A foul please, Carol

FIFA19’s turn today to get the ‘full match on a non-standard control setting’ treatment. Semi-Assisted passing and shooting.

This is the opening match in a pre-season tournament in Season 2 of Career Mode. You can see me fiddling with the settings beforehand, and playing some of the pre-match minigame. The music from that few seconds got this video a copyright notice from YouTube. I’ll remember to edit any future FIFA vids to avoid that annoyance.

I enjoyed the first few minutes of this match, which even saw me get a free kick in shooting range, a true rarity in this game. After that I felt things degenerated into a turnover-tussle. It’s that feeling of continuous hypnotic flow that is FIFA19’s great weakness.

FIFA needs the return of solid collision mechanics. An AI fouls slider would be nice. It would also be nice if EA were as chatty about fouls as they are about literally everything else to do with their game. ‘We’ve fed this back to the developer’ is still, so far as I am aware, the only thing EA ever says about AI fouls. A classic brush-off line.

Not that its cousin across the aisle is doing much better on that front, of course. Watchers of the footy gaming PES skies over the last 24 hours will have seen the most predictable event since, uh… Damn, I hate it when I can’t think of a funny example after setting up a construction like that.

The predictable thing is the start of the climbdown on fouls in PES2020. The protesting anti-voices have had their way, and now no matter what anyone says – NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS – I’m calling it: PES2020 retail will be just another nuPES on the fouls front.

Yes, there’ll be the usual early reports from release week where somebody plays their first match and there’s, like, 3 fouls for both sides! Wow! And so on. But generally, it’s going to be 1 or 2 fouls per side – on a good day. Even the most foul-friendly nuPES (2019) has many matches ending 0-0 on the fouls front.

I am so tired of talking about fouls in modern football games. I have a feeling F1 racing game fans don’t have to wonder where their crashes are. I bet snooker game fans frequently go in-off. And platform game fans will often miss a jump and fall to their deaths. Incredible that football game fans in 2019 are missing an entire dimension of that sport.

So no, the discussion about what Konami might or might not do is moot. It is null and it is void. I’ve seen a lot of talk on the forums that a subtle scalpel could be brought to bear, and the fouls will be improved, not simply eliminated. ‘Oh, maybe they’ll tweak it so that X, Y, or Z.’ Oh dear God no. No, no, no, no, no. Fouls are gone, and that is the end of it. I’d actually prefer it if there was no more pretence on this front.

Anyway, I believe that 4 weeks today, or over that weekend, all the pre-orders will start landing on doormats. Which for me is a ‘bummer’, as I believe the kids still say, because it’s the following week I’ve booked off work. I would only have an hour or so to sample the game over that Sept 7-8 weekend. It’d be nice to have it ready to go on the Monday morning through.

And I know Carol Vorderman hasn’t been on Countdown for years.

Updated: 9th August 2019 — 12:01


  1. Fouls within shooting distance are a rarity??? Seriously? You sure?
    I’ve had numerous amounts of shooting distance fouls over my 12 seasons on Career Mode on FIFA 19, and have only scored one of them.

    I fuly appreciate FIFA’s foul counts are worst than PES’s, but have still had no troubles being awarded a FK in shooting range.

    Much like PES 19’s fouls are way way too easy to score, if its on target, its a goal, FIFA’s free kicks are the opposite, they’re too difficult to score.
    If they hit the target, 90% of the time the keeper will save it, or you’ll hit the bar.
    That’s my experience anyway.

    Posted the new FIFA 20 career mode changes over on FIFAX, but here it is in case you missed it:


  2. Paul – I can’t and won’t adopt your experience as the standard that I will judge, and I don’t really believe you’d expect me to. Just as you won’t recognise my 50%-ish success rate on PES2019 free kicks as standard. If it’s something that I’ve rarely had, then yes, it’s a rarity and I have to say so. In about 75 matches in total on FIFA19 (a whole Championship season, all Cups, all pre-season etc) I had about 3 shooting-range free kicks. Shooting range free kicks are rare in FIFA19 because fouls are rare. They’re a small proportion of a small amount.

    By far the most brilliant thing EA could do would be to either a) (re)introduce fouls, as in lots of them, or b) simply install a slider to control them. That would be the coup de grace in the footy game wars all right. I imagine every single player gamer in the community navigating to FIFA, because really that’s the only thing there’s a lack of. That extra dimension of consequence for actions, which don’t exist at present.

  3. Paul – My experience was different in my 10 seasons as I rarely had a free-kick from shooting distance. On a side note have you played much of Detroit Become Human? Last week I got it as I swapped it with the very disappointing Red Dead 2. Early signs are very good indeed as I love games that stray from the well trodden path and make you think.

    NG – What a great title. One of your best.

  4. I imagine the snooker game forums are a riot.

    There’s probably a CUEChronciles site somewhere where they dicuss the slight inconvenience of the developers increasing the chalk assistance to appease the whippersnappers.

  5. OK NG – I will re-read your post as ‘Fouls within shooting distance are a rarity – For me’ as you and darryl may not have had hardly any, but I can honestly say i had a fair few in my 12 seasons.

    This has to be put into context as ‘a fair few’ doesn’t mean 2 or 3 every game, or even 1 every game, as we all know the fouls are much less regular than they should be, in both games, especially FIFA, but of the fouls I have had, the ones in FK shooting range have been given, maybe because i like to use close control and dribble more than you around the box? Play styles probably contribute to the foul ratios.

    You only have to watch a selection of the FIFA 19 career mode videos on YouTube to see they also get a few shooting rage FK’s.

    It’s all subjective anyway, as my experience differs from yours, and Darryl’s, and we can only comment on what we see and play, not what others see.

    Darryl – Not started Detroit yet, still in its cellophane. I plan to though, to keep me going until PES20/FIFA20.
    I want to play it in all its glory up on the cinema screen, but with the humid weather, and the projector, beer fridges, sound system, ps4, etc all going, it gets very warm in there so has been to uncomfortable to sit in for long, so have been putting it off.

  6. Paul/Darryl — isn’t that Detroit game the one that PS+ members got free instead of PES2019 last month?! I was annoyed about that as I was looking forward to having a disc-less copy of PES2019 at least. I remember PES2014 being given away in the summer of 2014, and to this day it is still on the PS3 hard drive.

    Tommy — the thing is, I bet there isn’t. I would bet it never occurs to snooker game fans to seek to have in-offs removed from the game, or F1 fans to have no crashes (it can be an optional ‘arcade mode’), etc. I cannot off the top of my head think of an equivalent ‘no fouls, please, we’re football gamers’ situation in another game/genre. It’s unique in gaming, and sports gaming. Where there are ‘no fouls’ options they’re extra, not standard as they are in PES and FIFA.

    I blame the era of focus groups and playtesting. I bet all they see in their laboratories are playtesters showing frustration when their games are interrupted by fouls. The type of gamers who would naturally become playtesters are likely to be more the twitchers than the thinkers.

  7. NG – it was given away free on PSN+ yes, never knew it was a replacement for PES19 though, they probably thought PES19 wasn’t even worth giving away.
    Reminds me of the time that Apple did a deal with U2 and put U2’s new album on everyones iPhone free via itunes overnight without permission, the outcry was such that they had to backtrack and remove it.

    Looking forward to detroit, David Gage is a visionary with video game storytelling, he has a cinematic way of making you connect and feel for the characters, such as with Heavy Rain which remains one of my all time favourite ever games.

    I always think of PES and FIFA’s lack of fouls as akin to NBA not having the double dribble rule, or Madden not having Pass Interference or Encroachment, or NHL not having the icing or hooking rule, they are such intrinsic and important factors of the sport that its inconceivable that they would ever not have that in a game that simulates that specific sport.

  8. Best Game Ever Magazine voted PES2019 the best game ever and awarded it a score of 42/10. You cant argue against FACTS.

  9. Although that’s not a fact is it because
    a) Best Game Ever Magazine doesn’t exist and
    b) PES 19 cant be best game ever if PES 5 is

    Just watched your FIFA match in its entirety, one of the most one-sided games ever, the end of match stats don’t do it justice.

    A ton of possession but didnt do much with it, that move on 90mins with the dinked over the top ball into the box and the flash cross across the box deserved more.

    Been working on this all week, if anyone wants a copy


    View post on imgur.com

  10. Paul – that vid shows my relative inexperience with FIFA19 and my muscle memory still dominated by PES. It was great in parts but the rest degenerated into a controller-squeezer. Of course that’s as much me as the game. It is with FIFA as it is with PES of course, we shouldnt be allowed to be lazy.

    You must have missed the January issue of PES5 Monthly, where they made a special ruling that Best Game Ever Magazine can award Best Game Ever awards to other games, because we all know what the real Best Game Ever is and it’s only fair to give the other games a chance.

  11. Tommy – You are not too far of the mark there as I followed a forum when Snooker 19 came out and they discussed the game in similar detail.

  12. Detroit is a fantastic interactive experience, I loved Heavy Rain and Detroit bettered it for me. Red Dead 2 I would put on my outside of football games all time top 10. PES was replaced by Detroit a move that caused embarrassment to Konami as Sony made the decision 2 days before it was due to drop. Konami had completely set MC up for a deluge of new players that never came and when asked about it would only comment ask Sony!

  13. ASS – Assisted Snookers Syndrome

  14. Guys, if you haven’t tried Days Gone yet – you must. Personally for me better game than RDR2. Thing is – DO NOT TRUST reviews in the internet, all the criticism this game got is completely undeserved. Guess that’s what happens when you not paying big companies for good reviews in media (eg. IGN and so on).

  15. abbes is right about Days Gone. Very decent, I still preferred RDR2 but maybe that’s the setting.

  16. I’m still tootling my way through Fallout4 personally. Even when I’m done with the campaign, I’ll be going back to start a Survival save.

    In other news I dreamed that Arsenal lost their opening fixture of the season 5-2 at the Emirates. Imagine my consternation when I saw their first fixture of the season was away to Newcastle. I put £2 on there being over 6.5 goals in the match.

  17. Scored a belter of a long-ranger this morning on PES2019 just before leaving the house. I only had time to save it, so I’ll upload later. On manual too! The scene is alive!

  18. Paul – no one has said it on here yet but that’s absolute class, great effort for the team.

    I’m currently looking to hoover up old copies of pes to see how mini turf takes to them. He hasn’t commented much on graphics from 2015-19, picking up more on how fouls change, etc but I imagine a journey back to the ps2 days will horrify him. Been away a few days on hols and came back to what I think is food poisoning and that power cut/surge blowing my sky box hard disk. Enforced Q experience but they did me a deal so I’m not paying any more and getting one of those mini boxes as well. I can see a small project where I nail egg cartons to the wall and paint the ceiling black.

  19. well said Turf, that retro pack looks absolutely stunning

    anyone here completed the first Dark Souls? Currently addicted to it, such a tough game though even with a pile of walk throughs and youtube videos to hold my hand

  20. Turf/Abbeyhill/Paul – yes they do and particularly liked the retro Spurs and West Ham kits.

  21. Never played it Abbeyhill. I heard it was another in the ninja gaiden realm of bloody hard games.

    Added ‘international superstar soccer’ on ps2 to the library after finding it in a grubby second hand games shop today. For a pound it’s worth the small inch of shelf space.

  22. Abbeyhill – I almost completed dark souls 3, don’t know if that one is harder or easier than the first one. I do find it very enjoyable, one of the few games where dying is necessary and a learning experience. The bosses are so badass that I don’t mind getting my ass kicked save for one or two REALLY annoying ones. It’s never really unfair though, it’s just that you as the player are really up against it .

  23. Uncle Turf – quite right to praise Paul’s work. I’ve been following comments for weeks on my phone at work (lots of work for me this summer) and have often missed links etc, and overlooked this link too. Paul’s kits are always excellent, never a pixel out of place, a perfectionist’s obsession with rightness. I remember last year he changed one of mine because he noticed he’d got the sponsor wrong. Well done Paul! Now the question is, would it be right to kit out all the Premier teams in PES2020 with the classic kits and eschew the OFs?

    And I of course support your project to get all the old games together for your son to enjoy. It’s a worthy endeavour in itself anyway, never mind the son side of it. I’m pretty sure that International Superstar Soccer game you picked up for the PS2 is a very rare find, a peculiar ‘other version’ of ISS that was produced for the platform by a different studio to the original and proper ISS/PES people. It had different gameplay values and intended audiences, being more ‘accessible’, i.e. more like the FIFA of its time. I think I played a cover disc demo of it in its time and didn’t like it. (This is it, I’m 99% sure. Look at the non-standard design elements, and the way the ball and players move, etc. Only this game ever looked like and played like this! Note the many comments below that vid confusing it with PES1.)

    Thing is, I don’t actually have a copy of this George Lazenby game from ISS-PES history, and will have to get one….

    abbeyhill – I imported and played the original Demon’s Souls, never mind no Dark Souls! In the latter I got as far as some rock boss (a boss made of rocks; not a rock music boss) on some bridge, died a lot, gave up. Which was unlike me after I played Ninja Gaiden until I damn well beat it. I should return to Dark Souls.

  24. Ah, I didn’t realise that, thanks for the info – as you know I have a Swiss cheese memory of past games and master leagues (all I remember is I used to go for Pele, Maradona and Rudi Voller once I implemented classics and got good). I assumed it was a bridging game between the old ‘ISS Pro’ et al on the PS1 and the new machine, before the arrival of a rebranded ‘Pro Evolution’. I didn’t know it was non-canon so to speak. In which case is it not Never Say Never Again rather than OHMSS?

    I also believe there is an ISS2 for the PS2? in which case I’d have to revise my position and say ISS is the played for laughs Casino Royale, and ISS2 is NSNA (both truly awful films imho).

  25. Cheers all for the kit comments.
    I will be loading the kits into the PES Universe OF and adding them as 3rd or 4th kits, so all the 19/20 kits will still be there but you can choose the retro look if you wish.

    I quite fancied days gone but was put off with it being labelled a cheap clone of Last of Us, and the zombie theme has been done to death in games so I’m quite bored of it, but may pick it up 2nd hand just for a look.

  26. Uncle Turf – here is the game in question on Amazon right now – note the new price, £28, which indicates the sort of rarity we’re looking at. You got a good bargain, probably due to the general confusion over what the game was and is. It is believed to be a straightforward family member of the dynasty, but it’s not, it is indeed more like the David Niven/Woody Allen version of Casino Royale. One of the reviewers on that Amazon page sums it up well:

    […]as good as could be expected port of the N64 ISS. It plays a pretty well but is radically different from Evolution.The action is very arcade-y, and the difficulty of scoring makes it a real buzz when you do stick it in the onion bag. But you can never get that trademark Evo fluidity in your build up:this is fast, rock and roll football

    And another one:

    ISS on PS2 is by [studio] KTCO the N64 side of Konami not the PlayStation KCET (Konami Tokyo). Thus is not a proper sequel to ISS Pro Evolution.

    I remember the ISS/PES-loving print magazines of the time giving this game a poor reception – what they and we wanted was more and better ISS/PES, not some weird port of another platform’s version of the series – and after playing its demo back then I sort of agreed, but now I think I can feel a PCSX2 session coming on…

    ISS2 was a sequel to ISS1 and more or less an in-line sequel within that branch of the family tree, as the original did pretty well. There was a goldrush on the PS2 platform back then and pretty much any football game sold enough to keep them coming. Remember all the This Is Footballs etc.

  27. I remember getting that ISS with my PS2 expecting something very special. How disappointed I was. Of course great things were to come when it came to footy games on that console – one of which I’m still totally engrossed in.

    My season 8 on my return to PES5 has seen me punished for not investing in my squad and perhaps hanging onto some favourite players a season too long. I’m currently sixth in the league and 12 points behind Arsenal who just thrashed me 3-1. The passive AI has suddenly got all riled…and I love it!

    Paul – Love those kits. Brilliant job. If I get ePES 2020 (and right now that’s a very big IF), I’d love to use those.

  28. Well done me it seems. Only went in the shop as Mrs turf was sitting with her cousin while the kids went swimming and it was a short stroll from leisure centre madness. There is a great marketing line on the back…”includes real player names”!

  29. Uncle Turf – well you’ve prompted what might be my final silly season foray into the world of the past. I did procure an ISO of the game, and I did play it today, and it’ll feature tomorrow. I’ll say now that I thought it was pretty good, surprisingly so. And yes, I noticed that all the players had real names, unlike the David Backham and Michael Owenn type names of the ISS and early PES games.

    Shed – silly season is over for me and I am heading back to PES5, the only real football game ever made, for the last few weeks of this footy game year. I’ve got it installed on my laptop now, which is by no means a gaming machine, and of course it runs this 14-year-old game as if it’s nothing more than a calculator app. Great to hear your ML is so enduring. I could rattle through a season or two in the next few weeks.

  30. Lloyd – just watched both your recent vids, and two things leap out: you’ve got the hang of PA0 to an amazing degree, those manual through-balls and crosses are great. And you score a good amount of goals in the 20-25 yard range, more than I seem to.

    Also, I almost teared up at your Rice’s send-off. I heartlessly sold mine a season before he retired.

    You’ve clearly got from PES2019 what I and a few others have seen in it, a great football game with a very respectable AI.

  31. I am discovering this game from the beginning again – it plays so beautiful on PA0 professional level and basic shooting, all the rest manual/advanced. Such a sweet spot. So many new animations also while you messing up a pass or so :).

  32. Some very nice goals Lloyd, you have indeed mastered PA0 passing, didn’t fancy manual shooting?

    Although there were so so many instances I could pick out of that vid where the COM AI was so atrocious it basically gifted you a goal, completely contradictory to NG’s ‘respectable AI’ comment.

    I will know within the first few days of PES20’s AI is as shockingly bad as 19’s, if it is, then it will be a gamebreaker, it won’t last the month.

  33. Paul – never got to grips with manual shooting. May try it from the start of #ePingpongfestkickballPES2020.

  34. Lloyd – given your mastery with the manual passing i doubt it would take too long for you to adjust with the shooting, kudos to you, its an admirable skill.

Comments are closed.