Happy nuYear?

Right, with all that ‘festive period’ nonsense out of the way, back to the serious business of life. Namely, holding a piece of moulded plastic in my hands and manipulating its various knobs and levers in such a way as to vaguely affect the outcome of an event displayed on a TV screen. Life does not get any grander.

PES2019 was thoroughly enjoyable throughout the portion of 2018 that it existed in. How will it fare in its titular year of 2019?Season 8 has come to an end.

The discussion, just before Christmas-New Year came along and interrupted everything, was all about how the game has suddenly, seemingly, taken a turn for the worst, with the latest patch possibly making the game much more like its nuPES forebears – most of which should rank among the very worst PES games (considered purely as PES games) ever made.

What are the negative features of nuPES? Low individuality, or no individuality. A 1000mph constant, churning pace, with loads of those ‘fun’ turnovers that the drooling online masses mistake for good footy gaming. No fouls. Goals galore, every game.

I saw all the above in around four consecutive sessions. Enough to worry me.

Things partially eased in my most recent few sessions before this posting, so I am inclined to be merciful – for now. But I will say this. If PES2019 ever assumes the permanent character of the worst of nuPES, then its early-season promise might as well have never happened as far as I’m concerned.

One of the things I was most worried about in the game’s recent downturn was the apparent nerfing of long-range shooting. Banging one in from 30 yards is one of the things about football gaming that I love the most, perhaps more than any other. You can take your 20-pass team goals side-footed in from 3 yards, and you can stick them.

It wasn’t simply long-range goals that seemed to have been nerfed. I wasn’t getting any goals from anywhere outside the box. Not even half a yard outside. It felt similar to how PES2014, on release, simply wouldn’t allow any goals from 20+ yards.

Happy days, then, to score 3 goals from outside the box in my last two sessions, to close out the season.

The first below is a mid-ranger, really, from Robben (it was my first outside-the-box goal for five sessions). But the second and third are definite long-rangers.

A word about the second goal (0:33), which you might have missed seeing. I messed up saving the video of that one. When I keep a recording of a goal I save a minute-long clip of the whole goal being scored in regular play, and then make a separate pitch-level, slow-mo clip. But in this case, for some reason, when I went to make this compilation, I only found the short pitch-level clip of this goal. The longer clip from regular gameplay was nowhere to be seen.

A great shame, as it’s the best of the three goals, and the brief pitch-level clip I did manage to save doesn’t show how far out it was. I did somehow manage to take this screenshot of the moment of striking the ball:

That’s around 25 yards. In the original side-on view in normal play, seeing the ball struck and then seeing it fly in, straight as a ruler, made me shout out loud. As did the third goal (note how Benat strikes the ball: that’s a toe-poke!), but that was a rasper into the bottom corner, while the Rice effort was a true postage-stamper.

The final league table:My low goal-scoring was matched by a reasonably good defensive performance this season (compared to last), which accounts for my greater number of wins, and my comfortable mid-table finish.

Note the clear evidence of ML table tampering in the above screenshot. Look at the low goal-scoring and the high amount of draws and losses of all the teams. Rubber-banding in action.

It wasn’t until just a handful of matches from the end that I was mathematically out of the title running – and the game gave me a little message to that effect, even though I was 14th at the time. ML table scripting is just a painful reality.

Season 9 has already begun at the time of writing. This year I really do want to push on and get a top 5 finish. I’d like to see some of Europe in Season 10.

Updated: 4th January 2019 — 10:02


  1. On the assumption that each strip of grass is 6 yards wide I make it 27 yards exactly

  2. I can’t fault that mathematics. 27 yards it shall stay in references thereafter, we should call out any suggestions of it being 30+ yards in the 25/10 game of the year.

    Prs – hope all is well now and you catch up on the bored, every day feels like a Sunday afternoon, feeling of Christmas (except in Paul’s house obviously, where every day is amazing telly and fairy lights to match heathrow’s runway markers…)

  3. abbeyhill/Uncle Turf – assuming each strip of grass is 6.5 yards (any arbitrarily-chosen figure being as good as any other), I make it 29.25 yards. Unless the strips of grass are 6.75 yards (yes, why not), in which case that’s a bona fide 30.3 yard goal. Boom!

  4. Obviously my assumption was predicated on there being exactly 3 strips across the 18 yard box……

  5. It’s a 20-yard box in my #goldencopy.

  6. NG – oh dear, yes, you missed the obvious clue in the official dimensions of the football pitch. That’s why it’s so important to show your working out….

  7. I’m afk #goldenexcuse

  8. First off, a bit late but happy new year everyone.

    Only sporadic games of PES since my Christmas break, but motoring along nicely in season 6 now.

    I come bearing a belated Christmas gift! A glorious 65-yard long-ranger! *

    *sort of

  9. not-Greg – hold on, on the video highlights of the 2nd goal the strips are going the other way across the pitch, what on earth is going on here? Liked the way with the Robben goal the keeper only started diving after the ball crossed the line just to show he’s making some sort of effort!

    Tommy – haha superb, love it when something random like that happens! That French commentary sounds alright, might switch it on to accompany my Ligue 2 efforts

  10. abbeyhill – great spot! They’re definitely the same game and the same moment as you can see from the players’ relative positions – I think you’ve spotted a Konami howler there and it makes me wonder how common it is that the ground level replay is – going to be looking at a lot now.

  11. Same deal with this goal, on the same pitch, but the wide view suggests it’s not an error as such but an effect of the angle of view (cross-hatching):

  12. Having looked at it a few times I think it is a Konami programming ‘cheat’ of some description to make the replays smoother.

  13. oh yes, from that angle of view (and indeed on the goalie red card) you can see the cross-hatching. All look plausible to you, Turf? Will be scrutinising my replays closely when I play this evening

  14. From the Wide viewpoint there is no sign at all of cross-hatching, so it is either a Konami howler or (more likely) some graphical fiddling to make the replays better. I remember PES2008 on PS3 struggling for framerate on replays in particular, so perhaps in footy game programming in general the strict fidelity to pitch design is a thing they ‘sacrifice’ to make them work better.

  15. There are two schools of thought on this Abbeyhill;

    1. The pitch has been mown both lengthways and widthways. The light/dark effect is simply the grass blade being flattened down in a particular direction so you can have multiple patterns on it – witness Leicester city’s efforts of a couple of seasons ago. The sideline camera picks up the horizontal flattening, the replay the vertical. An ISO camera could have picked up any diagonal mowing, if a union flag type of pattern had been sought perhaps. So it’s all above board.

    2. Fake news! NG has created a photo comparable to the infamous moon landing why is the flag moving conspiracy theory. Well spotted sir, this will have Cletus in Alabama posting another load of bumper stickers on the pickup truck.

  16. Seems like the replay “environment” so to say is different from actual gameplay. You can change the ball with the evoswitcher mod on the fly with a keyboard prompt : do this during a match and you see no change during gameplay but the ball will be different in replays. Also grass is one flat texture on goal kick and lush 3d on replays. Strange.

  17. I’ve viewed my replays too and it does indeed show the stripes running north-south rather than the ingame east-west. I’m unconcerned by this, it doesn’t feel like a flaw, con or developer shortcut. It’s a non story really. Like QAnon….unless of course jay’s absence is due to him going undercover to thwart it…

    France ligue 2 is very slow on the pitch, not sure how much of this is season one plod, Scotland didn’t feel this slow but I do have it right down on -2. It’s playing well though, 3/3/3 so far. I’d be happy with a similar even spread at the end of the season.

  18. that’s a decent start Turf, can be really hard to get momentum going after team spirit gets whacked by replacing the defaults. Sadly despite my initial optimism with Chateauroux I failed again. Using the same players and tactics that won 7 in a row in the first half of the season suddenly everything turned to shit for 10+ games, literally nothing worked. Eventually lost 3 in a row, to get the dreaded ‘win this game or else’ warning and only drew. Has to be the toughest PES since at least 2012, when Challenge mode was obligatory

  19. I’ve bought a small team from a bloated squad to get me a decent start Abbeyhill but there are not many I think will survive the end of first year boost in quality. I concentrated on my keeper and defence – Fraser Forster, two good cbs and one outstanding (who will be in that 3m wagebracket next contract), plea scored a hat trick but he doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, I have one cmf I think will be a star but otherwise even rice is getting a game, and giorza, they are that samey. I’m just trying to keep it tight and nick one. Danger is if I do replace most of them I’ll have better players but beback to the same 40odd spirit you start with. I’m allowing myself a free pass with challenge mode as it’s broken – 9th regardless, win the cup, it’s all the same for every club.

  20. Tommy’s goal sums up everything about PES 19. A Mess.

  21. Some seem not to think so but given we’re long past the cut off for such pleasantries, I’ll not wish you all happy New Year.

    Don’t go thinking this is a New Year resolution, it’s more a reflection on how much free time I had over Xmas (quite a lot), but I think I’ve gone and done it. I’m done with nuPES and with nuFIFA for that matter.

    I’ve not played PES 2019 for about a month now and I don’t feel like playing it at all. In fact I’ve traded it in. I’ve also not touched the PS4 for any other game. It was a relief, actually, when I didn’t get Red Dead 2 for Xmas.

    What I am playing is PES 2008 PS2-style in the shed. I’ve even got an old telly set up in there now to enjoy classic era PES (and anything else that takes my fancy) in its full retro glory. The game looks miles better on its intended screen.

    And what a PES it is. Not quite the foul levels of PES 5 but with added AI-that-we-need. I’m currently in season four of a Top Player defaults ML with classic players on and loving it. The variety of goals, player individuality and variety of team tactics is staggering compared to what we’re served up with now.

    So PES Day as we know it looks to have come to an end for me. My footy gaming year is going to be on PES 2008. Maybe I’ll switch to another lost PS2 classic era PES when PES 2020 hits.

  22. Uncle Turf/abbeyhill – all things considered, you’re probably playing the best of PES2019 right now in the early seasons. Whether it’s Team Spirit, having better players, or recent patches, there’s a definite dip in the quality of the matches after several seasons of squad-building. Still just about a. 8.5-to-9/10 game for me as there’s enough quality, but there’s a levelling-off for sure.

    And Stripesgate is the scandal of our age. I think it is a programming cheat thing personally, to make the replays play smoother.

    Tommy – boom! Long-ranger of the century.

    Paul – 36/10. Best game eva.

    Shed – probably a wise choice, as I don’t think PES and footy gaming in general is going to go anywhere but downhill from here. Currently on PES2019 I’m getting occasional matches that might as well be playing in a coin-operated arcade cabinet. No matter how good other matches are (and they still are), that is simply unacceptable. The overall decline of PES and football gaming in the past few years is a fact. It’s not a smooth downward line, though, there are peaks of hope (PES2019 was/is one of them), but overall, multiplayer gaming has really killed the genre IMO. 1000mph, no fouls, players too similar, ridiculous amounts of scripting required to ‘balance’ the gameplay, and constant patches that do nothing, it seems, but streamline the game(s) into something they (the multiplayer fuckers) want, and not what we want. PES2008 on PS2 – or as I like to call it, a PES5 that they worked on for a few years – will serve you well. I dread the forthcoming ‘PES2020 Vision’ marketing campaign. (Everyone and their dog will be marketing things for 2020 using a ‘vision’ tagline, I bet Konami follow suit.)

  23. n-G – Blade Runner, as you probably know, is set in 2019 and you’ll notice that amongst all its replicants, flying cars and glowy umbrellas there was not one sight of anyone playing a footy game. I guess it was inevitable that it would come to this. I realise now that Deckard was driving to his own shed in the woods to play retro PES with Rachel in that original and now optional ending.

    I’ll no doubt watch, on here mainly, Konami’s attempt to sell the masses the same old crap again this year but it already feels rather liberating not to be a part of it.

    Of course ten years from now, when the PS4 is retro and we’re all cerebrally linked to our VR gaming network, I’ll maybe cherry pick the best or least worst of this era PES for old nuPES sake. For now though the PS4 is reserved for midi-Shed’s Spider-Man game and for playing DVD/Blu Rays. Yes, I do still like a movie on a disc.

  24. NG – It was purely a baiting comment, which I’m glad to see you took 😉

    Both games seem to ‘level off’ after a fair few seasons, into my 6th season, which is the most I’ve ever played on any FIFA game, the first 4.5 were joyous, and I’ve experienced a levelling off too in the last half a season or so, the reason for that is as of yet unresolved, highly likely to be game patch/slider setting incompatibility issues, so am keen to see how season 6 plays out now that I’ve addressed this.

    Not sure if a return to PES 19 will still be on the cards, all hinges on this season in FIFA.

  25. not-Greg – even in season one there is sometimes a nuPES feel to it now, disappointingly I think the patches have done the usual

    Excellent choice Shed, should be much more fun than boring old PES5! And indeed 2019

    Is it possible to change formations on the fly during matches these days in PES? I’m presuming not. Fluid formations seem a bit pointless

  26. abbeyhill – yes, I have my default 4-2-2-2 but have two alt-formations set up in the squad screen. Fluid formations is OFF for me, but the two formations that you set up for the feature are still manually switchable-to. I have an OTT attacking formation of 1-3-6 and an ultra-defensive 5-4-1. You switch to them by pressing and holding up/down on the d-pad at any time.

    My money’s on the post-release patching cycle as the cuplrit for the levelling-off phenomenon. No matter what is said in the summer, and no matter what then gets released in the autumn, the shrieking YouTuber crowd will have done its best to ruin any football game of the current era by the middle of winter.

    Paul – as abbeyhill reports, the nuPES tweaks that the Konami kunts have done might not make it worth your while to return now. Good to see your new post on FIFAFX this morning too ! Back in the saddle.

    Shed – it is with PES as it was with the Roman Republic/Empire. You can look back and put your finger on a particular point in history and say ‘there, right there, was the high point: everything before it was leading up to it, and everything after it was a decline away from it’. In PES that was the period PES3-PES2008(PS2 only). The Golden Age.

  27. ahh, thanks very much not-Greg that will come in extremely useful. Usually run with a 442 like yours, albeit with RMF and LMF instead of AMFs, and want to be able to switch to my Christmas tree 4321 when that gets nerfed

  28. It’s all gravy in France….

    Actually, that’s not true. It’s good but it’s not great. I feel like I shouldn’t be breaking even – mid table, mid spread of wins, draws, losses, it should be much worse. It should be more grinding. Maybe it’s France, maybe it’s my team changes or my experience of 2019 now, but I can live with it as I’m not going to get promoted. Season two though I’ll be looking to start bringing in the long term players.

  29. Turf – you are the WERD of 2019, so many restarts and different ML campaigns that I’ve lost track.

  30. ”Tis true Paul but only because of the updates. Only a madman would insist that pre LCS patch the game wasn’t intensely annoying and flawed to the point of failure – all my campaigns began under that burden. Now it feels like it’s gone too far with the speed and dumbing down but it’s still better than release day. Consequently I’m starting my final effort – I could still return to the Middlesbrough save but I doubt I will, this feels like I’m starting with a clean slate.

    I also don’t embrace the pasta, tinfoil hat and waterwheel driven internet connection.

  31. Turf – unless you had the Golden Copy of course, of which there were only 2 ever produced, and NG and Jay both got them.

    Haha where is WERD? maybe he drowned in a vat of tagliatelle water whilst waiting for his PS4 sw to update!?!?

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