Simming World

I’ve finished my maiden season in Manager Mode with Coventry City on FIFA09. I didn’t get sacked—but probably only because I simmed the last few games. Naughty of me, but I’d already decided to abandon this career, so it didn’t matter what happened.

I’ll be starting Manager Mode again on World Class difficulty from the outset, with a new set of House Rules that will be strictly observed. In this current career I bought a couple of good players (rated 75+ Overall) in the transfer window, and I also sold a lot of youngsters from my squad. I’m not allowed to operate like this under my ‘realism mod’ House Rules. So a new career from scratch is the best way to proceed.

For my last few proper games (not simmed) in this current career, I decided to give myself a taster of what’s awaiting me in the new career: I switched the difficulty to World Class. I’m planning to stay on this difficulty from now on. After a difficult few days with FIFA09, changing up the difficulty was a breath of fresh air. It forced me to slow down, take my time, play football properly.

I moved up not because I think I’ve mastered Professional—far from it—but because I just want the CPU to keep the ball better. I think it does improve the game, for me anyway. On Professional, I was never really worried about losing the ball. Most of the time it was simple to win it back straightaway: just clamp X+Square+Sprint, and wait. This made for fast-paced, chaotic games without much real shape to them.

The CPU keeps the ball a lot better on World Class. Clamping seems less effective, but it’s still early days. I’m already playing more carefully again, the ‘new FIFA’ way, focusing on possession and creativity with the ball.

The overall standard of play is tougher too, of course. It’s harder to do the simple things well. Not that I’ve ever found goal-scoring with semi-manual settings simple… In these four games I didn’t score once. Not even close, most of the time. 0-0, four times in a row—without a single shot on target in one of the games. It was pretty grim, but I can live with grim. The challenge is to get good at it, to overcome the grimness. This is the kind of football game I want to play.

After I’d taken the temperature of World Class difficulty, I decided to do something I’ve never done in FIFA before. I simmed some of the remaining games. Yes—I SIMMED them. The computer doesn’t always get it ‘right’, but that’s the risk you take. It won’t ever use substitutions, I’ve noticed. All the starting XI will be completely knackered after a simmed match. And the scorelines! I won one simmed match 4-0. I’d rarely scored even 2 goals in one game in this whole short career.

The simmed matches pulled me away from the relegation zone. I’d never, ever use the sim option in a real season; I was only doing so now because I planned to abandon the career whatever happened. Here, for the record, is the final lower part of the table:

So I finished 18th after 46 games, 4 of them having been simmed, and that’s the end of that career. I’ve deleted the save. It’s a write-off. I’ve already forgotten it.


I’ll get to my new Manager Mode career on World Class on Monday (tomorrow will see a PES2009-related post). I’ll describe my House Rules in exhaustive detail. I’ve already played two games of the new career—and lost them both. Again, with few shots on goal myself. If this keeps up I think I’ll be sacked before Christmas. If that happens, I’ll just start again, and again, and again… I think this new way of doing things will be, dare I say it, ‘fun’.


  1. Your insane! WC with Coventry City is insane, but I wish you the best of luck. There may be a fair few MM restarts, and you’ll have to play wholly defensive. If you get a goal, just defend the rest of the game. I know what you mean about clamping on professional, it works to well. Tracking back actually gives the CPU more chance to score strangely.

    Look at this goal in my Athletic career. Just a normal pass as usual, but the game decides it wants me to go behind. Sorely tempted to reload and restart.

  2. Not Given – I have similar problems with passing – you’ve got it on semi-manual, yes? I think it’s completely down to us not aiming right! Seriously, the same gradations of aim apply to passing on semi-manual settings with the analogue stick as to shooting and crossing etc. You probably thought you aimed at ‘4 o’clock’ with your player, but pointed to ‘3 o’clock’ with the stick. (Either that or the game really is out to get us.)

    I give the ball away so much and so randomly that I’m considering putting passing back to Assisted…. I won’t, though. I’m going ‘hardcore’ with the game from next week.

  3. Yep semi passing. Blood was boiling in that match so lucky to escape with a 1-1 draw. I think i’ll hang around with professional a bit longer, with the controls and this team, it’s proving challenging enough. I fear WC would just get me sacked again..

  4. Good luck with that Not-Greg. It should be interesting to say the least.

    That’s the tragedy of semi-assisted, or the analog stick and it not being perfect. The problem lies in the fact that most gamers are used to using the 8 D-Pad directions on the Analog. Maybe full manual is the way to go. What do you guys think =)?

  5. I’m starting to really dislike this game. Why have they picked on everything that made Euro good and destroyed it? It’s like they have looked at PES 08 for ideas this year! They have taken things out that were in previous FIFAs and added things in which made PES so broken last year. Close to giving up and just playing Euro or finding last years FIFA.

  6. I think I have finally mastered semi shooting. Although I am seriously aided by playing a MM with German team Stuttgart, who have one of my favourite PES players of all time in Mario Gomez up front who is simply amazing in all aspects which make for a good forward. He has about 75% of my goals so far this season, including scoring 4 against league leaders Borrussia Dortmund in a 4-0 romp. Although I am far from being able to step up a level, the two games which followed saw a lucky 1-0 win against lowly Herta BSC thaks to a penalty and another 1-0 win against a 2nd division side with my recruit Dean Ashton bagging the only goal of the game.

    All on Proffessional difficulty at the moment.

  7. Not Given – hang in there. Did PES used to drive you crazy sometimes?

    I’ve been kind of regretting my big fanfare about going to World Class after letting this morning’s games sink in a bit. I’m nowhere near ready and it’s going to drive me mad. I will give it a go, though, and accept the inevitable sack if it comes along.

    steph_wheeler – yes, it’s the analogue stick passing I think. Does me time and again. I’ve got to focus on trying to be as precise with my passing as I try to be with my shooting.

    stinger – Like I said I’m nowhere near ready to move off Professional. My bad season in MM was mostly on Professional. I’ve only moved up so that the CPU will keep the ball better – and it does seem to. Clamping isn’t so effective. I’m hoping for slightly better all-round matches than I was having a day or two ago, when I was seeing the bad sides of FIFA09 all too clearly.

    The quality of the players does make a massve difference, I think. Your Stuttgart players would be about the same level as my Atletico Madrid players in my other MM career over on the 360. I really enjoyed that career. It’s been the opposite of my Coventry attempts so far. I keep saying it but it’s really like playing with the ML Defaults – multiplied by a thousand…

  8. not-Greg,
    I think I found you on PESFan. Everyone not-Greg is guilty of faking his identity. His real name is Greg Downs and he has been a member of PESFan since 2004! The evidence lies in this video, which is most outrageously comical and an insult to decent folks who do not like to have a laugh.

  9. steph_wheeler – ha! you certainly did find me on PESfan. I used to post there regularly, years ago. Not so much lately – I think just the one post this year, in the PES2009 1st impressions thread a few weeks ago.

    My forum name was in honour of the most average left-back that Coventry City ever had – and that’s a lot of average left-backs, as you can imagine. I adopted the ‘not’ Greg tag here in the (admittedly unlikely) event that the real Greg Downs happened on the site and took offence at somebody representing themselves as him.

    As for my PES5 videos (both links still on the right sidebar) – Bergkamp remains the greatest PES striker I’ve ever played with – nay, the greatest football game striker, full stop (so far). Great memories.

  10. Yes that rather intense anger in my last post was caused by a result in MM. Against a relegation battling Almeria, I was 0-1 up as 90 mins flashed up. I ended up losing the match 2-1. It was one of those moments I just sat and stared at the screen for an eternity trying to control the urge to stick my foot through the PS3.

  11. Hi guys – check out the latest WENB podcast – even Adam is now admitting the future is looking bleak for PES, especially as it seems the PS2 port will also be the basis of the game in 2010.

  12. kiwanis

    Adam strikes me as a tosser, I recently seen a WENB video in a cafe and the guy looks like a bafoon.

    I emailed him a link to my dribbling skills on FIFA 09, which he said on his podcast couldn’t be done. No reply. Then again the guy loves PES with it’s assisted controls and the ability to use square and x to dribble down the whole field. He’s a joke.

    He has kids hail hailing him on his blog.

    I can’t wait to return from work on Feb and play online with full Manual controls. Separates the good players from the bad. I only wish the EA tournaments were this level opposed to the arcade fest assisted, which any clown can play.

    You’ve also got FSB hail hailing a guy who scores goals on assisted controls, posting his compilation videos. I am sorry but there is no skill involved in that level.

  13. Heraldo I wouldn’t go as far as to say there is absolutely no skill involved but it certainly does taint the achievement in my eyes. You have to remember we all player PES for years with what is essentially asssisted shooting because we knew no other way and were rightfully proud of certain goals we scored on that.

    It’s only now, FIFA with it’s new options has opened our eyes to just how much we were being helped

  14. Heraldo I argee with you about Adam and WENB; they are a bunch of jokers and chancers – my only point is that when those dicks are being critical of PES then the game really is up for Seabass and his lazy PS2 ports 🙂

  15. heraldo, i think we need to start, at some point, to respect other people decission about the way o the game they prefer to play. In the end, all this fuss against other people decissions only shows a weakness of the ones we make. It´s a pity we cannot choose the type of control our opponent may have online, but´it is fifa´s foul not to have this option online, and i don´t think we have to force people to play manual or assisted. Maybe you want to show off yourself and you should know the reason of that, as i know why i am so frustrated when i loose against manual or assisted, but this is just a game and everybody have the right to enjoy it the way they prefer to play and a not to be trashed for any reason, and no matter the passion we´re putting here, we should be aware of that everytime. I left WENB ´for reasons i wouldn´t like to see replicated here. So far this blog has been a great blog about how to achieve a better gameplay experience and how to cope whith the flaws that PES and of course, FIFA 09, too, suffer. I would like it to keep in that direction, but obviously, that´s not depend on me anyway. No lecturing intended, heraldo, cose what you ve done here i ve done before. cheers

  16. to non-greg, i think full manual on profesional is a better challenge than world class to an average player like me, most of the time on world class i just think that is too much for me, for when they score or take the ball from me every time i just don´t think a could do better, i need a little more of time to think the pass or the movement i need and honestly i think they score whenever they want. I dont want to come and say that eficiency in word class, even if you can master it, looks a little unrealistic to me(by the way, did you notice that every time a player make a defensive header the ball goes directly to the foot of a teammate, never seen that in a pitch, so here is some homework for FIFA developers) and i think that a professional level whith a better attacking AI would be perfec for me, that is a patch we never get to see. And i dont even think about playing WC on assisted, so i´m back to professional with full manual and god may help me if he is the mood for this kind of charity.

  17. Not Given – whatever you do, don’t play Football Manager 2008. I had a few matches on it yesterday just to warm up for the FM2009 demo (out tomorrow!), and I was 4-1 up in the middle of the second half in my on-off CCFC career. Then I had a man sent off. Then the other team – Rochdale or someone – started playing well… “If this match ends 4-4,” I thought, “I’m never playing this game again.”

    It ended 4-4.

    kiwanis – I really enjoyed the podcast, particularly Adam acknowledging that PES is stagnating at least, and declining at worst.

    heraldo – you’re at it again! Poor old Adam…. Is your left eyelid twitching? 😉

    I enjoyed this WENB podcast more than most of the previous ones. Really interesting discussion between the two guys. I don’t mind Adam’s fanboyism when he tempers it with a bit more adult honest and realism about the state of play at the moment, as he does this time.

    stinger – I was seriously considering going back to Assisted settings this morning, after yet another game on WC with no shots on goal. But I think I’d drop down a difficulty level before I’d do that. Although there is some satisfaction still to be had from Assisted shooting, I get so much more from Semi that I have to persevere.

    fjmarlop1 – I don’t think heraldo has any real hostility towards Adam from WENB. I think Adam serves as a symbol for the wider denial seen in many parts of the PES community, even now.

    Fo example – PES2009 is not a bad game, as you’ll see many people stating, over and again, on the forums, as if by not being a bad game PES is back on form.

    PES2009 is not a bad game. But since when did ‘not bad’ become good enough for PES? I think ‘not bad’ just isn’t good enough and never will be for this once-great series.

    Oh, and I’m struggling BIG TIME on World Class. Seriously thinking about going back to Professional.

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