A smack in the face often offends

Almost to mid-season now in Season 14 of PES2019: Master League Reloaded. FIFAFX’s Paul has been kind enough to create another Home kit (he takes requests). The amazing Xavi is sporting it above. More on that little marvel later.

I’ve remarked a few times now that I think there might be 20+ seasons in this Master League. I’ve seen and felt nothing to change my mind over the course of this season so far. Everything I have ever wanted from a Master League, and from a football game, is right here for me.

I don’t know what was I thinking a few weeks ago, trying to walk away from the most Master League-y Master League since PES2012! I think it was down to a couple of dodgy sessions – the sort of turgid, plodding sessions that sees many of us start to tinker with settings, or hanker after new pastures. I hankered at the time, but I kept playing, and emerged into the sunlight once again. The ups and downs of a PES player, or rather a Master League player (the two being not quite the same), are often epic.

I had a decent December here in space year 2033:Xavi is really emerging as a star and a surprisingly sturdy player as well. He can last an entire match, unlike my other youngsters. And what an individual too. I was worried about him being just another anonymous nuPES identikit player of the sort that has dismayed us all for several years now. But no. He has a distinct presence on the pitch and on the ball. There is that unmistakable tang of PES about him.

Whether this is all in my imagination or not… doesn’t matter. There’s a strong argument that Master League has only ever been in the imagination – or mostly in the imagination. It’s not something that can ever be objectively proven one way or the other, so we’re left with our own subjective realities. I often draw comparisons to TV and movies. We have no difficulty accepting the reality of films that we know for certain are clever illusions made by skilled actors and directors and writers.

Whatever is or isn’t in the PES code, and whatever I’m supplying from my side – whatever that ratio is – is not relevant when it comes to the emergent experience, and it’s one that’s going to keep me playing for a time to come.

Another brief ‘moments’ clip from Season 14.

The first goal is a nice free kick from the AI, which rarely manages to score them against me, but this one was a deft placement into the ‘wrong’ side of the net from my GK’s point of view. A couple of other goals are just me being composed in the build-up rather than seeking to leather it from 35 yards. And finally we see Xavi winning a tough match versus Manchester United.

There is also something amusing involving Jamie Vardy…

Updated: 7th May 2019 — 10:55


  1. Thanks for the mention NG.

    Xavi is exactly the type of player I love playing with, especially in PES, small, nimble, agile, and skilled, reminds me very much of the legend Villalba from my PES 11 ML.

    Yout got that free kick spot on in terms of power and direction = guaranteed goal.

    I’ve seen the Vardy incident a few times in FIFA, a ball to the mush, and the receiving players stumbles back and holds their face to acknowledge the whack. Nice touch.

  2. Yeah but the goalie for that free kick was astonishingly poor, in contrast to my experience of over powered lev yashins.

    I’m starting to fatigue of rdr2, nowhere near done but a break is in order. So I’ve fired up my fm2014 game. It’s quite handy as I’m busy writing presentations for conferences and the like so I can easily switch between the two. Colchester (I left it to random assignment, not a place I’ve ever been or know anything about) are predicted to be mid table and we are about mid table ability. I’m on Classic to reduce the excessive fiddling and apart from having no money, and a pretty poor squad depth it’s going ok. I’m even watching highlights which I’ve never bothered with.

  3. Paul – every time I clip the wall, or balloon it over, or hit the post/bar, or the keeper tips it wide or catches it, I always tell myself ‘well, that wouldn’t have happened if I’d only done it so it would have gone in’ 🙂

    ah I well remember you and your affinity with Villalba back then, and can just remember picking him up myself in my final season, but never really having time to get to know him. When you have a special player and develop that connection with them, it’s what makes the whole thing worth it really. I’ve had about 5 or 6 such players in this Master League, the most for many years.

  4. Uncle Turf – I make about 4/10 goals from shooting range, which is still very good going of course. You only ever scored 1 (ONE), and that was a deflection off the wall?

  5. I’m glad you’ve had/are having a classic ML year with PES 19 NG, at its very core the gameplay is very very good, and if I’d have stuck with it then I’m sure I too could have got some love out of it, just a shame it was so abysmally poor at release that it turned me and many others right off it.

    Once I’d FIFA’d there was no coming back to PES once I’d experienced the presentations, stadia, commentary, etc. A finished game basically.

    The fact that I remember Villalba all these years later is testament to what a solid ML year that was, like you remembered 2012’s Hagi, and I’m sure in 4 or 5 years time will remember Forlan and Xavi and Castledine.

  6. One direct free kick yes. One. Not that I ever got many to try. The rest of the shots felt rigged, the classic 20 efforts for nought one game and the next match three from three.

    Paul – you wouldn’t, it got so churny, so same match every time, you’d have pointed out the complete lack of different styles of play and tactics. I’m more unhappy about this pes than most as for a while it felt like it was going to be the one.

  7. That and the LCS was ultimately the reasons I ditched PES 19 after just a month Turf.
    So you’re probably right, I really like the core feel of PES on the pitch, the animations, ball physics etc, but everything else that wraps around it, nahhh !!!

    Just 4 words after last night, Champions League Final AGAIN !!!

  8. Paul – it was a great night last night, the kind of Hollywood night that makes the rest of a season worth it. Sunday doesn’t look likely either but you never know in football, if not the CL would be a great consolation prize. But imagine if Spurs beat you in the final…

    A lot’s changed in PES2019 since one month after release, but not enough to detain you or anyone else who’s ditched the game. I’m all set for one of my greatest ever MLs, but there’s no logical reason why anyone else should be.

  9. NG – No other club is capable of producing such intense historic nights, fact.
    To lose one game all season, and finish with potentially 97 points, and not win the title is harsh, that was enough to win the title in 19 out of the 26 seasons the Premier league has been in existence, so a UCL win would be a satisfactory substitute, if of course it happens.

    No chance City will drop points against Brighton knowing a win clinches the title, but as per last night, anything is possible, including Wolves beating Liverpool, they are no pushover under Nunes, who should get Premier League manager of the season.

  10. Paul – if Brighton had something to play for it might be different, but they don’t and they’re a poor side so it’s a 1% chance at best. Mind you, last night was a probable 1% chance too. I remember QPR almost spoiling Man City’s fun, at Man City, before the Agueroooo moment.

  11. Man, coming here during these sessions that you’re feeling good about your squad is always a gem of an experience. This Forlan is amazing. Hope this overhauled team can bring you more glory!

  12. I certainly agree with you Paul, Nuno Espírito Santo should get Manager of the Year, but I doubt he will. Whoever clinches the EPL title will get it I imagine. I guess that’s fair enough as it’s arguably the toughest competition to win right now. I’m born-and-bred in Wolverhampton and my son’s a season ticket holder, so I tend to follow them with interest. Nuno’s done a fantastic job.

    Always nice to read about you have fun with PES NG. Even in this transitional phase. 🙂

  13. Feels like Barcelona have a pretty big record of bottling it now. I know they’ve won their fair share of stuff but given their spending and who they have in the team they should have dominated in the way Madrid have. Instead it’s 1 win in the last 8 compared with 4. Mind PSG and Man City haven’t cracked it either.

    Just so everyone knows I now hate fortnite and all those over the age of 12 who view it as a forum for cheating and histrionics. Colchester had a quiet transfer window, their chairmans refusal to pay the wages of a loanee striker a particular bone of contention.

  14. NG – I expect City to run riot tbh, 3 or 4 nil.
    If we win too and finish runners up by a point then go on to win the Champs League, I’d be happy.
    No other team has bothered turning up this season so for Liverpool to go toe-to-toe with Sheikh City and their billions, every step of the way, to actually create a title race, is admirable, all with a net spend of just 43 million.

    SockWulf – You’re probably right but Guardiola getting manager of the year for spending hundreds of millions and taking a ready built team to a title by just one point, whilst yet again crashing out of the Champions League, I don’t consider manager of the year worthy.

    However Nuno taking Wolves from Promotion, to the Premier League and in their first season back, with limited funds and resources, finishing 7th and almost securing European football is a much bigger achievement.

    Or maybe Klopp, who has an aforementioned net spend of just £43 million, to take Liverpool to 94 (97 if we win this weekend) premier league points and reach the UCL 2 years running, beating PSG, Bayern Munich, Napoli, and Barcelona en route, should get a shout.

    Turf – Barcelona were just played off the pitch last night more than bottling it, and if they did ‘bottle’ it it was because they couldn’t handle Liverpool’s performance, with the high tempo pressing, closing down of space, the atmosphere, and the complete shut-out of their best player. Barcelona are Messi, when he doesn’t play or doesn’t perform, neither do they.

    I always thought Fortnite was below you Turf, it looks stupid and boring.

  15. I bounced off PES 2019 at great velocity a few weeks after release this year, but catching up with NG’s recent posts inspired me to come back and start up a new ML campaign. After months of FIFA, and online FUT in particular, PES is a breath of fresh air. I still think it captures the form and essence of football in a way that FIFA never has – or has really ever tried to.

    Unfortunately, I’m decidedly rusty: a reasonable mid-table start to the season on Top Player has been followed by five consecutive defeats. Anyone mind answering a few questions to help me get up to speed? I’ve read almost nothing about PES 2019’s core mechanics this year, or how they’ve been updated, so I’m at a loss as to what I’m doing wrong. (But for context, I’m a lifetime PES player – I haven’t missed a single one, though I’m still gutted to have overlooked PES 2014’s end of year “rebalancing miracle”. Assume that I know the universal PES truths.)

    1: I’m really struggling to find a formation that suits me. I play a possession game, but don’t like to faff around for the sake of it. I’ve mostly used a 4-2-2-2 with two wide men in the middle “2” bank, but this seems leave my two strikers isolated, and my two CMs chasing shadows. Anyone care to share off-the-peg or bespoke formations that might be interesting to try?

    2: This year’s AI “cheese” goal is clearly the fast pass into the box, followed by a first-time pass to a second player for a tap-in. When this happens, I usually attempt to position a defender to make a block – but the ball just flies past (almost through!) them. Is this something I’m doing wrong, or should I be concentrating on stopping the initial pass?

    3: Is there a special knack to winning headers this year? I’ve had to resort to employing Super Cancel to sprint around opponents that become immovable once set for an incoming ball, then look to nick a header as the ball drops. I recall this type of nonsense from previous years, but don’t remember it being quite as bad on Top Player.

    4: Any suggestions on the best camera angle to use? I’ve used the Blimp view for ages, but can’t seem to get on with it at the moment. I like a good wide view of the action, but the max zoom out on every other option is still uncomfortably close to the pitch for me.

    5: I’ve started with the Advanced shooting setting, but the wind-up times seem a little extreme. Any tips on how to get a shot off without sending a memo to every defender alive or dead, let alone in the current match?

    Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated!

  16. Paul – great win for Liverpool! Was rooting for them even though I’m not a devoted fan in particular. Hope Ajax goes through tonight as well versus Spurs, as you say anything is possible. I remember when Ajax won their last (and only) CL title. I was bloody 12 years old then!
    If not they’ve still put on a hell of a performance in humiliating Real Madrid and Juventus. Still, Liverpool versus Ajax for the final would be brilliant and odds-defying to say the least.

  17. James — I think you’re overthinking some of them, PES2019’s secret is that it’s a fairly basic PES at heart, which is what I have wanted all along and have now got. Avoid the PES equivalent of FIFA slider syndrome at all costs. Quests for the perfect set of settings, and playing PES, are two fundamentally incompatible states.

    1. I abandoned my own 4-2-2-2 with wide AMFs for a 4-1-3-2. Defensively more solid, yes, but I’ve won nothing. (And like it.)

    2. Quite correct, similar to never hearing the bullet that kills you, if the laser guided pass to the box gets to its target player, you’re already dead. Stop the supply, track the runners etc.

    3. Long clearances from the keeper: if it’s not your ‘turn’ to win the header, you’re not ever winning the header. Attacking headers seem random. It’s a low-header PES for me.

    4. Wide camera, max zoom, max angle. This is the PES camera. All else is false.

    5. Basic shooting is PES shooting. Others may have tried Advanced shooting, but just how many of them are still playing PES2019? Perhaps dabbling in the dark arts of weird unPES cameras and unPES shooting et al, is a substitute for playing PES. Just whack it to Wide cam, PA1 for passing, Basic shooting and it’s a great game. Granted you might need to play 10 seasons to get there.

    #1 — I thought a reminder of when Ziyech was great for me in PES2017 might cheer you up:

    A fine first-time strike, albeit with his right foot there. He had the whiplash left foot as well of course. One of the few more individualistic players from that 3-season St Etienne career.

  18. Hah I remember that one NG as he scored with his “wrong” foot. Still a great goal!

    I’m so, so gutted right now though. Literally gave it away in the last second. The last! Chance of a lifetime and they blew it.

    Not that common for Dutch teams to do anything worthwhile on the European stage so it’ll be a while before I see anything like this again.

  19. #1 Gutted too, I miss Dutch teams doing well in Europe, Roosendaal or Dordrecht next year eh? 🙂

  20. Hahaha James, your comments are hilarious.

    “captures the form and essence of football in a way that FIFA never has – or has really ever tried to.”

    Sure, if you want a football game where half the features don’t work, every team plays the exact same way, the AI is extremely poor, has no sense of awareness or situation based logic, the commentary is abysmal and often wrong, and a game that doesn’t even contain any trophies when you win one.

  21. James – I like to think I’m the halfway house on this, between NG’s love and Paul’s fury.

    1. Formations might make some difference at a very basic level ie. 3, 4 or 5 at the back, 1, 2 or 3 up front, but I never saw anything subtle about player positioning or movement, and fluid tactics and all that is just redundant when you can take a centre half and canter to the edge of the box before a tackle comes in.

    2. Yes it is.

    3. Headers have been severely powered back this year. Even Peter Crouch struggled to win them.

    4. I agree. I was always a wide man but I think it was somehow altered this year as I couldn’t settle on one. Ended up with abbeyhill’s suggested setting.

    5. Similarly I tried Advanced Shooting. It was good for one game then I missed a sitter by passing it backwards. Shooting felt very poor for me all year – and I don’t think it was me aiming badly. I think there were ‘thou shalt not’ forces at work.

    Hm, I can’t agree with you Paul, like Ajax last night Barcelona had plenty of chances, they should have scored at least once, it wasn’t Liverpool not giving them a kick I think it was more them being completely unnerved and not up for the intensity. Not sure why though given how international club sides are now, not as if Suarez won’t have known what to expect. I assume BT will have to repeat their free online option?

  22. Turf – Liverpool were the better side over the 2 legs, a team like Barcelona are always going to have chances, Allison made some great saves, but overall we absolutely deserved to win, be it via performance, intensity, courage, atmosphere or whatever.

    picking up on James’ points too.

    Formation is irrelevant within PES, as there is absolutely no sense of awareness or situation by the AI, players back off and give you tons of space to walk in to, players near the ball don’t react etc

    the LCS issue is still very much in the game, wasn’t fixed at all maybe dialled down a bit but still is there in abundance (Cue NG stating he’s never seen it once – Golden Copy)

    Headers are broken in PES.

    Advanced shooting is also broken, first time shots and headers simply do not work on advanced.

  23. Hah! Now that would be the day werd 😉

  24. Paul – I heart PES2019 and there’s nothing in/out of the game that wasn’t also in/out of earlier PESes, including PESes of the Golden Age. That’s what James was referencing I believe and quite right too. That ‘PES feeling’ is there. Which doesn’t mean that you and others must find it too of course. This is all about subjective values and appreciation. Times and expectations have certainly changed.

    Araquara/SockWulf – the squad identification and immersion, looking back over the past 20 years, has got to be the bulk of the PES experience for me. Even the ISS experience, going back to ISS2 and the first Master League I think.

    And there’s nothing transitional about this stage, I really believe I’m here for the whole year – for the first time since PES6, that would be. (Technically though I played PES2008 for all of that year, but crucially jumped from the PS3 version to the PS2/PSP version about halfway, so it does’t really count as a whole-year stint.)

  25. No NG – James comment clearly remarked that he thinks PES captures the ‘form and essence’ much better and states FIFA doesn’t even try to.

    I guess if he’s coming from the frenetic win at all costs non-football ethos of FUT online then comparing to any offline career mode footy game will be an improvement, but FIFA offline career mode, absolutely does not fit James statement.

    How can PES even capture the form and essence of football at all, let alone better than FIFA when there is Zero presentation, zero trophies, you don’t even see the very thing you spend all your time trying to win, zero atmosphere, non-immersive or even accurate commentary, poor AI that feels like you are playing the same match over and over 38 times …… you can defend and big-up PES all you like, you or anyone but only a seriously blinkered PES fanboy with no sense of rationalism, or eyesight could argue that PES captures the essence of football better than FIFA, this year anyway.

  26. Paul – only the AI in your list is part of the ‘form and essence’ of football in the sense I mean it in (and I think James did too). It’s all in the playing-out of the game in your hands. FIFA is certainly still lacking here – the infamous ’emptiness’ that I still find in the series. I once remarked 15 years ago on PESfan (RIP) that PES fans would be happy playing on a plain green rectangle suspended in blackness, if the gameplay itself was right. That’s an exaggeration of course, but it captures what James meant by ‘form and essence’. I don’t think you really mean that trophies and commentary etc. are part of ‘form and essence’ of football? Surely not? Not even kits and nets are ‘form and essence’. Children kicking a plastic ball around a park with jumpers for goalposts are ‘form and essence’. Everything else is something else.

    Feels like we’ve had this discussion a thousand times, of course. I’m not really up for it to be honest, so you may have the last word.

  27. Surely this (FM) was never like I am currently experiencing…

    Last 4 matches, colchester;

    4-4 v Orient
    4-3 v Coventry
    5-6 v Bradford
    5-3 v Crawley

    Did they make the game easier to score? I’m playing out of the box 4-4-2.

  28. Uncle Turf – are you missing a patch? I’ve never heard of FM going that way. If anything the scoreline management scripts are stronger in FM than in other football games, with realism being so important. If you’re not using a Steam copy, Google latest patches for your version. Some FMs in vanilla are very buggy.

  29. NG – then Id argue that form and essence weren’t the right words to use.
    The very ‘essence’ of a football game is to win trophies, how can a game devoid of any physical trophies have that essence?

    And ‘Form’ depends how its meant. if its form as in the technique, and mechanics of the game, or form as in the continual cycle of high performance of players/teams?

    Either way it’s still an inaccurate statement.

    You find FIFA ’empty’ because you go in with the pre-judgment that it will be and you never play it long enough at any depth for it to be anything otherwise.
    my 10 season plus CM on FIFA 19 was anything but empty, in fact wholly the opposite, and I do find it absolutely hilarious that players of a game which lacks any kind of trophy, has so many broken features, and such a poor AI, plus so many other facets which feel unfinished and sub-standard, can claim that FIFA feels empty.

    This isn’t a debate or argument about which game is better or such like and yes, we have argued this point many times, and I too am not really up for it all over again but I’m not going to sit back and let FIFA be labelled as all these things by people who use a game 100 x inferior as their benchmark.

    I guess PES hardcore players have become so accustomed to being served up white dogshit year after year that they have now accepted it as the norm, and anything that is even only slightly better than white dogshit, maybe a turgid sage green/brown, gets hailed as some form of football gaming wizardry that captures the form and essence of the sport.

    We’ll leave it there.

  30. NG – I’m all steam on the pc, simply to make that whole latest patch thing easy (and I think fm2014 actually requires it).

    It didn’t start like that, a couple of low scoring draws, a 1-4 whipping, but now I’m on a run of lunacy. In the Bradford game I was 5-1 up and changed my tactics to control the game. Despite most of it being in my favour I don’t like it. It’s all wrong.

  31. NG, uncle turf – Thanks for the suggestions and observations! I’ve settled for a 4-1-4-1 while gradually reacquainting myself with the rhythm and logic of PES. I really struggled at first – I’ve picked up many bad habits from seven months of Ultimate Team – but I’m now enjoying every game, win lose or draw. In fact, it’s better than enjoyment: I’m *absorbed* by each match, and the stories they tell. Long may this continue!

  32. Paul – Hello again, sir! Hope you’re well. I’m pretty sure we’ve had a similar discussion about this in the past. I see that the comment thread has already established that subjectivity is a thing, so I’ll skip the preamble.

    I’ve spent plenty of time in FIFA’s career mode, and have started a career every year since ‘08, but I don’t think I’ve ever reached a third season. There’s a lot to like in the front-end menus, and it’s far more authentic than abstract old Master League. But when I get onto the pitch I don’t feel like I’m in a football match. As hard as I try, all I can perceive is the AI, and its control over twenty-one-and-a-half players. The more I play, the worse it gets.

    But in Master League, when PES is playing well, my awareness of the AI takes a step back in my consciousness – occasional snaps to reality for cheesy goals and bullshit refereeing notwithstanding – and I become immersed in all of the individual players and their stories. Ah, the stories!

    Why is this? What draws my eyes so inexorably to the FIFA AI’s cock and balls, when the same eyes perceive and marvel at the magnificent weave of the PES AI gown? I could also relate countless quantifiable things that make offline FIFA 19 a better videogame, with features and functionality implemented with superior technique, or even no small measure of genuine panache. Even so, I find the experience sterile in the short-term, and soulless thereafter.

    I’ll give you a “form and essence” moment that I had in PES the other night after my long absence: it was 1-1 against Man United, last ten minutes, and they were pushing for a much-deserved winner. I won the ball with a desperate lunge with Gibbs-White ten yards inside my own half, and suddenly had clear turf ahead of me. I made a driving run through the centre of the park, with the United midfield in hot pursuit, and their three-man rearguard backpedalling furiously. A well-timed feint took out the first centre-back to blink and dive in for a challenge just outside their box, and I just managed to scuff a pass to Jimenez in space…

    …who, alas, even missed the corner flag. Fuck you, Advanced Shooting. (Never again.)

    I was grinning like a fool as this played out, as I’ve not had anything like that happen in FIFA 19 in eight months. There are shitloads of player runs, of course – but none that felt like this one. This PES moment captured something that I’ve seen in real football in a way that FIFA never has.

    There are thousands of differences that contribute to the difference in “feel” between these two games as football simulators, but two that always leap to mind for me are choreography, and player size and movement/reactivity range relative to the pitch as a whole.

    The PES team have always made a greater effort to approximate the natural ebb and flow of a match. It’s hard to quantify, but I feel that are far more variances in tempo in a Master League match. You can have a match start at a furious pace, then “settle down”; a sedate second half can suddenly burst into life as one team commits to attack.

    But really, the key thing is space. Everything about football is about space: making it, denying it. FIFA has always been very rigid in terms of choreography, and the relationship between different formations. This means that the same types of attacking and defensive scenarios crop up time and time again. But in Master League, space can be created all over the pitch. There’s more variation in the choreography, and formations don’t appear to be quite as “hard-coded” in the way that they are in FIFA.

    But hey: opinions are like arseholes: we all have them, but it’s almost always a mistake to expose them in public. I’m glad that you’re enjoying FIFA! I wish I could too – or to the same degree. I hope I’ve in some small way explained why the PES magic is back for me at the moment.

    And hey – **both** games have been heavily compromised by the drive to monetize, and our beloved offline management modes have suffered as a consequence. As FUT and MyClub in part replicate the core appeal of Career Mode/ML by offering incremental squad improvements and variations, there’s no will within EA or Konami to really do much to “legacy” modes that don’t a penny more over the course of each yearly cycle. What a fucking shame.

  33. James, …… wow, utter bemusement here.
    Whilst I appreciate your lengthy and very well versed explanation of why PES has more ‘essence’ than FIFA, and also whilst I totally respect your opinions as a gamer of obvious intellect – you are right in that its totally subjective because EVERYTHING you have explained out so well, I disagree with.

    Firstly, I’ll start with my experiences in FIFA 19’s CM. 10 seasons, more than 40 matches per season, nearer 60 matches per season with decent cup runs, so approaching 600 games.
    In those 600 + games I can count on one hand the number of times I have felt like a team was playing identically the same way against me from match to match.

    Total variation in build up play, passing moves, defending, midfield battles, and most importantly overall play style.
    Playing Sheff Utd in a league cup match feels totally different to playing Athletico Madrid in Europe, in PES, it doesn’t, they are indistinguishable, Sheff Utd will ping the ball about in Brazil like fashion, hit 40 yard volleys, out-run you, there’s just no identity to teams.

    The point of the PES team making more of an effort to replicate the ebb and flow of a match is just a pure joke. PES productions pay no attention to details at all, the sports core rules and features are missing from many aspects of PES 19, and PES titles before it, and the choreography and movement of players on the pitch is one of the worst I have ever seen in a PES game.

    After reading this last night, I actually fired up PES 19, updated toi the latest DP and patch, applied live updates etc, and loaded up my ML from back in Sept, and played 5 matches.

    Apart from the obviously bland uninspiring menus and lack of anything of note to actually do between matches, the matches themselves, were quite nice feeling, in terms of animation and general movement, but, and this is the biggest but, the player choreography that you mention, and the absolute lack of AI logic, intelligence and situational awareness just kills the game.

    Player runs are crap, having to keep holding L1 and pushing the LS to make a player run in a ruler straight line forward is a ballache and not realistic, players in open space, when the ball is loose have no awareness of what is happening around them so often just do nothing, team formation is completely null and void, because PES AI is so rigid that a team will keep rigid shape no matter what, it overrides everything, if you want more info and evidence of this, just google Matt10L PES formation/tactics.

    PES is so frustrating to play because of all this, it just feels unfinished. Like a very early demo or something.
    Add in the monotonous commentary, the lack of any match day atmosphere, generic stadiums, lack of any visible trophies, shallowness of ML, and for me, it is a very poor interpretation of a football game.

    Take this last week’s real football results, the comebacks, the venomous atmosphere, the emotion shown on the pitch, THAT is the very true essence of the game, and that is in no way shape or form captured within PES.
    PES doesn’t even have the AI to realise aggregate scores, a score can be 1-1 on Aggregate with the CPU losing on the away goals rule and it will bobble the ball about like a residential home kickabout totally unaware that it is in a losing position, and shows no urgency or awareness of the situation.

    Subjectiveness – We are not going to agree on this, and we don’t have to, if you like PES, play it, I like FIFA, I’ll play that, worth remembering this is the only year I have ever played FIFA to the length I have, its always been 10-16 season ML’s on PES every year, but this year PES is so bad it drove me to it.

    If you consider a game missing multiple features with poorly implemented mechanics, unintelligent AI and sub standard atmospherics and presentation as capturing the essence and flow of football, then we obviously have extremely differing views on the sport.

    EDIT: Just to pick up on the comment you made too ‘in Football everything is about space’ …..

    Later when I get home I will post a video captured from my PES play last night which shows exactly what PES does with space.

  34. A great neverending debate that has gone on here all year and long may it run! I haven’t got time to jump fully in right now but have said it all before too. It boils down to ‘you can’t rationally convince somebody not to like the taste of X if you think Y is better’, no matter what the logical supporting arguments are. I’m never going to stop liking brown sauce lashed all over a Sunday dinner, for example, just because others look on with horror as the deed is done. My tastebuds supersede everything else. (Added to the Bumper Book of PES-FIFA Metaphors.)

  35. NG – Agree, in part.
    Most of it is subjective taste/opinion, but then there is fact.

    It’s fine preferring the taste of PES over FIFA, but when stating something as fact that simply isn’t true, is beyond personal preference, its belligerent.

  36. NG – I didn’t mean transitional relating to the game, I meant that this season appears to be a transitional phase for your squad. 🙂

  37. SockWulf – ah I get you now, and yes it most certainly is, and this feeling of renewal now is so enjoyable that I will keep it going. The finances will force me either to run the same squad in massive deficit all the time, as most of this career, or do what I’ve done this season and ship loads out to get younger, cheaper players in – and suffer the performance hit.

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