Well, well, well. Big news in the PESverse: a ‘trigger player run’ feature, albeit with a Konami twist, is coming in PES2012. There will be automatic and manual versions, both mapped to the R3 button.
It’s a big step for the series—whether forward or backward remains to be seen. There’s been a bit of a flap about it on the forums.
I’m not perturbed, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a feature I valued in next-gen FIFA. I’m not bothered in the slightest about PES copying FIFA’s good ideas, and I don’t believe that this constitutes a ‘FIFAisation’ of PES.
Secondly—and perhaps most importantly—I wonder just how much I’ll actually end up using this new feature? Trigger runs in PES2012 could be a first-session wonder for many of us, or something used sparingly at best.
In about 300 hours’ total play on PES2011, I still haven’t played a manual pass or executed a trick-feint. I’ll occasionally waggle the right stick to shake off a defender while getting a cross in, but that’s it. I know there’s a world of choice embedded deeper within the game, but I’m happy playing without it and the game’s happy to let me. Trigger runs in PES2012 should exist on the same opt-in basis.
So I’m happy, or better to say: happy to see what they’ll make of it.
One thing’s for sure: if any of Konami’s innovations turn out to break the game, or herald the actual FIFAisation of PES, it’ll make the next-gen PES2008 catastrophe look like a minor squall.
In other news, yesterday on PES2011 I enjoyed one of the single best games of football of my football gaming year.
It was AC Milan vs Valencia in the opening fixture of another Champions League tournament. I played as AC Milan. The match length was 15 minutes. (15-minute matches are the new rock ‘n’ roll.)
It was a revelation. The game felt totally different from the grim mess that I experience so often. I felt able to play football, to pass, to move, to craft openings, to defend well and in depth. It felt, dare I say it, much more like the demo. Hmmm.
I’ve never really played PES2011 with top teams. My old 9-season Master League team on the PS3 was as close to a top team as I’ve come. Even most of those players were only just above-average at the time I abandoned them in disgust.
In PES, as in football games generally, I’ve always relished the challenge of teasing the best out of average teams and players. Somehow it makes any achievement all the more glorious. The only time I ever play with Barcelona etc. is in the demo.
AC Milan’s default formation is a very flexible 4-4-2 with one of the strikers slightly withdrawn into the SS role. Cassano occupies this slot automatically, but he was blue-arrowed for the Valencia game. I put Pato in his place.
I’d never played with Pato before. He was sensational. I scored a hat-trick with him. He seemed to handle a lot like Schwarz at his peak.
The first goal was a classic centre-forward’s header from a cross, after I’d indulged myself in some sublime tippy-tappy football that I’ve rarely been able to play before on this game.
Pato’s second and third were both long-range efforts, one from 20 yards, the other from 25-30 yards. I wish I’d recorded all three goals to show here. The third goal was as good a long-ranger as I’ve scored, with the merest chink of space taken full advantage of. But I didn’t want to get up and break the spell of this magical match.
If I do start a new ML on PES2011, it’ll be with AC Milan. There’s no time for a Default campaign. I’ve got too much else on besides, not least the book.
And of course, there’s my ML in WE9LE. I’m stubbornly persisting with it despite the old-school ML with its database issues.
It’s been a patchwork football game year for me so far. I do miss the old certainty of a continuous cohesive march from October to October. PES2012, I look to you in yearning.