I hope that 1.02 brought everybody whatever they wanted in its seemingly infinite sack. I was already adjusting to the 1.01 gameplay, as Monday’s rather gushing post showed. What I still hadn’t adjusted to was PES2012’s shooting, but I’ll get to that.
I’ve got to the end of Season 1 in my Master League career. The division top scorer list, above, is probably my one bright spot in a tough, tough season. My main man, striker Stephen Twigg, continued to bang in the goals throughout all the ups and downs.
I started the season on Regular difficulty on version 1.00. Then moved to Professional difficulty. Then moved to version 1.01. Then to version 1.02 with about 10 matches left. I ended the season as I began it, back on Regular difficulty, getting hammered by the AI.
Here’s the final table (pardon the amateur image editing required to fit the entire table into one picture):
I notched up more wins than usual for a season 1, and scored a few more goals than usual. But I ended where I always end in season 1 of a Master League: bottom.
The overall season outcome was West Ham taking a close title. I didn’t have one player in the Best XI—not even Twiggy made it.
I spent most of the last third of the season without Ruskin. The stalwart left back is one of the most important Default players there are. I mostly used Xechinto as a left back. My injury list was off the scale at one point. Ruskin won’t actually be fit again until a long way into next season. I’ll be going shopping for a left-back in the transfer market.
I declined to renew Dodo’s and Lothar’s contracts. They’ll be off in post-season. I’ll get rid of a few more too. I’ll probably have to sell some better players to balance the books.
I’d love to keep a hold of Shimizu. The little bastard is now up to 81 OVR with the supporting stats to match. But I still often struggle to do anything with him. If I get a good enough offer that would solve my financial woes and enable me to get several other decent players, I’ll take it. But I’ll try to sell a few others first.
All my staff are already at Level 1—no upgrades at all—so I haven’t even got the option of cutting them down to basics. It’s going to be a tough financial window. But I have survived them before and I will survive this one.
Ewolo, my sturdy DMF, has been a diamond. Here he is scoring a lovely thumper (on Professional on ver. 1.01):
I won’t sell him. Not least because he’s in his late 20s and anything I get for him would be negligible.
Finally, patch 1.02 landed on Monday and I installed it that night. I saw no difference in the shooting, which disappointed me so much that I didn’t really focus properly on the rest of the game until the following day.
Over the past few years we’ve seen some remarkable hysteria in the PES community. I still cringe to think of how it became a settled fact in many people’s minds that adding custom kits to PES2011 altered the core gameplay. Back in PES2010, a minor DLC update prompted waves of adulation for the subtle gameplay changes that it made. (It didn’t make any.)
So I’m always very, very, very cautious and sceptical about alleged changes brought about by patches. I’m like Scrooge when it comes to these things. Patches? Bah, humbug!
Typically, the 1.02 update has been credited with making so many changes that you’d think an entire new game had been released. The myth-making is running at full tilt, with the latest grand theory being that 1.02 is the actual, final game that Konami didn’t have time to release in October.
Sigh. All we know for sure is what Konami say. 1.02 is a gameplay update, but they’ve been very cagey as to exactly what’s been updated. No doubt there’s a lot of shrewd calculation there. They know that many people will see what they want to see and be happy.
But… I have to say… For probably the first time, I think I’ve caught the spirit of Patchmas Day. I am usually like Scrooge when it comes to these things, but I feel like capering down a snowy street singing joy to the heavens.
The game feels better. I probably see and feel only about 20% of all the things being claimed for patch 1.02, but it’s enough to make the game feel better. Less annoying uber-defensive AI is the most obvious change.
And suddenly, the game difficulty levels feel as if they’ve been rebalanced again. I might have to go back down to Regular for at least the start of season 2.
I’m still very dubious about the shooting, but there is possible light at the end of the tunnel.