Before heading back to WE9LE, I wanted to finish my Champions League tournament with AC Milan on PES2011. 15-minute matches on Professional difficulty have shown me the best and worst of PES2011 all over again.
I won the thing, beating Marseille 3-0 in the final. Along the way I had a memorable 4-4 semi-final second leg against Inter. (I went through on away goals.)
Prior to that, in the quarter final, my opponents were Chelsea. Or London FC as they’re still called in the 360 copy of the game. (I refuse, on point of principle, ever to refer to PES2011 on the Xbox360 as another version of PES2011. It’s not. It’s exactly the same game that it is on PS3 and PC.)
The Chelsea/London FC matches were my most enjoyable since the opening match that I thought so highly of.
AC Milan’s squad is a large and impressive one. I was never short of quality players to replace blue- and purple-arrowed ones. Since the earliest days of ISS/PES, I have never taken to the field with blue-arrowed players unless I can help it.
One of my discoveries is that it’s great to play PES2011 with great teams and great players. I know: this is something that everybody who plays online discovered a long, long time ago. Welcome to the party, granddad. Etc.
Pato and Ibrahimovic have been my main strikers. In midfield, Pirlo and Flamini have excelled.
But my star player for the tournament would have to be the old man, Clarence Seedorf. As many readers will know, I love me some long-range shooting in PES. Seedorf’s real-life skills in that department have been very ably reproduced in PES2011.
The discovery of Seedorf has been a highlight. I’ve played him as a DMF in a midfield diamond, with Van Bommel dropping to the bench.
It’s as hard as ever to create the space to make the shot, and harder still to get it on target and use the right power, but when it comes off, it really comes off. This one is a bread and butter distance strike for me in PES2011:
I love the technique of the shot, the direction and slight bend on the ball, the way the net ripples, the goalie’s despairing dive…
And most of all, the context. The quarter final was a tight, tense affair, with a 1-0 win at my place followed by a 2-1 defeat at theirs. For the longest time I was 2-0 down and on the verge of elimination. Having never won a CL tournament on PES2011, I would have been disappointed. The above goal was the late, late away goal that clinched victory.
After the tournament was over I had time to mess about in the Master League menus. I was very tempted to set up a career with AC Milan, using the original squad. I should be able to breeze to a Treble in a few seasons, right? Maybe. Probably.
But no. I already have a perfectly fine ML career going in another football game entirely. I want to spend some quality time with it. So I leave PES2011 with a twinge of regret, and head back to WE9LE.