Last day drama

We are going up. I said we are going up.

It went down to a last-day decider for the title (of course). Master League does so love its last-day deciders.

Of my final 4 matches, I ‘unexpectedly’ lost one and drew one. Heading into the final round of fixtures any one of three teams could have won the title depending on all results.

I was 1 point behind Villa, who were top. Sporting Gijon were behind me on goal difference.

Knowing PES as I do, I felt that as long as I won my match, I would more than likely win the league.

My players were well up for it – the subs’ bench too.

In PES2011(PS3), red arrows really mean something. I thumped my last-day opponents 5-0 after being 4-0 up at half time. Matuidi scored a gorgeous 25-yard daisycutter that almost prompted me to get out the mobile phone.

When the final whistle went, my players’ celebrations fired. I wasn’t sure if we’d won the title or if they were just celebrating promotion. Impatient to find out, I pressed Start, and missed seeing whether or not there was a trophy presentation.

Sheer delight indeed.

This was the final table:

And this was the Team of the Season, with Individual awards:

Pinilla should have made it there, having been superb for me since arriving mid-season, and part of the reason why I suddenly surged up the table, but the methods of PES’s calculation are obscure.

Iaquinta is totally justified as he got 20+ tap-ins throughout the season as a whole. Top scorer.

And that concluded the season. I will now have to spend 20 minutes cycling through The Void, as I call it, that separates one season from the next in PES2011. That’s around 30 button-presses while the calendar moves slowly from one week to the next. Turning off Autosave for the duration speeds things up, but not by much. No ‘Skip To’ calendar option in PES2011, remember.

Plans for the Premier League? Well, for one I will be needing a new keeper. My main man, the totally reliable De Sanctis, retired at the end of the season. I deliberately chose to bring in a veteran keeper at the start of the season, so I can’t complain too much. I got Fatecha from the Youths mid-season, but I’ll be shopping for another veteran GK come the Transfer window.

And how about the difficulty? I’ve played the past two seasons on Professional. Now I’m in among the big boys, would a move up to Top Player be in order? It would make sense. Things were getting easier for me in Division 2 toward the end of the season…

Not a chance. I will start Season 3, in the Premier League, on Professional difficulty. And see how things develop.

So here at the end of Season 2, with a D2 title under my belt. where does PES2011 stand?

Very high. I’m having a consistent 8/10 experience that is slowly building up to something more than that. I never have a bad session. Bad sessions were not a feature of Golden and Silver Age PES. You could always have the odd bad match where you thought ‘ugh’ once in a while, but an entire session of arcade, button-mashing crap? Never. Bad sessions of PES are entirely a PS4-era phenomenon.

Season 3 beckons, and it seems this whole retro PES thing has really bedded down for me.

One thing’s for sure. I don’t believe I could ever now go back to the sprint-’em-up nonsense of the current generation of games.

Updated: 18th May 2018 — 11:59


  1. Paul – that wrong-player factor rarely happens once you acclimatise to the mechanics of the football gaming on offer. It’s about classic PES values like body positioning, facing, player stats, the length and direction of your button presses. I can appreciate you being sceptical after all this time away from the PS2 games, but I’ve been a regular player of The One True PES on PC, on and off, since 2011 or so. I had my weekly match or two on it just last night. Wrong-player passes ARE a thing in it, no denying that, but like I say, when you get used to the mechanics you end up working with them, and it rarely happens for me now. Maybe once every two matches on average. I can drop an aerial through-ball with central Mathieu to a wing-sprinting Kalou without any trouble.

    The speed can be something of a stumbling block for us now. That is one thing newer PES (from mid-PS3 era on) has got right with its speed settings.

    Also graphics. On PC, PCSX2 upscales PS2 graphics to extraordinary levels. And the native PC version of PS2-ear PES games are very smooth-looking too.

  2. I trust your comments NG as a seasoned retro PES player.
    I just found it frustrating that controlling a world class player, with high passing stats, that I couldn’t perform a simple pass 45 degrees to the right, with the ball, at feet, facing forward, not being pressured, without it going to a completely unintended player, this happened with short presses, medium presses, long presses, the game just wasn’t having it as the intended recipient was not ‘along’ one of the rigid fixed 8 directional paths,
    This to me, is more game breaking than only having 2 fouls per match.

    And definitely doesn’t help that the PS2 upscaled to a 50″ 4K TV via a Comp-HDMI adapter produces a very noticeable interlacing effect to fill in the missing pixels, the replays are almost unwatchable due to grain and blurriness.

  3. Paul – when I first ran a PS2 ISO on PCSX2, I ran it at native PS2 resolution and it looked bad in a three-quarter-sized window on a 24″ PC screen, so Lord knows what it looks like on your 50″ behemoth. We were still all on fat old CRT TVs in the early 2000s, I believe. These big-ass flat screeners we’ve all got now were around but they were priced similarly to when DVD players first came out.

  4. My PS2 is hooked up to a cheap 20″ HDTV so while the resolution is still a little off, it’s more than passable. Paul’s fancy set up would indeed show up all those jagged edges and blurry bits all the more.

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