My Most Favourite Player after Season 3 was easy. Emre Can. In my Individuality Exercise a season or so ago, I said it was too early to give Can a rating, but that he hadn’t impressed me so far,.
Well, he has impressed me since. Currently he’d get an 8/10 on the Individuality front. I’ve even changed my formation to maximise his abilities, and now play him as an advanced CMF in front of a lone DMF, just behind the strikers. A 4-1-3-2, with the 3 stretched out in a near-horizontal line. It’s a formation that’s workmanlike rather than spectacular, but it brings results (see below). It’s all about Can being a great all-rounder. If he’s out suspended or unfit, I miss him – the test of a true PES individual.
I have more or less emerged from post-patch blues. I still don’t think the patch has done much, but I no longer think it’s done nothing. I would have liked a lot more from the patch. I would have liked PES2018 to be transformed into a proper single-player game. I knew the online multiplayers would get the first consideration, and that is what happened.
I think it’s the wrong direction, but I also understand that it’s the only direction PES can go in and still be a viable commercial property.
The game now has to sell X number of copies, and have Y amount of players playing kissmyfuckingarseClub online, and these ‘people’ have to spend Z amounts of money on micro-transactions while doing so – or the series stops existing. Such is the spreadsheet reality of life in 2017. 10-15 years ago, the world was very different.
Two patch acknowledgements. Three, really. First, I take back my paranoid Internet-era assertion that the patch was a phoney one.
Second, there do seem to be a few more matches with a foul-count above 2. But there are still too many with a count of 0 (ZERO), or at most 1 (ONE).
When it comes to fouls, it’s not about the fouls per se. It’s about the iceberg of which fouls are the tip: continuous play. The goddamn churning, nauseating, endless flow. Bring on a sub at half-time if you want to guarantee him getting on much before the end. There can be no forgiveness for this aspect of nuPES, ever, in my cold, cold heart.
And third, shooting-range free kicks do seem more numerous now. I have seen the above view – lining up a shot over a defensive wall before a free kick in shooting range – possibly 5 times over my first 14 matches in the Premier League on the new patch. Pre-patch, I’d have been lucky to see this view once.
I take back my early impression that the game felt faster now. It definitely did in those first sessions on Thursday and Friday, but over the weekend and yesterday I stopped noticing it.
Life in the Premier League, on Superstar, was tough, so I dropped back down to Top Player for a session, and have since gone back up to Superstar.
I’ve played maybe 6 matches in total on Superstar, and it is brutally tough. Getting anything out of this AI on Superstar is a major achievement for me right now.
I do continue to be mightily impressed with the AI. The variety of its play is remarkable. I can’t finish a post without taking a swipe at the online community. I will repeat that even the worst, most plodding PES AI throughout history has played better football and given me a better game (in every sense), on the whole, than the ‘game’ played by 99% of all human online players. The goddamn PES2018 AI might be the strongest we’ve ever had in this regard.