In Season 8 of my PES2020 Master League career I won the league title on the last day, with a 2-2 draw from my final match.
And I needed that point. Man Cty would have won the league if I’d lost or they’d won their match, but they could only draw their match as well.I was away to Wolves for that final match. Mental muscle memory still thinks of ‘Wolves away’ as an easy game, but it’s not so at the moment, in real or virtual life.
I was 0-1 down for a long time, got it back to 1-1 midway through the second half, then, pushing for the winner I thought I’d need, I sloppily allowed Wolves to get a second goal in the 80th minute, making it 2-1 to them. Time ebbed away and I thought the title had gone. Then as the 90th minute approached I had a chance to break, and got the equaliser.
It’s the second goal of the two on show here. The first goal from van Persie, in another match of the same session, was probably the best goal of my run-in session as a whole:
The final table shows how tight it was at the end. My one extra draw – the Wolves draw – was the difference.
I only had 3 players in the Team of the Season, which is a strong indicator of me squeaking to this title:From the above screen I allowed the game to progress to the next day, waited for it to complete its Autosave, and turned it off on the PS4 for the final time for the foreseeable future.
I’ve learned never to say ‘never’ when it comes to any PES on any platform. History shows there is a good chance I will return to the PS4 platform and possibly this exact save, at some point in the rest of the footy game year – which, let us remind ourselves, has a whole EIGHT MONTHS remaining in it.
Thoughts about PES2020? I will be doing my proper End of Year Review in August as usual, but I think I can say right now that my thoughts on PES2020 are mixed, to say the least.
On one level, a fantastic football game. If the history of the series wasn’t hanging over it (as it ever does), I wouldn’t know that it was fundamentally flawed in a couple of ways. I’m talking about fouls, and I’m talking about long-range shooting.
Pretty much everything else in the game is fine, brilliant in fact, but these two things (fouls, and long-range shooting) being ‘problematic’, undermines everything else.
Fouls can be OK in PES2020, sometimes, which by modern standards means having 2 or 3 in a 10-minute match, but these are the rarest of rare matches for me. Fouls are not OK often enough for them to actually be OK, if you catch my drift.
Long-range shooting is never OK. The joy of letting one rip from more 25+ virtual yards is significantly tempered, to put it pissing mildly, by the fact that maybe 1 in 200 such shots has a chance of actually going in.
These two areas of the game, of course – as discussed at great length not just this year but for all recent years – bear all the hallmarks of deliberate ‘balancing’ for online play.
As long as the online Pachinko machine is grinding away, no-fouls and no-long-rangers is what we single-players have to put up with. And it royally sucks.
So I finally feel forced to head elsewhere and look for other solutions. I set off now to a new platform with modding capabilities. I am talking about the PC platform.
I am looking for gameplay, above all else. Modding for cosmetic reasons is nice, and will be indulged in (because, why not), but it isn’t the prime inspiration.
PC-phobes needn’t worry. The post content will be roughly 5% PC talk and 95% what I actually do in the actual football games.
PES and FIFA are both likely to appear – and they don’t have to be of the 2020 vintage, you know… There may also be some Football Manager shenanigans.
It’ll be something different for the blog, which has been essentially the same for 13 years now, so let’s see where it goes.
Farewell – for now, perhaps – to the PS4 incarnation of PES2020. I’m tempted to give it a provisional score…
Actually, what the hell, I will. 8/10, for now, and that’s a little bit generous considering how much of a grump no-fouls and no-long-rangers puts me in. The game’s real score will come when all the dust has settled in August.