Hold Onto Your Knees

Clingan up close

Another few days of another few matches. Life is taking me through a spell of busy-ness that will be alleviated by a few days off next week, so I’m looking forward to that.

But even when I have days off I plan to do a lot more in the way of Football Manager and Civilization and general ‘goofing off’ (as I believe the young people still say), than football gaming. I keep wondering why this is.

Around this time last year I was beginning one of the most intensive periods of football gaming in my entire life. PES2012’s second wind carried me through a total of 18 seasons all the way to August. I wonder just what effect that unusual spring-summer schedule had on my general disposition as a football gamer. Usually a football gamer’s schedule is more autumn-winter, and maybe a nibble of spring, with summer as the relaxing downtime.

Like a rogue comet entering a stable star system, PES2012’s unusual timing last year set off perturbations that I’m still feeling today. Mainly in the form of a certain distance from football gaming.

Like every other ageing gamer, I see the loss of will-to-game as an alarming development that should be resisted as much as possible. Like losing your hair or your libido, or your knees (my knees hate going up stairs lately).

PES2011 is fighting the good fight in fine form. I’m still loving its qualities and seeing its annoyances as challenges rather than obstacles to enjoyment. The only thing I ever see dragging me away from PES2011 is a non-developmental Master League in PES2013. I do want to get to that at some point.

Training in PES2011

PES2011’s Master League setup is great, with the only downside being the odd decision to communicate player stats changes in the form of text notifications between weeks.

Bizarre. But the rest of the mode really holds up. I’m still loving the PC gaming revolution too. The likelihood of the PS4/Xbox720 being an automatic day 1 purchase grows fainter with each passing day.

I’ve fallen off the top of the league table, but am still in the top 3 and looking good for promotion. I’m about two-thirds of the way through the season.

I’m still having a few matches every couple of days on my Bootcamped Mac installation of PES5.

Below is a clip (best viewed in 720p) that first shows the notorious thinly-lined pitch that we all hated playing on in PES5. I still hate it, and should get around to removing it from all the teams that use it.

Then see a bizarre goal the CPU scored against me—especially see the famous/notorious ‘check side’ motion of the bouncing ball when it comes back off the post and rolls in:


  1. Filbert—that was more or less my experience too, except I never felt any repulsion from FIFA13 so much as an attraction to PES that snuffed out the FIFA13 flame while it was still quite young.

    While playing FIFA13—particularly Ultimate Team—I was enjoying it, I was immersed. Perhaps I was a little disengaged at a deeper level, but I thought that was coming. And then I had a few games on PES, and PES blew me away all over again. To the extent that I know I need to be playing PES. It is weird, isn’t it?

    It’s a bit late now, but you can turn off FIFA13 commentary’s updates from other matches in the pre-match menu. You can turn them all off or just leave the fixtures you want to hear about on.

  2. Paul – I’ll be interested to hear how things go in CM for you. I tried your settings and felt the same acute levels of frustration with the gameplay as before. You must have really cracked the code on how to play that game because I just can’t do it – as much as I want to. I’ll still give it the odd go and hope one day it clicks with me because I do love that CM.

  3. Ah, I should have really tried looking at the options menus a bit more. I should have also tried adjusting the crossing settings (think they were on semi-auto) as that was something on FIFA I couldn’t get to grips with. But yeah, probably too late now…

  4. Ah, I didn’t realise that either – got fed up of hearing about Accrington Stanley – seemed to come up with alphabetically ordered frequency.

    Bold statement from Paul mind. I’m afraid I’m in the meh camp – don’t know why but I had a similar absence of X in both UT and Career. Loved the team building, didn’t care so much about the players on the pitch.

    Got a problem in 2010 though. Rather stupidly played brinksmanship with some contract renewals and they’re all on hold. I’ve also sold a load of defaults to balance the books early doors – you get innundated with offers compared with 12/13. Turned down 650k for Gutierrez as I would have had no strikers left. Will probably have to take any youthies that come along just to field a side.

  5. Uncle Turf—your team difficulties right now is one of the ingredients for a memorable ML—I always love scraping by with skeleton squads anyway. The Youths will bulk out your ranks, but yes, sounds as if you took too many offers.

  6. Loving Pes 10 master league campaign at the moment but one little thing annoying me is that when I slightly nudge the right stick on the x box controller the ball pings off like I am making a heavy pass. My old brai can’t stop doing it as you use the right stick more in later editions and dont seem to be able to kick the habbit.

  7. Darryl6464—the right stick is a manual pass in PES2010—I think you can customise the controls and assign it to something else.

  8. not-Greg – thank you for that I will try and look again as I may have missed something as I did try to alter it but could only seem to be able to customise basic controls. Will have a look when my 19 month old has finished watching In The Night Garden.

  9. Daryl-know your pain bro.just got my 2 year off..started a tasty pes fixture..two mins in tesco shopping arrives..by the time ive put it away..teas ready and wifesfinished putting the terror to bed..sigh

  10. Werd llitrah – that just about sums up my pes gaming really and usually have to settle for gaming when the wife and little one have popped off to bed, but the night shift is not the optimum time for playing pes as tiredness kicks in. Thankfully saturday mornings the brood all go out!

  11. Quick question for the guys playing pes2013. Is it possible to use your master league team in the free training mode? Trying to brush up on my freekicks. Finished my first season on superstar with 4 wins. One of those wins was a cup match! The only way is up, i hope

  12. Hi NG and chaps

    i havent posted here for a while but wondered if any of you had considered starting a La Liga ML?

    ive been playing as Getafe since january and though you might need house rules to get round the ML problems, its incredible Konami didnt advertise all this on the box….not only all the stadiums but every team gets their song played out at the start and very different and specific commentarys for every team.

    its very immersive……..pes has got one over fifa in the licence department for once.

    to hear john champion talk about getafes stadium being too small but Valencia being the nearly men in CL is pretty cool.

    just a thought for peeps looking for something a bit different in this years pes.

  13. I second that. Playing as villareal myself. Played barcelona in the copa del rey and lost 6-1. They had 74% possession!

  14. Daryll-in the words of life of brian”you lucky bastard” no such free saturdays for me;-). Gramswagon-dont give me more ideas..help..too many..edit..POP!!

  15. Hmm gramswagon that does sound appealing, I know little of South American football but a la liga where you try to oust the big two would be a real challenge.

    On 2010 I reckon I’m on course for a record…top player, defaults, some youthies but no buys. Played 20, conceded 15 (and with a 16 yo Jacobs in goal), scored…..3!!! I have played out 10 nil nil draws. Astonishing. I’m averaging around 12 shots per game to the AIs 4 or 5. I tend to concede from headers at corners but otherwise every shot on both sides is comfortably saved. No near misses, no woodwork, no full length dives. What is going on?

  16. Darryl6464—you might not be able to reassign manual pass, in which case it’ll be all about deconditioning yourself and others from right-stick usage. Shouldn’t be too difficult given the catastrophic nature of right-sticking manual passes all over the place.

  17. leroy getz—I don’t know if you can use your ML team in free training. My free kick tip: R2 and triangle, and rotate the stick 45 degrees to curl. I love PES free kicks in recent years. Don’t score many, but I love trying them.

  18. gramswagon—a great tip duly noted. If the PES2013 non-dev ML ever happens for me I doubt I’ll want to revisit the English Premier.

  19. Uncle Turf—PES2010 was never noted for its low-scoring or 0-0s. Nor were there ever any PES2012-style wonky shooting concerns. If anything, PES2010 arguably had the most perfectly realised shooting mechanic of any PES to date and it still holds up now. I played about 10 matches a few weeks ago and slipped right back into it. So there’s really only one possible conclusion: You’re doing it wrong!

  20. gramswagon – now actually that does sound brilliant. I remember hearing some chat about Spain being fully licensed, but I hadn’t realised there was such attention to detail. Right, a La Liga non-development ML with commentary on (for the first time ever), can’t wait, just got to finish with PES2012 first

    turf – if you’re looking for some equally bad stats, I’ve just checked my PES2012 overall track record. 672 hours (out of 685) on ML. Despite the recent uptick in form, I’ve achieved 228 wins, 218 draws, 463 defeats, GF 720, GA 1371

  21. actually that 685 hours does sound implausibly scary. Let’s think, 900 games * 10 minutes+10 minutes messing around between games = 300 hours. I must have left the PS3 on during the day a few times

  22. by the way, werd, I just watched that PES 6 unbelievable match – absolute classic! I’d forgotten the fireworks you used to get before a big match on PES, really enhanced the atmosphere

    Darryl – I’m sure there’s something slightly subversive/sinister about In the Night Garden – just haven’t quite worked out what it is yet

  23. NG – I only know one way to play, all out I’ll score more than you. My last game in 2013 was 10-2 after all. Is top player making keepers better? It really feels like they fill the goal and none of the shots stand any chance of avoiding them. Even if I was just being lame the AI getting less than 1 goal per match is odd. Maybe I just have a knack for breaking things?

  24. Just to add to this deepening mystery…just played standard liege ie. genuine licensed team. They had scored 25 and conceded 25, perfect test really. 0-0. I had seven shots, they had one – from a corner. Even allowing for me being crap, one shot on top player?? All the games are being played out exactly how Paul has been describing fifa 13, a press of bodies outside the box leading to a succession of blocked shots. I know 3 years later I’m not going to convince anyone but if this were pes14 I’d be screaming that it was broken. I’m convinced once I acquire pace that my problem will disappear but the AIs attacking instincts?

  25. abbeyhill—from the sounds of it I’d say your PES2012 playing stats are pretty accurate, no leaving-on of the PS3 needed to get to that figure.

  26. Uncle Turf—go down to Professional or Regular and see what happens. PES2010 was never noted for any of the characteristics that you’re discovering, never. You’re definitely doing something wrong. Probably just impatience, and on Top Player against the teams you’ve slotted into D2, you’re not going to get much joy out of that approach. The PES2010 AI is a reactive one. If/when you start scoring again, you’ll find it a good bit more aggressive.

    Having said that, goals can be hard to come by in D2 with poorer players against good teams. See the table in my promotion season back in January 2010. Goal-scoring—for and against—was positively anaemic that season. A few months (real-time) later I was an established Premier League team and matching the AI’s goal-scoring. And I was and am an average player. With your 1337 haXXor skills, you’ll be pwning the AI in no time…

  27. Abbey-yep i played a few pes 5 on the tv in the kitchen last night. The atmos..flags fireworks etc..i miss em remember being able to edit your flags?

  28. NG – sorry, with the retro PES’ers I’m going highest level from year zero. I’ll get through it, I just find it very odd.

  29. Uncle Turf—look at it this way then. If 100 PES players all started playing PES2010 at the same time using the same settings (yours), one of them would have the run you’re on right now, and you happen to be having that run.

    You’re not neglecting first-time shots, are you? That’s another rich seam of goal-scoring in PES2010. In fact, early on it’s pretty much the only way to score. I have visions of you trying to take one or two touches in good positions and then letting off shots that are easily blocked. You should be belting that ball first time with joyous abandon.

  30. Nope, they just don’t seem to be able to gain much by way of power or angle. I did score though! A scruffy header of the type I can’t imagine later pes allowing. Then I didn’t score again. Four and counting….where’s ribeiro when you need him?

  31. Uncle Turf—PES2010’s ball is a medicine ball that packs a mighty wallop. A well-struck shot screams through the air with unstoppable force. Just how bad are your players?!

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