And just like that, June is (nearly) gone. This time next month, it will be less than one month to the new PES – which I might or might not be there for.
Whether or not I do end up getting PES2019 depends, bizarrely, on myClub.
It’s a bizarre situation because of all the barracking I’ve given the mode over the years. Of course myClub is the mode for which the game has been fundamentally changed. All the fast and frantic, fouls-free, flowing action is entirely due to answering the needs of myClub. Online players want to sprint-pressure for 90 minutes with little or no interruption. So that’s what has to happen.
I’ve played myClub enough now to admit that, yes, it is a good mode. There is unexpected depth. Player individuality, that staple ingredient of PES, is more pronounced in an arena where the slightest edge really matters. Even the online opponents are not universally the insane button-mashers I have so often parodied them as being. Many of them are that way, but it’d be unfair to deem them representative of the mode.
One of my most amusing discoveries in myClub is the discovery that there are no fouls online either. There’s an average of 1 foul per match, I’d say. Most matches are incredible scenes of constant sprinting aggro. The game allows it. 20 fouls per match and 6 red cards would not be excessive, given the way 98% of players play. But of course that would never be allowed to happen.
Playing myClub demonstrates why fouls will never return to PES – or to any other football game. The players would never stand for it.
Given this poxy state of affairs, there’s little point in old-school players enacting any kind of boycott. I’ll continue to get my ML fix in the past, in editions of PES that valued single-player experiences above others.
But why not play myClub on the current PES as well? Why not, indeed. It has an excellent squad-building mechanic. I’ve currently got four squads, each individually tailored to meet a need. It doesn’t take long to start feeling that Panini sticker-book urge. The mode has player development and levelling up (something Ultimate Team doesn’t have). There’s the interest in taking a team ‘to the top’ of something, even if it’s just climbing a ladder in one’s own head.
So all in all, PES2019 might happen. If it does, it’ll be myClub-only from day 1. I will see what unfolds over the next month.
The last few days have seen me play precisely two matches, offline, in myClub’s ad hoc single-player mode that I sketched out last time. (For anybody struggling to spot the single-player option, it’s the one with the big black letters that says VS COM. This is only a partly snarky remark. I get easily lost in new-to-me menus too.)
My Irregulars have not been able to gain any traction the last few times I’ve taken them for an outing.
I went instead for my Kelsen formation. You can give each squad an individual name. Kelsen’s Folly is aptly named.
This old-school Default’s 5-3-2 was such a spiffing wheeze to take online, I thought. Then I promptly got thumped, twice, by opponents who probably couldn’t believe their luck.
I tried the formation here in single-player. You’re allowed to tweak the players’ positions slightly, as I have done on the right here. Difficulty: Professional Stronger (myClub has its own difficulties-within-difficulty levels).
Got thumped 1-3 by The AI That We Need… I was lucky to get that 1 goal.
Formations and tactics are very important in myClub – which is another damning indictment of nuMaster League, where they are not very important at all. Sorry, but they’re really not.
You’re locked to the manager’s formation in myClub. It’s a tricky concept to explain to the uninitiated, but it strangely works. Restrictions bring a sense of freedom and accomplishment, when you manage to work with them. Look at what I have to do to accommodate Bale in this formation. CMF.
For my second match vs COM, I switched to my A Team and easily won it 4-1. Which I regret doing now. I will stick with the Irregulars (maybe even with Kelsen as manager) for single-player from now on.
I also spun a few balls and got Boateng and Nacho and Benatia to shore up my leaky defence. I’m nearly ready to venture back online again. Nearly.