Now here’s a sight I haven’t seen all that much in recent seasons – Crouchy on the scoresheet and celebrating as only he knows how.
It was the nicest goal I’ve scored in a while. Below is a minute of actual gameplay leading up to the goal. I like to pass it around and await my chance, because trying to get the ball back from a Superstar AI determined to keep it is no fun at all.
These deft headers past an onrushing keeper are one of PES2015’s signature goals.
The above was the first thing of note that Crouchy’s done in about 3 seasons. He’s often just a missing person, along with Robben, Gerrard, Homemade Hagi, etc. Occasional flashes from each star name simply aren’t sustained. There’s a definite behind-the-scenes nerf of players who do good things.
PES2015’s player-nerf has been counterpointed by my own decline at the game on Superstar level. I struggle to cope against the AI at times. After floating the idea half-jokingly last week, I’m now convinced that there’s some kind of under-the-hood RPG-style levelling-up of the overall AI difficulty that takes place as the seasons pass.
The sweet spot would therefore be when you’ve got a few good players but most of your squad are still just above-average or even below.
No, it’s not been very enjoyable in recent seasons. Mostly this is due to straightforward normal fatigue, but the tailing-off in performance of my key players has contributed to it.
Which isn’t to say the game’s bad overall. It’s certainly not. And with this as my final season I’m very motivated to do well.
Every match is getting maximum focus. And it’s paying off. In 8 league matches played since last time, I’ve won 6, drawn 1, lost 1. Master League tables always reward that kind of effort, and so I’m joint-top after 21 matches:
The frustrating thing here is that Arsenal just will not budge. And even more frustrating (and slightly whiffy) is the familiar way in which, when I lost and drew those two matches, Arsenal also dropped points. All to keep me close.
Still, we’re used to playing Master League with ye olde suspension of disbelief firmly in place.
A couple of scares in the Champions League group stage. I drew 3 matches that I shouldn’t have. Careless of me. I secured top spot with a swashbuckling last-fixture win over Bayer Leverkusen.
I’ve also sailed through the FA Cup opening rounds. Until I meet the likely big guns in the later rounds, the FA Cup holds no fears for me.
This last-gasp Treble is still very much on. At the rate I’m currently playing – not every day, but long sessions when I do – and all being well, by this time next week Season 14 (and PES2015) will be over.