I’ve played another few matches in my maiden Master League season as Anderlecht in Serie B in the Dutch Eredivisie in the patched PES2013 known as PESJP using Jenkeys patch with the ball-weight adjusted up by 10% and referee strictness raised by the same amount. Come on, keep up.
It’s pretty good. I’m waiting for it to seem not-good. To semi-proudly denounce it and football gaming and run screaming back to my strategy games and my books.
Hasn’t happened so far.
The big change is the referee strictness. It really forces you to play properly and not just go sliding around and double-X-tapping with gleeful abandon. I haven’t finished a single match so far with 11 men. Most of them I have finished with 10 men. I’ve finished one with 9 men. And I finished one match with 8 men—was very pleased to get a draw out of that one.
Here’s some random footage from a few games in action. The main point of interest here is the camera I’m using. It’s a modified Sideline camera with more of an angle on the goal, and slightly pulled back too. The slight chance I make on the breakaway right at the end showcases the heavier ball mechanics, I think. It is harder now to dig the ball out from feet and get that extra ‘whip’ on it.
Thumbs up all round for PESJP2013. This one’s going to last. The referee strictness setting will see to that if nothing else. Playing every game with at least one fewer player than the CPU is another layer of difficulty in its own right.
I’ve begun Master League in PESJP2013. New post-match screen above. That was a Training match on Professional, just to ease myself in. Why is the pre-season opponent always Sparta Praha?
This will be a very text-light and picture-heavy post. I played this morning, and played a few more games than anticipated.
PESJP2013, with my custom settings and custom camera (as seen below), is just so damned good.
I have started as Anderlecht, original squad, in the Eredivisie. The Italian Serie B is the Division 2. I cannot be arsed with realism. Give me a fantasy world of my own any day. As the great Homer Simpson put it: Every day, the real world just gets fainter and fainter.
First order of business is winnowing the squad down to manageable levels. I hate having a squad of too many.
Player development is ON. I’m using a different stats database—the Matrix one, which I believe is more realistic. Yes, that contradicts my anti-realist crowing just above. And?!
The various tweaks and nudges of the PESJP patch continue to delight. The novelty is a long way from wearing off.
My ball-weight and referee-strictness adjustments continue to impress me too. It’s not a wildly different game from vanilla PES2013 that I’m playing here, but it’s just different enough to make it intriguing. Not being able to slide-tackle with carefree abandon changes everything fundamentally.
Reggina were my first opponents in the league season proper. I put it up to Top Player for this game. Went behind early and thought, uh-oh. But soon stormed back to a 3-1 victory. And got a player sent off for a tackle that wouldn’t even have been a yellow on vanilla.
The current table:
With one thing and another, my footy gaming levels are still criminally low. No time.
But for the first time in months, I want to play more than I can. This is frustrating, because I simply can’t find the time—but it’s also reassuring. The old passion hasn’t gone away for good after all.
PESJP2013 is looking like being the game now. The game that gets played and talked about on the blog. Probably until the end of this ‘summer’ thing that we’ve got going on here.
For those who have not played PESJP2013, don’t want to play, cannot play it, have already ‘moved on’, etc.—it’s not so different from PES2013. For me there was little or nothing wrong with PES2013, as such. The only two gameplay values that I’ve changed are ball-weight (up by 10%) and referee strictness (also up by 10%).
Ball-weight is a significant change. Passing and shooting values change accordingly. Players’ first touches seem ‘bobblier’. Numerous control values all change in accordance with player stats. (I’m using the Matrix database for player stats, which I probably won’t see the full benefit of until I start Master League.)
I motored through the qualifying group of my warmup tournament. I drew the final match against Brazil. I finished each one of the group games with 10 or fewer men, thanks to the referee strictness, which really does change everything.
The change to referee strictness is easily the most significant difference between this PES and every other football game I’ve ever played.
Any tackle that doesn’t get the ball is a yellow card. Many are red cards.
It costs me possession %, because obviously I’m not diving in with double-tap tackles and slides with anything like the eagerness of before. A mistimed slide or double-tap is very likely to be a straight red. Just imagine the effect of this knowledge on your decisions whilst trying to defend. Very, very dicey!
In my first knockout match against Ukraine, it was 1-1 and heading for extra time. Ukraine’s winger went on one of those long runs down the wing. I had two covering defenders with him, but was terrified of putting in the challenge, and settled for just shadowing him and trying to block any cross. On vanilla PES2013, the leg-breaking slides would have come in and that winger would have been going DOWN, no mistake.
Here, he got his cross in, and a striker was waiting in the box to head the ball in, and I lost 1-2. Out at the first time of asking.
I wasn’t too bothered. Warm-up games and tournaments are all about exploring the mechanics of a PES, and this tournament has certainly allowed me to do that.
Next up: the return of Master League. That’s for Wednesday now.
I haven’t reinstalled the game yet. I was experiencing crashes a week ago, and thought a reinstall would help. What I’ve done is stopped fiddling with the custom camera settings in-game. That’s helped, but perhaps the most significant change is disconnecting from the Internet before playing. Nothing can phone home, or try to, and no other installed programs can interfere by popping up notifications either.
Look carefully at the picture above. See anything… unusual? Look again. It’s pretty obvious.
Yes—that’s a woman referee. I dropped my cigar and almost choked on my morning brandy when I saw that. I knew it was a mistake to let them have the vote. Just look what’s happening now…
This is, of course, a side-effect of the PESJP patch. At least, I assume it must be, having never seen a woman official of any kind in the vanilla versions.
Which means that the makers of a patch for a computer football game are demonstrating progressive, forward-thinking. Jenkey & co. make their stand for women’s equality! What a bizarre world we live in.
It’s not completely outlandish, of course. It’s only a matter of time before Coventry’s very own Sian Massey refs a top-flight game. (But is she as good at reffing as she is at running the line?)
PESJP2013—as it’ll be known on the blog from now on—is still going strong. There’s no telling what the future holds, but I’ve played quite a few games with a lot of enjoyment. Next week, I’m going to give Master League a good go.
Which displeases me, frankly. I’m not impressed with the ‘bittiness’ of this year on the blog so far. Very unlike me. Even back in the year of PES2008(PS3), things were more stable than this. FIFA08 rode to the rescue back then. And then PES2008(PS2).
PESJP is a special piece of work. I’ve never been down on vanilla PES2013 for its gameplay, as such—just for its hideously misconceived Master League. Easily the worst ML ever in the history of the game. It wasn’t even down to the boots and items and stuff. It was the core developmental model that was broken.
Anyway, anyway. Old wounds do not heal fast in the world of PES. It’s going to take a long time to forget the damage done there.
Luckily there exists something like Jenkey’s gameplay tool, which enables a raft of changes that should—should—make the core game interesting once more (not a great stretch—it already was decent), and hopefully the baseline developmental model of Master League tough to grapple with again.
I’m still playing my warm-up phase. This is where I just fool around trying out the mechanics of the game and getting used to things. Exhibitions and a couple of Tournaments.
I’m currently playing a great International Tournament with Ireland. Here are three goals from my opening matches, each of which showcases the heavier ball:
Sorry for the murky-jerky quality there—I reduced the original file sizes a bit too much.
The Damien Duff long-ranger is pretty special. In the next phase of play, I went sliding in with Duff, trying to stop the AI’s straight-from-kickoff comeback, and got him a red card. It wouldn’t even have been a yellow before. I have ref strictness turned up by 10%. This isn’t an extreme setting—this is the right setting.
I like the McGeady free kick as well, but I do worry that the heavier ball enables that kind of goal to be scored too easily. There’s a reason why Konami spend a long time (presumably) balancing the game to reflect their wishes.
Let’s say that the ball weight in the vanilla game would likely produce 1 goal per 15 free kicks for a player of mdoerate skill. What if my adjusted ball weight (missus) changes that figure to 1 goal every 5 free kicks? And what knock-on effect will that have on the game as a whole, moving forward?
These are the kinds of questions that worry a lot of people when it comes to modding anything, least of all a football game in which the balance of various forces is in a delicate, uh, balance.
But it’s better to modify than not, for so many reasons. The freshness of the game now easily trumps any lingering concerns about unbalancing the game. I will find my own balance. That, ultimately, is what modding is for.
Onward and upward. I have got to reinstall everything from scratch to sidestep a few permissions problems that I seem to have run into (ah, the joys of PC gaming).
After another day or two of testing, I plan to start a Master League. There’s ample time in what remains of the alleged ‘summer’ to get more than a few seasons under my belt.
Feel free to leave a comment on any post, or alternatively you can send me an email: greg[AT]
I will try to respond to most comments and emails as soon as I can. Sorry, but I never play online. Yes, I'm sure that you do play 'properly' and that I would be pleasantly surprised, but I just don't play online, ever.
Chris: NG – I’ll figure it out – I’m hoping the specs I’ve chosen will provide me with a machine that will play next... Chris: Thanks for the heads up Werd, I’ll be keeping an eye out for that on repeat. I think Challenge know their audience. Between that and... not-Greg: Chris—the patch is self-installing, just a double-click to make it go. Getting hold of it is the hard part. I ended up... Chris: You guys have really piqued my interest with this jenky patch. I’m considering a 520 quid laptop from pc specialist which should run... werd llitrah: Dont know if anyone was a fan as a kid but knightmare is being repeated on challenge in hslf an hour:-)
abbeyhill: fair enough, I guess my perspective was that with my ML team full of 95-109 OVR players PES2012 can still be really tough at times, with... not-Greg: abbeyhill—player development is 95% of the reason for PES2013′s standard ML problems. The other 5% is probably the way the... Uncle Turf: abbeyhill – the crucial difference between 2013 and 2012 is the development. 2013 after a few seasons has your players able to... Darryl6464: Uncle – gosh it is hard, I have made a poor start to ML with Newcastle on superstar level and have lost first 4 games in the... abbeyhill: is it really ‘silly player development’ alone though? Sounds like 2013 is a much easier game when playing with top teams...
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