PES2020 PC Demo, Me as Arsenal, and the CPU as River Plate. Top Player. I think this is actually an 8-minute match as I was messing about with the Sider time editor.
No great goals on show here, and the more I play this demo the more I do like it, but there’s a rule in PES Land: adepto coniuncta est quoque tertius ne demo.
Don’t get too attached to a demo.
The fouling model in this demo WILL NOT SURVIVE TO SEPTEMBER. This is simply how it is. In fact, part of me wonders if this demo is Konami’s get-out card. After this, they can ultimately do what they really want to do – remove fouls, barring a token one or two – and say that it’s what the userbase wants.
I played the first half with my customary settings of PA1 and Basic Shooting. But excitingly – for me at any rate – I switched to PA0 and Manual Shooting for the second half. I’ll refer to PA0 and Basic Shooting as ‘Manual’ for brevity’s sake from now on.
I’ve played a bit on Manual on PES2019 over the past week, but I’m still finding my feet and so there are a few misplaced passes – more than a few – but see the passage of play in particular between 5:00 and 6:00. It neatly encapsulates much of what makes Manual so entrancing.
It’s growing on me. I’ve flirted with Manual on and off since PES2013 – I recall quite a few people here all trying it at the same time, but ultimately heading back to PA1 because, well, that’s what makes footy gaming enjoyable.
Manual makes gameplay more realistic, in terms of looking for space, going easy on the Hollywood passes, taking players on, and making the most of opportunities. As in reality, things don’t work a lot more than they do. The question then, of course, is: is this kind of ‘Realistic’ what we really want?
In a movie, realism would see us following the characters through all the details of their mundane days, with excitement only happening occasionally. Manual in PES is sometimes like that. It takes the usual formula of a PES match – 70% action, say, with 30% legwork – and neatly inverts it. Sometimes. As that passage of play between 5 and 6 minutes shows, there is a smooth flow that can be achieved when you know what you’re doing, which is a place I sometimes think I might get to, but am clearly not at yet.
The next most interesting passage of play – the good and the bad of Manual – comes between 7:00 and 8:00. I’ve cued this up here:
You see me misplace a simple pass out of bounds. And then really get hold of the ball and play football. I think about but decline to play various risky passes (which would have been automatic no-brainer passes under PA1, done without even thinking), and finally I work the opportunity… I was especially pleased with the aerial pass at 7:21. You really have to mean such passes and crosses on Manual.
I work the chance, only to get excited and drag the shot pitifully wide. The ‘aiming lozenge’ really is the size of a tree trunk in the middle of the goal.
This is likely to be all just a silly season bit of fun. But I have completed Season 16 in my Cercle Brugge campaign using Manual settings. I have even gone all hardcore and turned off the passing meter HUD elements. So I might be donning the hair shirt and going all PES Fundamentalist here.
I’m still a member of the filthy casual assisted-passing peasant brigade, but I’m peeping over the wall into the silent Manual compound. What do they do all day in their white robes?!
Here’s a goal at the end of a 1-minute segment from a Cercle Brugge match on PES2019 (on Professional). First, for balance, a wayward shot indeed from me, and then a counter-attack from me (with the player HUD off, but the player nameplate shows the gold-coloured passing and shooting meter, lest there be any doubts). I was happy with this, a rare move on Manual indeed: