It never hurts to look in on an old PES from time to time, to refresh one’s memory about what’s great about the series – and to see that really and truly, what we have now might not be so bad after all.
Yesterday I dug out my Xbox360, untouched since roughly mid-2014. I plugged it in and fired it up. It had a FIFA14 disc in the tray. I have no recollection whatsoever of playing FIFA14 on the Xbox360.
I popped in the PES6(360) disc. A commenter, Darryl, had mentioned PES6(360) last week. I was lavish with my praise for this one-off, quirky edition of PES6, which is unrelated to the PS2/PC version, despite the oddly persistent belief of many that it’s the same.
How would it stand up now?
In a nutshell, good but not great. I played one match of my mature ML save. I had a galaxy of stars. Maldini, Mathieu, Messi. The game played fast and furious – and there were no fouls. Seriously, did we only just start noticing no-fouls since PES2015? Has it pretty much always been with us since the anti-fouls hullaballoo that surrounded PES5?
I enjoyed this one match, but all I could think was: PES2018 is so much better than this.
There. I said it. A much-maligned nuPES plays better than one of my most beloved old classic PESes.
And so I fired up PES2018 with renewed sense of purpose and optimism.
A full session followed. I’m all the way through the January transfer window in Season 2 and out the other side.
I added three other players to my roster. Xabi Prieto from Everton. Rubén Castro from Free Agents. And, from my Youth team – Wayne Rooney. He’s only 17, but was famously good at age 17 in real life, so he’s not too bad here right now.
I thought long and hard before pressing the Rooney button, with all my pre-PES2018 talk about House Rules in mind. But the PES2018 AI seems to have liberated me from needing House Rules. For now.
My full post-window squad:
I’m shaping my First XI and squad around players who represent a feeling of classic PES individuality to me.
There are quite a few players on that screenshot who are ‘nothingy’ types of players – just bundles of pixels with a name attached. But most are at least above the waterline on the individuality front.
(I was going to do a player-by-player individuality assessment in today’s post, but ran out of time. Will do it in Friday’s now.)
Shelvey and Richarlison are still too new to pass judgement, but seem worryingly anonymous so far. This individuality semi-House Rule of mine means that if they don’t shape up in the rest of this season, I’ll probably move them on at the end of it, or this time next season at the latest.
Certain players will likely stay with me for the duration of this Master League.
L BAKER is a little star. Dare I say it, there are strong shades of Shimizu with him. Baker handles like Shimizu would have if he’d been able to shoot.
Here’s a decent mid-range finesse goal from him:
Scoring goals isn’t really his main game, so far. He’s a versatile midfielder who links play – not a stopper (he doesn’t play at DMF), but a maker.
I’m intrigued to see where Baker’s story goes – that’s the essence of Master League, right there. In real life, Lewis Baker seems to be drifting from loan to loan, and trying not to be the next James Wilson. In the much-realler life of PES, he seems destined for legendary status.
Finally today, a PES2018 quirk.
Look at this offside decision, and see where the resulting free kick is taken from – both are wrong:
The still-new-fangled ‘active play’ thing means Veldwijk being offside in the first phase (0:16s) would have ‘worn off’ by the time he runs across to touch the ball several seconds later.
Debatable, perhaps, but what isn’t debatable is the ludicrous position the free kick is taken from. Never seen anything like this in PES before.