It was Earth all along

Final post of February. The real-world calendar year of 2019 is now almost 16.66% done. I am heading into the second half of Season 11 of Master League with PES2019 itself winding down to some sort of conclusion.

Ideally I’d like to play just one more season after this one. That ‘feels’ right.

But I need to win something – any cup will do – for true closure. I won’t be able to walk away without that.

Say I get to the end of next season, and make a big fanfare of giving up PES2019 and walking away. Regular readers will know that I would soon start playing PES2019 in secret, before announcing it on the blog eventually. So I won’t allow that scenario to come about.

But this is the now-annual nuPES hate period. Long-range goals just aren’t allowed anymore. PES5 must be spinning in its grave.

God damn Konami (damn them all to Hell) for the direction they have taken this series in. I’m not speaking figuratively here. Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes wasn’t speaking figuratively either. He really was calling on God to damn them (damn them all to Hell), just as I do now in this context.

Anyway, nuPES hate aside, things are going reasonably well for me in Season 11.

I wonder if I have left myself too much to do to join the Premier League title chase now. I think a top-4 finish still isn’t out of the question, but Fulham are certainly maintaining their rise to the top:

That top 3 are starting to look a bit distant.

Only 15 matches gone, so there are more than half remaining. Rubber-banding in PES2019 is the most generous it’s ever been… I’ll see.

Things are much happier over in the Champions League. Last time, I said I needed to win both my remaining group games to guarantee qualification.

I did won my last two group games, both tough matches. I beat Benfica 1-0 in the tightest contest of PES2019 so far. I think I scored with my only shot on target, and I defended heroically at the other end. Then I met Brondby and was down to 9 (NINE) men by half-time thanks to making reckless challenges with yellow-carded players.

I have a personal PES tradition of playing well with 10 men or 9 men (or with 8 men once, in ISS2 I think), and getting results, and so it proved here.

That match ended epically, 3-2 to me, and it was nice to see my players jump about celebrating at the end, instead of Bayern1999-ing it on the ground.

When I saw the final group tabe I was delighted. Finished top!

At this stage I don’t know who I’ll be playing in the knockouts. Whoever it is, I will be putting everything into this competition. This could be the one.

Updated: 26th February 2019 — 11:24


  1. I will be keeping a keen eye on your results and the table-massaging to see how it lets you back into the fold from that lowly position.

  2. Sadly I expect you to encounter an outrageous shitfest of a match somewhere in your Euro campaign. I have never felt less in charge of my destiny than in those final 11 games of my last season. At the start of the year I really thought this was the nuPes to break my post 2014 failure to last more than 4 seasons. Now I know it will never be. I can only pity abbeyhill who must be one wave short of a total mental shipwreck.

    Speaking of which, tomorrow is Pokemon Day and does the new camera feature and Smeargle not tempt back the junior crew? I was about to delete but was persuaded to carry on.

  3. Paul – I’d be up there now but for a few terrible results at the end of my last session, including another 3-1 defeat at Fulham. They’ve got the Leicester secret sauce still going all right. If I go 1-0 down I over-chase and get done.

    Uncle Turf – every European fixture, unless I’m silly goals up on aggregate from the first legs, will be a case of aiming for 0-0 and taking any scraps that come my way. When I do this – really do this – I always triumph. Or get 0-0.

  4. My observation is that whenever you have a player sent off the AI switches off all the unfair scripts and plays quite passively for the rest of the match, the net effect being an easier encounter

    Turf – I probably am a total mental shipwreck but the gameplay in early season 1 Groundhog Day remains pretty decent. Sure, it has deteriorated through the patches but there remains plenty of fouls, character and individuality – I think the real horror of nuPes kicks in after a couple of seasons when team spirit is high

    What is this new camera feature? We must at least have an online battle before finishing with the game

  5. abbeyhill – I think my PES2019 juice will just be too depleted to enable me to have even one go at your Groundhog League, but it sounds like it’s consistently more PES-ish than the standard nuPES arc always proves to be. As for the new Pokemon camera feature, it’s easy to use: you just select a specific Pokémon from your collection and select the camera icon. You’ll go into AR mode, which will display the world around you with a bunch of yellow footprints: these approximate what the camera is interpreting as the ground. Just like with normal AR, it works better in a relatively open flat area. You tap on the footprints to throw a Pokéball, and your chosen Pokemon will emerge. The game will scale the creature appropriately so Pikachu will be small, Groudon will be big, and so on. After that, you just move around to get the right shot.

  6. errrrrrrrr…..thanks not-Greg will give that a try!

  7. Pokemon, from apparently grown men!??! wtf ??
    Im not even gonna ask how you know all that NG !

  8. He doesn’t, half of that is bollocks.

    The camera is simply the existing AR feature made available any time. Ie. NG was right that you choose a Pokemon from your collection, click on the camera icon on its info screen and it inserts it in your ‘real world’ (like the catching screen when you have AR on). You can then photograph it, and sometimes smeargle will photobomb you (and then be available for catching).

    It’s like when Paul puts one of his toy unicorns on his settee and uploads the snap to instagram with a string of hearts and glitter.

  9. Snapchat Turf, not Instagram!
    Instagram is for the pics of your wife in the glittery ball and gag!

  10. I’m pleased to report I have no knowledge of either, or that Facebook thing, and am only on twitter through gritted teeth.

    Speaking of wives in outfits – haven’t heard from old Werd in a while, do you think he’s still editing?

  11. Off topic nG but I’ve been playing XCOM 2 for the past few days and it’s bloody brilliant. It’s much harder than the last one mind so had to restart on Rookie and there’s been some reloading going on which I imagine isn’t your style. Now I’ve got the hang of combat i.e. blasting everything with grenades, it’s all good. I assume there’s some decent replay value in this and of course the mods. Have you played any Long War?

    Football gaming wise, FIFA is going well. Into season 6, first season in the Premier League aiming to survive. It took 3 attempts to get out of the Championship after two consecutive promotions after starting in League Two. I’d go as far to say I’ve enjoyed it more than PES this year although no fouls is grating.

  12. Cook – I’ve already completed the main XCOM2 campaign on Veteran Ironman (correct, no reloading for me; a soldier death has to be irrecoverable to mean something) after a long old slog of 100 hours, which included 2 complete restarts after losing the whole campaign. Grenades are useful as a way to destroy cover or whittle down a high HP enemy, but should only be used to kill an enemy as a last resort to save your soldiers. Grenades destroy all-important loot (you’ll really need that extra 10% of aim from a looted scope as the missions go on) and they destroy the Advent corpses, which you can research and render into useful items. Using Grenades to deliver the coup de grace in a mission makes the game harder in the long run. Your soldiers become more useful after a few promotions though, so I’ll always use a grenade or a rocket to save a life, and there are certain promotions for some classes of soldier where their grenades don’t destroy loot.

    I’m currently playing Long War 2 (the XCOM2 version of Long War) which almost makes a whole new game. If it had come out as XCOM3 nobody would have complained. I’m on my 5th restart of that. It takes the difficulties of the vanilla game and multiplies them, as well as changing the mechanics of how you go on missions, introducing an Infiltration factor that works well and leads to deep strategic choices. All in all, I’m saying XCOM2 is the greatest strategy game I’ve ever played, and I never thought anything would beat Civilization.

    I’ll be hitting FIFA probably in about 2-3 weeks, based on my current rate of play.

    Uncle Turf/Paul – there is no shame in a grown man knowing Pokemon. You’re already limited to one Smeargle a day, so I don’t understand what exactly would be the harm in dramatically increasing the rate at which the thing spawns. Nobody can sit in their house and farm Smeargle all day, and even if they were able to it would be unlikely to break the game in any real way. Smeargle isn’t meta-relevant for any of the PvP leagues in this game, and there’s no way farming the thing for XP and stardust could possibly be any more effective than just going outside. (I have simply Googled ‘Pokemon Go’ and copy-pasted all this shite from the first few results.) Regardless, it’s a moot point, because you’re already limited to one per day. The game also saves a version of your Smeargle-less photo even when you get a photobomb, so it’s not like the developer is worried about ruining perfect shots.

    abbeyhill – I thought my use of ‘Damn them. Damn them all to hell’ would tempt you into a comment. I am of course every other commenter as well.

  13. Damning statistic but I didn’t have a player sent off in three seasons. Not through lack of tackling either. I had one penalty. Scored one direct free kick. Scored once from a corner. Didn’t score a single old school long ranger. Did manage to run 70 yards unchallenged and lump one into the net many times though. Konami, your game will not cut.

    Abbeyhill – any weekday between 9am – 3pm or evenings and weekends by appointment.

  14. Turf. PES is the equivalent of A loose tang, put on with 5 min epoxy but having used 2 lots of the compound and no fixing paste. I don’t use Facebook or any of that either. Just Twitter. Rarely.

  15. it almost did, not-Greg. Or should I say…..Mr Sifter?

  16. NG – Projector will be here tomorrow, will hook up on the bare wall just to give you an idea of throw distance, size of screen etc.

  17. nG =1337 gam3r. I’m going to restart soon, it’s too easy now I have a squad of super soldiers and worked out some combat tactics so going to give Ironman a shot. Advice taken re: grenades, predator armour is annoyingly one corpse short. I’m looking forward to Long War 2 once I’ve mastered vanilla and of course WOTC. Long live brilliant turn based strategy gaming.

    Do you use any ‘quality of life’ or graphical mods?

  18. Cook – I use Evac All (Evac multiple soldiers in the Evac zone with one command, instead of having to do them one at a time), and Perfect Information (tells you what % chance the AI is hitting/missing on). The latter is more for curiosity than anything. It’s curious, shall we say, to see how often the AI hits you on 15% hit chances… I couldn’t play without Evac All now. I also have Smart Overwatch which allows you to set a particular cone of direction for Overwatch. Got tired of my soldiers reacting to non-threatening/distant enemy movement when I wanted them to react to the nearer/more dangerous enemy. What I love about the game is that it never, ever gets easy for me. I had a squad wipe on Monday just gone in my latest Long War 2 attempt and it’s teetering on the brink now. I have WOTC and have played a few hours of its opening but I have to finish Long War 2.

    Paul – going to be amazing to see, think I’m looking forward to it as much as you. Looking ahead to my next TV purchase (because 40″ just isn’t enough) a nice little projector might fit the bill. Although I don’t like what I read about the bulbs’ tendency to wear out over time and having to be replaced. Have you got spare bulbs as well?

  19. NG – most projectors nowadays use LCD DLP, the bulbs have a lifespan of around 30,000 hours, so if you used the projector for 4 hours every day, 7 days a week, it would last around 5 years before needing to be replaced.

    The 55″ 4k QLED Tv I have in the livingroom looks amazing, sat 5 feet away, but you cant beat the feeling of a proper dedicated big screen, 70″ +
    I looked into it and a Tv equivalent of the same size would be between 2.8 – 6 grand, so a projector is definitely cost effective, if you have the space.

  20. Safe to say my PES fire has already gone out. I experimented with moving to another club, but that didn’t keep it alight. Reverted back to my original save and carried on, but the fire has well and truly gone out now. I’m heavy into GT Sport at the moment, so I think that’s it for PES. I’ll get my usual second wind late summer, probably.

  21. Paul – I can see the bottom dropping out of the Big Telly market quite soon as the buyer is always playing catchup, and every year brings another few inches (oo-er) within reach. With all the connectivity possibilities, a wi-fi connected projector-as-smart-TV seems a no-brainer. Make sure the room is darkened though. No backlight for a projected image is definitely a potential Achilles heel. If you fire it up with the sun streaming through the window it’s going to be an anti-climax.

    Tommy – two years ago in PES2017 I moved clubs for the first time ever in Master League, to St Etienne where I played two seasons and scored some nice goals, but hardly anyone remembers me doing it! That was interesting as I observed a House Rule of not allowing myself more than 2 players rated over 80 OPR. The matches were very decent. When it comes to having to do that to keep things going, though, a nuPES is pretty much over.

  22. The Tv market is in a weird place right now NG, you had OLED which was the next level in picture clarity from HD, then 4K came about and HDR, now you have QLED which is OLED equivalent but consumes less power, now you have Tv companies touting 8k Tv sets which is utterly pointless as there is zero 8k consumer content available.

    Blurays are 4k UHD max, SkyQ is 1080p HDS, with some programs on demand available in 4k, Netflix has a wide range of 4k Max content, but no 8k.

    The very nature of DLP projectors means that any ambient light will affect the picture sharpness and clarity, and can be minimised by using a proper projector screen rather than just the wall.
    4k Laser projectors don’t suffer the same ambient light interference, they are vivid even in daylight, but are much more expensive, starting at around £1600.

    My room is only small, there’s one window side on to where the screen is so ambient light/sunlight, is not shining at the screen, I will also have a blackout blind over this window, and mainly only be using it at night time anyway.

    I will also have a dedicated fixed frame Saphire 16:9 Cinematte screen fixed on the wall, and have painted the ceiling with matte black glitter paint, so reduce any ambient light bouncing towards the screen.

    The room will be lit by a 2 light spotlight with wifi controlled bulbs so can adjust the dim/glow and colour spectrum of the room.

  23. nG – Who could forget Big Peter in the famous vert! Didn’t you have Lacazette too?

  24. Good luck with what will hopefully be a trophy laden signing off from PES 2019 n-G.

    Projector tellys are the kind of big ticket luxuries that just aren’t even a thing when you have kids. Either that or I’m just doing it wrong. I look forward to seeing how the other half live though.

    Played a bit of PES 2008 on the PS2 while listening to the footy last night. The game is still more than holding up in season five. I’m out of the cup, ten points behind Man Utd in first but looking good for European qualification next season.

    I found PES 2009 PS2 in a charity shop the other day (Paul must be cringing at the thought!) so my journey through ‘lost PES’ seems set for a good while yet.

    It’s now three months since I touched the PS4 for anything more than watching a film (yes I still watch DVDs).

  25. Tommy – I don’t remember having Lacazette in that PES2017 excursion to France, but do remember having him in that career and he was completely identikit, one of the worst nuPES players ever (from an individuality point of view).

    Shed – projectors could be a project for your late middle age when the younglings have flown the nest. Imagine watching those films projected onto an entire wall of your house. Fellow readers of Fahrenheit 451 might recall the parlour wall TVs, which were a symbol of the desensitisation and manipulation that they all lived under. I say bring it on!

  26. Projector has landed!!!
    will be itching to see it in action but wont get chance until later tonight.

  27. Quite right Shed – you stick to running your old ‘anthropology interest’ cine reels in that darkened outbuilding, no doubt there are neighbouring blokes who share a fascination with the athletic young maidens from Pacific atolls and pop round for Friday film club.

  28. Quick test on a textured painted magnolia wall.

  29. Paul – that is pretty amazing. You must be happy with that! Looks incredible, even better than I was expecting – crisp, sharp, colourful. Is the image the entire width of the wall?? Looks like you could go a bit wider even. And are you still intent on getting a dedicated screen?

  30. NG – Blown away by it to be honest, far exceeds what i was expecting for a budget-mid range projector.

    There is about 6 inches left of the wall either side of the image, which will be perfect as plan to wall mount the front surround speakers either side of the screen, and yes, I will be getting a dedicated screen as that wall will have black/silver patterned paper on. Plus a dedicated screen will enhance the clarity even more.

    the 80″ size is just right for the seating position, any bigger and it would be too big for the short distance away.

    It also has wifi so was able to connect to my NAS box and stream movies direct from that, the Creed 2 clip at the end was a 1080p BluRay rip in MKV format streaming direct from my NAS box to the projector.

    PS4 played with no lag whatsoever.

    Very pleased with it.

  31. Paul – the main rationale behind the drive to getting ever-bigger tellys is to chase the biggest and best image possible (all the ‘smart’ features of smart TVs can be piped in via other connected devices), so a projector solves that problem for a fraction of the cost. Really impressed and I’m now eyeing my own blank wall with added interest… Imagine playing Red Dead 2 on an entire wall! Never mind a footy game. Or just watching a live real-life game… Get the sound right and you’ve got no reason ever to leave the house again. I wouldn’t!

  32. NG – the Immersion is main factor, its fine and dandy watching TV or playing a game on a nice 4k crisp vibrant QLED Tv, in a living room, but you know yourself, when you go to the cinema, if you ever do, the feeling is different, so having a wall thats basically a screen, gives you that feel.

    The projector also does 3D very well, couldn’t test as I need to get some Active glasses, not expensive at all.

    I will be buying an Nvidia Shield and using that as my entertainment hub, PC gaming, run a Plex server on it for Movies etc, also IPTV, and all running through a Dolby Digital/THX 5.1 surround system so sound will be top notch.

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