Pro Evolution Jerry Cornelius

PES2019 is unexpectedly enjoying a bit of a revival with me. Football game career modes are all about experiencing peaks and troughs. Those who play Master League long-term are well used to experiencing periods when it seems more of a chore than a joy. The trick is to keep going through those periods.

After a substantial trough that lasted most of a month or two, PES2019 suddenly seems to have rediscovered its mojo.

The great goals have kept coming. No real 30-yarders among them, just very satisfying finishes in matches where the results really counted. It’s great to be ‘allowed’ to score from outside the box again. There is a short compilation of goals scored in my most recent Monday night session at the end of this post.

Here is the table after 7 matches:I’m surprised that the game ‘allowed’ me to win 7 on the bounce in the League. Usually it chucks in a forced draw or defeat. I feared the worst before the early-season six-pointer against Manchester City, but I even trotted out a winner in that one too, winning 3-1 away.

In between all these league wins, I am playing Champions League matches where I have won 1 and lost 2, though. Perhaps those defeats are keeping the game’s internal script at bay.

Man City went 1-0 up straight from kickoff at the start of our league match. It was one of those heavily scripted-feeling 1st minute AI goals where I actually recovered the ball at least twice, but my players just couldn’t seem to dig the ball out and play it to safety. The AI kickoff momentum was too strong, and when the ball went into my net I was not surprised.

But I’m made of sterner stuff this season. You can see what happened next at the start of today’s clip reel below.

My players have all matured like fine wines at the same time.

Castledine is amazing now. I rarely post stats on this blog, for several reasons.

First because this is a very bird’s-eye-view blog, really, and second for time reasons (capturing, clipping, positioning on the page etc.; I’d rather be playing), and thirdly (perhaps most importantly) because of the stubborn uneasy feeling that stats ain’t what they used to be in the world of PES.

The consolidation of the stats several editions ago, coupled with the appalling focus on online multiplayer and its ‘balancing’ requirements, means that the way we used to exult over a player having 90 Speed feels rather old-fashioned now. I don’t believe that stats are meaningless in nuPES, but they’re certainly not the glowing holy numbers that they once were.

Castledine in PES2019 is now the kind of PES player that I will remember playing with in a decade’s time. He plays as a central AMF, just a notch short of the SS zone, and he can take a game by the scruff of the neck. He can also score a goal or two as well, as last week’s 30-yard blaster showed, and as the first goal in today’s highlight reel (below) also shows.

The debate over ‘which is the best version of the Cas-character’ is an eternal one.

The astounding Castello of Master League’s earliest days is the best one for me. Cinalton and Castolis and PES2016’s Castledine (the last black version of the character) were all great. But PES2019’s Castledine, for me, pound for pound, all things considered, is the best Cas-character PES has seen since the one that started it all off, Castello.(I couldn’t find a proper headshot of Castello.)

Here are my informal ratings of them all:

Castello (ISS2-PES2) – 10/10

Castolo (PES3 and PES4) – 8/10  (these first two incarnations were the foundation of The Myth of Castolo)

Castolo (PES5-PES2011) – 5/10 (it didn’t matter that he was no longer great: the Myth persisted)

Cinalton (PES2012) – 7/10 (an interesting remix of the character)

Castolis (PES2013-PES2015, when he became Greek) – 7/10 (a return to form)

Castledine (PES2016, and Brazilian once more, and still black) – 8/10 (an overpowered incarnation in an arcade-driven edition of the series)

Castledine (PES2017-18, still Brazilian, but now turned white!) – 6/10

Castledine (PES2019) – 9/10

My memory is not what it used to be and I may have forgotten one of the incarnations of the character, or got a detail wrong. Feel free to chip in with corrections and with your own ratings of Master League’s very own Moorcockian eternal champion.

Right, that compilation to finish with, and the very first goal here comes from the man himself, E Castledine. He also has a few assists throughout the package.

Updated: 19th March 2019 — 15:44


  1. Some nice goals there NG!!! we wont include the FK’s, as they are a guaranteed goal, overpowered and too easy 😉
    The pick for me is the last one, Forlan’s volley.

    And all but one or 2 scored in the Lucky Brown kit !!!

    You should play every match in daytime, sunshine, anything else on PES looks very bland and dull and sucked of colour or detail.

  2. n-G – A promising start to the campaign. It’s good to see the game still holding up despite the wave of additional nu-PESness provided by various updates.

    As for Castledine, my own memory for old PES is so bad I had even forgotten he evolved from Castello/Castolo.

    As you might recall, I’m back in time on PES 5 having ashamedly never played ML with the defaults originally. I used to edit in my own Brighton squad back in those days when I had way more free time than I do now. Castolo was of course there for the start of my current default team ML campaign. He even scored my first ever goal but that was his only contribution before being released at the end of season one.

    I’m currently in pre-season of season four having just had this happen following an epic last day of season three in which my Brighton side could have finished anywhere from first to third:

    View post on

    Toto Schillaci came off the bench to score a late winner in a crunch match against Middlesboro to claim top spot. That’s Jaric there lifting the Div 2 trophy.

    I’m pretty sure promotion in three seasons is quicker than I achieved the same feat with my edited Seagulls back when PES 5 was nu/new but I remain rather delighted at just how challenging and rewarding this game is. Off now to flick though my PES 5 guide over lunch.

  3. Paul – I included a missed FK on purpose, just to show you… I score around 1/3rd of free kicks in that sort of range, which is still way too high but never a guaranteed goal as such. It really can make the difference too, getting a free kick in range in a match where nothing else is working. I got a 1-0 win from a similar FK right at the end of that session.

    Re. the brown kits, I was going to reference the apparent luck they’ve brought me in the post, but got sidetracked by Castolodineis reminiscences and the time crept up on me. The forums would of course say ‘secret patch’ but I think it’s the kits.

    Shed – it’s so reassuring to hear that the greatest football game ever made is holding up for you. I believe it was the year before last that I tried to have a PES5 summer and actually bounced off the Defaults grind after 3/4 of a season.

    Castolo’s decline began with PES5. He was poor in that game, and for every edition afterward until PES2012 when he Doctor Who’d into Cinalton, and ever since he’s been decent enough.

    Congrats on the title. And 13 years of playing other footy games have doubtless made us all better players than we were back then.

    What amount of AI fouls per match would you say you average? I still play a couple of matches of PES5 every month (it’s like the handful of books that I have to read once a year) and I average about 6 or so per 10-minute match. Which of course means that some have 10 (TEN) or more. It really was another age.

  4. NG – I’m still of the opinion that on PES, if you get a free kick on target, which is extremely easy to do, then its a guaranteed goal.
    Your miss, hit the post, if you hadn’t have held the LS to the left by as little as a millimeter, that would have gone in.

    Show me some free kicks on target into corners, where the GK has dived and saved them, and I’ll maybe change my opinion.

    Of course it’s the kits, you can’t wear a shit brown kit and not be lucky!!!

  5. n-G – PES 5 foul count is easily around six to me. The last match I played (battled to a 1-1 away to Man Utd) saw eight fouls given in my favour and six against. I seen critics amongst the growing retro PES community of the stop-start play this can create but I love it.

    I especially pleased to see the difficulty holding up – as you say, we’re better players for all that PES we’ve played over the years – although playing on a mid-distance camera setting rather than wide has helped on that score. It’s harder to find space and spot patterns of play closer in.

    PES 5 has a six-star difficulty of course whereas the later PS2 PESes had a mximum difficulty of Top Player which, until this ML, I thought was the equivalent. The slightly passive-at-times AI aside, I think PES 5 is easily the toughest PES of the golden generation.

  6. Shed – those ‘stop-start PES5’ critics among the growing retro PES community are the whole reason why there is a growing retro PES community.

    Paul – as requested:

    4 shooting range FKs in my session of 5 matches just now. Goals: 0. Hit the wall: 2. Hit the bar: 1. Saved: 1. I’ve always seen your assertion that PES2019 FKs are easy as tantamount to saying ‘whenever you hit it so the ball goes in the net, the ball always goes in the net’. You would say: ‘But it’s so easy to hit it so the ball goes in the net!’ To which I would say: ‘No it’s not, or I’d be doing it all the time, and I’m not, and just ask Uncle Turf how he found them, go on.’

  7. One….I scored one. And I know I didn’t score others and forget about them as I got a trophy for scoring my one. Late on in my efforts with the (now) 5/10 game.

    I simply couldn’t find that power bar sweet spot.

    Had my first league match of FIFA 18 today. It’s is more like ‘real’ football than pes will ever be, but it was a bloody awful match – maybe it’s having two pretty hopeless teams involved but a 0-1 slog in the rain is probably not what ea have in mind.

    I’m really struggling with gaming at the moment, I think this might be the dying of the light.

  8. NG – Admittedly that’s the first GK save from an on-target FK I have ever seen in PES 19, still way too small a sample to concede that FK’s aren’t totally overpowered though.
    From what i have seen in dozens and dozens of YouTube videos and from my own 2 months hands-on experience of the game, unless they have patched FK’s post October, they are way too easy to score.

  9. Paul can definitely say I fully believe free kicks were toned down after patch. I have always in pes practiced and used fk’s well, scoring above average amounts in all versions of the game. I would go as far to say that this version is one of the hardest nu-pes for fk’s post patch.
    Some beautiful goals there ng surely this has to be a trophy getting season!

  10. Good clever use of analytics and very interesting to watch:

  11. loving the Castolo/Castledine reminiscences not-Greg. I’m still not entirely convinced they are the same person but will take your word for it. For such an iconic ML player I have surprisingly few positive memories of him in the early years – fast and nippy but quite lightweight and a low teamwork stat meant that I usually took advantage of his high value and traded him out immediately. One exception was Winning Eleven on the Gameboy Advance where he scored loads. On my very first PES, PES1, I recall selling him to buy Michael Owen in his prime and then being impressed that results actually got worse as I tried to do everything with Owen rather than passing the ball about – this was clearly a more serious footy game than anything that had come before.

    2017 was Castledine’s peak for me. Obviously a pretty easy edition but on my default challenge I can still remember him scoring a late equaliser to scrape promotion and then a few seasons later an extra time winner in the Champions League final to round off the treble. Virtually all of his goals came from a dash into space in the box and then an effortless first time left foot finish from the through ball. High hopes for him this year too, although mine is 75 OVR vs your 85 he still has that knack of surging into the box unmarked from AMF, pointing to where he wants the ball and then despatching it. 2019 also feels like one of those PESs where left footers can strike the ball with a bit of extra venom and curve, with Castledine a chief exponent of this

  12. abbeyhill – they’re certainly the same character. Brazilian, AMF/CF, the cool black dude each time (until he was suddenly white). And apart from the Cinalton version (the George Lazenby of Cas-characters), he always has a Cas-prefix too. Imagine if an LB/LMF kept cropping up in every PES with a RUS-prefix. Or a giant stopper of a CB with VOR as his first 3 letters. Knowing what you know of ML and how it is perceived and cherished, you’d accept that they were meant to be Ruskin and Vorlander across different editions of ML. Ditto Castello/Castolo/Cinalton/Castolis/Castledine. All the same player in essence.

    There have been two notable variations over the years. The Cinalton edition where he was without the precious Cas-prefix, but was still Brazilian, still a Miami Vice-esque cool black dude, still a skilful AMF-SS type of player. And the Castolis edition, where he returned to his Cas-prefix but was Greek! That started in PES2013 where you might recall there were TWO Default teams. One South American, one European. Castolis was made Greek so that European players, who would nearly all pick the Euro Defaults, wouldn’t have to miss out on playing with Master League’s Eternal Champion.

    PES2017’s Castledine (the first white one) was one of the greatest for me too. PES2018’s wasn’t and was sold early as I recall. PES2019’s is shaping up to be the best of the post-Castello era.

    It’s just occurred to me that I have wasted my life.

  13. Moorcock and Brazilian in one thread? Are you trying to increase traffic before this porn viewing licence comes in?

    My biggest problem with the Cas man was always where to play him. Usually he was one of only 3 or so survivors into season two but was he an amf, a ss or sometimes an lmf. His versatility usually led to his downfall. I’m glad the pair of you are still engaged, I suspect there will be at least two copies of pes 2020 sold next year.

  14. Uncle Turf – it was always a binary thing with the Cas-man, whether he was a good edition of the character or not. Castolo from PES5 to PES2011 was poor and never lasted longer than the time it took me to get enough funds to replace him. Nearly all the others brought something, to various degrees. With the peculiar exception of PES2018’s version. Going by past form, the PES2020 Cas-man may be another remix of the character, as we’ve now had 3 white Cas-men in a row. (Castolis the Greek lasted 3 editions.) And it’d be pointless posturing for me to pretend I won’t be there on Day 1. PES2019, on the whole, has been a great edition for me.

  15. Never mind all these Cas-men, its all about Colin Coynborough, the pixelised reincarnate of Colin Hendry!!!

  16. Paul – what a sobering info vid you posted yesterday btw. Just shows what the professional game is and will remain.

    If Coynborough had lasted more than a couple of editions, maybe he’d be huge. Or maybe he was a heavily reworked Dodo, who knows?

  17. NG – was interesting to see Leeds crop up amongst the biggest spending clubs in europe for a year or so then completely drop, obviously aligned to what happened in real life with their demise, and of course Man City’s late Grand National style romp to the front late on.

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