Soylent Green is people

Since my last post I have played 9 matches. I’ve played well – really well. Won 7. Drawn 2 (I feel I could have won both of these, but each match felt like a battle against a heavy weight trying to drag me down – a Now Make Him Lose script – so I think I did well to get a point from each).

Which has all left me with this table after 24 matches – 8 points from top:

There are a whopping 14 fixtures left to play. 9 matches ago I was 18 points behind and all the way down in 13th. I should have been out of the title race for keeps, but I wasn’t and I’m not.

Yes, in what should come as a surprise to nobody who has ever played Master League, particularly in recent years, my excellent run coincided with the teams above me experiencing… less-than-excellent runs. Thus enabling me to close the gap to 8 points. (I actually played another match after this pic was taken and won it – the top 2 lost. I am now 5 points from 1st.)

Master League tables are heavily scripted to keep the human player involved and interested. That’s just a plain fact. No matter how far back in the pack you might be, if you can deliver the results, you will draw close to the leaders.

I still need to keep the goals and results flowing, of course. Table scripting is generous, but you have to fulfil your side of the equation.

ML table scripting isn’t a murky secret on a par with, say, what Soylent Green is made of, but it’s murky enough not to be generally appreciated in the Master League-playing community.

Rubberbanding in a racing game is fairly obvious. You’ve really got to mess things up to have no chance of catching up with the leaders in a racing game (other than in the more sim-oriented racing games, which I understand are dying off).

ML table scripting makes a mockery of the whole business, on one level. It’s always been like this from the Golden Age on PS2 through to now, but PES2019’s version is certainly the scriptiest it’s ever been.

January came and I had no wages budget, so I brought in two talented youngsters from other clubs on Loan. I got Jermain Defoe on Loan, and also Mark Noble (at 24, he is a 90 OPR CMF).

My Regen Forlan has started out-scoring his strike partner, Gomez, and was happy to sign a new contract.

If I do play only one more full season left after this one, I will miss seeing just what PES2019’s Forlan might flower into at his peak. Arguably that peak is right now, though.

This was the top scorers’ table in December of this season:Their goals are what has pushed me up the table. Not conceding so many at the other end also helps.Regular readers may have noticed that there hasn’t been a goal replay for some time. I have been scoring quite plentifully of late, but none of the goals have been post-worthy. They’re all bread and butter strikes. There’s the odd one from just outside the box, but nothing that makes me grin and shout out loud, which used to be one of the staple ingredients of PES… and was one of the staple ingredients of PES2019, for a time.

Updated: 1st March 2019 — 01:04


  1. As murky and disappointing as the ML table scripting may be, you can only be guided by the mechanics that exist within ML’s framework, you do your bit, you win, you climb the table, guaranteed, you don’t, and you wont, fairly straightforward, albeit crude and unrealistic.

    To climb from 13th and 18pts adrift to 5pts off top, you had to win games, and at times the game does its best to make sure you don’t, so shouldn’t detract from your experience overall.

    Although a far cry from real life where in the Premier League, despite Man utd’s run of 12 wins from 13 games, there has been no table scripting to cover up their poor start, they are still 14 points off top and have no realistic chance of winning the title, because they started so poorly, they lost too much ground.

    No team has EVER won the Premier league having lost more than 6 games.

  2. Paul – it used to be said in real life that you could only lose 3 or 4 matches at most in a title race, and the same used to apply to ML in the Golden and Silver Ages from what I remember of them. I think I’ll be in with a shout in my ML with probably 8 or 9 defeats by the final reckoning. Definitely the most pronounced table scripting there has ever been.

    Re. the projector talk in the last thread, I’m still blown away by the quality and on closer inspection I see you’ve got another 10 inches or so of wall to spare. Will the screen be a full-wall one? You’d want to eke out every last inch I think. Position your chair right, and the entire image will fill your visual field. I haven’t been able to go to the cinema since ‘let’s all check our mobile phones and/or answer calls during the film’ became a thing.

  3. I will keep an eye on my FIFA CM this season and see what the losses column for the top 4 says, see if it reflects PES or reality.

    Re Projector, I’m pretty clued up about AV tech anyway but did a ton of research prior to buying this projector and as a result, changed my mind 4 times about which one to get, happy to have a convo about it if you wanna drop me an email, so as to not clog up the blog, but there’s quite a few things to consider when creating a proper home cinema.

    The screen wont be truly full-wall as I said, I need a few inches clear space either side to mount speakers, also the 16:19 ratio means it could fill a wall width wise but not height, unless you had a very TV-shaped wall.
    Again this is fine as it will have a low tv unit below the screen up against the wall to house the gadgets, so need some clear space there too.

    But for sub £550 I’m truly impressed by this little projector.

  4. Paul – so with a few feet extra clearance – a longer room – you’d have a bigger screen for sure? Interesting as my potential ‘Private Gentleman’s Entertainment Room’ is a longer room than your one looks, not by much, maybe a yard (that’s an actual yard of 3 feet, not a TV football pundit yard which can be any distance from two inches to ten feet). But like I said before with your seated position probably about halfway down that existing display will fill your vision, so it probably doesn’t matter.

    The next stage is hearing how a typical gaming/movie watching session goes. I think proper games – the RDR2 types of games – will be astounding, more so than footy games perhaps. And watching live Premier League games too.

  5. Does your local library not have a film club night NG? Could kill two birds with one stone then.

  6. orlando.jabulani

    Shameless plug…but do check it out, I think you’ll like it.

  7. Uncle Turf – libraries are a waste of time now that they’ve been opened up as ‘community spaces’ with loud talking the norm, the Wii is piss, and PES5 is the best.

    orlando.jabulani – looks like a great site, I’ll add a link here in the week to come. Retro footy gaming will be the only footy gaming pretty soon.

  8. I do like it Orlando, hugely enjoyable read. ML has been in decline since we lost the 8 team D2!

  9. and that PES3 review, great stuff, makes me want to play it right now

  10. orlando.jabulani

    not-Greg: Appreciate it, will link back to the Chronicles.

    I haven’t written here for a while but have (quietly) been reading everything. It seems that you’re hitting a brick wall in your experience with nuPES: still trying to have an enjoyable experience but the game doesn’t help, as the previous iterations also didn’t. As much as the gameplay has something to do with it, the offline PES player hasn’t had anything to be thankful for for a long while now. Probably since the introduction of Become a Legend, and that was already a decade ago. That’s just unacceptable; even if the focus is clearly on the circus of microtransaction-fueled football, there’s just no excuse for the absolute lack of innovation over such a long period of time. “Conspiracy theorists” would declare that such depletion of offline modes was and is on purpose, to force people to spend as much of their time as possible on myClub…

    abbeyhill: Glad you like it! About the state of the ML, it was a difficult topic to write about, as I understood Konami’s intent of evolving its platform over the years; but ultimately, it’s impossible not to wonder what the ML could’ve been if they had stuck with the unique “franchise mode” they had.
    PES3 is one of those games…years may go by, but it’s as enjoyable as ever.

  11. Nice site Orlando. Paul was good enough to make some suggestions about something I want to do as a platform for my research and the more good looking sites I see the more I realise how my lumpy old fashioned info based ideas are outdated. (Paul – just about to send revisions off so I’ll likely be bothering you in April).

    I maintain that even in my Swiss cheese memory there was a year that This is Football was the better game I had of the trio. It was probably pes5 year as we all know that was a clunker. Did anyone ever play those scenarios? I used to love the 2-1 down with 20 mins to go effort as a quirky diversion, even though they were often rigged against you. I still enjoy the FIFA training sessions.

  12. orlando.jabulani

    Uncle Turf – I admit I have too much fun tinkering with WordPress’ customization tools, it’s my feminine side trying to make it look as visually pleasing on the eye as possible – even if, like you, my focus is primarily on the actual content that I write.

    This is Football, if I’m not mistaken, is that game in which you can play with school teams. That was a nice touch, me thinks. I did replay one of them (TiF2005, I believe) and gameplay-wise, I didn’t like it. Inevitably one compares it to the PES games of the same era and it’s not even a challenge; also goes to show how unlike nowadays, PES was simply lightyears ahead of any of its competitors.

  13. NG – Yes, the further the projector is away from the wall its projecting on to, the bigger the screen, but as the distance grows, the picture loses light and saturation, that’s where the price points come in.

    Spend more on a more expensive projector with more lumens and it maintains moire light and colour saturation over longer distances.
    Then you have other options such as Ultra SHort Throw, and Short throw which can project a bigger image, closer to the wall, but again, these are more expensive.

    Laser projectors are the future, the likes of the LG Cinebeam, and Xiaomi Mi, 4k laser projectors that dont lose light or saturation and are even vivid in daylight.

    I tinkered a bit over the weekend and watched a FC Barcelona highlights package in 4k on Youtube, and even just shined on to a magnolia painted wall, in daylight, with a blind closed, it looked phenomenal.

    Orlando – your site is blocked here at work, but will have a read later tonight

    Turf – no probs mate, happy to help, just shout when you know what you want.

  14. abbeyhill – I have a lovely PC installation of PES3 that I found unexpectedly difficult to play last year. I was unable to adjust back to its passing, which is strictly restricted, simple player to player, rather than button presses determining power. Naturally the game is an indisputable classic of the series’ Golden Age that gave me one of my greatest ever PES years back in 2003, and I could probably make the change back to old-school passing if I had to.

    orlando.jabulani – and you’ll know from all the posts and comments then, as well as a strong theme on the remaining few PES forums, that it’s a theme the old-school players of the series keep coming back to. We’re like the Star Wars characters in the trash compactor, the walls have started closing in, and every year we say: ‘oh, look, the walls are still closing in, and soon we will be crushed, isn’t that fascinating?’ Luke & co. found an escape route, but the only one we will find, ultimately, is retro gaming I think.

    Paul – I haven’t got a chance in hell of finding time to set up my own projector room anytime soon, so will have to enjoy it vicariously through your own exploits, for now. Maybe the other side of summer for me. One thing’s for sure, though, I won’t be chasing a bigger TV at all, because it’s just a neverending race to keep up. I watch most of my movies and TV on a 13″ MBP screen anyway.

  15. Orlando – Very good site. I’ll be adding to nG’s and Paul’s as the lunchtime must reads.

  16. I will also put a link on FIFAFX Orlando.

    NG – Install Plex server on your MBP, connect a projector – point at a blank wall, instant cinema, that’s the beauty of it, it’s so versatile.

  17. Paul – interesting… what porta-projector would you recommend for that based on the knowledge you’ve gained over the past few weeks? Is this one any good?

  18. NG – replied to your projector comment, must be sat in your pending approval queue – only contained one link.

  19. Paul – nothing in the mod queue, it must have been chewed up either at my end or by your browser. Have your IT Crowd suddenly upped their game?!

  20. I posted it again and it said ‘Duplicate comment detected’ …..

  21. Ok, will try again……

    That projector looks ok for what it is, Apeman are a OEM manufacturer of home cinema accessories, kind of like the Aldi of the projector world, will do a job and relatively cheap, depends what your budget is.

    the size screen you will get will depend on the projectors throw distance, distance from projector to the wall.
    Also worth noting that this projector, whilst stating 1080p HD is not actually HD, it will accept a HD signal and upscale to 1080 but its native resolution is only 854 x 480.

    It also does not have an in-built OS, so no smart features like network connectivity, it does not have a USB movie playback option, no remote control, and no menus for adjusting colours etc, and is only 100 ANSI lumens (light brightness) so would need to be used in a dark room.
    you can see it here:

  22. orlando.jabulani

    Paul: Thanks, I’ve just linked to FIFA FX as well as the Chronicles.

    Chris99: Appreciate it!

    Not-Greg: You’ll see it’s a matter of habit. I too find it difficult to come back to PS2-era PES after playing with 360 movement and free-er passing of the later versions, but after a while one doesn’t even think about that anymore: particularly on overall great gameplays like that of PES3, in which you can’t help but notice that, regardless of how it’s put together, the whole thing…just works. NuPES games haven’t yet figured out that balance and for that reason, while they get a few things right, they also often miss even the basics.

    That’s an accurate analogy right there. PES’ “demography” has radically changed over the last few years, and the old-school players are now only a tiny minority – who are much less profitable as well. I still wouldn’t rule out a Deus Ex Machina scenario where for some reason the whole system of microtransaction-fueled gaming falls apart, forcing modern sports games to stop sucking its tit as they’ve shamelessly done for a while now, which would also force them to innovate a lot more if they wanted to remain competitive. But I’m not counting on it…even if such thing happened, I don’t think the offline player would be on any developer’s mind. That ship has sailed long ago.

  23. not-Greg – I haven’t actually played PES3 since the mid 2000s, and given my absolutely gold plated memories of a sublime gaming year it would almost certainly be a mistake to go back

    Turf – have you spotted Master League is now in Pokemon Go? Basically your most awesome collection of battle pokemon, no CP cap. Nice to see it go to a good home, if Konami have no further use for the mode

  24. PES 3 is what actually brought me to the PES series.
    I was in game buying FIFA 2003, and the guy said “have you tried this?” and handed me a DVD in a cardboard sleeve which was a PES 3 demo, for 99p.
    I bought it and played it and that was it, instantly switched.

  25. And yet every time you returned to the store that mysterious shaven headed, midlands accented guy was nowhere to be found….

    Abbeyhill – yes just noted, although still waiting for the online challenge!

  26. I’ve not long finished 12 Monkeys (the TV series: 4 seasons) on Netflix and that GAME salesman might well have been Paul himself, from the future.

    Paul – ah, I’ll put the brakes on it for now then until I do proper research and work out what to get for what £££s. I’ve got a few days off in April and will schedule a tinker then.

  27. It was PES 3 for me too. FIFA on the PC was pants, and someone at work gave me a knock off copy of PES. The two games were like night and day, and for about the next 10 years I was hooked on the strange world of Master League.

  28. Actua soccer – what a crushing disappointment that was. My first football leap from one platform to the other. Viva football was the one that could have been the one. All those retro teams, yet gameplay like a poor version of kick off. If only.

  29. Ng – if you give me an idea of budget i can suggest a few projectors, I’ve done so much in-depth research there’s probably not much I don’t know about the home cinema world by now.

    Had 30 mins spare last night so got the projector down and just shone it on a blank wall in the living room, from about 10 feet away it was a 140″ screen, pretty damn impressive.

  30. Paul – I read about a couple who had their projector on the floor beside the bed pointing up to project onto the ceiling, have you tried that? (Over to Uncle Turf and/or Chris99.)

    Re. potential budget for my own foray into the area, I’ll say around £300. Its own OS and true 1080p at least, are important for me. If one of them has to be sacrificed, I’ll stick with true 1080p.

    Uncle Turf/Chris99 – I liked FIFA97 on the MegaDrive and didn’t mind TiF (2000? 20001?) on the PS1, but of course ISS and the first ISS Pro Evolution Soccer titles (still on the PS1) blew everything out of the water, setting a standard that the series would easily live up to for another few remarkable years.

  31. Ng – I’ve seen that done and did try it in the room that’s being converted but the ceiling has been painted matt black with glitter in, and its a stippled ceiling, so wasn’t optimal for ceiling projection.

    ok £300, and what kind of throw distance would you need, ie roughly how far away frokm the wall would the projector be positioned?

    I plan on getting an Nvidia shield when its all setup, touted as the best most flexible media streaming device out, have watched many a video on it and its an impressive piece of kit, runs Android Marshmallow too so have seen people installing emulators on it and playing Ps1,PS2,Megadrive and SNES games on a projected 120″ screen in HD. Nice!

  32. Paul – Matte black with glitter eh?! For some reason I thought of this.

    It’d be about 12 feet from the wall.

  33. haha I knew there would be some kind of quip about the glitter, expected it to be from Turf though.

    Nothing Gaudy, it actually looks awesome, and the idea behind it is a cheap version of this:

    I don’t have the time to get the ceiling re-plastered and be drilling hundreds of holes and feeding fibre optic cables through which need wiring into the mains, which would also mean channeling out the wall etc.

    The main purpose for it, other than it looks good, is that the matt black is a light reflective paint, which means any ambient light coming through the window will be soaked up by the black ceiling, so not as much will hit the screen = improved picture clarity and brightness.

    Gotta think of these things 😉

  34. that home cinema couple are quite annoying

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