A funny thing happened on the way to the Premier League

All of the below occurred BEFORE yesterday’s Big Patch.

The final standings at the end of Season 3:A 6th place finish was disappointing in the end. I could have got a place or two higher. But I’d still made the play-offs.

My play-off semi-final was against 3rd-placed West Brom. I had beaten them twice in the regular season. One of the times was quite comfortably.

I wasn’t too worried.

At home in the first leg, I promptly went behind to two Jay Rodriguez goals.

That was still okay. It was a two-legged match. I knew if I kept them to 2-0, and maybe snatched a goal back myself, I would be almost certain to turn it around in the second leg.

I scrapped and scrapped the way you sometimes have to in PES – and I did get a single goal back.

So this was the FIRST-LEG result:More than a bit careless, but easily recoverable. I’m still on Top Player, remember. It still wouldn’t be easy by any means, but I’d back myself in this scenario. 98% of the time, I would turn that result around in the second leg.


In the second leg, I took the lead early on and thought l was going to do it.

Then Rodriguez popped up again to make it 1-1 on the day, and 3-2 to them on aggregate.

That was on 70 minutes.

Below are the last 10 minutes of the match. As the action opens in the 80th minute, I have just switched to a 4-2-4. I am desperate to score one goal to at least force extra time.

I’ve not long brought on a few fresh players, but most of my players are on zero stamina.

Yes. That really was that. The end of my promotion tilt. I will be in the Championship for Season 4.

For those not watching the vid: I did get that much-needed aggregate-equalising goal, right at the end of normal time. I worked the opening, then made sure of it with an R2 finish. I almost made too sure of it, but it went in. Making it 2-1 to me on the day, 3-3 on aggregate. Extra time was seconds away.

But my concentration slipped, and the AI did me straight from its kickoff.While I was still feeling exhilarated and relieved, the AI swept upfield from the kickoff and scored a heartbreaking goal to level it up on the day with seconds remaining. Jay Rodriguez again with the finish. That made it 3-2 to them on aggregate.

Ever since ‘straight from kickoff’ became an AI thing (in PES2012?), I have often been caught out.

I couldn’t mount a final attack with my tired players. The final whistle blew.I could have reloaded and simply played the match again until I got the result.

But that’s not what I play PES, and ML, for. The story has to have integrity. Whatever happens, happens. It’s meaningless otherwise.

The Chairman was scathing.Gomez finished as top scorer:But nothing could quench the feeling of anti-climax. It had seemed so certain that I would go up this season.All this happened prior to yesterday’s Patch of the Century, which I have been discussing in comments on the previous post and will do so again in comments on this one.

My Season 4 has already begun, with the opening matches being played post-patch. I’ll save my full thoughts for Tuesday’s post, by which time I should have racked up 20-30 matches on the new patch. At the moment I would cautiously welcome the improved AI behaviour, particularly around goal, but I deplore a seeming increase in game speed and what seems a further reduction in the amount of AI fouls.

As October heads for November, I’m enjoying Master League in PES2019. My unexpected failure to get promoted this season makes the story better, not worse.

Updated: 26th October 2018 — 10:56


  1. Oof, straight from kickoff too, didn’t follow the runner, devastating. Another minimum 47 game season but always a sign of a good PES languishing in division 2, right?

  2. That super-charged A.I. straight from kick-off thing really is a thing, isn’t it? I’ve noticed it a fair few times. It really doesn’t like being on the back foot. Revenge is swift, and ruthless.

    I used to have a theory about the Street Fighter II arcade machine in my local pub when I was a kid. If you won the first round, the cpu would hammer you in the second and probably take the third and win. If you lost the first round, it would be more lenient. Either way, a lot of money was lost.

  3. NG – gutted for you! But pleased you allow it in your narrative and it doesn’t hinder enjoyment.

    Re: the frantic pace on the new patch, is this a community wide observation or just a few here? I ask because football games always feel frantic to me *until* I’ve learned my craft at which point I’m not panicking and rushing or jumping in and at which point calmer football makes the game seem less fast and frantic. Perhaps it is, again, I too have only played one session so far.

  4. Tommy – super-AI at kickoff really is a thing, one of the relatively few things in PES about which there is no subjective element involved – supercharged AI straight from kickoff in PES is a fact, and has been since PES2012 at least.

    Cook/Jay – respecting outcomes of matches and tournaments in PES is my Purity observance. I could not stand the thought of skipping up to the Premier by shady means. This is how it has to be.

    As for frantic pace, Shed will confirm that the older games were mentally fast but suffered no ill effects because of it. In nuPES, enhanced pace tends to generate messy arcade-like lurching around. That’s what makes me nervous about it. I’m seeing reports from online saying it’s insanely fast there now, which is probably the point of bumping it up. Everything will eventually disappear into the whirlpool of online.

  5. And now I can post this – a reassuring post-patch Lincoln curler. They’re still in the game!

    Nobody came to close him down so I thought, okay, I will have a go…

    (I’m in my white away kit in this one.)

  6. I suspect concentration wouldn’t have mattered, the way your defender drifted off the striker, the accuracy of the pass in behind, I think you were conceding no matter what.

  7. I don’t think it was technically impossible to stop just very difficult. Manually switching to one of the covering defenders would’ve worked but the timing necessary was near perfect.

    Another cracking goal from Lincoln. I’m attempting these 3 or 4 times a match at the moment but not getting close. What’s your success rate like? Is that a full power bar or just under?

  8. NG – You are right about these things making the story better not worse. This is why I am so enchanced with Fifa at the moment. More so because of my relegation as it just adds meaning to the story.

  9. A stark insight into what Konami may have done with the difficulty levels in this patch. All 8 of my matches yesterday post-patch were in my new season. Here is the table after those 8 matches:

    All on my customary Top Player. Needless to say, I will be going up to Superstar toute suite.

    Granted, I have got some new players, including one fantastic new loanee DMF who oozes individuality (I will break the bank to keep him when his loan runs out) – but still, I shouldn’t go from stuttering results at the end of last season to 8 straight wins this season. They’ve rezoned the difficulties for sure IMO.

    Cook – yet another Lincoln R2 curler currently uploading, with musings afterward.

  10. Darryl – if there were no consequences, there would be no point in any gaming. I’m strangely enjoying my unwelcome Season 4 in the Championship as a result.

  11. And here is yet another one from my main man Lincoln:

    I try these at least once per match. Success rate roughly 1 in 10. Other players can do them – I’ve got them with Rice and Castledine – but only once each.

    I’m unsure if this is an all-out exploit that shouldn’t be used by the discerning PES aficionado, or if it’s a special thing only Lincoln can do regularly. (And even then, is it an exploit?)

    So far it’s not unbalancing my ML, I feel, or my general experience, so I’m going to keep trying them. The thing with them is, to try them you’ve usually got to pass up other, better opportunities to develop play. So there’s an element of sacrifice there and risk that I think justifies them when they come along. And they look great.

  12. NG – play styles in action again! On Superstar I’m finding it *more* difficult post Patch because I’d got so used to defending in a set way. Like I said yesterday I think it’ll prove to be ‘easier’ in the long run but not to it’s detriment. I don’t think the long rangers are an exploit! You’re just good at them!

    Just had a short 3-game session:
    1-1 with Fulham (my bogey team by far)
    3-2 win over Porto to all but seal a place through my group
    1-0 win over Everton

    The patch is really making me consider changing formation but I’ve built my squad around this one and I predict I won’t be selling/buying anyone for a a couple of windows. I remember I said at this point last season that I wouldn’t win the treble and had changed my mind by the end of the season, the patch has me feeling once more it’ll be a mammoth task. Not sure I’m good enough for SS this year.

  13. Great stuff not-Greg, I was 80% certain you had been promoted which made seeing the story unfold even more dramatic. Straight from kick off goals were absolutely savage in 2012 but I thought they had been toned down a bit these days

  14. Jay – I just played 3 sneaky matches before work, 1 on Top Player (where I got that most recent curler above), and for the second two I switched to Top Player. Got destroyed 1-3 in both matches. AI scored a near-post flicked header from a corner. Very pleased if that’s how Superstar will play long-term. This PES could be The One foretold in legend. It’ll take another few seasons. And I’m always playing PES post-January. What kind of PES fanboi are you?! Pah.

    abbeyhill – well I’m on Superstar now otherwise promotion would have been a formality this season, so who knows, maybe it’ll reach my record for failing to get promoted (PES2011, 7 seasons). Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to play on the top difficulty level, Legend.

  15. Ha, you’ll never beat my record for failing to get promoted, PES3, 14 seasons then went bankrupt. Glorious days!

  16. If my first two matches on Superstar are any guide, I might just give my own record a run at least.

  17. I might have left the game if that straight from kick-off had happened in such an important match. Not really much more to add, feels like the reason I left Football manager, artificial misery.

  18. NG – not a fanboi! A seasonal player! 4 months PES, 2 months FIFA, 4 months ChampMan 0102! Whatever is left on real life!

  19. If anything I’m finding Top Player harder than before. Also had a little go with the gameplay patch installed again on top of the new EXE. It plays even better then (early doors as always) with players standing out more and making more use of their abilities. This especially translates to more shots outside of the box of which I’ve seen few, to be fair. More than before but still not much. CPU was slightly less clinical too and doesn’t only take a shot when it;s 95% sure it’s a goal. Was playing Spurs and Eriksen was unstoppable with his longe range shooting. He scored a free kick, STekelenburg got a hand too it but too late, great stuff.

    Without the fan patch every free kick (in my experience) is an auto-goal, a bit irritating that…

    Am going to play the Konami patch vanilla style just for say 10-20 more matches until adding the fan-patch for good, just so I really get a feel of what the Konami patch actually does..it’s still very good but I’m glad that the fan patch is there to iron out a few remaining niggles.

    Also – in updating my PC mod list to get in line with the new EXE, I now have more than 1000 players called “Players” running around and all team names and kits have reverted to default. Grumble…the updated Option File will sort it our I’m sure but for the time being I’m in wacky, zany Konami-land again.

  20. I should have clarified, with the “gameplay patch” I meant the earlier-mentioned, fanmade one of course.

  21. #1 – yeah, for benefit of any causal readers, the PS4 patch does none of the negative things you mentioned

  22. nG – Not sure I understand you. How are you finding SS?

  23. Get that rock n roll years soundtrack cranked up. Truly a classic video, I look forward to the next one.

    Btw – legendary isn’t necessarily the top difficulty, it’s simply different. I think every right thinking player knows that superstar is the one.

  24. Season 6 Promotion. Boom!!!

  25. As Paul would say, quoting his favourite grime artist Dizzee Rascal: “it’s a boom ting, much more than hotel room ting.”

  26. I can see an E3 bro playing Pro Evo getting moved up and the score’s four zero – best ever Dizzee Rascal line, Jay!

  27. Is this about popular music?

  28. I believe m’lud that Mr Rascal is a singer, although what type I am unsure as ‘grime’ is simply dirt in my dictionary.

  29. Season 7 begins with winning the ICC Cup. Very handy £1.1 million prize to go with the £1.5 million for the Championship and FA Cup double means I’ve managed to renew all the players I want to keep and add 4 players to the squad bring it up to 20 in total. Rice was player of the season and my top scorer with 14 goals. Hopefully the Europa League campaign will bring in extra funds for a possible January addition or two. Onwards Lions!!

  30. NG – One for the goal panel:-

  31. Darryl – the panel has decided. One member of the panel queried the lack of the full classic bicycle-kick motion (when the non-kicking leg ‘whips’ up some inertial momentum to add zip to the kick) but the majority view was that the angle of back-to-ground (almost dead-on horizontal) had to be the overwhelming deciding factor. Verdict: BICYCLE KICK.

    Lloyd – congrats on the promotion and the FA Cup, and you must do little else but play to have covered all those seasons on Challenge mode.

    Uncle Turf – I believe the followers of popular music, including Mr Rascal, derive status/kudos/etc. from the adaptive quotation of lyrics to one another. Similar to how when you look at a comedy YouTube clip, such as this one, the comments will feature a large amount of people quoting the script of the video that has just played. Fascinating how it all hangs together.

  32. Abbeyhill – kudos

  33. I think they then do some kind of urban dance-off thing as well.

  34. NG – I was hoping that would be the verdict as it was my view. From the initial footage it does look doubtful but when you see the replay it certainly looks like a bicycle kick. Brewster is the youngster from Liverpool and he started off OK but is growing into a talented player. This is the first FIFA I have known where I have developed a bond with some of my youth players as they have thier own identity.

  35. super strike Darryl, the FIFA patch clearly has not nerfed your bicycle kicks!

    well done on promotion Lloyd, how did you survive all those years in D2 on challenge mode – presumably the chairman set you the target of promotion + cup every single season?

  36. Absolutely bicycle but physically uncertain whether that could be done by anyone other than a gymnast. Superb commentary though, beglin would likely have commented the keeper must feel disappointed or other such guff.

  37. Abbeyhill – skin of my teeth a few times after losing in play offs, he must like me. Good cup runs helped bump up the rating as well. Currently at 100% after double and icc win. Won’t last long methinks.

  38. Now I’ve played a bit more I’m enjoying it a lot, good patch from Konami. My fears of it being too easy on SS have been allayed after 3 defeats in a row earlier today. Had a great game against PSV in the Europa winning on away goals with a last kick of the game curler from Lincoln, genuine air punch moment.

    In the next round against Lazio this happened, rare as rocking horse poo.

  39. Starting to get a grip of the patch after a poor start. Won my CL group and now have Real Madrid!

    And commentary informed me I had 3 in 3 going into the Spurs game and if I held on to my lead it’ll become 4

  40. Jay – love that ground pass for the assist, sublime. Counter attacks towards the end of the match are great fun.

    Lloyd – congratulations on promotion, some achievement on manual passing.

  41. Cook – I was intrigued to see if you’d remember how to take a penalty. When I saw you charge the powerbar up to near-max I feared the worst… Good pen in the end.

  42. I definitely overcooked it and only went in because he was 86 for penalties. I can count on one hand the number of penalties in the past 4 editions of PES so it’s always an effort to remember how to take them.

  43. Jay – that’s a gorgeous long pass out of defence into attack. That’s the exact kind of forward pass from defence that earlier PS3 PESes cooked into our muscle memories, which so often goes straight to an AI player now.

  44. Happy extra hour of pes day everyone. Great news that we can play for 25 hours today if we want.

    (Although if you’re on pes5 25 mins would be enough, lolz…)

  45. Clocks change. Time does not change. Clocks do not measure time. They measure and regulate our conventional routines.

  46. But we do get 25 (TWENTY FIVE) hours today.

    When are you changing the time on here, nG? I bet that’s one of your highlights of the year along with the annual discussion about poles crossing at water sources.

  47. I traditionally wait for abbeyhill to remind me to change the server time in a few days’ time. And the dowsing phenomenon is bizarrely real (except that the metal rods cross over metal, not water), I’ve seen it done. Thought I was being ‘hazed’ in my first few days working at a water company, but no, I also did it myself and it works.

  48. Apparently during the war they had double summertime, so we could use all 26 hours of the day towards the war effort. Makes sense to me, maybe when we Brexit we might go to 25 permanently – I’d like that extra hour in bed every day.

    Sorry though, the dowsing thing is in the same category as the child having their head shaved in a department store.

    Almost bought far cry 5 in cex today but impressions from Paul made me reconsider. Have you started up again Paul or is it still ridiculously hard and game ending? Reviews were never great.

  49. I’m finding Top Player post-patch anything but easy. Mid-season, season 2 and I’m struggling to stay above the relegation zone. I’m managing, but only just. Just brought in Ricardo Montolivo from the Youths and he’s making a difference, but not turning the game on its head. Which is how it should be. In PES18 he would just have been identikit midfielder #21 and he would have bagged 20 goals and 15 assists by the end of season.

    I find that there’s a lot to like. Finances are tight, and yes you can get “name” players quite easily (nowhere NEAR as easy as last year though) but to be honest they’re often not very good from the outset (just saw regen Cech starting at 58 OPR – good!) and to get them I’ve really had to put some money on the table. Even more to keep them. My best player is Arcas who’s currently on his second “glowing arrow”. OPR is up to 84 and ball control up to 92 which is really noticeable. However to keep him I’d have to sell a few to free up wages and to be honest i’m more of a Castledine man than an Arcas admirer. So that looks to be it for him then. Decisions are in! Looks there’s some legs to this years ML after all.

    Still liking the CPU variety post-patch as well though the “if the CPU wants to score, they do” feeling from last years editions is back, sometimes. Irritating from time to time. At least to me.

  50. I reckon nG would have been happiest in the late 60s/early 70s when they kept the clocks the same. I’m surprised all those blokes with metal detectors don’t just use a pair of twigs instead.

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