… 3
    4…………………… 4

    through to 10

    if nActiveMatchRefID = 1 then varMatchFoulCount = 10

    if nActiveMatchRefID = 2 then varMatchFoulCount = 20

    if nActiveMatchRefID = 3 then varMatchFoulCount = 30

    if nActiveMatchRefID = 4 then varMatchFoulCount = 40

    * varMatchFoulCount being the percentage of fouls that are actually given


    It really could be that simple.

  35. Paul – 5 such refs could do it, and the online ref could be locked by default to 1 (most lenient), but online players could change it manually if they like. The dream scenario in many ways, as the constant arcade flowing nonsense is the core problem with nuPES.

    Let us dream for 24 hours. Until we see all the 1080p screenshots of Messi go up on all the ‘hardcore’ forums. The pores! The pores!

    Shed – I was impressed with the pace as well, very PS4 PES-like (one of the good things about nuPES). It gives me a wonderful warm feeling knowing there are ELEVEN old-school PES PS2 games for me to graze in the years to come. (PES2-6, then PES2008-14, with 2009-2014 editions being the ‘lost’ tribe that I never played on PS2.)

  36. Just bid on a slim line PS2 console with a controller and all cables on Ebay, 25 quid.
    Quite surprised at the relatively high value of PS2 copies of PES 11 though, between 12 and 35 quid most copies.

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