Something has shifted with me and PES2014. I’ve arrived at a stage where it feels as if I’ve crested the difficulty curve. After many seasons of relative struggle, I seem to have emerged into a zone of greater comfort and even greater enjoyment.
Not ease. PES2014 is still not the kind of football game where you ever want to go 0-1 down. And it’s also not the kind of football game AI that will happily put up with being behind. Defending is more difficult in this game on account of its (in)famously cumbersome handling, and the scripting shenanigans are as strong in PES2014 as in every PES.
But here’s the table after 9 matches of Season 10:
The game feels as if it’s turning for me now. About time too.
PES2014 has been my only football game snce mid-January. I did hop back to play PES2016 for two matches on the day the Euro 2016 DLC was released. But that feels like a long time ago now. I’m not tempted by the latest patch for PES2016. I don’t feel any need to try it out and deliver ‘My Verdict’. I’ve got a great football game going on right here in PES2014. Why do I need to go and check out PES2016? I’m just a hobbyist blogger. I have no obligation to provide any kind of pseudo-journalistic ‘coverage’ of PES2016 patches. So I won’t be doing that.
I’m not interested in any football game but PES2014 for the moment. I’ve got to know my players, at the level where, in years to come, I’ll be able to recall some — Keano, Joaquin, Pizarro, and others — with great fondness. I know the game’s mechanics. I’m actually scoring medium-long rangers quite routinely now — the sort of goals, from 18-25 yards or so, that would have had me reaching for the phone camera a few weeks ago and presenting them as a novelty. These are now fairly common, as they should be.
That certain winning feeling helps too. I’m starting to score lots of goals and win more matches than I don’t win. My squad upgrades of the last two transfer windows have tipped me over the edge here.
My average player rating for my First XI is 87 OVR. That’s more than decent.
I fancy my chances of the title this very season. I’m still in the Europa League too. I’ve won all 3 of my opening group matches. Barring a Devon Loch-style collapse, I’ll sail through to the knockout stages. I would love a Double of the League and Europa Cup.
But those are the only trophies remaining up for grabs this season. I’m out of the FA Cup, Bloody West Brom did me on penalties after a 3-3 thriller.
That’s been a feature of this new season, by the way: matches are averaging 3-4 goals per game. A few seasons ago the majority of matches would end with 1 goal scored, or goalless.
This explosion of goals is an example of the game levelling up along with the player. Now that I’ve got a squad capable of scoring 2-4 goals per match, suddenly the AI can too. Which always makes me pull a face… You’ve got to wonder just how much actual control we have over the destiny of the matches in our football games.
I think we definitely have enough input to make it a satisfying experience and genuinely affect the outcomes. But at times it could also be argued that we’re nothing more than participants in a very cunningly designed QTE-type interactive script.
There are lots of things in life that we shouldn’t look too closely at, in case they disappear under scrutiny, revealing themselves to be nothing more than shadows on the cave wall. Pro Evo is one of them.