Master League 2010: the game starts here

I’ve started Master League on PES2010 and I love it. I’ve done my time messing around with the other game modes, settling into the game. That’s it now. It’s time for the real show to get going. I’ll let any lingering concerns about PES2010’s gameplay resolve themselves, or not, whilst playing Master League—still the greatest game mode ever created, I’m happy to report. There’s so much to talk about. I’ll just cover the basics today.

There’s a certain period of adjustment required. It’s very different from Master Leagues that have gone before. Some of the fundamental building blocks of Master League have either changed or gone completely. It’s a big shock not to be in instant control of Negotiations, for one thing. But there’s method to the apparent madness, as I’ll discuss.

The Setup

I always start out with the Default Master League players. It’s very easy to sail right past them. The game no longer makes a point of asking if you want to choose them. It’s up to you to notice a tiny prompt at the bottom of the team selection screen. Pressing Triangle (or Y on the 360) swaps between a normal squad of players and the Default no-hopers. I had to back all the way out to the main menu and start again after missing it the first time through. The option is just visible at the very bottom of this photo:


My team is called COVENTRY CITY, but it’s just an edited WE United. Every year I just use either them or PES United, rename them, change the kits, and I’m away. I’m not much of an Editor in PES. Never have been. To this day I have never used an Option File in any PES game. That is the truth. My annual Editing routine consists of changing all the English teams’ names, and no more. It’s the work of five or ten minutes.


The new Master League menu system is very swish. I disliked it at first, but ended up liking it after an hour or two. I spent a good while just clicking around and seeing where everything was.

Weirdly, I couldn’t find anywhere to change the team’s kits. I had to go all the way back to the main menu (after saving) and change the kits via the main Edit option. It’s a minor annoyance, but not a big one—and it does mean I can change my kits at any time, not just at the end of a season. I’ll soon be putting a dirty great sponsor’s logo on the shirts. It’ll be ironically self-regarding and solipsistic, honest.

The Team

I had a club budget of £3.6m after various calculations were made at the start. (Other, ‘proper’ teams start with higher budgets. Some get massive budgets. A Chelsea would get something like £160m.) Not having any real idea of how finances work in the all-new Master League, I was cautious about spending any of it on new signings. But would I even need to? Why not find talent within the club?

One of the most significant changes to Master League—arguably the biggest change—is the introduction of a Youth team. If you start with a regular crop of players, many of the Defaults will be found in the Youth team. Because I actually started with the Defaults, I’ve got a Youth team made up of… gulp… could it be…? It is, you know: Schwarz, Shimizu, Palmieri, Oscar…

Some great old Konami players in there. All Youths, of course, and all requiring a few seasons of work to get even near to being the players they’re going to be. It’s a great new feature of ML this year and one that I whole-heartedly endorse. The first season or two with the Defaults was always a slog for me. I only persisted with it because it was my tradition to do so. I’m off the hook now and it’s a huge relief. (Ah, but does it really change things? For me anyway? Not really, as we shall see.)

I signed up Schwarz, Oscar, and a decent CB called Kim Jong Yeol. None of them are very good yet. Schwarz in particular is weak and slow—on a par with Hamsun for now. Oscar is the pick of the three. He plays in every midfield position. Somehow, this is my first time with Oscar in Master League. Our paths have just never crossed. I’m looking forward to seeing how he turns out.

Each Youth cost a few hundred thousand pounds to sign up. Their salaries went immediately onto my wages bill, I was told. I was also told that all my bills had to be paid at the end of this negotiations period, overlapping with the start of the season. Hmmm. Alarm bells were ringing. I could have signed up a few more players from that tempting Youth team, but some instinct stopped me… It’d be embarrassing to get a Game Over before a ball was kicked. I decided to hold off for now.

There’s a new concept in Negotiations: Scouting. During the setup the game asks you if you want to handle Negotiations yourself or leave them to the scout. I selected ‘do them myself’, of course. But then when I tried to negotiate, nothing happened. Eh? After a few weeks the Scout returned, saying whether he’s completed the deal or not. If he has, I have the option to accept it as-is, or step in and conduct detailed negotiations personally. It’s confusing to get to this point after you’ve specifically said you want to handle negotiations yourself. The game could make things clearer, I feel. I believe upgrading your scout by a few levels gradually shortens the time he spends negotiating, with the end-result that—at the highest level—negotiations happen instantly, just as before. So I think, anyway. I don’t know. I’m just surmising. I’m a long way from being able to upgrade my scout.

The First Matches

After all that, the most important thing, the reason for being here—the football itself—had better be good. And I think it is good. Opinions still differ hugely about PES2010’s gameplay. My own opinions can swing from one extreme to the other in the space of a short time, as seen in some of my recent posts. But somehow, for me, and I suspect for many, playing PES2010 with average-to-good players makes for a brilliant game. I’ve had my best games on PES2010 in the first few matches of my Master League career.

I lost two and drew two of my opening four league matches. Scored a few goals. Won the first round of the Cup. One not-so-good thing: if you choose ‘single fixtures only’ as the cup option, the game has you playing that single match at a neutral venue—at Wembley Stadium in my case, in the English League. Groan. That’s just not how one-off Cup matches work. Somebody at Konami got very confused when they implemented this. If I had my time again I’d choose to have two-legged cup matches, as is traditional in ML, but it’s not worth a restart. I’ll live with it.

So at the end of my first bunch of games I find myself in familiar territory in Division 2:


It’s meant to be Division 2 of the English League, but I find myself in among entirely made-up teams. Look at those names! No Rapid Viennas any more. It’s all Twizlethop FC, or whatever. I actually like it. Of all the whimsical strokes ever pulled by the Master League designers (they’re like the Ringworld Engineers in my eyes), this is one of the most curious. Why not go with the Spartak Moscows and the Veronas in Division 2? But I’m happy in this bizarro PESverse, and always have been.

After a few weeks, I had to pay all my wages and staff bills out of that £3.6m budget… Phew. It was fortunate that I’d restrained myself on the transfer market. After everything had been paid I had just £90,000 left. To put that in perspective, it’s like avoiding a Game Over in the old days by about 500 points. So I lucked out there. I had no idea what I was doing. Only my old ML thrift instinct saved me from a Game Over straightaway.


Coloured nets are another piece of ML whimsy—every team has nets that are the predominant colour of their home kits. Just another oddball feature in the wonderful world of Master League. God help us if Konami ever gets enough official licenses to turn this world ‘legit’. I’d probably boycott it on principle. “Give us back our quirky alternate-world footballing universe,” would be my rather unwieldy battle-cry.

Speaking of nets, I scored my best goal so far into a black net. Yes, a BLACK net. They look, how you say, cool. I scored with Gutierrez, and it was rather a good goal I think. I love it because I deliberately aimed for that top corner, and I love the effect this had on the resulting shot. It seems to be half a clip-style shot and half a full-on drive. See the glorious flight of the ball:

I watched the replay of that one over and over for a minute or two, cackling. Cackling and salivating. I know people who think I spend all this time in my room watching ‘European cinema’ on the Internet. I’m happy for them to think that. Because if they knew the actual truth…

At nearly 1800 words this has been my longest-ever post on the blog in over two years. It could have been twice as long—three times as long—and I’d still have stuff to say. I haven’t even started on my formation, First XI, and the tactical side of things yet. (It’s deep.) I will do my best to keep Friday’s post down to 500 words. 1000 at most.

The Future

So, let me recap. I’ve started Master League, I’m ecstatic about it, I’m playing with the Defaults, I’m at or very near the bottom of Division 2, and I’ve got no money to spend.

It’s great to be back home.


I’ll get the ‘daily scores’ thing out of the way, even though I now regard it as superfluous. Master League makes PES2010 a 10/10 game in my eyes. This daily scoring lark is just a bit of fun, I suppose.

Monday: 8.5/10 – an indifferent morning session, but the day was crowned with a sensational night session in Master League. That goal from Gutierrez had me on my feet.

Tuesday: 9.5/10 – I haven’t actually dealt with Tuesday’s action on the blog yet. The above post is all about Monday, really. About Tuesday let me just say: hubba-hubba.

Running daily average (6 days): 8.25/10


  1. Hi not-Greg,

    I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying ML. It is amazing. Are you playing on Top Player now? I remember you saying you were waiting until you were good enough to do so before you started your ML career.

    Guttierez is a great player. I’ve scored a few goals like that too, and in my first season he was my top scorer. I also signed Shimizu, but his stamina is so poor, he only plays ever third game or there abouts. Not convinced by him. And he’s expensive!

    I’ve found an absolute gem of a player in my youth team. He’s called Aleghalam and his overall rating is 82 and he’s only 16! He appears in the Oman national team, but there he’s 24, and his stats are not great at all. See the image below to see his stats.

    One thing I must say is the the Premier League is tough. The schedule alone is depleting my team.

    I wish I had more than one goalkeeper. It’s the last week of negotiations (January) and I’ve received an offer of £1.95mil for Manone, but I don’t have a backup. I’m tempted to sell him, and play the rest of the season with the tallest reserve player (or maybe my youth team Gk) I have in goal, but it’ll be risky.

    My average age of my first XI is just 21, so I’m in for a tough season. I’ve got some good players, though. I still need to offload Ruskin though. I put him on the transfer market, but no one made an offer.

    P.S. I’m sure I read that you update this blog at noon on the dot (I assume my setting it to post like that automatically in WP or the like), but it seems that because the clocks went back here, it now appears at 11am, rather than 12. Just letting you know.

  2. Delighted to hear of your great ML session. I Acquired PES 2010 two days ago, and had a brief look at ML, it was simply bewildering! I soon went running back to my Premiership season! I am looking forward to it though it certainly is deep, with your youth team et al. The training for me is the most bewildering thing,you need to set individual routines, and if you don’t do it properly the players don’t seem to develop! It’s all very confusing, but still, I can tell this a all year-long ML. I’m going to wait for some sort of guide or breakdown before i delve in though! Just out of interest is the gameplay any different in ML, it always tends to be much more difficult, probably due to the scripting, though!

  3. Darshan—yes I’m on Top Player now, and it’s hard. Even more so because the Claw seems so ineffective. I pass huge chunks of matches without being able to get the ball, and unlike their Exhibition and Champs League cousins, the ML teams seem to know how to do things with all their possession.

    Amazing isn’t the word for the new ML. Master League has had so much attention lavished on it it’s unreal. I’ve started to micromanage my team before every match and it’s brilliant. The new stats-penalising system for playing somebody out of position means I can’t just stick another player in a position and get on with the game. I really have to customise the formation before most matches. I’ve ditched my usual 4-3-3 and am going with a general 4-4-2, but it has to be subtly altered for every game to take account of unfit/injured players. I went into a match just now with just 1 striker fit and in form, and so went with an ad hoc 4-3-1-2, with Burchet having to move to the touchline and play as an emergency WF because you can’t just play him as a CF any more and get away with it. Loving it. (I got thumped 3-0 in that game.)

    I think I’ll end up keeping some of the Defaults this year. Gutierrez for one. And Ruskin – I might retrain him as an out-and-out AMF. There’s no end to the depth here.

    I just sold off a load of dead weight and got the squad down to 24. I love how there are loads of offers. I got rid of Castolo – first on the chopping block. Another bad year for Castolo IMO, but can anything reverse the myth of Castolo after all this time? Unlikely.

    (Re. the time on the blog, I did indeed forget to put the clocks back to GMT. I noticed it last night but decided to publish this post at 11 anyway, because it’s a significant one for me and the game. Back to noon from now on.)

  4. – Check this out, i need one of those t-shirts!

  5. patrick222—make that sessions, plural! The sheen hasn’t worn off right up until this morning’s mammoth session, taking me up to and past the mid-season negotiations. There are 18 teams in Division 2 now, so it’s a long old season. There’s always the choice of simming matches (great addition, and overdue in ML), but I want to complete my first season the old-fashoned way and discover the game in the process, so I’m playing ’em all.

    As you’ve discovered, there’s so much depth that it’s not likely to wear off any time soon. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the custom training and focus training and skills training… You’re right, if you don’t adjust their focus training they don’t get any growth at all.

    Gameplay feels vastly different in ML compared to other modes. Chiefly this will be to do with the average players, of course (me included), but it does feel slower and more considered generally. The AI seems a lot sharper too.

  6. I have visions of you writing that post with a gleaming smile mate, sounds like good old ML has certainly impressed.
    It sounds very thorough and immersive, just exactly what a management mode SHOULD be (take note EA).

    Really itching to go and buy PES now but will stay strong and get some worth out of FIFA first…. just this lunchtime went and bought an XBOX360 Elite console to sit happily next to my PS£… so best of both worlds now.

    Not-Greg …. home comes you dont use option files when it would take less time to install than your usual 10mins of team editing and give you all the real world team names/transfers/badges/sponsors ??
    Not saying you should use it of course, just curious as to the reason… nostalgia maybe?? 😉

  7. Paul—as I remarked, there’s so much more to ML that the post could easily have been three times as long. The training and formation customisation options alone are very complex. YOu can retrain any player to play anywhere, acquire new skill cards for him, sell him or keep him accordingly. I predict many players will make their own custom game out of just acquiring raw Youths, training them up, equipping them with skill cards, and selling them on for millions. The system is so intricate compared to the usual fare that I’m starting to suspect it’s the prototype for some kind of multiplayer trading system in a future online dimension to ML.

    Re. the Option Files, you’ve got it correct – I’ve never used them, so I still don’t. Like I hint at in the post, I’m happy enough in Konami’s made-up football world. The likes of “West Midlands VIllage” is a bit too much for my taste, so I do change those names. In PES6(360) there was no Editing at all, and I put up with the fake names for everything in that game.

  8. just one question, how long are your matches. I quess the deeper the tactics involved are before a match the longer i prefer that match to be just to see the effect of the tactics on the pitch. You thing 20 min per match would be too long?


  9. 2009soccerfailure–I play 10 minute matches. It’s the ideal match-length for me, neither too short nor too long. The tactical elements are noticeable enough to satisfy in that 10 minutes, but naturally in a longer time-period they’d be more noticeable. I suppose it’s a trade-off between what you have time for and what you want to get out of the game. LIke I say, 10 mins does it all for me. It’s the Goldilocks match-length, just right.

  10. ok, thanks again, i usually play 15 min matches in ML, so i can have my subs having an effect cause i use to make my substitution aroun 20-25 min into the second half. But 20 min maybe have an excessive impact in the final score. i like them low. I´ll stick with my 15 min, i´m just waiting for an option file coming out next monday that will be giving me all the spanish second division teams.

  11. Great post – don’t be afraid to keep them long – helps me look forward to something at lunch time.

    I started a Master League at the weekend, but as i’m still getting used to it, I went in with Exhibition players. Almost half way through the season with the Hammers and have just ruffled a few of the fans feather’s by re-signing Craig “don’t call me bad boy” Bellamy. I’m currently top though, so might go straight into the the defaults come the end of the season.

    Is there a way back for Castolo? He’s in my youth team……maybe just maybe.

    Darshan – that player is unbelievable! Want to get home early tonight to check if he’s available!

  12. Liam—you’re top in your first season in ML? Even with the Exhibition players, that’s not really good news. I know you play on Top Player as well. It’s my one remaining great worry about PES2010, that I’ll start to get some decent players and it’ll end up as just another PES2008(next-gen), with me virtually walking the ball the ball into the net whenever I feel like it. Maybe you’ll have a harder time of it in Division 1. I hope so!

  13. Im also Liking the longer posts, something to mull over at lunch and get a better feeling for how your ML is really shaping up so dont apologise for the long-uns!!
    Thats cool about the option file, i guess im just very fussy!!

    ML really is sounding top notch, it worked perfectly and was always engaging so brave move by Konami to revamp it, soudns like its for the better though, this may well bring my PES purchase forward considerably!

    FIFA gameplay & Engine with PES ML – dream game!

  14. You’ll be glad to know that even the “game over” bit has been updated, you go into debt and have a transfer embargoe placed on you, pretty realistic actually.

    The ML is awesome this year, altough i found it easier to beat Premiership teams in the cup than some of the fake teams in D2, but oh well. My only concern is how easy it will become, because thats when ML becomes boring.

  15. This is a fantastic post for those of us awaiting the release of the game in the states. Extremely encouraging news for me, as like you, I’m a 99% offline player.

    The length of the post is fine, because that’s how long it took you to say it!

    Here’s to hoping the game stays tough on Top Player. The addition of the uber youth players like Darshan’s diamond in th . . .okay, that kid’s just a diamond . . . worries me, however. They seem to be popping up for everyone.

    Still, a move in the right direction for the game, and for its crowning jewel, Master League. FIFA stole a march on Konami in 09, but it won’t happen again.

  16. Max: I am also finding that the “top teams” are easier, especially in the cup. I just won the FA Cup against Manchester United. A wonder goal from the wonderkid that is Aleghalam won the match in extra time, but Man U really deserved the win. Rooney must have hit the post at least twice. The very next game against 18th place WE United (I’m in 19th place) should have been easy after the final, but, no. They played me off the pitch and they won 3-0. Sigh. Relegation it is.
    It is odd though, the random difficulty. Stoke (now 16th place) have done the double over me, while I’ve drawn with Manchester City (2nd) and Tottenham (4th) twice each.

    I came across this glitch in the final. Some of my players appeared black. It seems like it’s a normals issue, but it’s quite annoying. I find it hard to keep track of my players when more than half of my team are completely black! Has anyone else seen this? I’m playing on the PC, so it might just be a PC issue.

  17. Paul—it’s pretty frustrating that ML’s so good, in a weird way. Because when am I going to get back to the great game that is FIFA10? And I’ve got Batman, Forza 3, Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed (!), plus others to get through. Uncharted 2… I’ve stopped myself getting that as I know I’ll neglect it right now, just as I’ve neglected the excellent Batman (started and played about 10% of it—no more since PES arrived).

  18. Max—thanks for the info. I’m sure that’s in the manual, which I did look through last week, but I confess I skimmed the ML section, assuming it’d be basically just the same as ever but with a few cosmetic changes (a la Manager Mode). How wrong that assumption was.

    I’ve got a plan to take care of the Doomsday scenario (the vanilla game becoming easy) if necessary. We have a full Editor with the ability to affect the gameplay. I plan to either do a mass edit of every player in the game myself (doing 200 per day should only take a few weeks). I dabbled with this side of things very briefly last year. Or I could download one of the ‘realism mod’ files that people are already starting to talk about. There’s no way I’m letting this year’s PES and ML just disappear in a puff of smoke once the goals start flying in too much. IF that even happens to me, of course.

  19. ck—knowing that you like your tactical/customisation options as you do, I wonder how long it’ll take you to play an actual match in Master League?!

    And re. the hope that gameplay stays tough, I’m encouraged by Darshan’s relegation woes and several reports from elsewhere. Even if PES2010 does ‘do a PES2008/9’ and suddenly get easy, there are… certain contingencies… *rubs hands together slowly* (Yes, a dirty great ‘realism mod’ patch. It’s doable. Some people swore by the idea last year, said PES2009 was the greatest football game ever with the players all nerfed a bit.)

  20. Darshan—that’s one strange screenshot. Definitely a PC thing IMO.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m delighted to hear you got relegated. It means the game has teeth and legs. I remember nearly being relegated in my first top-flight season in next-gen PES2008, though. I bungled the negotiations and my team was too weak even for that game’s D1. Was that your first season in D1, post-promotion?

    I’ve always found the lesser teams in PES more of a handful than the big names. Going back as far as I remember, I always had relatively little trouble playing a Chelsea or a Milan, but I quaked with fear at the prospect of Sunderland or Bosphorus FC (my major bogey teams in PES2008 and PES5 respectively).

    Can’t get over this all-new Master League. I love the way it forces you to tweak your formation before every match (unless you want to risk an out-of-position penalty).

  21. It seems that you find the PES gameplay to be average, but the ML to be outstanding, with that being the only factor keeping you playing PES. I think thats quite harsh, I think PES’ gameplay matches up quite well to FIFA(IMHO), it forces you to play a slow, considered passing game, with no sign of super-dribbling, before making a cross you need to be in space and balenced, otherwise its a waste of time, 360 dribbling, although maybe not literally 360 degrees, opens up a new dimension to the game and as for the shooting, its the most, meaty, satisfying shooting i’ve ever seen in any football game. I think it matches up to FIFA and is better in many departments, it’s most certainly a massive leap from 09, definitely worthy of being called a next-gen game!

  22. Having said all that I do think PES’ needs to tweak the passing system, it’s too CPU influenced, and also improve the animations, They’re by no means awful but FIFA’s animations are a joy to behold!

  23. May i just say that ML kit Gutierrez is wearing is very fetching indeed!

  24. not-Greg,
    It was my first season in D1, and, in a way, I’m glad I got relegated. It means I can work on the team and get some goals in. Because I (amazingly) won the FA Cup last season, it means I have just under £20mil in the bank (before costs – I think I end up with £12mil after costs), so I can improve my squad. The youth team players are awful though. I just won my first match 2-0 against Hull, with my new forward (I don’t remember his name) scoring. The main reason why I found it so much harder was the defending. In D2, I was given a couple of decent chances each game, which mainly came about before of defenders backing away too much, but once I got to the Premier League, it all went downhill from there. I scored just 23 goals (in my first season Guttierez alone got 19 I think), and won just 7, drawing 9. What interesting is that the 2 other clubs that got promoted with both got relegated, but the new promotions to the PL are made-up D2 teams, not the originally relegated PL ones (if that makes sense).

    I really am enjoying the Scouting feature, although he’s not good enough yet at making deals (he’s Level 3).

    By the way, have you found the total goals/assists bit, or the season results? I can’t find it at all. It seems really odd that Konami would have taken out your past seaons’ performances like that.

  25. patrick222—I agree that PES2010 is deeper and more ‘simmy’ than is generally being allowed (in the reviews at least). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think FIFA10’s core gameplay experience—the nuts and bolts, the warp and weft—is subjectively ‘better’ than PES2010’s. I’ll say it again: it’s in the ballpark of where PES should be now. But I wouldn’t describe PES2010’s gameplay as average. This is so far proving an extraordinary year for football gamers. I’d say PES2010 is very good right now. FIFA10 is very, very good.

    ^^^That’s all subject to change. A few months of constant PES2010 and Master League would effectively reset me to space-year 2005. I.e., the instinctive dislike for FIFA, no matter how ‘good’ it is, that so many many other PES fans still have.

    But what makes a football game is what you do with it. That’s what counts. Online is neither here nor there for me—it might as well not exist at all. It’s just not a factor that I take into account. It’s all about the single-player (I know, I’m old).

    FIFA10 has its Manager Mode—bugs aside, not that much different from previous two years’ pretty lightweight fare. A 6/10 mode. Decent as far as it goes. Diverting, even engrossing, in patches.

    PES2010 has Master League. Enough said.

  26. Darshan—I heard a whisper about the missing season results/stats a week ago, but thought no more of it. Come to think of it I haven’t actually stumbled across them in my travels yet—but aren’t the players’ stats all on their individual pages now? Or is that just for the current season? I’m still in season 1. I’ll have a close look in the morning. If you haven’t found them yet (and I bet you’ve looked everywhere), they’re probably not included. That would be weird.

  27. not-Greg,

    I have looked in all of the places I can find but to no avail. I’ve even considered the bizzare thought that you might have to increase your fan base level to see them (because the fans would keep a record?). Sadly, it seems they’re not anywhere, which is annoying. I’ve got no proof of my FA Cup win! It’s probably the only time I’ll ever win it too! Sigh.
    Those stats are just for the current season sadly, and if you buy a player midway through the season, those stats come with them, so you can’t see how many games/goals they’ve scored solely for you.

    Also, should I accept this offer for Guteirrez? It’s the last day of the transfer period today, and it’s for some crazy sum. I’m tempted, very tempted. It would double my current funds!

  28. Darshan—there’s a bit of an out-of-the-way menu on the left side of the ‘ML wheel’ that I think is about the rules of each competition (leagues and cups)—could the season stats be in there?

    I had a few inflated offers like that for my players, and cashed in on a few. One player in particular, who I was very reluctant to let go, I eventually let go after agonising for a minute or two. Every player has his price.

  29. What are you DOING to me not-Greg… no sooner do I reconcile myself with the bog eyed hideousness of Manager Mode and get ready to buy Uncharted 2 or Dragon Age Origins and you come up with this post??? This throws my carefully laid financial gaming plans into chaos… I HAVE to to play Master League *drool*

  30. Sadly not, they only show this season’s results (and only top scorers/assists). Sigh. It seems we’ll have to make do without stats. It’s quite annoying actually. I’m sure it must be there. It’s probably really well hidden.
    I’ve just trawled through Google and I couldn’t find anything really; a few other people asking where they were, but no definite answer as of yet.
    I can’t imagine Konami would have taken out all of the past seasons’ stats as well as the growth graphs of your own players(unless I’m missing something).

    It’s a tough call. £21mil is a hell of a lot of money. But, it is Guterriez. He’s the first player this time around I’m reluctant to sell. He did under perform last season (probably because of wonderkid arriving on the scene). I’ll sleep on it, and decide tomorrow.

  31. I knew ML on PES2010 would be an instant win… however, it seems that Gamespot who ignored MM on FIFA10, didn’t bother playing ML…. anyway they gave PES2010… 6.5/10 !!!!!!

    Is it that bad?

  32. Just a side note….. Uncharted 2 is, without question, the single greatest gaming experience you will ever have had to date, it completely blows away the first game and has soooo many jaw dropping moments tha you’ll just not want to put the controller down….. and im only a third of the way through it!!!

    Also just bought an XBOX Elite yesterday, so if anyone wants a game anytime, my XBL gamertag is XPJR79X

  33. Chris—many apologies for the disruption, but I’ve got to call Master League as sensational. It’s disrupted my schedule too—I’ve got so much else I should be doing, gaming and otherwise, but my mammoth morning ML sessions are back for now. Not even the slightly rubbish discovery that it doesn’t store season records (apparently) can take the gloss off it for me right now. Bear in mind that I’m an ML fanatic and it’s still only 1 week since the game arrived. In other words: caveat emptor. But I think I’ve got my forty quid’s worth already.

  34. Darshan—I’ve just had the chance to hunt high and low for season records myself. I’m still in my first season, but I should still see the current season in progress somewhere—sadly not, though. That’s a blot on ML’s copybook, albeit a relatively minor one. There had to be something, didn’t there…

  35. TareX—the Gamespot review does acknowledge Master League – “The Master League may not have received a huge overhaul, but the accuracy of the transfer system, the simplicity of the presentation, and the long-term challenge it presents make it arguably the best single-player mode in any football game on the market.” (end of paragraph 6) That curious ‘not received a huge overhaul’ remark indicates to me that the reviewer probably didn’t actually play it, but just went by past ML reputation and thought he couldn’t miss with Manager Mode being in such a state.

    Gamespot gave one of my other favourite games, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, a 6.5 too. Over the weekend I clocked up my 100th hour on that game.

    PES2010 isn’t bad, it’s just not developed enough from past iterations for the reviewers’ tastes. It’s one of their dominant criteria when they assess a game. To a general games reviewer PES2010 is just another unit dropping off the conveyor belt.

  36. Paul—I loved Uncharted so much when I played it in the summer for the first time. I remember looking ahead to now and thinking I’d struggle to focus on Uncharted 2 if FIFA and/or PES were any good. That’s what’s happened. I haven’t even bought Uncharted 2 yet. At least this way I’ll be able to pick up a ten-quid-cheaper used copy in a month or so.

    Did you get your XBL tag off a car number-plate?! Only kidding… Mine’s ‘Mackspace’, and anyone is free to ‘add me’ as the kids say, but I never play online and that’s not going to change unfortunately. Got too much else on and my gaming time is single-player only, the way God intended.

  37. I too am loving the ML.
    At one point i was even tempted to switch my allegience to FIFA….im glad i stuck to my guns. PES is simply just a lot more fun to play.
    Quick question….in the old ML once you’ve played a game the stats for each player who participated within the 90 mins were increased before your eyes (via little bars…you all know), in 2010 altho this process seems to still be around…it doesnt seem quite so effective. Do i need to hover over a players name to gain the experience points? am i doing something wrong? nothing seems to work and as this blog seems to be a collective meeting place for great PES minds, i figured this was the place to ask. Thanking you in advance

  38. that is strange… comment appears to have jumped its way into the middle of yesterdays posts!! Which leads me to suspect that your blog knew i was going to ask the question before i knew i was going to ask it. The power of PES ha ha
    Im also disappointed to see that Aleghalam doesnt appear to be in my game. Boooo
    Also does anyone know whether adding your BAL player to the ML affects his growth in BAL or is it just ML?

  39. Phil—I think the best thing is not to have any allegiances and just play what you want to play. Right now for me that’s PES2010 and Master League, and I’d be happy to play it all year (for the first time since PES5) if it holds up of course.

    Re. the growth, I found that I had to go into the players’ focus training in the Training menu and make some adjustments before they’d start picking up points. You don;t have to look at them individually after each match for them to gain those points (as far as I know).

    Problem is, though, some players never seem to get any development points, and I don’t know why yet. I think the answer could be that you have to level-up your backroom staff, and until you do only some of your players can benefit from training. That would make sense. I’ll know more after a few seasons. I’m still in season 1, with the Defaults, and really struggling.

  40. Phil—I’ve had the comments set to appear ‘threaded’ for a few days, just testing it out. If you click Reply under a particular comment, your comment will appear under that comment wherever it is in the list. I think it’s been more hindrance than help, so I’m putting it back soon. Back to one-after-another order!

  41. haha No, not a car Reg plate ….. my XBL gamertag is my initials and year of birth with an ‘X’ either side – i got fed up of trying tags that had already been taken so opted for that, and like you Not-Greg, i very rarely ever play online, unless its against a mate.
    Well when you do eventually get Uncharted 2 let me just say you will enjoy immensely.

    got Forza Motorsport 3 with my XBOX, its a good game but not really into motorsports so thinking of trading against PES.
    for the PS3 version though so i can use the editing options, itching to get into ML after your last few posts.
    Picked up a free ‘BONUS DVD@ in GAME too, all about PES10, making of, motion capture, in depth interviews with Seabass and the team etc, interesting viewing.

  42. i agree, i like to follow all the comments of the thread but has been a little complicated theese days as i had to go back and forward and then remember which i had already read or not, and i´m not very good at that.

  43. Paul—I picked up Forza 3 the other day after spending some of last weekend reading up on it and getting all excited. It’s been years since I played a racing game. At the same time I got Forza I was going to get Uncharted 2, but they were selling it for £43. Gulp.

    Forza’s still in its cellophane thanks to Master League. The fire will die down, of course it will, but for now I just want to spend every gaming moment I have on ML.

  44. 2010onhold—comments fixed. I didn’t really like them threaded either, just thought it might make it easier to follow strands of conversations. It didn’t!

  45. well well well, i’m seeing more and more people saying they’re loving Master League on the lalala’ing EA forums which has to be a first… I think this weekend may see me return to my spirtual home inhabited by my old friends Minanda & Castolo – wish me luck

  46. Chris—good luck, and your mention of Minanda reminds me that he’s just got injured in my ML and will be out for ‘between 6 and 13 months’ (!).

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