This is Season 4 of my Master League career as Coventry City in PES2011. It’s been a pretty tough career so far. In my first three seasons I never finished higher than 14th in Division 2.
But now I’m top of the league after 13 matches, and looking a good bet for promotion:
I’ve scored more goals than any other team. I have conceded more than I should, but still few enough to get the results.
After you’ve scored a goal in Master League, the CPU often storms up to your end at once, and grabs a goal while you’re still mentally celebrating. I don’t care how often it happens in real life, it happens far too often in PES. But it is defensible, and I am defending it—and other typical situations—a lot better than I was.
Some matches are more rewarding than others, of course. In amongst the tough 1-0 and 2-1 wins, I’ve handed out the odd thrashing. Foremost among the thrashings was a 5-0 demolition job on Rosenborg. They have been a bit of a bogey team for me so far, so it was particularly satisfying:
I’m not showing off any of the goals from that match today. This is because I’m recording every goal I score this season for a special bumper video of goals. They’ll all be in that. I think there’s going to be a lot of goals to show. I’ll only show a few goals between now and that video.
PES2011: has it suddenly become too easy for me? This is the burning issue. It’s also a bit of a false issue at the moment, as I remain on Professional difficulty. Whatever happens in the remainder of this season, whether I get promoted or not, I’ll be going up to Top Player difficulty for season 5.
The goals feel as if they’re flying in. Already I can see that a certain kind of goal is worryingly common: a one-two followed by a through-ball for a striker to pass the ball into the net, Jimmy Greaves-style.
I rarely score any from outside the box now, a bit of an inversion from last year. I’ll return to talk about this once I finish the season and video, and get to see all the goals in chronological order.
I’m not really complaining (for now). My star player, Schwarz, finished last season as top scorer. He’s looking likely to do the same this season:
11 goals in 13 matches is a decent strike rate. I’m still not in the Cup (and haven’t been since season 1), so all my action is league action.
The current assists table makes for pleasant viewing too:
Unless something drastic happens to my form, this is going to be my promotion season. I make a lot of noise about my averageness at PES, but if I don’t get promoted from this position then I might as well turn in my joypad.
As mid-season approaches, I’ve got a few transfers lined up. I’ll cover them next time.
Today I’ve got one goal to show in advance of the end-of-season extravaganza—a curious kind of lobbed half-volley from my very useful reserve striker, Ciurmira (cheer mirror, Jon Champion calls him):
I enjoyed scoring that one. Lobs and chips of any kind are always apt to put a smile on my face. But I had, and still have, reservations about the goal. Because I didn’t actually do anything to bring about that result. I just pressed a button and watched the outcome. I was expecting a standard kind of volley, really.
I think that such misgivings are probably best discarded, to be frank. Abstracted control schemes are necessary for games to exist at all. How else are we to play any games, particularly sports games? It’s all a magic shadow-show, in the final analysis. I wouldn’t sit at a play and seethe about everybody on stage all being actors.
I think that a certain rushed-to-market, hideously disfigured, un-PESlike next-gen game that came out a few years ago is haunting my PES gaming like Banquo’s ghost.
It’s all PES2008’s fault, is what I’m trying to say. I’m more than happy with PES2011 and with the overall feel of my Master League right now. But the spectre of PES2008 simply won’t leave me alone.
Whenever I see anything in PES2011 I dislike, I sense PES2008’s clammy hand at my throat, and I hear its mocking laughter. Nothing has been the same since that fateful year of 2007.
Maybe I’ll get over it.