N-n-n-no to N-n-n-nineteen

Heading into April in Season 2 of my PES2011(PS3) Master League adventure, and exciting times seem to be ahead:

I’ve lost 7 matches but am within easy touching-distance of the promotion spots, and even the top spot.

I have sensed the hand of ML table scripting helping me along throughout this season. At least my goal-scoring is comparable to the others around me.

I think promotion has to happen this season. Which would be very good going considering it took me, I think, about 7 seasons to get promoted back in my original run on this game.

Bearing in mind that now I am playing ‘only’ on Professional, and with the help of PES2011’s ‘Advanced Start’ glitch. i.e. a boosted budget that enables the immediate purchase of better players and the upgrading of coaching staff. I think it took me 5 seasons or more to get to this level, the first time around.

In truth, at this juncture, I needed the Advanced Start, and I needed this rapid progress. It was a long, long slog on PES2018, and it’s never a good idea to go immediately for another big long ML. My normal routine for years has been to ‘rest up’ through the summer before starting another long campaign in the new PES. Here in my retro PES life I will have to ensure that I replicate that natural breathing space between long MLs.

This will not be a long campaign. I fancy 5-6 seasons and done. Season 3 should be in the Premier League.

PES2011 as an overall retro PES experience continues to hold up. It is delivering exactly what I was looking for. There is more player individuality in my squad of 20 players than there has been in the 100s of players I have played with from PES2016 to PES2018.

As ever, I am struck by how Classic PES achieves its excellence by preventing players from doing everything. Almost nobody can turn on the spot like a spinning ballerina (as everyone in nuPES can). PES2011’s sliding tackles are so ineffective, relatively speaking, that they’re almost never worth trying. Shooting is wholly context- and stats-based. No point shooting with Shimizu’s weaker foot from an angle. No point shooting with any of Palmieri’s feet from any distance or any angle.

Passing, crossing, the physicality of the game. It all feels ‘right’. It all feels PES.

The only blot on the copybook is the relative absence of fouls. Now that I’m used to the game, the AI only ever gets to foul me roughly 2 times, on average, per match.

But here’s the real issue with fouls in PES: when the rest of a PES game is properly constructed, properly individualised, properly restrained, fouls are not so important. I hardly notice the relative lack of fouls in PES2011.

The fouls scandal in nuPES is a symptom of its much deeper-rooted, arcade-focused contagion. It shows us what the makers of PES have decided is valuable in PES, and what is not.

Pro Evolution Soccer achieved greatness through limitation and confinement. The forced imposition of constraint on the player is what made the series so legendary. The abandonment of constraint to make an accessible and ‘fun’ online experience has destroyed the PES of old. Fouls were and are just one aspect of the constraints that have been abandoned.

Eh, whatever. The PES2019 ‘full reveal’ dropped this week. I actually expected to feel more nostalgic emotion about it than I did. I thought it’d be tougher for me to resist the annual impetus to get geared up for the next PES.

But it isn’t tough at all to stay right where I am.

Updated: 11th May 2018 — 12:11


  1. I also don’t recall having any real issue with the lack of fouls until PES 2017 and it is of course a very real issue this year. As you suggest n-G, it’s clearly the end-to-end nature of nuPES that has us crying out for a stoppage, a free kick or even a throw in – if only to get a sub on.

    Good luck with the promotion push. I know it’s just the top three that goes straight up so here’s hoping Evian bottle it. *insert LOL emoji here*

  2. Very good Shed 😉

    at least in PES games up until around PES 15, if it was a blatant foul, it was given, there still weren’t many fouls in the match, and COM teams were not aggressive enough to commit fouls, so matches all finished with a low fouls count, but when you was fouled, the ref gave it.

    from PES 16 onwards, but most exaggerated in PES 17 & 18, the COM still doesn’t foul enough so matches are low foul affairs, but when they do actually blatant foul you, unlike previous games, it just isn’t given.

  3. Shed – water way to end a comment. Paul’s summing up above neatly encapsulates it I think. When PES6 came out we definitely noticed the sudden drop in fouls. I remember it being commented on a lot on PESfan at the time. But crucially the game as a whole had an integrity that meant we didn’t really notice any adverse effects in gameplay. If a foul happened, it was called. None of the ‘ref! ref!’ arms-out animation bullshit.

    Paul – ‘But some people like it like that.’ As we’ve heard many times now. And I don’t doubt it’s true. The ‘some people’ in that sentiment are the ones who have to be satisfied. We don’t have to be. Whether we buy the game or not isn’t an issue of concern for Konami. If we don’t buy it, they only miss out on £20 or whatever their portion of the retail price is, because we’re not online players and thus not microtransactioners. If the onliners don’t buy it, Konami miss out on an average payoff that is much bigger per head. The online player will always be the first and effectively ONLY priority. And online players value fast, flowing, fun above any other quality. Hence no fouls and no injuries. It’s a very straightforward picture.

  4. I’m wondering if the ‘Some people like it like that’ population are the millenials of the PES era, the kids, youngsters, newbies so to speak to footy gaming, who have been brought up on a deluge of instantly accessible features, options, in the big money world of football, so they expect it to be like that, it is their norm, Nu-PES is to them, what Tru-PES is to us.

    Their world is of Neymar valued at 170 million pounds, with his 500k a week wages, sponsorship deals, tattoos, limited edition boots, and online multiplayer, win at all costs, fast fun frantic football.

    My world was of watching a 17year old Robbie Fowler score a 7 min hat-trick against Arsenal, whilst still on £247 a week as a Youth Trainee, and had to borrow a pair of boots from the Kit Man because on the way to the game Razor Ruddock cut the tongues and laces out of his. (True story)

  5. Obviously the product they want to sell is not oriented to us offline players. The sooner we realize that they will never release another single player game, the better for us.

    NG: I am glad you are enjoying your time with PES 2011 but, why only 5 or 6 seasons?

  6. I’ll be honest and confess that I thought there were too many fouls in pes5 way back when. Only when I played pes 6 at my brothers house did I realize the error of my ways. Went straight back to pes 5 and never bought 6. Jumped straight to pes 2008 – we all know how that went. I even remember to this day where I was on that pes 5 save. Had just secured the services of mascherano and (regen) bergkamp and rooney. I could remember specific games, even passages of play and scores years later, still. Distant memories now. Though I remember I scored a goal with mascherano from the halfway line. Struck the ball so hard that it went out of frame (used to play on middle cam which was the default cam of I’m not mistaken). I also remember back in the pes 3 and 4 days that a schoolmate would keep going on and on about this “pes” game, never heard of it before. He wouldn’t shut up to the point of annoying me – I was on a bit of a gaming hiatus in that time period – go figure.

    Don’t know where that little trip down memory lane came from but uh yeah, bring back fouls etc etc!

  7. The most desperate sky trailer effort I’ve ever heard this morning…the race for 10th! Is it all over in the premier league, not a bit of it!

    2016 continues to be a bug riddled, foul free messy french joy. I’m 4th at the halfway stage, no idea who goes up, how, in french did two – I presume top three rather than le playoff. I’m top scorer in the division but also top conceder. Can’t remember the last free kick. Able to sign bosmans immediately – how the fuck have konami never managed to fix this? I can only assume because they don’t give a shit. I get why they changed the playing – no stoppages, online games, micro transaction shit, all that stuff – but why did they arse up the very good system you had in years gone by, masked attributes or not, at least it wasn’t wrong.

  8. Paul – watching player celebrations after goals and victories these days is often a hollow experience. In bygone times, if Brian Talbot, say, scored a couple of goals, he’d just doubled his (relatively low) weekly wage. Hence his massive shit-eating grin as he celebrated with the supporters. Today, I often think players only celebrate after goals in the way they do because they know that players celebrate after goals in the way they do. It’s all gone a bit ‘inverted commas’.

    JS Hutt – I touch on the reason why in the post. I’ve just played a mammoth ML career in PES2018 and am not in the mood (yet) for another. When I get to 5-6 seasons on PES2011 (sometime in July at current progress) I might feel different, but at the moment I like the idea of shifting to FIFA around then, give the thing a go at last.

    #1 – I well remember the chorus of disapproval about PES5’s fouls, back in the day. It’s OK that you were one of the chorus. PES5 forgives all.

    Uncle Turf – the wonky Bosmans wouldn’t matter if the overall ML structure held up to long-term play, or even a couple of seasons. As it stands, as we all know, you can get a great team within a season (or just keep the great team you start with), so the Bosmans are really the anti-cherry on the cake.

  9. JS Hutt – Exactly our time is over and so it should be like every decade that has gone before us.

    When I was a teenager I had an elderly neighbour who was into his football and was a Blackburn fan. If he spotted me in the garden he would pop his head over the wooden fence and ask me about PNE. I would tell him about the latest exploits of John Thomas (look him up) and excitedly say that crowds were flocking back to Deepdale. He listened politely but you could tell us wasn’t interested. He would soon be reminiscing about Tom Finney and how they wouldn’t announce if he wasn’t on the team sheet before the game as it would affect the attendance. He would tell me about the 30,000 plus gates and the buzz of the games back then. I would think to myself that he was stuck in that era and wished he could enjoy this brand of football I was seeing every week. When he spoke I found myself not listening and drifted back to my Deepdale. It is only later on that I realised we both belonged in our own worlds.

    We can sneer all we want about the frenzied nature of on-line football games and how they are made for kids with everything spoon fed for them complete with stabilisers. Football gaming like the real game has changed but who is to say which era is better. There is no right or wrong. We have become sad old gits with our heads over the fence, repeating the same old things to an audience that doesn’t really care or knows we even exist.

  10. PS2 PES 2011 – World Cup quarter final – England vs Croatia

    RED CARD for a Croat defender after just 5mins

    Three FREE KICKS within shooting distance.


    Four goals (2-2) including an in-off-the bar beauty and a last gasp equaliser by the AI.

    Won 4-2 on penalties.

    Now THIS is PES.

  11. Shed — sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to get my PES2011 squad promoted and involved in competitions with that level of significance. All the classic PES excitement depends upon things that have been watered down since 2015 to the point of non-existence. Fouls and injuries and red cards all involve stoppages to the flow, and so they had to go. It’ll be interesting to see (from the outside) the alleged new stamina model in PES2019 that will supposedly degrade performance and enforce substitutions.

  12. NG – everything points to the stamina “system” just being a visual thing and nothing else. It would be completely against the current flow of nuPES for it to be anything else.

  13. #1 – totally, it would be somewhat against the grain if online players were actually forced to play with knackered players after 30 in-game minutes, as they should be, and actually forced to sub off ‘Ronnie’ and ‘Lionel’ and ‘Ibra’ et al. All in all it’ll be fascinating to see just what PES2019 is, and how its likely doubling-down on the arcade-online angle is received.

  14. Which was the pes with the stamina reduction very early on? 2014? If you dont want free kicks interrupting ‘flow’ then you’re hardly going to want to encourage substitutions but from what folk have said playing online leads to ridiculous delays of game in tinkering screens etc anyway as the toys come out of the pram.

  15. There could be a way this could work. From what I’ve read pes now also had quick subs the way fifa has them. Which means pressing two buttons when the ball goes out of play and a player will be subbed without pausing the game. The latter being the last thing people want online apparently. For this to happen though the game would have to actually go out of play. Which could mean fouls and a working stamina system. The benefit for Konami is that more players will be used in a single match and thus more players will bought through myclub.

    I’m REALLY reaching here but perhaps it’s a train of thought entertained by Konami.

  16. Apparently the new stamina system is the first in a line of new features that will be in traduced over the next few years to improve simulation quality.
    This relies on a) Konami actually wanting football simulation (which they don’t) and b) Konami implement the systems right, without flaws, which they never do.

    See what your saying Darryl, but in my mind there is a clear distinction on which era was better, the on that truthfully replicates real world football and concentrates on including the core rules of the sport, and the details that make the beautiful game, beautiful.
    NOT the era where all that matters are tattoos, boots, and endless uninterrupted play.

  17. Paul – Have you had a chance to set up that PS2 Slim yet? I’m interested to hear what you think of PES 2011.

    After my thrilling match vs Croatia as England in the World Cup, I went out 1-0 to Nigeria in the semi-finals. Nigeria were big and strong compared to the more technical Croats and I just couldn’t get in the match after going behind to an early goal.

    I did get to play the third-place play off, against Germany. Expecting an onslaught, I set up to hit them on the break and it worked a treat although the 3-0 scoreline flattered me.

    That little campaign afforded me enough PES Points to unlock the edit leagues function so once I’ve finished the last bit of editing, I’ll be kicking off a Master League. I’ve already edited the Premier League team names and made a few retro style kits. The badges will stay as they are. I’ve just PES United to edit to Brighton now.

    Also, talking of stamina in PES, I was tempted to play my World Cup without player fatigue switched on as I vaguely remember PS2 PES being a bit harsh with this and struggling to get more than two games in a row out of players. I left it on though and it shows PES 2011 (and I assume all the later PS2 PESes) had a very well balanced stamina system, both in-game and match-to-match.

  18. #1 – if the baseline assumption is ‘online players must be happy first’ then those kinds of analyses of what the PES powers might be thinking, might be relevant. I still don’t expect PES2019 to be anything other than an iteration of PES2018 in terms of flow and fouls and etc.

    Paul – sounds like more summertime single-player-directed PR to me. Konami must know that single players are the main consumers of the next game’s PR, all summer long. The multiplayers are too busy rubbing their balls for Messi or whatever it is they do.

    Shed – stamina could do with the kind of toggle switch that we’ve been calling for for fouls. I’d genuinely appreciate a football game that punished even light overuse of R1. As it stands, even the most severe stamina regime pretty much lets us away with squeezing R1 almost all the time.

  19. I scored one of my favourite ever pes goals on 2016 the other night, with a 62 rated youth team left back. I’m going to try and upload etc because if 2016 was a bag of shite for most other things it did long Rangers beautifully.

  20. Shed – Not yet. The PS2 (ordered from ebay) was meant to arrive Friday, but hadn’t been despatched, I emailed the seller and he said he’s been working loads so hadn’t had chance to despatch it, but has now, so expecting it today.

    I did receive the PS2 copy of PES11 and a 64MB MAX memory card from CEX on Saturday, so once the console arrives I’m good to go.

  21. Let’s see it Turf!

  22. Paul – I hate it when ebay sellers do that. When you do finally get it, set it up with the standard composite cable and then switch to the HDMI convertor – just so you see the full benefit.

  23. Sellers on Amazon do the same quite frequently. I’ve noticed that paying the extra £££s for expedited delivery from an Amazon seller actually delays dispatch, because they have to make a special effort. Generally, any online purchase that’s from a private individual rather than from a company makes me nervous.

  24. n-G – I do a fair bit of buying and selling online and I have noticed that things like leaving feedback and actually posting an item promptly are now considered an annoying extra part of the process by many.

    Paul – I think it’s pretty easy to copy edit files from one PS2 memory card to another, so while you’re waiting for your machine, I’ll happily copy my very basic work for you if it’s helpful and if you want to post me your memory card. It would save you time but of course it would deny you the fun of editing teams yourself.

  25. Shed/Paul – from PES2 all the way to PES2012 or so (when I started using pre-made OFs obtained online), one of the most hallowed moments of my annual PES day routine was the twenty minutes it’d take me to Edit the ML world to the extent that I could start. For that twenty minutes there was just this transcendent sense of ‘I can’t believe this day is finally here again’ and mounting excitement. Those PS2 (and part PS3) years really did create a mystique around PES that has dogged us all and Konami ever since.

  26. Thanks for the offer Shed – have ordered a PS2 to composite HDMI adapter, so will see how it goes, hoping my TV has comp connections, it should do, its a 50″ 4k Tv only a year and a half old.

    found a fully feature rich PS2 OF still online, with all leagues, badges and kits done, so may well order one of those Action Replay mem cards with the USB, its 22.99 though, more than the actual PS2 cost !

  27. n-G – The wait for an option file for nuPES means I rarely get fully into the edit mode like I used to but with no option files hosted anywhere for PS2 PES 2011, I have no choice but to do it the old, rather enjoyable way.

    You can only edit the Premier League teams plus the two made up teams and with 12 teams in Div 2, I now need to work out how best to set up my ML. I’ll probably go with a 2011 Premier League with Brighton, another edited English team, Rangers, Celtic and maybe some French teams to make up the 12 slots. It’s either that or go the Euro super league set up I did in PS3 PES 2011.

  28. Shed – here’s a PES 2011 PS2 OF (use the Uploading link)

  29. Thanks Paul. I’ll save that away as a back up and case I find my old Maxdrive. I think I’ll just go with what I have edited for now.

  30. May well take you up on that offer Shed, if I decide that PES 11 has enough legs in it. Looking forward to trying some good old fashioned retro PES regardless.

  31. This took a bit of remembering how to do…why do I like it? distance (As has been mentioned before I’m more an arsenalling man), the way the ball rebounds up and out is such a signpost for what’s coming, the half volleying rather than waiting and controlling, a 62 player, a 62 left back hitting with his right, etc etc

  32. Very nice goal Turf, the way the ball came out it was primed for a hit!
    The ultra slow-mo kinda takes away from the effect though.

  33. uncle turf – Nice goal. The fact that strike means an immediate connection to that newbie for you only make it more memorable.

  34. Uncle Turf – that is indeed a great goal, a true once-in-a-blue-mooner, and I’d have been pleased with it too. A very PES-ish long-ranger it is too. Something about that half-second or so just as the ball is dropping, and you see your own player, and know you’re going to hit one – to me that is part of the essence of PES. PES2016 certainly did do long-rangers very well.

  35. That was your typical DMF type effort, there fact you smashed it in from there with a LB is even more impressive, he must have some decent stats.

  36. Therein lies one of the new gen problems – I’d only signed him a game before from the youth team. Overall stat of 62 and nothing outstanding. And yet he hit it like John Arne riise. With his wrong foot.

    And yet that moment just before, that oomph as I connect, it’s why I’m back on pes. They are killing it by a thousand cuts but there is still the flicker of life in things like that.

  37. Finally ready to go with a PS2 PES 2011 ML but one thing I noticed, there’s no Superstar level. Not even one to unlock in PES Shop. Looks like Top Player is the limit in the newer old PES.

  38. Shed – I did wonder when you mentioned the other day that you were playing tournaments to unlock the hardest difficulty. Superstar wasn’t introduced in PES until PES2012. I thought maybe the PS2 games were different.

  39. A modest contribution to the list of great overhead kick goals…

  40. Uncle turf – Another beauty. PES 2016 was certainly a good game for scoring spectacular goals.

    n-G – I think I just assumed there was a higher difficulty to unlock, as there was in PES 5 (six star wasn’t it?). From what I’ve played of PS2 PES 2011 so far, I don’t think I’ll more than have my work cut out matching Top Player, especially with the defaults.

  41. Uncle Turf – the Dubious Overhead Kicks Panel has convened, and that is not too far from being a bicycle, but is of course a scissors, and a very nice one at that. There were great goals in PES2016, I will admit.

  42. Must also admit that pes 16 did deliver on the spectacular goals front. It’s what drew me in for the short period of time it lasted..

  43. #1 – the unique psychology of the footy game flipflopper means that you now want to play PES2016! I can just tell by the dot-dot-dot at the end there…

  44. My PS2 console arrived this morning, won’t get to pick it up from my parents until Thursday, but shall be on for a PES 2011 session come the weekend.

  45. NG – hah! Normally you would be quite correct but no. No footy gaming at the moment for me. The sun and sporadic sessions of farcry 4 are doing me just fine at the moment…. (notice the deliberate dots at the end there).

  46. #1 – when you’re done i’ll pass on my copy of Far Cry 5 to you at mates rates if you’re interested.

    Having a great time at the moment playing Uncharted 4. Have put in just shy of 11hrs play time, am on chapter 13 which I thought would be very close to the finish, looked it up and there’s 22 chapters, being the final ever Nathan Drake Uncharted game, Naughty dog have made it a bumper journey, so will keep me going for a while.

    I know its Linear, but the mix of puzzles, action, and pure Grade A storytelling serve up a beautiful cinematic blend, I’m constantly excited for the next story twist, or what lurks just over the mountain ridge when I get there, a proper dose of feel-good gaming and makes a nice change from being disappointed, and frustrated whilst playing football games.

  47. Paul – I’ve never stopped playing ‘other’ games on PC – the XCOMs and Civilizations that I sometimes mention – and it feels great to put in a few hours on them.

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