The A.I. That We Fleed

A few days off work meant a lot of rapid progress in my Master League on PES2019. The above is the exact moment I got Castledine straight-red-carded in a calamitous defeat.

I’ve had a couple of proper ‘9/10 enjoyment’ sessions on the game. As I type up this post on this fine Friday morning, I’m aware that it’s FIFA19’s official release day. For many diehard PES fans of long-standing, the PES2019 AI experience is unacceptable, and they are quite rightly seizing on the appearance of what sounds like the most promising FIFA for years.

I’m enjoying PES2019, on the whole. I get no AI fouls, and I’m still sure that long-rangers have generally been nerfed in a way I profoundly disapprove of. But overall? It’s good for me.

Season 2 is 15 matches old at the time of writing. That means I’m almost exactly one-third of the way through it.

This is the current table:

Much better than this stage in season 1. My goal is to finish in the top half of the table at the very least.

Those 3 wins were welcome, but there should have been more.

And 6 draws is frustrating. I’m constantly fiddling about with formations trying to turn all the draws into wins and the defeats into draws. Here is the latest 4-1-3-2 (promptly abandoned):

After seeming so great initially, Rice has declined more or less to averageness. That Rising Shot of his continues to be an enigma. Such an intoxicating new skill, in a series that used to be justly famous for its satisfying long-range shooting. But no Riceing Shot has yet to lead to an actual goal.

SPEAKING OF LONG-RANGE SHOOTING – as detailed in comments on the previous post, I did finally get my long-sought-after PES2019 long-ranger.

Here it is again for those who have not seen it:

Some say these types of goals from that sort of distance are fairly common in PES2019. They’re rare enough for me. This was my first after a hundred attempts. And I haven’t had one since, despite many more attempts.

I did, though, score this R2 curler from about 30 yards with Lincoln – yes the keeper flubs it in, but I’ll take it:

Not quite another long-ranger – a few things count against it, not least the R2-use. A classic PES long-ranger should be a laces-driven cannonball. And then there’s that keeper flap.

It’s the first thing of note that Lincoln has actually done. He’s still ripe for transfer come January, though.

In general, though, I now play a touch more conservatively in attack. Instead of always blazing away from distance, I try to work more optimum opportunities. Goals have picked up slightly, and I am proportionally higher up the table because of it.

Defending can still be a nightmare. The PES2019 AI, for all its many faults, can find fiendish ways to grab a goal when it puts its virtual mind to it. At least 4 of my 6 draws could and should have been wins for me, but I have this habit of succumbing to 90th minute equalisers.

Better players will help. I’m looking forward to the mid-season transfer window with a hunger for new players that I haven’t ever really experienced in nuPES Master League.

I need another top striker to play up front with Necid. After a promising opening few matches, Dentinho has wilted into anonymity, for the most part.

My semi-House Rule is ‘show me individuality or I will show you the door’. Dentinho has done enough, though, to earn a stay of execution until at least the end of the season.

And so have most of my other players. Even the weirdly forgettable starting Default Karlsen has sprung from the bench a couple of times to perform supersub heroics. I find Karlsen plays best as an SS directly behind Necid.

I’m a big fan of Visual Fatigue. We’re so accustomed to playing with our fingers curled lovingly around the R1 button, we don’t realise we’re doing it.

Visual Fatigue punishes R1-use in the late-game. Making the right substitute at the right time is now deeply meaningful, rather than something worth doing just for the sake of it. Fingers crossed that this isn’t patched out.

Updated: 28th September 2018 — 12:01


  1. King of contradiction here – currently enjoying what is probably my most enjoyable session on 2019 so far! And I’ve just earned the “Phantom striker” trophy.

  2. Off topic here, and apologies if this offends but….every time I see Tyson fury I think there’s a bit of that worrying Darryl in his onesie video we once saw. If Tyson and al Murray were parents….

  3. For those that saying FIFA isn’t PES, no its not, and doesn’t try to be, and thank god its not, its nice to have one finished polished game of footy out there at least.
    You either enjoy PES or FIFA for what they are, in their own right, there’s no real need to keep comparing them.

    Another nice session on FIFA last night, which I will touch on in Thursdays FIFAX post.

    Turf – Are you saying Darryl is a cocky Gypsy who doesn’t pay his taxes?

  4. It’s the physical resemblance Paul, memory may be failing me though. Do you feel Tyson like Darryl? As a youngster I was unfairly compared to Steve Davis by a carriage load of Everton fans.

  5. Turf – Interesting!

  6. Turf – They were flaxen PJ’s and a glass of Vino collapso as well?
    I remember in my PES 2013 NG vid I gave Paul a Pink ponytail 🙂

  7. Loved that WERD, that was my rebellious year ! 😉

    And for those that can’t remember, or haven’t seen it, here it is in all its glory:

  8. Werd – I was going to say, it was PES2014 but I see most were on their favourites – and Shed on PES5! I’m supposed to be the PES5 fanboy.

    Amazing that was 5 years ago. Paul on PES2014.

    Mike – I just don’t know what to say. At a time of seemingly universal doubt and despond, I find PES2019 captures the classic feel of the series and provides all the modern bells and whistles. The Ai does a few peculiar things but nothing out of the boundaries of previous instalments. PES2019 strikes me as the perfect balance between old and new. It doesn’t have AI fouls for me, which adds to the mystery. Overall play is just the right side of the nuPES line, currently. I’m almost scared of what the patch might do.

  9. Time Flies!
    Was going through my old videos and PES 2015 looked really good, can’t remember much about it though apart from the lack of editing options.

  10. Paul – That’s a lovely, warm and fuzzy video isn’t it? Funny I should be playing PES 5 in the shed back then too. The shed and PES 5 would seem to be my eternal safe place when I’m hiding from real life, crap telly and a wonky session on nuPES.

  11. Like a comfort blanket Shed? PES 5 certainly stands the test of time, to be playing at 5 years ago, even then 10 years after release, and again now.

    Might get parallels up and running on the macbook pro and install PES 5 with the ShollyM patches, lunchtime play sessions at work.

  12. Paul – I think the justly famous Sholly patches are PES6 only. I had a full installation up and running on one of my old Windows laptops and it matches the Jenkey patch on PES2013 for depth and content.

    PES5, as far as I know, only has the bog-standard Edit Mode-level patches, I.e. kits and team names.

    Shed – I usually manage at least 1 match on PES5 per week, but I don’t want anything to dilute the magic spell I seem to be under with PES2019, as today’s post will show.

  13. Cheers NG – I did have PES 5 patched on the old iMac, must have just been basic patches as you say, definitely had ShollyM patches, that must have been PES 6 then.

  14. All – if you look at about 6:45 in the vid it looks as though a ponytailed Paul scratches his behind 🙂

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