The general, overall positive feel of PES2018 that I mentioned last time is continuing. I’m still playing very conservatively, setting up not to concede, and not committing too many players to attack while it’s 0-0 or even 1-0.
It’s an approach that works wonders in terms of slowing the game right down and making it more thoughtful. But I have to remember to stick with it. The last few years have ingrained certain bad habits in my PES-playing ways.
Example: next time you have a corner kick, but lose the ball, and the AI starts to pass upfield towards your goal – what is your instinctive response?
I would lay money that 99.99% of nuPES players instantly squeeze R1+X in an attempt to bear down on the AI immediately. Lots of sliding tackles too.
That’s not all. R1+X is for when you want to take it easy. 98% of the 99.99% will press R1+X+Square. And a good proportion of those players will have the nuPES presence of mind to go all-out with R1+X+double-tap-Square, which brings two secondary pressurers into the fray, as well as the X-man, all sprinting of course.
I still do this, and so do you, and don’t pretend otherwise. Sure, we like to pretend that we’re all about closing up space and covering the passing lanes and going with runners and all the rest of it. And yes, we do do those things (we really have to, against this AI), but just as often, perhaps more often, the Pavlovian response to a developing AI attack is to go all sprint-clampy on its ass, and hope the game wins the ball back for us on its own.
R1+X+Square (double- or single-pressed) works enough of the time that it’s still worth doing it. Another entry on the List of Things That Need To Be Got Rid Of To Make PES A Great Singleplayer Game Again. The online players would howl if they lost their precious sprint-clamp. But we’re never getting PES back from their sweaty clutches, so we can fantasise in peace.
I had the weekend off work, and time to spare on testing out a game mode that I haven’t looked at for several editions. I tried out PES2018’s version of Become A Legend. A mode that I like in principle, but which has a Massive Big Problem that has never been fixed, and which means I can never play it.
I set up my player as an AMF, not bothering with his appearance, as I knew I wouldn’t be playing for long if the Massive Big Problem hadn’t been fixed.
I chose Skybet Division 2 as my starting league – and was astonished to see myself picked up by Coventry City.
The first match was good and I played the whole 90 minutes, having started on Professional to ease myself in. I have always appreciated the gameplay of these modes. I have the required patience to play my position.
I got a goal in game number 2, which I again played all of.
And then came game 3 – my last in the Become A Legend mode for another year at least. The mode’s Massive Big Problem has not been addressed in PES2018.
I was subbed off at around 60 minutes. In BaL, this means having to sit and watch the AI playing with itself for the rest of the match. You can’t skip to the end of the match. Talk about a turd in the punchbowl. You can speed up the action to x2 speed, but it doesn’t ease the frustration of not playing.
After watching the Benny Hill CPU vs CPU action for a minute, I quit the mode with the same feeling of wasted potential that it has given me since its first appearance (in PES2009?).
I cannot stand the enforced watching of the AI vs AI matches during periods when my player is either on the bench from the start or substituted partway through. I’m quite bad at the solo player type of football game. Bad enough for me to be a fringe player for just long enough for this to be a serious impediment to my enjoyment of BaL. Watching the AI play with itself uses up precious gaming time that I can’t afford to waste.
PES2018’s BaL Mode is unfortunately unchanged in this regard, and I have no idea why this condition persists. ‘Skip to end of match’ (or ‘Skip to being brought on’ for the ones where you start as a sub) should be easy additions. They should be no-brainers.