A Superstar long-ranger on PES2020!
For context and full appreciation of my reaction when this went in, look at the time on the clock, the opposition team, and the 0-0 scoreline. This goal was the winning goal.
I know – it’s only just a long-ranger. I’ve scored hundreds that are ‘better’ and from farther out. But everything is about context and this is the goal of PES2020 so far for me.
If anything over 25 yards is to be counted as a long-ranger (and I think 25 yards is a reasonable marker), then this one clearly does count. It’s 27 yards as the crow flies. The turf lines confirm 27 yards at least (6, 12, 18, 24, plus 3 yards):I judge the overall range of the long-ranger to be just about 28 yards, taking the diagonal direction of travel into account.
The scorer was Robin van Persie – ‘the new Forlan’, as the voices in my head are calling him – in the last minute of normal time, away to Man City, on Superstar. Playing on Superstar, as I now am for keeps (see below), has impacted van Persie’s goal-scoring prowess. He hasn’t had many recently.
The long-ranger came while wearing the latest version of the lucky brown kit. Great things happen in the brown kit. This was a great thing.So why am I still on Superstar after my grumbles last time?
Simply put, because Top Player is just too easy for me. I would honestly rather sweat and suffer and rage on Superstar – with occasional flashes of light, as above – than routinely romp to victory in every match on Top Player.
It had got to the point on Top Player where I was barely conceding a shot on target to the AI, never mind conceding any goals, and I was scoring for fun myself.
So I had two choices. Either revive my enthusiasm for PA0 and stay on Top Player (or more likely drop down to Professional, to offset the heightened struggle on PA0).
Or stay on Superstar with PA1 and ‘suck it up’, as I believe the kids would put it.
I have chosen option 2 – for now – and so far, so good. A slight change of attitude helps. I accept. I am calm. This is the game. It is up to me to adapt…
There is also the knowledge that there is no way back on PA1 to a lower difficulty level. It’s Superstar or bust.
What I’ve done is slowed my game right down. Conservation of possession. A fast direct attacking style that works on lower levels is only used occasionally, rather than it being the first instinct.
Also I’ve lengthened my match times to 11 minutes, and I’m considering going to 12 minutes.
One of the problems with my preferred 10-minute matches on Superstar is a lack of time to respond to the AI if it scores in, say, the 60th minute and goes 1-0 up. You then have to score twice to win, obvs, and on Superstar it’s a struggle just to score once. 11-minute matches (and maybe 12-minute ones) offset this factor a touch.
Matches are pretty good. Cheaty as hell, and good grief what a dark day it was for the PES series about 6 years ago when the PES Productions meeting room discussed the item ‘Shall we just mostly ignore fouls like FIFA is doing?’, and everyone agreed. If I ever get a time machine, I’m heading to Tokyo circa 2012-2013. I am going to put on a set of grey Acme Cleaning Company overalls, and Solid Snake my way into that meeting. I haven’t really thought about it any further. I suppose I’ll make a passionate speech or something.
So yes, one of the elements that makes Superstar in PES2020 so obnoxious is the way 9 out of 10 clear fouls against you aren’t given. Which is bad enough on Top Player and below, but at least there you aren’t struggling to get any kind of purchase on most games. All the barges and nudges and little taps that knock you off the ball are proportionally so much more aggravating and anti-PES on a difficulty level where it’s hard enough to get and keep the ball, never mind do meaningful things with it. I know there are readers who wish I would stop talking about this. No. I will never stop talking about this. I’ll always talk about this. I’m genuinely amazed that every PES fan isn’t constantly talking about this.
The season is already pretty much a write-off in the league, so the Superstar experiment won’t cost me much there. The table in mid-January, after 20 matches – I’ve got a top-4 finish to play for:I’m out of the FA Cup. My first knockout Europa League match is looming. I might play 15-minute matches for that competition.
No new players coming in. I’m serious about ‘completing’ this ML, in whatever form that completion takes, with my ragtag bunch. Who aren’t all that ‘ragtag’ anymore, actually. I’ve got quite a few players whose OPR is over 80 now. They will become a squad of galacticos in their own right. I have had a quick look at the available players, out of curiosity. I could break the bank and bring in a mature Dele Alli or any number of big-name Regen Youths, but no. I’ve got what I’ve got and will work with them.