Month: January 2017

Special: every goal from Season 6

Here it is – a 7m 24s-long video containing every goal that I scored, in chronological order, during my title-winning season 6 just gone. First up are a couple of Community Shield goals, followed by 44 league goals with a sprinkling of FA Cup and Europa League goals among them:

I’ve done this ‘All The Season’s Goals’ thing twice before, back in PES2010 and PES2011. Those vids have long since been lost to the digital ether (they were uploaded to a YouTube imitator that abruptly vanished in 2014).

Why do this? Self-regarding vanity? Of course, but there are several other reasons why a whole-season goals compilation should be of interest to the student of PES.

PES was always justly famous for the sheer variety of goals you scored. ‘In Pro Evo, you never score the same type of goal twice in a row!’ we would proudly tell FIFA-lovers, back when we used to chastise FIFA on a regular basis. Boastful, and true.

Is it still true? This video indicates that perhaps it isn’t. Or… perhaps it really is still true? You decide.

As well as repeated patterns of goals, a video like this shows the frequency of unusual goals, goals with amusing features, long-range goals, goals that from a distance resemble flies, and so on.

Spot any patterns?

I do, the most glaring of which are:

  • only 2 (TWO) of these 50-odd goals are scored with headers from crosses (both of them coming in separate matches against Man Utd, oddly). Yes, I do try crosses constantly in PES2017, having drunk the Kool Aid that says it’s a crossing-and-headers-friendly PES game. I find this PES no different to any other edition on the headers-from-crosses front;
  • there are a disturbing amount of rebound goals (where the AI keeper saves it, only to gift it to a striker following up);
  • I’m not too happy with the amount of goals where I pinch the ball from an AI player;
  • There are some very satisfying goals among them, including an Halilovic finesse from 30 yards, so far unseen on the blog. I was playing with the Fan View camera in that match, just for something different.

Normal posting will resume on Friday, with the opening bars of my Season 7, in which I am defending my hard-won Premier League title, as well as participating in the Champions League for the first time. Here’s the Group draw on the right, complete with a made-up Konami team to spoil the view.

It’s been an intriguing opening to Season 7. Some of the best of PES2017 on show, and little of its worst. My opening fixture against Sevilla was an absolute barnstormer of a match, everything you would want the Champions League to be. Also it featured an interesting goal or two. If PES2017 keeps this kind of quality on show, there are a good few seasons left in it yet. More on Friday.

Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop

It happened. Most Master League veterans seeing Tuesday’s post, seeing the way I’d suddenly closed the gap on leaders Liverpool, would have known that this was coming – and here it is.

In PES2017, in Season 6, I have won the league title.

Too early? It doesn’t feel that way. It feels about average for me to win the league in a Season 6.

Granted there have been several other ML campaigns where the first sniff of a league title has not come until Seasons 8-10 or afterward, but the majority have seen me at least challenging by Season 5-7. Even this could be considered ‘late’. There are many ML players out there for whom a Season 3 league title is an annual cakewalk, and who look with puzzled bemusement on any hint of toil and struggle.

Liverpool fell away so badly that I overhauled them with ease. With three matches to go I had a 7-point lead at the top. I only needed a point from any of my last 3 matches to secure the title.

I actually lost the third match from the end of the season, against Man City, but even as the clock ticked down to the end I had a funny feeling that Liverpool would have lost as well.

The final whistle went with me losing 2-1, but my players went into rapturous celebrations regardless:The final table:

Liverpool really fell away badly after seeming invincible for most of the season.

There’s so much about this table that can be nitpicked – the lack of goals scored, Man Utd in second with 10 defeats, etc. – but I’m not too bothered about such things. I am slightly bothered about being able to win a league with only 44 goals scored, but not overmuch. That’s just how this ML works.I was a little bit more bothered about my Fernando Torres winning so many accolades from the game. He was a great scorer, yes – as next Tuesday’s ‘All the Goals of Season 6’ movie will indicate – but he never got even close to being top scorer. That was Aguero on 28. Torres ‘only’ got 18 league goals, but won POTY anyway.I agree with the Best Manager award though. That guy rocked.

The season ended with me tamely drawing both of my last two matches. My players gave and took applause on the pitch at the end. I felt a great sense of satisfaction at a job mostly well done,

Where now with PES2017?

A tilt at the Treble is where now. I’ll be in the Champions League next season for the very first time. It’ll be interesting to see how I do after this season’s Europa League collapse (eliminated at the group stage, bottom of the group, 1 win from 6 fixtures).

Before we get there, Tuesday’s post will be a special one showing my ‘All the Goals of Season 6’ vid. That’s all 44 league goals, plus the odd 6-or-so from the FA Cup and Europa League competitions, in chronological order, in one video. Whilst editing it I’ve been struck by a few unexpected patterns and other issues that I’ll discuss on Tuesday.

Took my time, took my chances

season-6-going-gudExciting times in Season 6, on a number of fronts.

Before I get into that, one bit of business from the mid-season transfer window that I forgot to mention in my previous post.

On deadline day, I made one big signing: James Rodriguez.

I haven’t mentioned him since then because he’s turned out to be just another very good nuPES AMF/SS. Nothing remarkable about him at all. Nothing truly individual. I could have bought any of hundreds of other AMF/SS types and they’d have been just the same.

Five years ago a player like Rodriguez would have been a jewel in the crown of any ML side. Player individuality in PES is in the worst state it has ever been in, no question about it.

Anyway. Take a look at the league table after 32 matches:

pes2017-season-6-after-32My excitement levels are off the scale.

I have hauled myself up to this level with my hardest-working performances in any PES, ever. Player individuality might be in the toilet, Master League itself might be a shadow of its former greatness, but the game has still got that indefinable something.

With 6 matches of the season remaining I have a great chance of winning the Premier League title at the second time of asking. It didn’t look on the cards for most of the first third of the season, when goals and results were extremely hard to come by, but things abruptly picked up towards halfway.

The key to this new upswing in fortunes has been having the patience to create optimum chances. Meaning, short-range chances. Rather than always blazing away from medium and long-range.

This is a bit of a departure for me. I’m a cheerfully unsophisticated football gamer. A 30-yard piledriver is a hundred times more valuable than any tippy-tappy ‘team goal’.

The football gaming (and general football-watching) cognoscenti value those so-called ‘team goals’ above all else. Theo Walcott sidefooting the ball into the net from 1 yard at the end of 90 passes, or whatever, has the mysterious power to send football pundits into mystical raptures. I barely rate such goals at all, never mind above all else.

So there are no long-range goals in PES2017. Walking the ball into the net is the new rock ‘n’ roll.

Except, very occasionally…

Part of my swashbuckling run to 2nd place saw me take on Bournemouth, away. A tight game that I ended up winning 2-0, with a goal in each half. Here are those two goals:

Ah, yes indeed. You wait ages for one…

I really, really needed that. A football game without long-range goals is like an FPS without headshots.

Needless to say I enjoyed the moment of the Carrick strike almost as much as I’ve enjoyed PES2017 as a whole so far.

Getting the Lobato strike in the same match was an amazing surprise. I have never known any PES to ‘allow’ two long-range goals in the same match.

Granted, by the time Lobato knocks it ahead of him and then sprints onto it and hits it, he’s only about 23 yards out. But still. A remarkable double. I doubt this will ever be repeated for me in this game.

Friday’s post will see the end of Season 6 and the denouement of the most unexpected league-title challenge I have ever known.

Rising up, back on my feet

europa-league-atmosphereI forgot to mention a few posts ago that I moved grounds. I moved from the generic lower-league-type ground to the mid-range one, as seen above, that really does remind me of the old Highfield Road. I added that blue tint.

Season 6 is going great guns. My previous post, last Friday, detailed the iffy start I’d had to Season 6. How I was struggling to score goals and win matches. How I was languishing in lower-mid-table.

Things have changed. The current table –pes2017-season-6-after-25Bit of a sea change on show here, yes? It seems as if the change has come quickly. That’s partly an illusion due to my festive blogging break. But it also IS partly a sudden, startling upswing of fortune.

Yes. I have reached this familiar point in my annual Master League story. The point where I suddenly start being able to compete with every team, and usually finagle some sort of positive outcome against even the stubbornest opponent.

Highlight of my swashbuckling run to within sniffing distance of the title was a 4-0 demolition of the reigning champions, Manchester United, at their place – check these stats:pes2017-turned-the-cornerA bit worrying from the AI’s point of view, there. Is PES2017 really capitulating so readily to my new slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach?

Torres has been performing very well indeed up front, and is my top scorer. I’m recording all my goals this season – every one, in all competitions – and will be showing them off in a single mammoth video at season’s end.

There are a few interesting goals among them, but as ever when I do this ‘All Goals, All Season’ thing it’s most interesting to look at the sequences of goal types.

I can already say that there’s a notable absence of two goal types: long-rangers, and headers from crosses. Neither goal type is at all common in PES2017 for me. Everybody misses long-rangers, but only I seem to be lacking in headers from crosses, oddly.

It’s not all been wine and roses. I crashed out of the Europa League at the group stage. ignominiously bottom of the table:season-6-europa-final-tableThat one hurt, because having a chance at the Europa League is traditionally just a one-season affair. Usually I’m in the Champions League the season after, and stay there. So it seems I’ve missed my one and only shot at the Europa League in PES2017.pes2017-season-6-burning-wallRivals matches continue to be one of the most disappointing aspects of this or any other Master League. Nearly every Rivals match I’ve played in PES2017 has been a frantic flurry of button-mashing mayhem.

I’ve still been too lazy to head into Edit mode and remove all three teams from my Rivals list (Villa, Birmingham, Leicester).

Partly that is out of actual laziness, but it’s also out of curiosity. After 6 seasons, surely I’ll get a high-quality Rivals match eventually?

I’m still waiting, but I’m not expecting. I believe the nature of Rivals matches has been foolishly misconceived at PES Productions towers.pes2017-rooney-arrivesI have passed through the January transfer window. I sold Dier, who was very decent but a disappointment overall. I’m still looking for my standout DMF in PES2017. I’ve come to suspect I’m not going to find him, given the ‘samey’ feeling of nearly all players in this football game. FIFA-style individuality – i.e., the wisp of individuality – is the rule. The requirement of ‘balancing for online play’ is, I believe, the cause.

I couldn’t resist getting Rooney, Payet, and Romero from my Youths. I put them up for loan immediately, of course, but nobody came in for them. So I’ll be developing them myself for the rest of the season. Rooney is already quite good, as befits his historical real self at this tender age.

Payet and Romero, as expected, are nothing much at the moment.

And will they ever be? Ten years ago (or even just four years ago), a Payet in PES would have been a true diamond. What chance has PES2017’s Payet got to really shine in an era of PES where silky, skilful, nimble players are the leaden norm rather then the delightful exception? Very little chance. But we shall see.pes2017-beating-the-big-boysResults like the great result above are a regular feature now.

I know how to win football games in PES2017. It’s about work and concentration, and focusing on making a couple of chances, and making them count. I do have an endpoint in mind for PES2017, but it’s still at least a few seasons away. I’m also about to revert to my pre-Christmas playing schedule, which is a very restricted one. I’d bet on this game lasting until March.

One bonus item before I sign off for today – the AI scored this 35-yard opportunistic snapshot against me:

A longer long-range strike than any I’ve had on PES2017. Insult to injury.

I’d just been defending in a button-mashy sort of way and my keeper was slightly out of position. The AI struck from about 35-40 yards and I was so surprised that I forgot to save the 30-second snippet showing the goal from my regular playing camera angle, where goals always look better from.

So I played the highlights package from the end-game menu and captured it there instead. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

By the by, what a curious feature of ‘highlights’ packages (either on TV or within football games) that they so often show goals from their least visually satisfying angles, as here.