And so it begins. A frustrating weekend of work and life is now firmly behind me. Finally I have started Master League in PES2019. For the coming week, real life is the fantasy realm that will exist at the margins of Pro Evo.
Thanks again to commenter Paul, of PESFX, for the custom Coventry City kits.
The Sky Blue on my TV is a lot more sky-bluey than you see here. Vids and screenshots will be slightly compromised on the blog for the foreseeable future.
I am playing on a 4K TV, which is marvellous, but it turns out that the PS4 Pro can’t capture the images in true fidelity. Pics and vids will sometimes make PES2019 look more like PES2015’s distinctive chalky pallor. Sony need to provide a software update.
Anyway, the game’s the thing, and I was all set up and running in the usual 20 minutes.
Paging through all the menus, getting everything set up – bliss. Arguably the best part of a nuPES Master League is the first session, and the first few sessions after that. Certainly that’s been how it’s been for several years now, as the series has declined in single-player terms.
PES2019 seems to be slightly different from its immediate predecessors, at this stage. We will see how things pan out long-term, but for now, in these balmy days of early September, there is genuine ground for optimism.
That’s me, taking over at the helm. I never sport facial hair in real life. The current vogue for wild post-apocalyptic beards can go and do one as far as I’m concerned. But when designing my avatar, the beard just seemed the way to go. (I’d love to get a real version of that ball.)
I went for the Stade de Sagittaire as my home ground. Renamed of course to New Highfield Road, in memory of the place that the real-life Coventry City should never have left.
Time for my very first Squad Screen tinker. I was happy to find my preferred nuPES formation of 4-2-2-2 already waiting for me.
I have only moved a few personnel around, and left their positions unchanged. I will see how things go with this formation. 4-2-2-2 always strikes me as the ideal nuPES formation.
I note the addition of a few new names, and will see how they do. Will the likes of Mihailov and Karlsen emerge as heroes in the classic ML sense, or be quietly moved on after half a season? It’s always one of the most interesting aspects of ML, finding that out.
Early signs are that A REDMOND – who has been an anonymous ML player for a few years – has been beefed up. He got me two good goals in the ICC Tournament that kicks off every Master League now.
I was, of course, mostly battered in that tournament.
I was lucky to get nil against PSG (lost 0-3), then lost more narrowly to Boca Juniors (0-1), and then managed a draw against Celtic (2-2, both goals from REDMOND). I am still only on Professional difficulty.
At the time of writing I am still only a few matches into the Championship season proper – a win and a defeat.
I’ve not brought in any outside players in yet. The transfer window is still open.
I have promoted one Youth, who looks very, very interesting so far.
W HARRINGTON. He is a 20-year-old AMF who reminds me of a young F FRIDAY, my big-boned star striker of PES2017.
I don’t know if everyone has the same Youths again this year, but it is likely. If so, and if you don’t mind sampling players others have mentioned, he’s there for the taking. He’s big and powerful, and showing signs of being a force.
Again this is another Master League storyline that joins all the others. How will this ‘Promising Youth’ subplot play out? Will you be hearing about Harrington again, or will he also be quietly moved on after a time? Master League in a nutshell.
Finally, two goals from my opening-day fixture vs Swansea, and a rising shot from Rice that hit the bar. The first goal is an AI moment that caused me some concern. Bony gets clean through on goal, but he decides to check back and lay the ball off to a teammate coming from behind him. I hadn’t yet seen this well-documented tendency of the AI, but to see it once is too often. Completely immersion-destroying, and if it’s not top of the patch priority list at Konami, we single-players really have been sold down the river.
I got the winner with a headed goal after toying with the Swansea defence for a bit. Remember this is all ‘only’ on Professional.
And that’s me up and running. Master League 2019.
I wish I could do it all again – the week 1 anticipation, then the arrival, then the getting-to-know-you sessions, then the start of ML proper. Now the real business starts.