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.
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.
Six matches of PES5(PC) this morning constituted my longest single session of footy gaming for many weeks. On the way back? Possibly.
It’s been about a month since the PS3 was even switched on. I don’t miss it. It’s got one of those perfect layers of dust on it now that’s like a layer of fresh-fallen snow on a pavement. It’d almost be a shame to spoil it.
I beat Blackburn 2-0. Then I thumped Arsenal 3-0, with some well-worked goals finished stylishly by my front two of Aquilani and Schwarz. Camacho got a scrambled late third.
I followed this up with a 2-2 draw at Spurs. Next was a scruffy 1-0 win over Bolton, complete with this goal from the timeless, peerless Mathieu:
That shows tenacity from the legend, typical of him—and also the trademark PES5 ‘chop’ finish across the keeper and in off the post. OK, it’s in plenty of other PES editions too, but the ‘chop’ finish is almost the quintessence of PES5 to me.
After that I met Liverpool in the first leg of the D1 Cup—a dour 0-0. Then Everton back in the League—another dour 0-0. I felt the hand of PES here, putting a dampener on things. Nothing I tried really worked.
Breaking Bad season 3 is slow to get going. In Civilization V I’m playing as Japan on a real-Earth map in South America. I tried playing Crusader Kings 2 again and walked right into a succession crisis. I don’t understand this game. Need to read the manual.
Life is… all right, really. I’ll get back on the horse when I’m good and ready to. If that point never returns, so be it.
I’m sticking with my PES2012-style formation in PES5, but it’s not really getting me anywhere. I’ve only scored two goals in four matches using the 4-2-2-2.
I probably need to push Mathieu and Camacho forward. Their deep-lying nature is a relic of PES2012 and PES2013. The super-dribbling AI is not a problem in PES5. The super-passing one is. The super-possession one is. When this AI decides it wants to play keepball, it plays keepball, and that’s that.
I cannot decide what my best strikeforce is. It’s Bergkamp and Almeida in the screenshot. Usually I go with Schwarz instead of Bergkamp, but the big legend was tired for this match.
It was against Sao Paolo—an English Division 1 team in this ML world. It was the latest match where I struggled to score or do anything by way of threatening the goal.
I kept switching to my attacking alt-formation (a ridiculously swashbuckling 1-2-2-5 lineup) to try and get something going up front. Which would often leave me very vulnerable at the back. I conceded a goal to a Sao Paolo breakaway after half-time, and that looked like being the final result.
Then, with the last move of the game… the one where you know that as soon as you lose the ball and the AI moves it up towards the halfway line, the whistle will go, so there’s pressure, there’s pressure…
Some bonus sound from Brackley and Brooking there.
A punch-the-air moment! I’d huffed and puffed to no real purpose all game, and deserved to lose, but by sticking with it I’d salvaged a point.
And that was that. One session, one match.
Sessions of PES these days are short and to the point. It now seems like another life where I often spent hours playing on the PS3. I couldn’t do that nowadays even if I wanted to.
Fortunately, I don’t want to. I’m catching up with some reading. I’m finally watching the excellent Breaking Bad (never knew it’d be so funny). I’m debating whether to rewatch Firefly again—which I thoroughly enjoyed a few years ago, but its notorious early cancellation left an empty, unsatisfying feeling.
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.
werd llitrah: Pes6 has arrived and its only.bloody shrinkwrapped!!.its like 2006 all over again.i feel like a mouse at christmas.new manual smell... werd llitrah: Ng-i will have to have a bit of therapy then..classic paraguay never..uruguay however….;-) not-Greg: Werd Llitrah—PES2014 is a PS3/360 production, have no fears about that. The only thing you should be worried about is getting past... not-Greg: Paul—I’m quietly confident* that we’ll get something big in PES2014. I’m thinking at least FIFA-scale features,... not-Greg: Uncle Turf—I’d also say your non-dev ML will have more legs than that. But how much more legs—? The more I play of...
abbeyhill: Paul – yes I concede it’s not as convenient, just a personal preference for higher quality specialist devices – the... Uncle Turf: NG – I think I’ve mentioned before the last thing I would ever want to watch t.v on would be a phone. The ultimate in... Paul: Quite shocked by some of these negative statements. Abbeyhill – out of curiosity why do you consider that having a separate mp3 player,... not-Greg: abbeyhill—it was on Gamespot, while I was waiting for Xbox One news to filter through. The DS is the best thing Nintendo ever did... not-Greg: Uncle Turf—I don’t need lots of devices for the stuff that I watch, read, and listen to. All I can say personally is that a...
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