Come, Armageddon, come

The ship has steadied in my Master League progress. A lovely-looking goal to start off with:

That is a graceful 33-yard free kick from Forlan. From that far out, if you get the power and placement right, they will pretty much always go in, so I am not claiming this as any great demonstration of ‘muh skillz’ – just a nice aesthetic spectacle. A Hagi free kick, I think of them as. And note the weird change of the pitch’s strip patterning from horizontal, as seen in the build-up to the free kick, to the vertical, as seen in the pitch-level view above. Explain that, Konami.

Results in the League have been middling. Some notable wins, including a massive 1-0 against Man City. But some defeats and costly draws too.

The ML table scripting gods are kind as ever. If I could hit a button to fast-forward to the inevitable last few matches of the season where it’ll all be decided, I would hit that button and get it all over with. But I have to run the whole race.

Below are January’s results – fairly representative of my results this season as a whole.

The second result in this list was the FA Cup Quarter Final. I battered Liverpool for almost the whole match, but ultimately lost to their only two shots on goal.

The Treble chance is gone, and maybe for good in PES2019, if this is my final season.The current table:Yes, the game really is bending over backwards to keep me just 4 points off the top with 13 matches to go. 8 defeats for Manchester City and 6 defeats for Arsenal is undoubtedly the script making sure they don’t run away from me at the top. Their dodgy results have matched mine.

I’ve got a few days off work next week, so expect a sprint to the finish line. By this time next week, PES2019 could all be over. The end of days may be in sight.

What happens at the end of this season depends very much on whether I have any sense of unfinished business. Past experience has shown me that I cannot walk away from an ML career that is in any sense unfinished.

At the moment, I feel that if I don’t win one or other of League and Champions League – if I end the season empty-handed – I will have that sense of unfinished business, and there will be a Season 13.

Or I might feel that way even if I win one, or both trophies.

It’s a difficult business, to forecast how you’re going to feel about a football game. So I’ll leave it until the actual end of this season, and decide then.

Updated: 29th March 2019 — 11:00


  1. Nice FK, even though they are way too easy 😉

    Carrying on discussion from last post, your recent comment:

    The reason you bounce off old games might be because your expectations have changed, not just in terms of graphics and animations and features, but in terms of core gameplay mechanics. You expect to be able to turn in 0.2 seconds with most players. You expect to be able to put maximum aggro pressure on the opposition without the game always stopping for fouls. You expect your players to be still able to perform in the 80th minute after flogging them for the whole match. Etc

    Not True.

    You know as well as I do that i condemn in every way the lack of fouls in recent games, so to play an old footy game and get given fouls for and against me would be a good thing.
    Also expecting my players to be able to perform in the 80th min, after flogging them all match is also false, as that doesn’t happen currently, maybe in PES where ther stamina system was nerfed and all but ditches, but in FIFA, stamina and fatigue is very much active and forms a huge part of the CM, and picking squads and adapting play style, as you would have read in my numerous FIFAFX posts.

  2. Paul – I didn’t say you wouldn’t enjoy having fouls called. I’ll sum up my position on it all in a single sentence: recent accommodations made for multiplayer expectations have fundamentally and irrevocably changed the essential nature of the single-player experience. I don’t think even you at your most doggedly contrariwise could possibly argue against that. No, the games don’t ‘force’ you to double-sprint-pressure-charge the AI ball-carrier knowing that you’re not going to commit a foul, but you do it anyway, because you can and you really want that ball back, and that’s the point.

  3. Happy Brexit day one and all….

    My point, or thought, was that each be-hoodied youth that I saw on the game used very similar players (de bruyne for Man U, hazard at city, etc) and played almost identically – keeper rolls it out, centre half to full back, then triangles up the pitch till well inside the box before even thinking of shooting. I reckon five or so years ago it would have been more – full back to winger, who goes on extended dribble up the pitch, spins around and shoots from an angle. Both the game has developed towards the Pep/Barca way of football as that is in vogue, and it has been amplified by responding to these children who want to play it that way in their online guff. Pes this year was flawed in that it allowed you to run 80 yards without even needing to dodge a tackle but overall previous styles of play have been nerfed imho. Yes, I agree Paul, you can play kick and run or Stanley Matthews like but in something like pes this year the cross and head option is virtually redundant, similar the odds of a booming long ranger. You’re not forced to play any way but if you want to beat Jayden P Wankstain on esports live sky night then you have to join the tiki taka club.

  4. At least we can all agree on the fact it will be lovely to get an extra hour in the garden from Sunday evening

  5. Sorry Abbeyhill, because we are officially still in Europe any hour we gain simply brings us in line with European time. If we leave in April/may then the clocks going back in October will not only reduce the day to 23 hours but actually to 22 because we will no longer be on that European measurement. You couldn’t make it up!!

  6. I just changed the time on my kitchen clock to say 10.30 instead of 10.50, thus giving me an extra 20 minutes in this hour of 10-11pm tonight. IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

  7. Nice idea and it’s a great feeling getting that extra time late at night but don’t forget when the clocks go back in October you will only get the extra 40 mins while the rest of us get a whole hour.

  8. extra hour in the garden was excellent, digging wider borders for the pond for some more varied planting which hopefully the baby frogs will like

    equally excellent is PES at the moment. After months of grim struggle it is such a good feeling for my Red Star team to click into form at last, promising young players all over the pitch getting better by the game. Already 8 points clear of 3rd in late December it feels like promotion is pretty certain. Unless the owner chooses to pull the trigger…..

  9. ….and he does. 10 points clear by the end of December and I’m sacked for ‘not delivering the consistent results the club expects’

  10. abbeyhill – ach, what a punch in the gut, and how typically, whimsically inconsistent. The Challenge Mode just is not calibrated right.

    Also: here’s the simple question I’ve been posing today and yesterday. People all agree that we lost an hour overnight on Saturday when 1am became 2am. My question is: where did that hour go?

    My answer: the hour didn’t disappear anywhere, of course, because it was never real to begin with.

  11. Abbeyhill – you may feel it filled a space, met a need, entertained while it lasted, etc but your experience sums up why I feel this was one of the most disappointing pes’s ever, it promised to be different but it’s just as broken and shabby as the last four. That was absolutely ridiculous you getting sacked, just as I had to win every one of my last dozen matches and still wasn’t allowed to get promotion.

    NG – you’re right, that hour didn’t exist, so it didn’t go anywhere. That’s because that day in spring is when the earth only takes 23 hours to turn on its axis so we adjust our clocks to match it. Usually, as we all know, it’s 24 hours, hence we make timepieces to fit that pattern, but on two days a year space has a small blip to offset leap years so we change the time to fit (the corresponding blip in October is when it takes 25 hours for the earth to turn).

  12. Luckily we wont all be sat here debating the what-if’s when the Earth starts having consistent 25 hour days due to its slowing orbit.

  13. There are none so blind as those who choose not to see. My keynote speech went down a storm at the RNIB National Convention…

    So this is the week when the season – the season – will end. And possibly PES2019 too. I’m off work for a few days and there will be some quality time devoted to footy gaming, and then some. XCOM2 will also be getting some love. And I’ve just started watching The Americans, the 1980s-set Cold War thing about Soviet sleeper agents. It’s bloody good, very Breaking Bad-ish (clearly inspired by it with a Walt-and-Hank type relationship between the Soviet sleepers and the main FBI guy).

    All in all, life is looking good, and YouTube recommended me this over the weekend – despite the frivolous dressing, a better and more serious PES than any since ’14, IMO:

  14. NG – as someone who was with the Americans ‘in real time’ as it were can I advise you to stick with it when it sags a little. At points through its run (not a spoiler) there are moments when it becomes more a study of two people living with a secret than a russians do bad things in Reagan America drama and it can feel a bit repetitive. But like all good U.S dramas nowadays you can’t assume anything just because x is a well know actor, or you’ve come to love y, so there is lots of good stuff to come for you. I nearly gave up though, around season three I think, but I’m so glad I didn’t. For the wigs alone.

    By contrast I couldn’t get away with breaking bad from the start, I didn’t like any of the characters at all. Gomorrah starts soon – while line of duty, game of thrones, etc etc may lay claim, Gomorrah is without doubt the finest of them all.

  15. Uncle Turf — this is why I love watching things that are already done and dusted, rather than in weekly real time. I can consume them at my pace and the variance in quality issues over time are not so much of an issue. I finished Season 1 last night after only starting on Tuesday, watching 2-3 episodes per day. And the spycraft/action-oriented parts are good but it’s the secrecy and false selves that interests me too. One of the elements of Breaking Bad that made it so good was the lead character’s relationship with his brother-in-law, the cop who was on the team that was hunting him (sound familiar?). All along it was a case of ‘how and when will Hank find out that Walt is the Mr Big he’s been after all these years, and what’ll happen to the characters and the show when he does?’ I love the comedy of the scenes with Martha, all the more comic for being tragic, and of course the 1980s setting takes me right back. I remember the day Reagan was shot and I specifically remember General Haig making ‘I’m in charge now’ noises, because I was an 11-year-old who was convinced nuclear war was about to happen at all times. My only nitpick so far is that when Beeman shot the KGB clerk in the back of the head, the actor had clearly messed up where he was supposed to be aiming and looked like he shot way past his head, but they went with it anyway because of the budget probably.

  16. That PES vid is hilarious!!! I hope no one at Konami sees it, otherwise T-Rex and Penguins will be in PES 20.

    Currently watching True Detective on Netflix, very gritty, a slow burner but palpable grit and tension, really enjoying it so far.
    Also just seen the Stranger things 3 trailer.

  17. Paul – I remember the animal heads, but don’t remember the whole-body animals with player faces stuck on. It’s a PS2 game playing via PCSX2, so it’s not a mod. Intriguing bit of PES history there of course, as the series was renowned at that time for its more serious core gameplay – and then here’s this bit of Japanese whimsy thrown in.

    Stranger Things season 1’s strobe lighting in the final episode left such a sour impression on me after a great season, that I have yet to catch up with season 2.

  18. NG – Do you have a problem with inner ear balance or anything like that? As I recall the N3DS giving you issues too, if strobe lights affect you then I’m pretty sure you’d struggle with VR too.

  19. Paul – no inner ear problems. Quite the opposite perhaps as I have high tolerance for sea conditions that make others seasick. On a mini-cruise to Denmark once, the North Sea was so rough that my entire party of 30 people stayed in their cabins puking up, along with most of the rest of the passengers. Just me and one other lad were all right, and we sat drinking in a deserted bar while the ship rolled from side to side. Then the next morning we ate a full fried breakfast each with lashings of brown sauce while the others (just starting to drink water again) all watched us.

    I wasn’t affected by strobe lighting, unless being bloody annoyed whilst trying to watch what’s happening counts as being affected. I do dislike flashing lights and unexpected loud noises.

    The 3DS gave me a headache and everything I’ve heard about VR tells me it’d make me nauseous, although I’ve yet to actually try it. I’m aware it depends a lot on the game.

  20. Turf – Suburra is also very good. But Gomorrah is the benchmark.

  21. Lloyd – I’ve seen the suburra film, which is tremendous – another of those ‘did that just happen to him, I thought he was…’, but not yet started the series. I was a big fan of romanzo criminale but with that I saw the series and not the film. Going to be interesting what happens in Gomorrah, I know that he really is what was though never to be possible.

  22. NG – The reason I asked is that I picked up a nasty ear infection on holiday about 10 years ago, and ever since, my ear fluid is ‘out’ in that I get a pressure sensation in them intermittently, and have a very low tolerance for things like spinning fairground rides, and about 30 mins of VR is all I can cope with before feeling nauseous, the RIGS VR game which was superb, I could only last about 30 secs before I felt like I was gonna throw up.

    3D I dont have any problems with at all.

  23. Forgot to adjust for the imaginary hour change again. Post up soon.

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