Here we go. Picture the scene Wednesday afternoon: postie’s just been, curtains are drawn against the September sun streaming through the window…
It’s strange, the thoughts that go through my head when starting a new edition of Pro Evolution Soccer. Where did the year go? How many more years will there be – for PES, and for me?
First thing that struck me was how the top-level menu system is a near-carbon copy of FIFA16’s menu system. (Which was probably a copy of something else, I know. Verily, there is nothing new under the sun.)
PES2017 has heavy players and fouls and for me it is HARD TO SCORE.
After two and a half sessions, comprising about 9 matches in total, the game gets a thumbs-up from me — but it’s always thumbs-up from me in the first days of a new football game. I’m not sure that a self-confessed football game fan’s first impressions of a football game are to be invested with a great deal of significance. How I feel in a week or two, or even in November, is usually more of a guide.
I’ve scored 4 goals – that’s FOUR goals – in those roughly-nine-matches. None of them have been from outside the box. I drag so many shots wide that would have gone in on PES2016.
PES2017’s ‘aiming lozenge’ is a lot narrower than recent football games’ equivalents. I keep on dragging my shots well wide. I spent twenty minutes on the Training Pitch taking potshots from 20-40 yards, long enough to satisfy myself that long-range goals are possible, but will be a lot rarer than at any time since PES2014. Scarcity breeds value, so I’m liking this.
My first goal was a scruffy goalmouth scramble after trying to work space with Vardy for a shot from the edge of the box that was beaten out.
The AI’s first goal against me was a snap volley after some terrible defending by me:
— not-Greg (@PESChronicles) September 14, 2016
Low player individuality, it seems. Rooney felt like just another generic player. I spoke in comments yesterday about how Rooney is something of a canary in the coalmine when it comes to gauging a PES edition’s commitment to player individuality.
Who remembers the way Shimizu used to feel? As opposed to Schwarz et al?
Arguably — no, definitely — player individuality has been Pro Evolution Soccer’s standout feature over the years. Year after year we tootled along happily, enjoying that eerie, lifelike player individuality. Then the solid brick wall of online multiplayer gaming came along, and PES hit it. Things have been different since then.
One bonus — a very pleasant surprise — is that PES2017 seems, on first acquaintance, to have delivered on the fouls front.
There are still matches with very few, but there are plenty of matches with enough, and there are some with lots.
And you can adjust your play-style to take advantage of the fouling regime. Here in this clip I am going nowhere with Danny Rose, and in the moment of going nowhere I deliberately chose to move across the defender’s outstretched leg to draw the foul.
Shame I blasted the free kick over, but in 9 matches I’ve already had more free kicks in shooting range than I probably did in 90 matches last year.
I usually have Release Week off work, but messed it up this year, taking next week instead. So my gaming time will be limited between now and next week. I’ll be playing a few International Tournaments and might take a glance at myClub (entirely offline, needless to say; I’m not encouraging the reprobates who’ve spoiled our football gaming).
I’ll be active in comments over the rest of the week and the weekend, of course – and on Twitter too, if I remember it’s there.
My next post will be Tuesday’s regular midday post, which should see me having started my Master League.
And no, I don’t know which Option File I’ll be using yet, and have yet to try to install any of them, so I don’t know how that works yet either. I’ll be sniffing around for the best OF sometime over the weekend.
Happy Release Week!