What would Jarvis do?

Wait, what? The week or two that just whooshed by was January? My next post will be in February? And then pretty soon the clocks will go forward and the PES2020 fanfare will start up?

At least this year there is no way that anybody should believe a single word of anything said by anyone – not by Konami, not by any preview tester –  not by anyone – about PES2020.

I currently finish a typical session of PES2019 with an average of 0.5 AI-committed fouls per match. That’s 1 every 2 matches. When the PES2019 demo came out last August, I was getting more like 3-to-5 AI-committed fouls per 5-minute match (per FIVE-minute match!).

I’m very salty about the way the game has been changed.

So this is why nothing at all that is said about PES2020 this spring or summer can ever be believed. Even if summertime PES2020 looks and plays like PES5 and Far Cry had a baby, it will, by the time Christmas rolls around, be just another nuPES clone.

I’m really annoyed about it.

I’ve played some more matches in my PES2019 Master League. Away matches have been a pain lately. They all seem to start the same way. I’m not allowed to touch the ball until it’s been in the back of my net first.

This sounds like I’m a lot more pissed off with PES2019 than I am. It’s a good football game. It is. It’s still the best since PES2015 – and probably, yes, when all’s said and done, it’s the best since PES2013. It is.

The trouble is, 2 months ago it was a lot more than that. It was a very good PES game.

Now, it’s merely a good football game of the current era.

There is a world of difference between a good footy game and a good PES game. If you don’t know what that difference is, you’ve never really known PES.

The story of the season so far has been the exploits of Huddersfield Town. Far from emulating their real-life bottom-feeders, the version that exists in my ML has topped the table so far this season.

I met them in a real 6-pointer, and just about scraped a 1-0 victory, to become the first team to beat them this season. A few other great results gives me this table to look at and enjoy after 11 matches:It’s a peculiar table in more ways that one. Liverpool in the year 2027 are 4th from bottom with a 3-2-6 record.

One of those defeats was one of my best results for October. I hammered Liverpool 4-1 at Anfield in a match that Jarvis was playing in due to fatigue (it was a busy month), and he scored two lovely striker’s goals.

October was a month of great results, barring a cruel defeat at the hands of Rangers in the Europa League:A lot of information in that screenshot. Can you spot the most interesting?

For me it’s the performance of one R JARVIS, arguably the most stalwart of this year’s Defaults. (Rice probably is the MVP of this year’s bunch, but Jarvis comes close.)

Jarvis is 70OPR and average-statted across the board – except for Finishing. He doesn’t play much, but when he does, he always scores. ALWAYS. ‘Why not play him all the time, then?’ A good question, with a simple answer: because I don’t want to interfere with the magic. There is a spell at work with Jarvis’s goals. Every fool knows that when a genie appears from the bottle and grants you three wishes, you don’t wish for unlimited wishes. You use the three wishes that you do get, wisely.

And so Jarvis only plays – or comes on as sub – when the likes of Gomez and Forlan and Aduriz and Robben are unfit or exhausted. Jarvis features to some extent in roughly 1 match in 5 – and he always scores. ALWAYS.

The Team of the Month for October:It’s stories like the Jarvis story (and the Gomez story and the Rice story and the Castledine story and the Buonanotte story) that keeps Master League going now.

The quality of PES2019 gameplay has slipped to the 7-8/10 mark (9 on a good day), but Master League in general is still keeping its nose well above water.

Updated: 29th January 2019 — 10:40


  1. Great set of results there NG.
    Huddersfield would be expected to slip and fade away over the xmas period. Be interesting to see if this is replicated within the game, what kind of players and ratings do Huddersfield have?

    Liverpool have won the league the last 2 years in my FIFA CM, with them and Man City fighting for the title, mirroring reality, so I was happy to be able to beat them 1-0 at Anfield, with a goal shown in the latest post on FIFAFX, from a youth player, Gavilan, who is fast becoming the Arcas (2017 ver) of FIFA.

  2. From previous thread…yes I had seen mention of Cahill and I have found completely the opposite, he is a rough housing monster who punches well above his weight for me. Scored two on debut and while not prolific always contributes something.

    Lobato – indeed Paul. On paper he is perfect. On the pitch it’s not there – a classic example of how PES’s stats are a load of horse shit. They haven’t been accurate since they clamped down on using Michael Owen’s ridiculous pace all those years back. You simply can’t trust that a 90 speedster will run past a 70 lumberer.

  3. That new GK kit to go with the other new kits NG ….

    View post on imgur.com

  4. Paul – from what I can see Huddersfield still pretty much have a low-rated side… but they have Regen Samuel Eto’o, who is at or around the top of the scoring charts every season.

    Liverpool in 2027 have no more Salah, but they do have Regen Thomas Muller who clearly isn’t doing for them what my Mario Gomez is doing for me. It’s players like Gomez and Rice & co. who are 95% of this ML for me now.

    Cheers for the GK kit, I’m still loving the new Home strip in particular, looks so sharp in every sense from the Wide cam I prefer to play on.

    Uncle Turf – that’s quite encouraging then that we can still have different experiences of the same players. I got Cahill imagining a festival of headed goals but of course PES2019 is an anti-heading edition.

  5. I was going to add that long range curlers have been jinxed too but every now and then….exhibit one, scruffy grasscutter version

  6. Uncle Turf – you’ll remember me scoring them for fun, in Big Ron-speak, at the start of PES2019. I haven’t even got one like your high daisycutter for about 5 full seasons now. A definite nerf for sure. Paul mentioned once or twice, I think, that it was a type of goal he was seeing on That Twitter a lot, so doubtless Konami did too, and acted.

    You know what else I haven’t seen in recent seasons – the running into space thing.

  7. NG – Etto’o ? Surprised he’s even in the game at all, hasn’t he been retired for a few years?!

    NBo worries on the kits, glad you like them, still keeping PESFX open as I still enjoy the creativity process of making new kits even if I have no interest in the actual game.

    Turf – did that daisy scruffer stop you taking a stuffing in that match?

  8. 4-1 down at the time Paul which makes me think I was allowed it. I lost 5-2. I feel like everything bad – last minute goals, straight from kick offs, scripted ricochets, etc etc has been amplified, and everything good has been drained. I can’t believe how few long rangers go in – we are talking maybe one a season. Without the occasional foul it’s simply 15-18 mark 2. This game is no longer a new way of doing new PES.

  9. Turf – it happens in FIFA too mate, with the caveat that it’s only 1 or 2 matches here and there, or a period of fixtures over the xmas period whereby the game seems to intentionally nerf your players skills and abilities, handicap your inputs and elevate the CPU team to God like levels.

    Shame judging by yours and NG’s comments that PES 19 has faded, or should I say, Konami have hit that big shiny Red panic button yet again, and taken away most of what made PES 19 good.
    We all know the PES 20 process…. hype, lies, cover ups, minimal ML effort, release, praise, patch, ruined.

    Same every year. FIFA is now my go to game, purely for the reason that you know what you get, and EA are very transparent about what they change, how they change it, and why, they have an idea of how the game should play and they see it out.

  10. Paul – Eto’o must be a Classic player then. I always play with Classics on, but rarely get them myself these days with so many players being so similar and rendering it pointless. I took a look at some of the online footage on YouTube today and, my God, it’s terrible. This is football gaming 2019. The market has destroyed PES.

    There’s no doubt that it’s Konami bending to pressure from the onliners. It really does frame PES2020 ‘going back to our roots, guys!’ hype in its proper place: even if true (i.e. borne out by the demo), it’ll still be proven a lie by December.

    Uncle Turf – I was getting regular long-rangers of all kinds until PES2019’s mid-December update. Since then, none. The odd mid-ranger still seems to be allowed, but the kinds of goals that make you ‘grin out loud’ just don’t happen anymore.

  11. Nope, eto’o is in from the start – I never use classics – but he retires after the first season (or thereabouts given the game’s way of varying these things). Don’t know if he’s at ‘other’ ie. some Qatari type club as I never rated him in any previous pes. Too slight, not quick enough, way too expensive.

  12. Turf – he indeed is playing for Qatar SC still – as good as retired then!

  13. Well his Regen version is still tearing up trees for AI Huddersfield. They’ve just been knocked off the top by Man City in my Season 10, but they’re still second and going strong heading into Christmas. I suspect a deliberate insertion of a ‘Leicester seed’ on Konami’s side

  14. And nothing wrong with that really Ng, is there?
    It’s good to have the odd unexpected team pop up and have a stellar season now and then, bit of variety, and as we saw with Leicester, it does happen.

  15. Did someone say Liverpool would be denied a penalty due to them gettting so many….?

    Anyone playing on anything other than basic shooting? I’m getting so fed up of the same old just past the post, flying keeper etc misses that I’m considering changing, even though I’ll drop like a stone while working it out. I’m sure it wasn’t this bad at first.

  16. Uncle Turf – until referees’ psychology is removed from football decision-making, you will get blatantly contextual decisions like that one. If this was any other season with Liverpool down the table and well off the pace, the ref automatically points to the spot for this stonewall penalty – but instead the sheer overwhelming significance of giving it in this match prevents him giving it. Did they cover this type of thing on your away-day refs’ jolly? The most cowardly and context-based reffing performance I’ve ever seen was Howard Webb in the 2010 World Cup Final (‘It’s a World Cup Final so I’m not sending anyone off’), but these outrageous flashes of sheer yellow-belliedness run it close.

    I was watching on a dodgy feed (Eurosport I think) and the pundit was doing the old ‘was it enough of a foul to be a penalty?’ routine, which shows that it’s not just refs’ psychology at work but the support it gets from football fandom in general.

    The decision should always be based on ‘Is this a foul?’ That’s it! Nothing more. Instead, the referee runs through an impromptu internal audit of whether he is ‘allowed’ to give a penalty, with the decision shaped around a morass of questions such as is ‘Who is this team? Who is this player? Who is the manager? What minute is it? Have I already given this team a big decision? What has the media been saying about this team and the decisions it’s been getting? If I give this decision will it be seen as a refereeing conspiracy?’ etc.

    At least now this non-decision has effected a temporary ‘reset’ of the ‘Liverpool getting too many penalties’ situation. Liverpool will be allowed to have penalties again, and they will be awarded the next one, probably in their next match. Put money on it. I will.

  17. Was a blatant stonewall penalty every day of the week, when it wasn’t given I did have a chuckle to myself and thought ‘NG called that’.

    Absolutely right about everything you say about referee’s psychology affecting their decisions rather than just sticking to the rule book.

    Turf – when I was playing PES I used advanced shooting, it gives more variety, allows you to hit low shots, but its temperamental, doesn’t work properly with headers, or first time shots.

    That’s one of the things that put me off PES 19, the shooting system stayed the same as the previous 4 or 5 years or longer, and is just too generic, and samey, no variation whatsoever.

  18. Cheers Paul, I’d read comments that it’s awkward to score tap ins that rebound quickly but I’m just frustrated how so many shots go to exactly the same place. Just wide, plucked out of the air, over and over, not one genuine long ranger, ridiculous misses that have to be down to the automatic adjustment and the ‘not today’ attitude of the AI. Might play a few exhibitions practicing.

  19. Yeah get a few friendlies in with different teams of different levels and try advanced shooting Turf.
    Its worth watching a few Youtube videos explaining the inputs for it because although its simple, it takes a bit of time to get your head around having to push the LS in the opposite direction to where you naturally feel you should be aiming.

    I enjoyed using it in friendlies and liked the variation it gave but I just found that in the thick of a proper match with meaning, in ML, it was too unreliable to count on and valuable chances were being missed.

    I don’t think I’ve seen one goal in any PES video i’ve watched in the last 4 months, that looks any different to any of the other hundreds. They all follow a generic path, with the same generic animations, and as you say, either miss by a millimeter or the keeper does a flailing salmon dive and plucks it from the air.

    I mean, in my FIFA video below, the goal scored as soon as the video starts, its a lay off and first time shot, which is driven and low, deflects, takes a wicked spin and beats the keeper, the ball physics are on point, yet you rarely ever see this randomness in PES.

  20. Well I finally got a true long-ranger (27-ish yards) that’ll be in tomorrow’s post. They’re back to standard nuPES levels of one-in-a-hundred now, though, for sure. I only get the odd one because I still automatically try them whenever the chance presents itself. I can well understand other types of footy gamer only ever using the method of passing the ball into the net from inside the box, which is what the game explicitly wants to encourage.

    Never loved Advanced Shooting in PES, as it feels unnatural for the reasons Paul mentions (having to point in the opposite directions etc.). The Basic shooting system as it is isn’t great but it’s what feels ‘right’ after 20+ years of football gaming.

  21. NG – I know you class a proper long ranger as a postage stamp in the corner 30 + yarder, but what would you be happy with, if PES gave to you, not every game of course buit enough to whet your appetite?

    20 yards? further?

  22. Advanced shooting didn’t feel right to me either. The need to press shoot then move e.g back and down on the stick is counter to every instinct. However, manual shooting…now this im liking. Tried it in a master league match and it’s staying. I scored one I am convinced I wouldn’t have – in on keeper from an angle – skied a few others but generally it felt more nuanced than the basic option.

  23. Turf – Advanced directions becomes second nature once you have gotten used to it.
    My bet is that you ditch manual shooting after a few games.
    The aiming reticule is so sensitive that the tiniest nudge of the LS to one side and it will fly miles wide, or over, you’ll miss so many chances, including standard guaranteed goals, that it will detrimentally affect your results.

  24. Manual shooting always seems good for a match but soon falls, as it fails the same test as Advanced Shooting. It doesn’t feel natural. You can argue that Basic Shooting is a dog’s dinner in different ways, but ‘pointing’ at the part of the net I want to hit with a wide angle that clearly differentiates from the feel of ‘pointing’ to the other side, is what feels right to me. I love FIFA’s halfway house of semi-assisted shooting – that’s the perfect system IMO.

    Paul – the Golden and Silver Age PESes gave at least 1 long-ranger per session (i.e. a 20-30 yarder every 5 matches on average) and a proper super-long-ranger every few weeks of real time play or so. That feeling of possibility was in PES2019 until mid-December, and isn’t now. The one I’ll be posting tomorrow is a true outlier now.

  25. NG – Basic on shooting on PES works absolutely fine, its drawback is that it lacks variation, every shot feels the same, follows a similar path and misses and saves are all identikit, which unless you do manage one of those outliers, reduces the enjoyment of scoring, which is the very epitome of playing a footy game.

    I love FIFA’s shooting because the ball feels weighty, and has that realistic randomness about it, whilst still being able to pick with precision exactly where you want to place the ball, how high, or low, and a soft, or driven or curled shot. So much more control.

  26. It may end badly but right now I’ll try anything to breathe life into the game. It’s like driving across the Great Plains stuck at 55 with only tumbleweeds for company. Le big snooze in France season two.

  27. Why bother Turf? Just go play a game that you enjoy that you don’t have to go out of your way to manipulate in order to make it enjoyable.

    Quite fancy one of these. http://Www.piretrogaming.com

  28. haha in true Konami fashion they have ruined the game again. there is a datapack update now (dunno if it’s exclusively for PC) that actually REMOVES some songs. that’s all it does. and of course it screws up all the patches again and will do so AGAIN when the February patch hits. Oh. my. fucking. god.

  29. Interesting…back when I still played modern PES, Konami used to release Data Packs, now it’s Data Sacks.

  30. Last….one….ever….

  31. in fairness #1 there were several songs in dire need of removal

  32. See, all this anxiety about a simple thing like playing a football game is why I stick to PS4 and never, ever restart Master League. You can never achieve escape velocity required to play a long-lasting, satisfying career if you’re constantly second- and third-guessing your settings, fiddling with mods, and having them broken by other things, etc. PES definitely has its own version of FIFA’s slider syndrome. Once you invite the devil in, you can never settle. The certain path to destruction in any football game is constantly changing the conditions it’s played in.

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