Arice, Sir Rice

Just over a week into PES2019 and things are looking good – better than ever, in fact.

Is PES2019 the best PES of the PS4 generation? Ridiculously early to say so, but it feels so. If Konami can find it in themselves not to mess it up, maybe, just maybe.

Visual Fatigue has turned out to be an actual thing, albeit not quite in the way we were expecting. I assumed it would result in dramatic collapses on the pitch and enforced substitutions (which would still be nice to see, by the way). However, it seems to function more as a general background effect that influences gameplay in the latter stages of matches, or in a cumulative fashion after many matches. I like this and want more of it.

Fouls, too, are a thing – only just a thing, for me, but I’ll take the few that are coming my way.

The AI constantly attacking down the wings and always seeking to put in low crosses… this is most definitely not a thing for me.

I can appreciate how peculiar, and perhaps annoying, that will sound to those whose matches feature more low crosses than a midget Golgotha, but what can I do. I simply don’t see the already-notorious low crosses in my matches.There above is the star of PES2019 so far for me. J RICE, Esq.

He is still very much the scampering workhorse that we’ve seen over the past few years, and he now comes equipped with the most delicious new skill seen in PES for many a year: the Rising Shot. I haven’t liked a PES skill more since Middle Shooting was a thing.

Rice’s Rising Shot is a thing of beauty. The Rising Shot in general is a thing of beauty.

He must be on the candidates’ list for entry to the Master League Default Hall of Fame by now? Along with the likes of Ruskin and Vornander and Irjescu and Castolo and the rest of them. (Not the likes of Espimas and Ximelez, though. Never saw the point of them two.)

I keep blazing away with Rice from distance – and missing. For now. One day I am going to score the eternal goal that I keep trying to score. I know it.

Here’s Rice scoring my best long-range goal so far – a 25-yard ‘rising daisycutter’:

The tail-end of the first transfer window saw some activity taking place. I spotted this geezer in the Free Agents list, and had to try him out:

Veldwijk was one of my heroes of PES2018, maybe the only hero. Proper Master League heroes haven’t come along very often in recent years, so it’s best to treasure them.

I can’t think of a single instance, though, where they transfer from one edition of the game to the next.

And after 10 matches and no goals, it seem that the Curse Of The Previous PES Hero has struck again. I have decided not to persevere with Veldwijk. Time for new heroes. I placed him on the transfer list – and took the first offer that came in.

I picked up a fee of £3.6m for this Free Agent signing, which means I’m £3.6m in profit.

Back to my current favourite subject, J RICE.

I’ve tweaked my 4-2-2-2 formation to accommodate Rice. Here it is mid-game:

This formation is now a 4-1-1-2-2. Really it’s a 4-1-3-2, but I like the novelty of saying there’s a 1-1 buffer between defence and midfield, so that’s how I think of it.

This is the formation that Rice flourishes in. He has to play as a CMF in the upper half of the centre circle as we look at it.

He’s wasted as DMF. Too deep for too much of the time to affect the attack.

Playing as CMF in either of the two wide positions, while possible, isn’t optimal either. Rice needs to be involved. He needs to have easy access to the full length and width of the pitch. That’s his game.

nuPES tradition dictates that after a few more gushing posts like this one, and maybe one more goal, I’ll almost never mention him again. Until Season 4 or so, when I’ll finally sell him, and muse ‘whatever happened to Rice?’ We’ll see.

Three talking points now, with three 20-second clips to illustrate them.

First, I do have a wonky AI issue. I might not be seeing Low Crosses, but I am seeing another worrying thing that has got attention in the general PESverse chatter about PES2019.

It’s when the AI works a good position in front of goal, but elects to pass to another player instead. Could this be part of the same underlying code that produces the Low Cross phenomenon?

The AI player who finally receives the ball is pretty much in on goal – he can either take a shot there and then, or take a decent touch and then have a shot. We’ve seen the AI do either one of those things a thousand times or more. But the AI player chooses to square the ball instead, and they lose the ball. I see this roughly once or twice per average session. Not often enough to be game-breaking by any means, but often enough to be immersion-diluting.

Next, the great side of PES2019 – the modelling of real physics and real player capabilities:

What happens there is that I try to take a quick shot with Rice from silly distance, encouraged by his wonderful Rising Shot mechanic (one day, I am going to get a Bobby Charlton howitzer with Rice, I just know it). But here his body shape is all wrong, the ball is under him, and he fluffs it, the ball trickling embarrassingly wide along the ground. #itwouldhaveworkedinPES2018

Finally, an example of how Visual Fatigue actually works. Here my Redmond is almost out on his feet, with just a nubbin of stamina left, and he misplays a simple through-ball into touch. Keep watching for the header chance that resulted from the same passage of play.

Visual Fatigue in action there, followed a few moments later by a cross to the Default new boy, MIHAILOV. I loved the way he peeled off the last defender for the nod into the net. I’ve found Mihailov a better player than his partner, not-Coutinho, whatever he’s called now. Goios. Him.

In the celebration cutscene I noticed a certain reselblance between Mihailov and an American character actor by the name of Richard Kind, whom I know as Cousin Andy from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Look at this side-by-side comparison here:

Look at the nose. Just look.

Updated: 7th September 2018 — 11:15


  1. Paul – That’s pretty much my set up but without the hug the touchline. I don’t get a lot of instances of low crossing in the majority of games.

  2. Would be good to see all your settings not-Greg as this is a real puzzle – we are all using similar players and formations at a similar stage of ML but your gameplay videos look quite different, and better (except for fouls)

  3. Very strange!! I watched the video this morning, so it did work, getting the error now too, maybe a YouTube issue, if no good I will re-Up it tonight.

  4. abbeyhill – I can’t get back on the game until late afternoon today, will grab as many screenies as needed, splice them all together and post as one image in comments around 7-ish. I did poke around in those settings for a long time before kicking off match 1.

  5. Headers have definitely been nerfed this year.
    Surprised by peoples opinions that long rangers have been too though, I’ve scored a few and popped off many more that have been saved or hit the post or bar, I actually thought PES 19 was a long range friendly game.

    The subject of TS is a delicate one, in principle its good, and realistic, a team needs to play together to build understanding and cohesion, introducing new tactics and players should absolutely affect that cohesion.
    But Maybe Konami’s way of implementing it is just wrong?!

  6. Video is working again now, obviously a YT blip.

  7. Paul – just managed to watch the vid. Those are some extreme tactics and formation on show there! Just another band-aid on the gash, surely? I’ll have that screenshot of my settings up this evening.

    Re. long-rangers, have you had any postage-stampers from 30+ yards?

  8. NG – my team kept better shape though and you sawin the full match vid that the CPU attempted much less spamming of the wing and low cross.
    We shouldn’t have to do this of course to counter the AI play, and does need patching but at least it provides some kind of workaround for now.

    I showed you that goal with Rice the other day, and have scored one with Sahnoune, from about 28-30 yards, and another with new signing Camara after cutting in from the wing and using R2 for a finesse curler from about 25 yards.
    Have also had 30 yarders hit the bar, post and be saved, I have no problem pulling the shots off, not many go in, as in real life, but they are there for the taking.

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