In off the bar humbug

Firmly back in the routine now, after the fever dream that is the end of the calendar year. Could we have a Brexit-style movement to pull out of Christmas and New Year now?

I’m on Season 9 in my Master League. The August transfer window was a quiet one. All my Season 8 Loanees returned to their clubs. I didn’t sign any new players.

I had 19 players of my own and just enough money in the wages budget to pay them, with about £300,000 surplus left over.

I could have picked up a random Youth squad player to bulk out my bench, but I decided to wait until mid-season. My wages budget by then should be around the million mark due to various revenue streams.

This is the First XI and squad that will take me through the first half of the season:I still needed cover in a couple of positions, so signed two Loanees to tide me over: S BERGE at DMF and C MILLER at LB. Berge was a particular coup, being extremely competent at DMF’ing, one of the key roles in any PES setup.

The squad is still a bit thin currently, but I’m not in Europe, and only have to worry about the League and FA Cup.

The season started badly – two defeats and a draw in my opening three matches. I really do need to crack on and get into the Europa League at least this season. That’s the target.Results did pick up, though, as I focused and rallied and started banging a few goals in.

Gomez and Aduriz up front are starting to show signs of a good partnership., despite being such similar players.

I mostly play Forlan in a central AMF role now. He’s not going to be what he was in PES2012, but he can be a force of a different kind in PES2019.

The table after 6 matches:I’m not at all happy with what feels like a sudden pivot toward the nuPES side of the fence in PES2019.

Master League looks odds-on for getting well into double-figures in seasons, for the first time in a while. Largely due to the excellent first 5 seasons or so.

Things have levelled off recently. I suspect foul play on the game devs’ part. I think they’ve tweaked the game (via patches) to be more in keeping with the expectations of online players.

PES2019 is pretty much a zero-fouls game again for me now. Average 1 per match.

Most matches pass in a semi-blur. All sprinting and lunging and strangling the controller. There are still enough great matches to keep me going, but PES2019 started out with that formula exactly inverted: most matches in the first months after release were great, with only around 1 in 7 defaulting to the nuPES garbage that somebody, somewhere, actually thinks is good football gaming.

And now it’s back as the norm.

Is it patches? Is it Team Spirit? Is over-familiarity breeding contempt?

The change has been too sudden (since the late December patch) for it to be anything other than Konami-side tinkering, in my view.

Overall experience is an 8/10 at the moment. The better matches are sustaining the overall quality.

But, oh dear, we say it every year now. By kowtowing to the market, PES is shaped to meet the expectations of its lowest common denominator – a constituency that neither knows nor cares anything about PES or football gaming in general. Idiocracy rules.

Updated: 8th January 2019 — 11:40


  1. Paul – you’ve not really kept to the Mon/Thurs schedule for a month or so now, so it’s not embedded yet. There’s no ‘aha, it’s Thursday, must see FIFAFX’. It takes a long time to build up momentum in a blog, don’t lose heart! Stick to the schedule no matter what, is really the only way, and let nature take its course. I’ll be on in the morning for a full comment.

    Uncle Turf – that’s one of those that looks really shocking and blatant and where’s-my-axe at first, but on close inspection I’m convinced the game is penalising contact of the two limbs that are about a foot outside the box here:

    View post on

    I had a similar one that went for me a few weeks ago as I remember, where the foul was outside the box and a free kick would have been the correct decision, but the meaningful contact was inside the box, albeit only a few pixels inside.

    Gary – where is this place where the aged online gamers are denouncing the December patch?! I want to see it. The only PES fora I still look in on are Reddit (where PES2019 is an online game by default and is rarely referred to in any other framework) and EvoWeb, which is heavily single-player dominated anyway.

  2. That’s not true NG. I posted on Dec 20th, and stated that due to xmas I would return after the new year, which I did on Jan 7th, so 2 and a bit weeks.
    Since then I’ve posted Monday and Thursday as per the schedule.

    You know how time consuming the blog is, so If I’m making the effort to stay up late after a full day of work, so that i can capture content, as I only get to play late at night, then sitting there editing video clips, copying images across devices, composing the post, setting youtube publishing schedules etc, so that the post is ready for the scheduled time, and there’s not even enough traction to garner 1 comment, then for me, it’s really not worth the bother.

    I will see this season out though.

  3. Paul – that was only this week that you returned, and prior to Xmas I remember you being off-schedule much more than on-schedule. Like I said, you’ve not yet been regular enough for long enough for there to be a Mon/Thurs ‘programming’ of the brain to say ‘new post on FIFAFX’.

    It certainly is time-consuming putting a twice-weekly blog together, but I use two tricks that make it doable for me. (Your life is very different to mine I think. I don’t do gym, go to spa weekends or whatever stuff you do. Maybe post once-weekly on Weds or something?)

    One, I rarely post about my most recent activity. I’m always at least one session in arrears. This means I’m never scrambling to put something together on the day of the post itself. I think many of your missed schedules before Xmas were due to this?

    Two, I prepare the posts in short little bursts over a couple of days instead of all at once. So I’ll edit the video and upload the screenshots whilst on the PS4 at the end of a session (e.g. today’s video in the post at 12 was made on Tuesday evening, 3 days ago). Then the next day, usually, I’ll type out the short skeleton version of a post. Then the next day I’ll touch everything up, etc. Today’s post was begun on Tuesday night and finished yesterday afternoon. Doing it this way is the only way I could ever do a twice-weekly blog.

  4. You’re right NG, our lifestyles and schedules are vastly different, but making time isn’t the issue for me, i’ll always make or find time to put the post together, even if it means staying up late etc, its just the weighing up of time taken and effort vs whether people actually care or bother to read and comment.

    you average what? 50/60 comments a post? sometimes into the hundreds.
    Mine average around 20, and you can half that as half are my comments/replies, people obviously just aren’t as interested as they first said they were.

    My Schedule means I only get to play late evening, after a full days work, gym, cooking dinner, prepping everything for the next day at work/gym etc, so I just don’t get the time to spend compiling a post over 3 or 4 days, I play, capture, edit and post, that way what I post reflects where I currently am in my gaming, its almost a real-time diary, and I prefer it that way.

    My 2 occurrences of being ‘off-schedule’ before xmas were due to my wife being on holiday, as was I, therefore instead of going to bed early-ish, she stayed up with me, meaning I couldn’t get any gaming in, therefore no content to post.

    PES discussion will always garner more interest, as this is where everyone’s bread and butter is, but just thought there’d be more interest.

  5. Paul – you’ve been going less than 6 months! It was years before this blog really got going, and even now it’s only a few hundred views per day and a relative few regular commenters. (There are always plenty more lurkers who read but never comment.) It takes time to build up momentum and it’d be a shame to walk away now. There is space for a FIFA Chronicles. Who else is talking about FIFA in that structured way? Do it for yourself, as a useful weekly discipline. And the best tip for you would be to work in arrears, and never have to scramble to put a post together at short notice. That way the occasions when Mrs Paul disrupts your gaming won’t have any effect on the schedule. (I.e. you should already have played the sessions that Monday’s post will be about.) Stick to the schedule come hell or high water. Go once-weekly if you have to.

    The biggest most secret secret of footy game blogging: ultimately, it had to be for yourself. For your own satisfaction. When I started this one back in 2007 (gulp) my idea was just to turn my footy game habit into something concrete I could look back on in years to come. As a journal effort. I was amazed when comments started happening, and over the years (years, remember) an almost-legit blog and community sort of sprang up around it. This was an unanticipated secondary outcome!

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