Category: Become A Legend

Gone in 60 Minutes

The last time I tried my hand at any in-depth PES Editing, this picture here is what happened. Like something out of a horror film.

That was supposedly David N’Gog, at Bolton, back in PES2012. I cocked up that Option File installation, needless to say.

It’s been tempting to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in with some DIY Editing on PES2013. Plenty of others are working hard on stuff. Why should I sit back and wait for things to fall into my lap?

But I have no familiarity with the system and no time, really, to learn it. Back at work today. I’ll wait for the Championship Option File, and then see what I want to do when it turns up.

I’m warming to my Emergency Standby Master League. I’ve got the Brazilian giants in Division 2 with me. They really are all rather good, for the most part. My feeble Defaults are routinely battered by their pace and strength. I’m back down on Professional difficulty, and pondering Regular. My time on Top Player was hilariously brief.

The table after 8 matches:

Thanks to my first and so far only win of the season, I’m off the bottom—for now.

I’m still no further along, really, in getting to know these new Defaults. At the moment, most are just a capital letter followed by a stream of other letters.

I am starting to know a few, and warm to a few as well. Minandinho is the star striker. Castilis is a capable midfielder. Coynborough, my favourite, has the erratic first touch of pinball flippers—but I like him anyway.

On Monday I was about 95% sure that I’d be switching from this Master League to a more traditional-feeling one, like the one that served me so excellently in PES2012. I.e., one with a full and satisfying Championship component.

But now that I have slightly bedded down in this League, I’m only about 70% sure that I’ll be restarting.

I’m settling into the world, getting to know my team and my opponents. I met Ronaldinho at his new club, Atletico Mineiro, and coped pretty well with him. I can defend well in PES2013, but goal-scoring remains a problem. Take a look at the new-look Calendar:

That’s a 6-0 thrashing I took at the hands of Chelsea in the FA Cup on October 3rd. I was 4-0 down after 20 minutes. The final score could have been 10-0, but I decided not to humiliate myself and shut up shop after their sixth goal went in partway through the second half.

The other scores aren’t too clear on this picture of the calendar. Your own results are shown in bold, which shows up indistinct here. I only won one match, 2-1, on the 21st of the month. I got a draw on the 6th, and lost the others.

I have scored some good goals with the new Defaults. They tend to be satisfying goals in context, rather than spectacular ones in their own right. A Coynborough equaliser in a tough match. A Minandinho header to get my first win. Goals like that.

I have only scored one of my beloved long rangers in Master League so far, with… AAKOBJOERG? It’s the first goal on show in today’s special video… Brought to you in my own hosted video player—buffering takes a bit longer than usual, but it should be fine.

[jwplayer config=”Standard Size 2012″ mediaid=”11962″]

Ah, you’ve got to love that music.

(Please let me know if that vid doesn’t work at all in your browser or on your mobile device. Here’s an alternative link for viewing, if the player above hasn’t worked for you.)

And it’s true: the second goal was scored in Become A Legend. After Monday’s report about dabbling with Online, I have stepped across and sampled another of my disliked modes.

A regular commenter (thanks Liam) tipped me off that you could now play in BaL as an established Pro, and thus circumvent the awful, shocking, insulting periods when you have to watch CPU vs CPU action from the bench.

I’ve always enjoyed the core gameplay of BaL. In the past, though, I have always wound up hating it for frequently not letting me actually play the game. It simply cannot be tolerated, no way, ever.

I wanted to play as a good striker at a lesser team, feeling that I was guaranteed to stay on the pitch and actually play. I picked Pogrebnyak at Reading.

He’s a great player! You know what, he’s got one of the sweetest left foots in all of PES. I scored a hat trick with him in the pre-season Training Match. Most importantly, I stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes.

But then Pogrebnyak was called up for Russia, and I was subbed off after 60 minutes despite being the best player on the pitch.

I had to watch, fuming, while the x2 speed CPU-controlled players ran around for FAR TOO LONG.

This is why Become a Legend, in its current form, will never be for me.

I love the idea of it. When it lets me play, I get very involved and very satisfied at pulling things off—things like that goal above. (Could that be the best goal–or at least the sweetest long-ranger—I will ever score in PES2013?)

I played the next League match too, and stayed on the pitch for 70 minutes this time. I suppose you’d have to play as Messi or someone to stand a great chance of playing the full 90.

I tentatively started a ‘proper’ BaL career with a young player, an AMF starting out in the Dutch league. After being subbed off at 60 minutes in my opening Training Match, I quit BaL. I doubt I’ll be back in its current form.

Let me be clear: I understand that sometimes/often being on the bench and sometimes/often being subbed off is an intrinsic part of the BaL experience. I can accept that, embrace it even. But I cannot accept being forced to watch the CPU play against itself. That is what I have always hated about BaL.

When they let you skip the CPU vs CPU periods, that’s when I’ll be interested in BaL again.

I’ll tell you this, though—that Pogrebnyak really does have one sweet left foot. He reminded me of Schwarz from PES2011. If Pogrebnyak was a few years younger he’d be top of my shopping list for Master League.

Happy days are here again

It’s happened. The picture tells its own story. It’s a detail from a screen in my PES6(360) Master League career.

PES2011 and BaL are no more. I’ve reverted to an an older version of PES. And it’s as if a great weight has been lifted off me. Once again I am playing a football game every day, for longer than I should. This is what I needed all along.

I haven’t made my mind up yet whether to play PES6(360) or PES2010(PS3). It’ll be one of those two. I’ll reveal all on Monday, and the Master League posts will resume immediately.

Whichever one it is, it’ll be a step back in time. I’ll do a proper, reasoned post-mortem on what went wrong with PES2011 (as I see it, of course) in good time.

For now, I’m like a parched man who’s crawled across a desert. I didn’t know how much I missed the full-on, proper kind of football gaming until this week. I did play many short sessions of Master League on PES2011 in parallel with my BaL career—but the only reason I even had a BaL career was because I found PES2011’s full-team gameplay to be so appalling.

I have abandoned PES2011’s Become A Legend after 3 complete seasons. It is a good mode. There’s a lot to recommend it. But it’s just not enough of a football game for me. There’s far too little time on the ball. That’s the whole point of BaL, of course, so it’s not a complaint about the mode per se.

I’ve got too used to playing with all 11 players over the past decade. Not doing so feels like deprivation. It is deprivation. Just two games on the 3DS version of PES2011 the other day was like rain falling on the desert. I was convinced of the need to go back where I belong, which is Master League.

My BaL team, Catania, didn’t finish in the Europa League places after all. My form was pretty bad in the last third of the season. I was struggling with an increasing sense of emptiness about the whole BaL concept, and wondering if my love for football gaming was in permanent decline.

Below are a couple of screens—probably the last-ever sight on this blog of PES2011(PS3). First, the final league table:

Despite my indifferent form for large parts of this season, I made the Best XI. A bit of a travesty, but it is only a game:

And with that, I reached over to my PS3 and hit the Eject button. I opened a window and skimmed the PES2011 disc onto some waste ground over the road, where it has probably been eaten by a squirrel by now.

PES2011 just wasn’t for me, in the end.

I’m back on old-school PES. But which one will it be, long-term?

PES6(360) shocked me at first with its chalky visuals and staccato rhythms. PES2011, for all the faults I saw in it, was silky-smooth in motion. PES6(360) juddered and jerked for the first few minutes of the first match, but seemed to settle down and play a lot more smoothly. At the time of writing (Thursday night), I’ve been having such a great time on PES6(360) that I haven’t got around to trying out PES2010(PS3/360). But I will.

I’ll deal with it all in-depth on Monday, when I’ll reveal which game I’m going with. For now, let me just show off this goal from Messi. Even though there’s no way I can take any credit for him ‘doing the Recoba’, the audaciousness of the animation and the feeling of glee it brought about just made me happy again.

Was the £2 I spent on PES6(360) two years ago the single best value for money I’ve got from a game, ever? Probably, yes.

The wind of change

So there were a few more matches left in the season than I thought: 6. I have played 3 of those 6 matches. I will definitely finish the season in Friday’s post, and after that… There have been certain developments in my football gaming, but I’ll deal with all of that near the end of the post.

The situation heading into these last matches of the season was as follows. My club, Catania, were mid-table, but only a few points off the Europa League qualifying places. That’s where I wanted to finish. Here is a potted overview of the 3 matches I played, followed by a league table snapshot:

Catania 2-1 Parma

Incredibly, Parma came in with a cheeky offer for me in Negotiations just before the match. This would have unsettled me in real life. I gave the offer a good look. Hmmm… 43% chance of playing, AMF/SMF, a good squad, and Parma are a ‘name’ in a way that Catania somehow still aren’t.

But I turned them down. Their players are only about the same level as my current teammates. If/when I leave, it has to be a palpable step up. Othersiwse I could spend several seasons just traipsing from club to club, always remaining roughly on the same level.

In the match, we went 2-0 up and were cruising. I laid on one of our goals. Parma got a late goal to make the last 10 minutes nervy, but we held on. I thought I played well, and was disappointed with a post-match rating of 6.0.

Verona 0-0 Catania

A tetchy, bitty, frustrating game that neither side deserved to take anything more than 1 point from. I knew I’d had an average game, but was still shocked at my post match rating of 5.5. That’s still above-average, I suppose.

Napoli 2-1 Catania

A bitter defeat, and it could have been a hammering as well, with Napoli totally dominant for the first 30 minutes when they got their two goals. At one stage it looked as if they would give me a true thumping. I supplied one of the passes that led up to our late goal in the 75th minute. After that it was nearly all one-way traffic as we laid siege to the Napoli net, but nothing came of it. I got a 6.5 rating for this one.

After those matches, here is the table:

With three matches to go, I will definitely have the season finished in time for Friday’s post. After that… I don’t know if I’ll continue playing BaL regularly.

I picked up a 3DS this week, with a copy of PES2011 3D. It’s a decent game, very reminiscent of PES6 as many have said, if a little cramped on the small handheld console—and the 3D is staggeringly effective (I was braced for it not to be). I’ll write some more about it on Friday’s post, after I’ve played it some more.

At the time of writing (Tuesday night), I’ve only played two quick matches. But they’ve been enough to convince me of one thing.

I don’t think I can continue playing Become A Legend. As much as I’m enjoying the mode, it’s not entirely for me.

I have realised that BaL has been suffocating my football gaming for several weeks. I’m not a solo-player football gamer. It’s not what I want to do with my football gaming time.

I need the pure air of full-on 11 vs 11 gameplay. I need the freedom and satisfaction of playing with whole teams. What I need is Master League.

From Monday, I’ll be back to playing an orthodox Master League career. I don’t know yet which version of the game I’ll be playing. It won’t be the 3DS version—I can say that with certainty. It’s got to be on a proper, big console, with a big controller and screen

It could be PES6(360), it could be PES2010(PS3), it could even be PES5 on the PC. All three options have pluses and minuses. I’m inclined to favour PES6(360), as it’s the only one whose ML career I never actually ‘completed’. But I’ll see how I feel if/when I play it.

Consolation wars

I’m heading to the end of my first season with Catania in season 3 of my BaL career. Wednesday’s post should see it finished. My only aim this season is for us to qualify for Europe next season. The league position is rather precarious (sorry about the glare):

With just a few matches left, a run of indifferent results has seen us fall out of the top 6 into mid-table. We’re currently 11th. But there’s only a few points between us and that precious European qualifying zone.

I’m still on starvation rations as regards my football gaming. I manage just a few matches per session, and some days I don’t play at all. This is a sea change for me. I’ve had bad next-gen PES years before (haven’t we all), but my interest in football gaming has never waned until now.

What is going on here? Is it simply the natural passage of time, ageing, and the inevitable change in habit and routine? Or is it a sneaking, chronic disaffection for what has been, even at its height, a considerably less than illustrious showing for PES in the next-gen era? Which is now getting on for 6 years old. They got the first effort right, IMO, with PES6 on the 360 back in 2005. But it’s been mostly downhill ever since.

I have now pretty much accepted that PES2011’s orthodox full-team game is dead for me. I’ll never play it again. If I want Master League, I’ll have to go elsewhere. PES2011 is over for me, and in truth it’s been over for a long time. I no longer see any of the subtleties that so many others see in the game. It’s a wry inversion of last year, when I loved PES2010 despite so many others seeing it as a troubling, retrograde step.

I might end up breaking PES2010 out of mothballs. But we’ll see. There are plenty of options, really. But for now, I am still involved in my BaL career.

Catania are fighting for that Europa League place. There’s would be no better stage for growing my player’s stats than European competition. Catania have to be there next season. I intend to stay at the club no matter what, but it would sweeten the pill if I could rely on European football.

I’m turning in a lot of indifferent performances. 6.0 and 6.5 are my most frequent post-match ratings lately. Occasionally I have also been subbed for the first time in a long while. And they’re justified subsititutions on each occasion. I seem to spend many games now just watching my teammates bumble and stumble around whenever an opposing player brushes them.

BaL is very much a consolation prize. I don’t really love it, as is probably obvious to most regular readers—but I like it just enough to go on playing it.