Category: PES Chronicles

Can you hear the drums, Rodriguinho?

After a golden session where several straight wins saw me approaching the playoff zone, I experienced a couple of bronze sessions. More defeats than wins. After 30 matches of Season 2 I am in 16th place, 12 points off the playoffs. I will remain confined to The Championship for another season.

Some late business from January deadline day: I picked up a new signing – youngster named RODRIGUINHO – from the Free Agents list. He’s a Regen of a real player. Here is his real-life counterpart, who is currently only 30 but close to retirement by the looks of things. One of those South Americans who never took the Euro bucks, and whose career currently seems to be winding to a close. An amazing in-game likeness as well. The PES database indicates he could develop to an impressive level, so I have high hopes.I got him mainly because of stats that are good for his age, and he has the Rising Shot skill. I want to score a 40-yard Rising Shot in PES2019. It’s my ambition.

I knew Rodriguinho wasn’t a good tactical fit for my setup. He has been on a down-arrow almost permanently since his arrival. The above screen popped up after he’d been at the club for an in-game month without playing.

When he did take to the pitch… he handled just as a 16-year-old Regen from the Free Agents should. Adequately, but nothing special. I saw his Rising Shot once.

Here is my First XI and squad for the backend of Season 2:

Lybohy and Cadavid are both teenage CBs from the Free Agents list. The Free Agents list is an absolute goldmine in PES2019 – at least at this stage of Master League.

Also new to my squad is that name right at the bottom of the list on the right: Fernandao. He should feature in at least one ABBA-themed punning post title.

I found Fernandao by searching in Free Agents for a player with the Heading ability. He’s also a youngster, albeit a few years older – 20. In general handling he’s very Veldwijk-like. He’s only played so far when one of the first-choice front two are unavailable. 4 goals in 6 appearances. I’m almost certainly going to give him a regular start.

The season is a write-off in terms of promotion, barring a completely unprecedented collapse by the CPU teams ahead of me. Not even Master League with its Scriptiest McScriptface on could bring that about, so Season 3 in the Championship it is.

And I’m not bothered. This is the best PES for me, at this stage, since PES2013.

The match above brought me a glorious last-minute winner. It was another match where fatigue and form forced me to play Karlsen at SS. Karlsen is one of the least-mentioned Defaults in Default history. When he plays LWF out wide, he’s anonymous for me. But played more centrally at SS just behind a CF, he’s phenomenal, and always seems to bag a goal.

In this match he bagged two goals. Then Jarvis popped up with the winner in the very last moments of injury time. A classic all-round PES encounter.

Jarvis performed some kind of ‘Gordon Strachan ’86’ mounting celebration with an advertising hoarding, and got me that GP award. And I got a trophy for the late winner.

Jarvis takes the wheel

It is now October, the traditional release month for PES. What will this most spiritual month of PES bring for the many disaffected players and fans of this game? Not since PES2014 has there been such a dramatic reaction to a new PES.

I almost feel guilty that I don’t need a patch or DLC to make my experience of PES2019 good again.

I’m having the time of my life on PES2019.

I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how I’ve avoided the AI’s Low Cross Spam. Even the one AI brainfart I did see – AI strikers turning away from goal when clean through – doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

Maybe there’s a materialist explanation? Maybe PES goodness is like gold. Only so much PES goodness can exist on Earth at any one time, and I’ve got it all.

It’s amusing, and it’s not. At a seemingly universal time of PES revolt, I’ve landed some sort of exceptional prize goose. Don’t know how, don’t know why.

A golden session of 6 matches late last night has changed my Master League for good. 4 wins, 1 draw, and 1 solitary defeat – all pushed me to the top half of the table for the first time this ML.

(Still on Top Player difficulty.)

Regular commenter Paul, who has just kicked off a FIFA19 Career Mode blog, kindly provided me with a couple of updated CCFC kits. The new away one (bottom right) is my 4th alternate.

I’ve replaced the 1st choice strip with his updated lighter-Sky-Blue-and-white-striped jobby.

Master League is a fantasy hinterland where anything goes.

Jarvis, as seen above, is a little magician. His Finishing stat of 89 makes him comfortably the deadliest finisher in my squad. One of my wins in my miracle session last night was a 2-0 win, both of them from Jarvis. A true fox in the box. Give him the chance and the ball will go in the back of the net.

I’ve had dalliances with Jarvis in previous editions, but never stuck with him past a certain point, and he’s been a squad player at best. I have a dream this time round, of building a long-term squad around Jarvis – and a few other players too, of which more later….

The only downside to my PES Shangri-La is the continuing lack of AI fouls.

In those 6 matches last night, the AI fouls count went like this: 0-0-0-0-1-1.

4 matches straight without a single AI foul. Then 1 each in the last two matches. Giving an overall session average of 0.33 fouls per match.

It’s never usually as low as that. My global PES2019 average so far would be around 1.3 AI fouls per match – still much, much lower than other players of PES2019 are experiencing.

After the demo, I do feel kind of cheated on the AI fouls front. That FIVE-MINUTE demo regularly yielded 3 or 4 AI fouls per match. My play-style in the demo was exactly the same as now.

The January transfer window came.

I sold Vasilj to free up some wages. I’m not very impressed with the Youths this year, and quite right too. It’s a relief not to see a long list of star name Regens in the Youths.

M Gomez is there, though, and rated 74OPR overall. But he wants a salary of £700,000. No way.

I picked up a few young defenders from Free Agents to cover for the departed Vasilj.

Then I spotted a few star names Regen. Samuel Eto’o is still there, this time as a fresh-faced Regen, but again his wages are silly: £1.7m. No way.

Then I spotted Robben. A poor likeness, yes, but it’s still him.

I had a look at his wages, saw that his wages were good, negotiated them even lower with a token goal bonus to sweeten the pot – and swooped.

Arjen Robben, 17 years old, 69OPR, is now in my squad.

Coming to the end of January, Season 2.

Mid-table, only 6 points off the play-offs.

Poor Defaults leaving, good Defaults developing, solid youngsters coming in.

PES2019: it’s all (somehow) happening.

The A.I. That We Fleed

A few days off work meant a lot of rapid progress in my Master League on PES2019. The above is the exact moment I got Castledine straight-red-carded in a calamitous defeat.

I’ve had a couple of proper ‘9/10 enjoyment’ sessions on the game. As I type up this post on this fine Friday morning, I’m aware that it’s FIFA19’s official release day. For many diehard PES fans of long-standing, the PES2019 AI experience is unacceptable, and they are quite rightly seizing on the appearance of what sounds like the most promising FIFA for years.

I’m enjoying PES2019, on the whole. I get no AI fouls, and I’m still sure that long-rangers have generally been nerfed in a way I profoundly disapprove of. But overall? It’s good for me.

Season 2 is 15 matches old at the time of writing. That means I’m almost exactly one-third of the way through it.

This is the current table:

Much better than this stage in season 1. My goal is to finish in the top half of the table at the very least.

Those 3 wins were welcome, but there should have been more.

And 6 draws is frustrating. I’m constantly fiddling about with formations trying to turn all the draws into wins and the defeats into draws. Here is the latest 4-1-3-2 (promptly abandoned):

After seeming so great initially, Rice has declined more or less to averageness. That Rising Shot of his continues to be an enigma. Such an intoxicating new skill, in a series that used to be justly famous for its satisfying long-range shooting. But no Riceing Shot has yet to lead to an actual goal.

SPEAKING OF LONG-RANGE SHOOTING – as detailed in comments on the previous post, I did finally get my long-sought-after PES2019 long-ranger.

Here it is again for those who have not seen it:

Some say these types of goals from that sort of distance are fairly common in PES2019. They’re rare enough for me. This was my first after a hundred attempts. And I haven’t had one since, despite many more attempts.

I did, though, score this R2 curler from about 30 yards with Lincoln – yes the keeper flubs it in, but I’ll take it:

Not quite another long-ranger – a few things count against it, not least the R2-use. A classic PES long-ranger should be a laces-driven cannonball. And then there’s that keeper flap.

It’s the first thing of note that Lincoln has actually done. He’s still ripe for transfer come January, though.

In general, though, I now play a touch more conservatively in attack. Instead of always blazing away from distance, I try to work more optimum opportunities. Goals have picked up slightly, and I am proportionally higher up the table because of it.

Defending can still be a nightmare. The PES2019 AI, for all its many faults, can find fiendish ways to grab a goal when it puts its virtual mind to it. At least 4 of my 6 draws could and should have been wins for me, but I have this habit of succumbing to 90th minute equalisers.

Better players will help. I’m looking forward to the mid-season transfer window with a hunger for new players that I haven’t ever really experienced in nuPES Master League.

I need another top striker to play up front with Necid. After a promising opening few matches, Dentinho has wilted into anonymity, for the most part.

My semi-House Rule is ‘show me individuality or I will show you the door’. Dentinho has done enough, though, to earn a stay of execution until at least the end of the season.

And so have most of my other players. Even the weirdly forgettable starting Default Karlsen has sprung from the bench a couple of times to perform supersub heroics. I find Karlsen plays best as an SS directly behind Necid.

I’m a big fan of Visual Fatigue. We’re so accustomed to playing with our fingers curled lovingly around the R1 button, we don’t realise we’re doing it.

Visual Fatigue punishes R1-use in the late-game. Making the right substitute at the right time is now deeply meaningful, rather than something worth doing just for the sake of it. Fingers crossed that this isn’t patched out.

Hi, I’m Clippy, and it looks like you’re taking a Rising Shot

I’ve come to the end of Season 1 of my PES2019 Master League.

I’ll start today, though, with yet another sign of where the Konami priorities lay.

I’ve been trying to score a long-range goal in PES2019 ever since I got it – and failing to do so.

Here I am with a long-range shooting opportunity, with Rice. I keep plugging away with him and his Rising Shot in the hope that one day, by the law of averages, one of them will actually go in.

Here is what happened in my latest attempt:

My wifi connection temporarily dropped while the shot was mid-flight. The game thought it was important enough to interrupt the single-player action to tell me about it.

As ever, the Rising Shot did piss-all. 10 fantasy bucks to anyone who can post any footage of a long-range Rising Shot actually going into the net. (Footage from the PES2019 promo, back in our now-long-dead summer, doesn’t count.)

So the season ended and I finished a creditable second-from-bottom:

One peculiar thing from the end of the season – the last two fixtures were in JUNE:

Very Konami-like, this whole PES thing, lately, isn’t it?

In the close-season I have sold a few of the Defaults and signed a couple of new players. I have also played the first few matches of Season 2. Progress speed is picking up.

DENTINHO is so far proving a revelation in the SS role just behind Necid. He oozes individuality, by nuPES standards, and seems to have altered the dynamic of the attack.

Also, I am focusing on creating optimum scoring chances now, rather than blazing away from distance all the time. The long-rangers are just not ever going to go in.I’ll cover my opening to Season 2 in detail in Friday’s post, but things have already slightly picked up.

An ML Season 1 quickly becomes a write-off for me in terms of promotion, and is therefore best used as a settling-in season – a time when I get to know my players and the nature of the new PES. I have certainly learned that long-range shooting is sub-optimal in PES2019, to put it mildly.

But I also learned that PES2019 is a surprisingly subtle edition in lots of ways. The last few years’ more arcade-oriented approach hasn’t done the series, or my muscle-memory, any favours. Build-up play in PES2019 seems to need to be slower and more considered. The best route to goal isn’t route one, or even route two. I really like the way they’ve nerfed the ‘blind forward pass from defence’ that always used to find my attacker in midfield, and spark an easy counterattack – that pass now goes, more often than not, to an AI player.

I have to mention the Great Controversy over the AI. As I remarked last night in a comment on the previous post, if I hadn’t heard so much about the AI online – here and on the forums – I would never have had any real reason to question it. A gobsmacking, and faintly ludicrous thing to say for all those who are suffering what they are undoubtedly suffering, but for me it is the straightforward truth. I don’t see Low Cross Spam. For me the big issue is the AI forwards’ ‘running away from goal’ thing, but even that is so rare it’s not a problem either. The PES2019 AI… is generally not a problem. Strange, I know.

All in all, PES2019’s score after one season of Master League would be 8/10. Which isn’t bad. Add a few long-range goals into the mix and things could get better than not-bad.

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EDIT added on the Tuesday evening of this post:

I got a long-ranger!

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