It’s not a bad-looking game, PES2014. I’m one of the few who thinks the PS4 graphics for PES2016 were excellent, and a decent step up from PES2015’s chalkiness. So one of the trickiest things about stepping back a generation to a PS3 PES is the graphics – as well as the loading times, and the lack of convenient record-to-HD features, of which more later.
Of these niggles, the graphics are the least nigglesome to me. It’s great footy gaming I crave more than anything else. I’m capable of playing PES5 on PC without batting an eye at those graphics. So PS3-level graphics are not an issue at all.
There’s my new kit for Season 7 on show, by the way. The Option File I’m using has official kits for all other teams, but I’m doing my own season-by-season, as in the old days. The familiar mashup of sky blue, darker blue, a random stripe, some piping on the shorts…. It’s good to be home again.
The season has started not badly at all. I’ve stayed on the same settings for now: Top Player; 1-bar passing; normal shooting; default gamespeed.
I feel that I’m getting a great game of video-gamey football each time I take it out for a spin. The feel of a great match in PES2014 is more like the old PES feel than the more recent games can ever hope to get to. That feeling of working hard for a result and relishing the grittiness of a victory. PES2014 as a whole – the PES game nobody played – is like discovering buried treasure.
There are also dull, forgettable matches, which Konami have worked hard to eliminate from PES2016, but these are the salt on the meal in my view. After the success of PES2016, and the nerfing of FIFA16 to make it more like PES2016, no football game will ever be published again that meets the ‘old-timer’ criteria of greatness. From now on, button-mashing and goal extravaganzas are the order of the day. Yes, I know I’m being unkind. The thing is, I’m not being that unkind.
New signings: mainly Youths. Among the unknowns, I recruited regen GOMIS. Seems good so far. A goal or two. We shall see how he develops. I’m glad he’s stopped scoring in real-life as I dislike that prowling panther celebration, and am very glad it’s not replicated in this game.
Here’s a distance goal from the kid, which also shows me trying a different free kick routine:
Re. the terrible picture quality: it was a sunny day, and the light played havoc with the phone camera. I could have closed the curtains, but I was already breaking my immersion by recording to begin with. This is the biggest problem with going back to the PS3, for me. Over the next few weeks and months of PES2014, I’ll only be recording very special moments, that’s for sure.
Next up is some AI goodness – this is very interesting indeed. First round of the FA Cup, I came up against Liverpool. After 7 seasons in this ML world, they’re a team made up of almost nobody recognisable. But they’ve still got Suarez, and he did this against me:
So very Suarez, and so very PES. It’s moments like the above, from the AI, that I almost never saw in either PES2015 or PES2016. I’m saying ‘almost never’ mainly out of respect for what ’15 and ’16 both did well. I don’t remember anything like the above example of AI individuality in those games.
Part of my whole PES2014 adventure will be frequent musing on how PES has changed in the two years since its peculiar year of non-life, and what those changes mean for the future of the series.
I beat Liverpool 1-0 in this match, at their place, in one of my most satisfying results of this born-again PES2014 career.
I also met Chelsea and Manchester City back-to-back in the league, and lost badly against them. Chelsea beat me 3-0, Man City 2-0. There was a definite sense of being in a boss battle during all three matches against the big boys.