I’ve powered through the remainder of January, all of February, and a chunk of March. In my progress I enjoyed a brilliant run of 5 straight wins that seemed to offer a realistic chance of sneaking up into the playoff spots, in classic ML league table scripted fashion.
I soon bumped into a run of games that felt as if I was not ‘allowed’ to win. After 38 matches we remain a lower-mid table side.
In my session on Tuesday evening, the impossible happened.
I was deep-defending a 1-0 lead against a stubborn newly-relegated Huddersfield side, and went on a breakaway attack of my own. Having no players up meant I was holding the ball, and holding the ball, and holding the ball, when I spotted Correa (still mostly an anonymous nobody) making a run on the other side of the pitch. I lofted a huge pass over that was intercepted by the AI player – who took a heavy touch, letting Correa nip in, almost on the touchline. I dribbled laterally towards goal, the keeper came to meet me, I tried to jink past him – and was clattered. It had to be, and was, a penalty!
As we all know, penalties and free kicks in general were effectively removed some time ago from Pro Evolution Soccer (‘The Pitch Is Ours’), so this was a rare instance indeed.
PES2018 never can quite stop reminding me that it was made with online multiplayer uppermost in mind. And the whole deal with the penalty in total just left a nasty taste in my mouth.
Instead of getting 1 penalty per 500 matches, or whatever the disgraceful average stat is, wouldn’t it be great to get a proper 5-10 penalties per season? And a proportional amount of free kicks in shooting range? Hmmm?
Back at the real PES, single-player, I’m currently all about trying to see the individuality in as many players as possible. I’ve decided to do my full points-based individuality rundown at the end of this season now.
Veldwijk and Baker remain my two most potent individuals. The February stats bear it out:
And both players made it into the Team of the Month.
Along with my ‘bargain basement Irjescu’, Hettich, who is quietly well on his way to becoming the last Default player standing.
Castledine is still on my books, but he won’t be come the end of the season. Individuality and usefulness is low with the C-man this year (low for me, it goes without saying – low for me.)
Overall I’ve had a great few days with PES2018.
I think I’d feel a lot differently right now if I didn’t know there was a patch coming that might fix some of the dreadful passages of play that just go on forever without a break. Some second halves feel as if they start with the kick-off and don’t stop until the final whistle goes. I’m sure this isn’t literally the case, ever, but it damn well feels that way, and the patch must address this.
Once again, let us take a moment to reflect on a peculiar fact. For the umpteenth year running, the summertime testers picked up on none of this. They just turned up, had their 1p vs 2p fun, played a token one or two matches of single-player, and confidently reported it was all awesome, no worries.
The patch should at least restore free kick potentiality to PES2017 levels, i.e an average of 2-3 per match. Instead of 0.3 per match, which it is at present. It’s a measure of my impoverished expectations in this area of football gaming that I’ll take this deal. If it’s offered.