It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I’ve won the League, but the Treble is gone. That’s my last chance of getting the Treble on PES2017 gone with it. More on how that happened in a moment.
The big one of the three – the League title – has looked inevitable for most of this season, and so it proved.
I won the league with several matches to spare, as the above picture indicates. And this one:
The table after 33 matches:
Mathematically out of sight. For anybody wondering where Liverpool are, they’re 3rd from bottom and in danger of relegation.
I’m loving this League title, not least because it does seem – with 5 fixtures remaining – as if I will also pull off an Invincibles season, which is no easy feat in any PES and almost constitutes a leg of a Treble in its own right.
Of course I’m tempting fate by being so confident. There are 5 fixtures remaining. We know PES better than that.
Anyway, the Treble came off the rails with elimination from the FA Cup in the semi-final against Chelsea. The match ended 0-0 after extra time. I lost 5-3 on penalties.
This was a terrible match.
Everything that is bad about the new-style of PES gameplay, was on show in this Cup semi.
1000mph load of shite – a frenzied, churning, midfield blizzard of slides and charges and barges and sprinting. The rhythm of this entire match was like a washing machine on its fastest spin cycle.
And guess how many fouls were on the board at the end of 120 minutes – 0 for either side.
I cannot recall a single redeeming passage of gameplay from this match. It was without question the worst single match of PES2017 I have played, and probably the worst single match I’ve ever played on any PES.
Remember when FIFA was rubbish – really rubbish – back in the PS1/PS2 days, and you’d play a few matches of it every year (while waiting for PES to appear), and feel overcome by an almost physical revulsion at the sheer terribleness of the gameplay? That’s how this match made me feel.
It’s not because I lost on penalties and the Treble evaporated before my eyes – that was deflating, I will admit.
The gameplay was objectively bad. There was no question of ‘just put your foot on the ball and slow things down’. Not when the AI blazes into you at 1000mph, and not a single foul is being called.
An awful, awful match, and sadly indicative of the way PES2017 tends to go after a certain time. Most PES2017 matches are somewhere on this spectrum, sadly.
Thankfully these extremely poor matches only come along once in a while – but too often for us old PESheads to feel comfortable that they come along at all. It’s a disgrace that this kind of gameplay can exist in a game with the name PES on it, a total disgrace. Year on year, single-player PES gameplay is being transformed into the image of online multi-player button-mashing. I disapprove of this.
If this is the direction that football gaming is going in – and I think it’s inarguable that it is – then I will want no part of it. If my imminent PES5 months go well, and if PES2018 is an iteration of this whole dismal no-fouls arcade-oriented PES2016/PES2017 thing, then I will have an interesting decision to make come September. We shall see.This time next week I will be playing PES5 as my regular football game. Every time I have that thought, I feel an almost indecent level of excitement. I don’t think I’m tempting fate by saying that not one single match on that game will ever end with the fouls count at 0-0. Not a single one. How peculiar does that sound? And doesn’t it indicate just where we’ve got to in the PES journey in 2017?
The Champions league is still very much ON. I was drawn against the above Generic FC team in the Quarters and blitzed them 8-2 on aggregate. Caen are the opponents in the semi, with either Bayern Munich or Roma in the final.
Here’s a short video of a few goals from my most recent matches. There’s a brief view of my post-match league title celebrations, including an obligatory shot of my in-game avatar David Pleating onto the pitch. Yes, David Pleat is a verb now.
A nice couple of goals from Aduriz in there. When I leave PES2017 behind, I’ll have a few lingering regrets. The game isn’t totally devoid of merit, and I whooped with joy at Aduriz’s acrobatic first goal as much as I have on any PES.
One regret will be missing out on the player development of Aduriz and Ibrahimovic and a few others. This was always one of the core satisfactions of Master League. I will regret not getting to see how their stories turned out.
This Tuesday’s post – the 18th of April 2017 – will be the last post for PES2017. For a PES to last until late April these days is pretty good going, whatever else might be said about it.