I am not Legend

I have played 39 matches of Season 4. I have been on Superstar difficulty since Matchday 9. PES2019 on Superstar might be the hardest PES I have ever played.

There will certainly be no promotion this season. With 7 matches remaining, here is the table:

I have only just unlocked Legend difficulty with my 5th victory since switching to Superstar.

It took me 31 matches on Superstar to notch up those 5 wins.

Many are the readers of this blog who will find this to be an astonishing and scarcely believable confession. It took this guy 31 matches to win 5?!

However. As I’ve mentioned numerous times on the blog, I am an average-skilled player of football games. I haven’t been misrepresenting my skills. I am average. ‘Tis true.

I’m not sure I will ever play on Legend. I didn’t last year, and probably won’t again this year. Superstar might detain me for the entirety of the rest of my time on PES2019.

The game in general is holding up incredibly well. The challenge is immense. The gameplay is deep. Solid 9/10 session follows solid 9/10 session. I am in PES dreamland. I never thought a nuPES game could deliver this kind of sustained satisfaction. I caught myself looking at PES t-shirts and baseball caps on eBay last night. (There’s a PES2009 woollen scarf on there right now for a tenner if anyone wants it.)

There are still downsides. PES2019 will never be perfect for me so long as I continue to regularly experience matches without a single AI foul in them. My average AI fouls count is still something like 1.3 per match. Of course this is another outcome of my individual play-style.

A couple of unusual moments in video now.

First, a heel-flick from Robben that takes a wicked deflection and loops over the keeper. One of those goals that you score, and know that something weird has just happened, and you scrutinise the replay frame-by-frame.

Second, something I’ve waited a decade to see make a return to PES: my Goalkeeper being sent off. Of course I never keep a reserve GK on the bench – because why would you, this is PES and keepers don’t get sent off… So after some dithering and confusion on the Squad Screen (why is every outfield player rated the same for Goalkeeping? pissing hell, Konami) a defender had to go in goal. Watch the restart to see my calamitous ‘defending’ at the free kick:

Updated: 6th November 2018 — 10:57


  1. Glorious. Rarer than hen’s teeth.

  2. Noughty Boys: Adriano, the striker outshone by the video game version of himself


  3. Tommy – I actually don’t remember having a GK sent off in any PES before now.

    And I hear the real life Lincoln was spotted wandering around a park muttering to himself. How can he ever top his clutch of 300-yard curling lobs?

  4. NG – would have liked to have seen that GK slide tackle slowed down, in real time it looked a good meaty challenge.

    Nice to see the backheel flick deflected goal too, something a little different in a usually dense void of identikit style goals.

    And to continue over from the previous post/comments ….. I don’t think i could ever seriously give PES 19 a higher than 7 score, purely for the fact that even though game play is now ‘fixed’ and may be good, the whole lkack of basics, details and other elements that exist or are missing ‘off-the-pitch’ prevent it getting a higher score.

    You can’t just base the quality of the game on the on-field action.
    If a Formula one game had really good handling, animations, and the track and surrounding graphics looked beautiful, and you really enjoyed each race, but the game was missing the starting lights so you had to guess when the race starts, or the chequered flag was missing, or the end of season trophy, or the car handled differently from one race to the next with no reasoning why, or the commentary got things wrong and talked about drives that weren’t even competing etc, would you still give it a 9 or 10 out of 10? No, you wouldn’t. SO why does PES get a pass?

  5. NG – just been watching that video on my lunch break in the ‘breakout room’ at work. That was some leap by your striker. Keeper red cards are very rare in both games which is why I never have a Goalkeeper on the sub bench either. I had one in my FIFA Career this year and couldn’t remember having one in the past.

  6. Paul – I was so confused by the red card that I skipped the replay. Looked like a video gamey red card to me too.

    PES2019 has a pleasing variety of goals. You only see the goals I rank as postworthy. For every one of them there are of course 10 scuffers and bobblers etc.

    And as I said once upon a time, if the on-field action is right, that’s all that matters. PES gameplay is the drug that is needed, nothing else. If the game took place on a green rectangle suspended in a black void but was of 10/10 quality, a 10/10 game is what it would be.

  7. An outfield player in goal. That really is something to savour in a footy match. Of course, it never happens now.

    One of my low points as a Brighton fan (and there have been many) was losing to a Hartlepool side at the Goldstone which had gone down to ten men after a ‘keeper red card. Oh how we laughed when the Monkey Hangers put a 5ft 7ins winger in goal. Final score: Brighton 0 Hartlepool 1.

    Still no PES 2019 for me with PES5 continuing to fulfil all my PES cravings.

  8. Paul – It is his rating so he can base it on what he wants. Even though I totally agree with all your points, what makes or breaks anything for us in any year is the on-field action. So when you look back over the last few months the majority of posts either negative or positive relate to matters on the pitch. All the rest of the bells and whistles are superficial really even if they are very nice. So I would leave scoring down to the reviewers as it is thier job to look at everything.

  9. NG – Then you are only rating one element of the game, not the game as a whole.

    You spend as much time in menus, in the ML mode, dealing with the little things it does offer you, as you do on the pitch, to rate a game as a 9 or 10 which would be on par with something like GTA V or RDR2 or Skyrim or Witcher 3 or other highly rated, finished, polished packages, based purely on only one element of the game is blinkered fanboyism.

    Imagine if you was a reviewer for IGN, or Gamespot or other massive publication with presence, and rated PES a 9.5/10 – Konami would look at that and say ‘Wow, they rated the game so highly, we don’t need to fix anything or do anything new with ML or pay any attention to the quality, or basics of the sport, because we got a near-perfect score’.

    if you rated the game play 9 out of 10, but the overall package differently, I’d understand.

  10. NG – I hadn’t seen your post as I was typing but basically we are saying the same as on the pitch is all that matters.

  11. Absolutely Darryl – I agree Ng can rate it whatever he wants, doesn’t mean its right though.

    And you pay 40 or 50 quid for a game to be finished, to have enough overall quality that it immerses you, in every aspect, I don’t pay for just a bit of a game.
    So its not superficial when the sole purpose of the very sport you are replicating is to win a trophy, yet the developer cant even be bothered to include the trophy.
    Or many of the other core basics that are overlooked and ignored.

    How time consuming would it have been to create an actual finished menu UI for the game? I could have done it for them inside a week, yet a billion dollar games developer cant be assed to do it in a year.

    That’s not 9 or 10 out of 10 worthy, in anyone’s book.
    And No, on the pitch is not ALL that matters.

  12. That was a red if ever i saw one! I have a pretty good disciplinary record but the AI has been shown 3 or 4 against me, it was fun trying to exploit there lack of a RB but disappointing to see they never adjusted formation.

    I feel your SS struggle too, i am into February season 1 on SS with defaults and i’m W9 D10 L10. I have know idea how but i’m also in the quarters of the FA cup after beating Leicester on pens after and amazing 3-3 draw and beating Everton 2-1 with a last minute goal.

    I didn’t like the face pace of SS in the prem, made worse by the fact i had signed quite a few very fast players and it encouraged me to play super counter attacking football almost all the time and it felt quite “fifary”.

    To my surprise I have manged to sign quite a few players(challenge mode) and have a decent squad already, just need to work on the team spirit. One of the players i first signed was Lincoln and and yet to get a R2 long shot and i have tried way to many times haha most of my shots actually go wide or straight to the keeper i think i need to keep searching for the sweet spot that gos towards the far post.

    The game play is great most of the time but i do get that cheated feeling quite often but i will put it down to bad players and bad team spirit for now.
    If there is one thing that bugs me so far is that the AI does seem to repeat one kind of attack a lot. The double pass across the box and score, which when it wants to is impossible to stop. I would like to see more through ball and long ball tactics from the AI.

  13. Max. You’re ‘FIFA’ry’ comment is amusing. You haven’t played FIFA 19 have you ? It’s slower and weightier than PES 19. That’s a fact.

  14. NG – 20/10 if rated for most lacksidaisical product pushed out by a developer ever.

  15. Better than the overrated PES5 then. on record.

  16. nG – I managed to get a Stronghold Guardian sent off in 2018 (I think, might have been 2017). It was then a put defender in goal scenario, but I think there was only seconds left on the clock.

  17. Paul – very nice riposte!

    Afk on phone so can’t do my wall of text properly, but did you see Eurogamers review of RDR2? They didn’t give it their equivalent of 10/10, but they did give it to some indie Steam game with wireframe graphics. Just saying.

    Back in the day, OPSM2 magazine gave 10/10 to PES every year when it was as relatively low-featured as it is now. They knew The Truth.

    None of the objective measurement you want is possible.

    Blinkered fanboyism would have led me to proclaim the last three editions from the rooftops. That didn’t happen of course.

    I’ve waited 4 years for a PES I can enjoy like I did in days of yore and I damn well am going to enjoy it.


    (SKIPPING 13 as its unlucky.)

  18. Max – Superstar AI cheat goals drive me mad too. Straight from kickoff is really bad. I have taken to fouling them to interrupt the play. PES is as cheat as ever.

    What’s this, no avalanche of R2 goals?! Once you get one you’ll get a few. Superstar they’re very difficult as the AI closes down fast.

  19. Shed – whatever happens you should stick with PES5. There really has never been anything to touch it. Only a few other PESes get near it. 2008 on PS2. Maybe 2010 and 2011 on PS3. Even those two are a long way behind. Everything else even further.

  20. n-G – That’s exactly what I intend to do. Should I ever ‘finish’ with PES5, I have PS2 PES 2008 lined up (never played it) and PES 2011 on PS3.

    I’m going to reserve the PS4 for the odd go on a gamey-game if I can ever get on the damn thing. Of course the PS4 will one day be replaced by the next console and I’ll be waiting for it here in the shed.

  21. NG – They probably gave a 10 to some indie game because it was well put together, worked, with attention to detail, not some unfinished, hurried out mess.

    Shed – ignore NG, he’s unreliable, he’s already stated here on record that PES 19 is better than PES 5, so may as well stick with that.

  22. Shed – this time next year the PS5 is likely to be here. It’s the natural time. Announcement in the spring if so.

  23. Paul – there’s a lot of water to flow under PES2019’s bridge yet. I have yet to reach the top flight. Yet to get players above 80OPR. Yet to pass a lot of milestones.

    P. S. The indie wireframe game that ‘beat’ RDR2 does look good.

  24. Oh, 15/10. Nearly forgot.

  25. Paul- that comment was specifically for you 😉 i’m a true PES fan boy and proud of it!
    The last fifa i played was 2012 and i only played it to beat my mates at the own game and even though i won most games i hated every second of it and always had a shower afterwards.

    NG- I am getting the space for R2’s,I’m having more trouble setting up the Rice’s rising shot opportunities, and they are mostly with Lincolin but they either go past the far post or straight at the keeper. Closer range I’ve scored a few with different players but nothing long range.

    I just played the most cheaty game of PES i’ve had in a while, the quater final of the FA cup vs Stoke which i won after extra time 1-0. I can’t believe i actually won the game after all the AI antics, as soon as i scored i put all my players in defense and just played it around the back the entire second half of extra time. Got my own back a little haha

  26. Hang on hang on hang on then…first of all I have never seen a keeper sent off in pes. Not one pes ever. I remember being able to slide foul keepers in FIFA but never the other way round in any football game, I just assumed it would always be a clean tackle. Wowsers as the kids no longer say.

    And picking up from the last thread….I never said I regularly got 25+ yards curlers every other game, that was an NG-Paul distance spat that carried over into my discussion. I reckon I get a curler from just outside the box, about five yards in from the side of the box every 5 games maybe, not sure, but it’s frequent enough to be my highest type of goal scored. I’ll be measuring it from now on.

    And for what it matters – 9/10 on pitch (was 5/10) but 5/10 off pitch. However, when was the last master league that was more than a 5 out of 10? The pitch is ours is surely their slogan because they know they don’t give a bollocks about anything else.

  27. Uncle Turf – I knew you’d entered the discussion without realising we were talking specifically about long-distance curlers. As we discussed last night, R2 ‘turn and shoot’-style finishes inside the box are a common PES2019 type of goal akin to the ‘turn and shoot’ in PES2012, which is much-discussed (including by Paul) on this post from almost exactly 7 years ago.

    Max – not sure what you mean by the Rice rising shot thing, but the R2 curlers are not Rising Shots – two different shooting mechanics involved. Rising Shots are always ‘laces’ attempts. I’m trying more and more of these lately in an effort to get my absolute favourite type of PES goal going. I still love the R2 curlers from silly distance, but they’re nothing compared to a postage-stamp cannonball, of which I’ve only got 2 or 3 in 4 seasons.

  28. Turf – 2010. You could make an argument for 2011 but that was a very diluted ML from the year before and the bridge between the stripped down efforts from 2012-15. I really don’t like the ML format we see from 2016 onwards but as I said earlier if the gameplay is good enough then I am happy. Hearing comments post patch I would have been tempted had it not been for the fact that FIFA has me hooked. Also I would not want to release the curse by playing again.

  29. Cheers Max – its the same way I usually feel when I have a game of PES 19, hazchem cabinet and toxic substance control unit turn up soon after.

    I remember the turn and shoot R2’ers from PES 2012, turn and shoot from inside the box have always been a guaranteed go-to in PES over the years, except this year, certainly couldn’t get away with it with any regularity pre-patch anyway.

    When I return to PES 19 NG, and I will, I will see if it can reach the dizzy heights that you allude to, now that you have claimed on record that it is 50% better than PES 5 even without being promoted, it could end up being 3 times the game PES 5 was by the end of the year.

  30. Darryl – PES 2010 was the height of ML goodness, PES 2011 followed closely even if a little watered down, but is still, to this day, the ML that sticks in my mind most from any PES, ever.

    Being able to train players in specific positions or to acquire specific skills, Just hexagons and no OVR’s, having to hire staff which affected how you scout, injury lengths etc, invest money in youth or club facilities, detailed player stats such as appearances, goals, assists, yellow and red cards, increase/decrease in OVR since joining etc, Sponsorships tied to achieving certain results, half time updates on other scores from your league, trophies, on pitch medal ceremonies, proper injuries, stadium editor so you could actually play in realistic stadiums not every match at a 60,000 bowl arena in Div 2, player interactions/relationships ……

    All stuff we once had and yet no longer do.

  31. NG- J. Rice the default with rising shot trait, i am having trouble setting him up for attempts at goal in good positions.

  32. One game down, no curlers, no goals…it was a derby – think that word in pes says it all.

  33. Definitely a 9/10 game at minimum now. I don’t know what could happen for it to suddenly dip either.

  34. Visions of NG and Jay wrapped up in their Golden Fleece lined PES branded onesies, sharing a hot cocoa and gazing whimsically at the grey unfinished PES menus, to be in love and have such low standards for a game ….. bliss.

  35. 16/10. Actually 17/10 now as I missed one earlier.

    Paul – PES2010/11 was the best Master League has ever been as a mode for sure.

    Uncle Turf – I haven’t had an R2 distance curler in 40 matches now. As for derbies – the worst matches any football game has ever had to offer. The Old Boys game too. Undiluted shite.

  36. The Old Boys game was a nice idea in earnest, but non-competitive games just aren’t for me. Only game I skip.

  37. Makes me think of two years ago when Chris99 flatly refused to let me rate PES2017 9/10!

    Paul – that is a great reminder of how much has been stripped out of ML since its peak, had forgotten half these features ever existed

  38. Even the MLs of PES 2010/11 are basic. PES has never been very impressive off the pitch and probably never will be.

    About to start season five on PES5 (you know, the 18/10 game I’m playing). No offers for my players again but I have brought in a couple of decent players to boost my squad, including a 36-year-old Filippo Inzaghi.

    I’m going to need the extra firepower as, checking the fixtures ahead of the new ML season, I see I’m in a Champions League qualify group that consists of Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich.

    n-G – You mentioned PS2 PES 2008 yesterday. When did you play that then?

  39. Shed – I played PES2008(PS2/PSP) for 6 months (SIX MONTHS) between March and September at the back-end of the Year of PES2008, after the PS3 version had already collapsed.

    I played 15 seasons of Master League.

    I used to play on my then back-compatible PS3 and use the save transfer system to continue on the PSP, then vice versa.

    I played it as exhaustively and lovingly as any PES I have ever played. Magnificent version of the series.

    Here is my first post, on the day the PSP disc arrived and the journey began: http://peschronicles.co.uk/2008/03/01/the-joy-of-pes/

    Eleven days later, I picked up the PS2 version and it all really began: http://peschronicles.co.uk/2008/03/11/real-mallorca-3-1-coventry-city/

    Some great Motorola Razr phone camera footage in that post.

    From there you can use the Next Post button to follow the story over 6 months.

    Leading to my End of Year review of the game: http://peschronicles.co.uk/2008/09/05/last-gen-pes2008-final-verdict/

    I had a very different posting style back then, to say the least. So to save you wading through the fluff, I give PES2008(PS2/PSP) a whopping 9/10 and declare it the 3rd-greatest PES game ever (behind PES5 in 1st and PES3 in 2nd).

  40. Abbeyhill – If they even just reinstated the features that were in ML previously, coupled with the new graphics and game play they’d have a belter, but they won’t as ML is more of a hindrance for them development wise.

    EA have just tweeted with details of their sixth update since release.
    Game play changes, more commentary, Improved and refined player mechanics, bug fixes, quite impressive.

  41. Season 6 (SIX) ended in Manchester City heartbreak. They beat me in the FA Cup semi final and then in the third from last game of the season I came back from 2-0 down to be 2-2 with 5 minutes left. I thought I had nothing to lose and that a win was essential so I pushed on and they sucker punched me with Sane to score 2 in the last 5 minutes, beating me 4-2. I won my last two games but finished second, a point behind Spurs. Turns out had I just held that 2-2 for 5 minutes I would’ve won on goal difference.

    Season 7 (SEVEN) awaits. And I’m nowhere near bored yet.

    Paul – thanks again for the kit. It’s still delightful after six seasons and looks ace. Just like the real life version.

  42. I won another penalty yesterday, up to 4 for PES 2019 now which is probably more then the accumulated total from 6 or 7 years previous. I also took the England job for Season 7. I have a midfield of Beckham, Carrick, Scholes and Foden which may cause an anuerysm for the realism connoisseurs here so apologies in advance.

    I’ve also settled on a game play mod. It brings the pre-patch speed and difficulty but with post patch AI improvements. All is well with PES for now.

  43. Paul – my last post was supposed to be accompanied with this:

    Lovely model of the kit!

  44. Looking good Jay !
    any thoughts about new kits yet ?

    I tried to lookup which kits they were currently but couldn’t find any mention of Medureira in any Brazilian league any where?!?!

  45. Abbeyhill – I still stand by it 🙂

    Looks like nG is giving it 170% this year…

  46. n-G – Wow, I’ve never been back that far into the Chronicles. Those blurry clips are fantastic. I think I played another year of PES6 when PES 2008 turned out to be so appalling bad on the PS3.

    PES5 continues to be superb – even more so now I’m having to juggle my squad to accommodate European fixtures – but I might give PES 2008 (PS2) a spin should I get to a suitable stopping point in this 19/10 rated classic.

  47. Paul – totally agree that anything we can get out of ML nowadays comes from the players, not the mode. This year there’s a very interesting mechanic with the salary budget always nibbling at your comfort, but I’d put money on it not being deliberate. As a result of tightened financial conditions I’m paying a lot more attention to Training and development and positional strengths and whatnot this year than I ever have in nuPES.

    Cook – not one penalty in around 220 matches now.

    Jay – could this be my first year-long PES since PES2012 or so? Could be…

    Chris99 – but I always give everything 110%.

    Shed – in those days that footage was almost as good as it got with a pre-smartphone phone. Just 10 years ago.

    Looking at my PES2008(PS2/PSP) End of Year piece, I see I mention that it eventually caves in when you get a great squad. It took me 13-15 seasons to get there though.

    One of the principal reasons that PES5 remains the Greatest Ever, and saw me play 40+ seasons without ever tiring of it, is that it never caved in no matter how great a squad I got.

  48. NG – if the refined finances was deliberate they would have been shouting about it pre-release, along with all the other features they hyped up that were never actually included.

    It’s a good thing though, for so many years its been far too easy to build a squad capable of winning everything within 3 or 4 seasons, this year with the increased AI difficulty, and the scrooge-like finances, it gives ML some longevity, which was much needed.

    It obviously, unintentionally, shifts focus on to training and developing players and wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, much like the old days when come Sept you had to make sure you had enough ‘points’ come finance day.
    Proof that with even just a few small tweaks, they could bring ML to life once again.

    Despite the grief I give PES 19 as a package I’m actually looking forward to returning and playing ML again now the Ai (which was my biggest single gripe) has been fixed.
    I still think PES is way short of being an acceptable package, but never questioned how well it plays at its core, just needs a few tweaks.

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