Slow and steady wins the race

So I’ve only just made it to mid-season of Season 1.

Why so slow? Is that a reflection on the quality of PES2019?

No – this slow progress is not much slower than normal, for me. This tortoise-like progression is what makes it possible for me to play multiple seasons spanning many months.

A look at last year shows PES2018 arriving on 12th September. I started Master League on 15th September. I reached mid-season of Season 1 two weeks later, on 29th September.

This year I might have got a lot further a lot faster if I haven’t discovered that a little game called Fallout 4 has crept up on me and become quite the obsession.

There’s a very addictive building component to Fallout 4. It’s ‘Minecraft meets Mad Max’. And as a fan of the post-apocalypse, even the semi-comic one of the Fallout 4 world, I keep being brought up short by stark and haunting vistas.I’ve split my gaming time roughly 50-50 between Fallout 4 and PES2019 over the past two weeks since the latter’s launch. Maybe that’s helped to ease me through some of the early difficulties that so many others are experiencing.

I’ve got through to mid-season of my Master League completely untroubled by Low Crossing.

I don’t mean that I’m seeing it but managing to live with it.

It’s not that I’m seeing it a little bit but managing to enjoy the game anyway.

It’s that I’m not seeing it at all. I have to have the one or two isolated instances of Low Crossing pointed out to me. And of course, when they’re isolated, they’re just a normal part of the game.

I don’t know how, or why, Low Crossing doesn’t appear in my game. I even recorded an entire match, distilled it down to the AI attacks only, to show that it doesn’t occur in my game. It definitely doesn’t. How? Why?

But I’m not getting away scot-free. There’s something else that I don’t really see, that I would very much like to see: AI-committed fouls. I’m also not committing many fouls myself.

This is a bog-standard, typical post-match stats screen for me:

1 (ONE) AI foul on me. 0 (ZERO) fouls committed by me. And precious few tackles, which makes no sense when I play, and the AI plays, the most aggressive, barging, kung-fu-kicking football we can get away with – which is a lot.

PES2019 is just as sprint-clampy and slide-tackley as any other nuPES instalment. The demo seemed to herald another way of doing things, a deeper, more substantial single-player experience – but I should have known better. Normal business has been resumed.

I’m waiting to see how things pan out long-term on the AI fouls front. Maybe, hopefully, an influx of better players will change things, who knows?

Scoring 14 goals in 19 games and beng rock-bottom of Division 2 means that I can’t really expect anything much better than this:

The 428th-best team in the Master League world. Magnificent. I want to get above the total scum that is Deportivo Pasto. Those bastards need to be taught a lesson.

I can’t honestly see this year being too different from PES2018. The improvements that are undoubtedly there – Visual Fatigue seems to be a thing, currently – are just enough to be pleasing, but not enough to make PES2019 the dramatic leap forward that it initially seemed to be.

Now more than ever, there is a truth that must be acknowledged: PES exists entirely at the mercy of online multiplayer.

Online multiplayer is the invisible puppet-master that pulls all of football gaming’s strings, and nothing that could negatively impact the ‘flow’ of the online game will ever be allowed into PES again.

The nuPES story has always been one of extracting goodness from the games ‘in spite of’. In spite of this issue, or that issue, in spite of this and that misgiving – the game goes on, and it does!

By Tuesday’s post I will have sailed through mid-season, picked up some new players, and hopefully started to pick up results.

Updated: 14th September 2018 — 11:51


  1. Superstar. It’s a grind. Van persie debut was a 0-4 loss.

    I won’t say long rangers are nerfed as evidence says not but they are almost impossible – I’ve had hundreds of efforts to no avail. On a par with headers in my book.

  2. Just had am amazingly good session of 4 matches in which the AI played absolutely superbly. I was slaughtered by Swansea. This is truly a PES in which ‘session variance’ (one of the primary ingredients in PES’s secret sauce over the decades) is very very pronounced.

    I also ditched the zoomed in faux-broadcasting view that I’ve been playing with until now. I’m now back on my long-standing traditional Wide camera: maximum zoom out, full height, fill left-to-right tilt. Felt like a proper old PES game again. Magic!

    I also put in my first double-tap cross and got a lovely Low Cross GP award from the game that I screenshotted and will put in tomorrow’s post, with a trigger warning for the LCS sufferers.

  3. NG – I can’t even bare to look at that default wide cam anymore, its horrible.
    I changed my camera angle to zoom: 4 / Height: 4 / Angle:5
    Still gives a broadcast feel and realistically represents the tight midfields, default cam looks like a gaping open field with subbuteo players on it.

    About to load ink my new kits and start ML proper again. fingers crossed for me.

  4. Well, ML definitely ramps up the LCS. No doubt.
    Played 2 of the ICC matches (simmed the 2nd) and immediately there was LCS. Not to ridiculous levels but more than there should be.
    Have played 2 proper ML league games and saw a few instances too, more in 4 ML matches than in about 15 exhibition matches.

    I even saved ML, exited and played a friendly using the 2 exact same teams (exported ML team data), same difficulty, same stadium, time of day, same lineups, same formation and the LCs count was much lower.

    Still, it’s not at levels I was experiencing before and definitely ‘live-with-able’ even though would be nice to see more variation.

    Looking forward to just getting on now, and forgot what a chore the defaults were, after playing with zippy Brazilian club sides recently.

    Passed up the opportunity to sign Harrington, but did re-sign C.Russo from the youths, great CF.
    Won my opening 2 games, come from behind to beat villa 2-1 with 2 scrappy as hell goals, and beat Birmingham 2-0 with a very nice Arcas brave including a bending whipped 23 yard FK.

  5. I’m on custom dynamic, I can’t zoom out and go overhead like the old days as it just feels too disconnected from the action. The lack of long pass awareness is the price you pay for a bit more blood and thunder.

    I’m getting fairly regular LCS now, to the extent that a player breaking into the box at one side will move away from goal then cross. None of that fancy footwork, repeated passing nonsense but a definite ‘I’m not heading straight on goal like I should’. Castledine, rice and giorza have all left now – cas simply ran out of steam too early in the game to be useful in my small squad. Arcas is the only default left.

  6. A late night saw me see out the conclusion of season 1 by finishing last. In the end I was only 2 points away from 21st and won 8 games in the second half of the season.

    Looking forward to the next season as it should be an interesting one. To keep Crouch on my books I have had to really trim down my squad, which now looks thread bare compared to last season. Even that has left me just 1 million and 97k in the wage budget. If I was to rate the game at this stage it would get a very positive 9.


  7. Turf/Darryl – these first season ML struggles are what the classic PES games were built on were they not, so this could only be a positive thing.

    Rice is the one with the dodgy legs for me, booming shot and cuts a nice presence on the pitch but he’s a sub at best for me. Runs out of gas way too quickly.

    The heading in in goal but then move out wide to cross a low ball in to a crowd of legs type of LCS is the worst. If I make a mistake I want the AI to punish me clinically, rather than manoeuver into a position to low cross, first time backheel then first time power finish. Counter immersive.

  8. Still no Low Cross here, and get this – even the times where the AI will refuse to run in on goal and shoot, have declined almost to zero. Maybe there’ll be one instance per session. Strange indeed.

    My CMFs and DMFs have to chip in with goals, because I shoot so often with them. The online doctrine of tika-taka-ing the ball into the box for a close-range sidefoot finish turns my stomach, frankly. It is not the PES way. Big, booming, net-bursting shots are the PES way. Rice has no end-product, but I’m at the stage of wondering if any player does from 20+ yards. Yes, they’ll get one once in a blue moon (replay of one later), but it’s not enough.

  9. Indeed, the percentage is too low, I haven’t scored one genuine long ranger.

    As Darryl is finding it’s not easy to squad build, the budget is very tight for wages and my defaults all wanted big increases on their salaries. When it came down to it a regen Luke young is worth much more than the more expensive castledine.

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