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.