You Kane not be serious

There’s nothing like a Master League’s first European night at home. The seasonal-specific colouring of the sky. The floodlights. The different font. No matter how far PES has fallen – and fallen it has – these moments remain magical.

I had a change of kit to implement, thanks to regular commenter Paul of PESFX. It’s been a while since I changed kits, and I had grown so fond of his previous kits – Home and Away – that I kept them on as my 3rd and 4th kits respectively.

Also, apologies to anyone whose OCD I might be triggering with my eccentric squad numbering. Defenders shouldn’t wear the number 9. I keep meaning to fix them all, but keep forgetting to.

I drew 0-0 in this match against Slavia Praha, but then my next tie was away to Barcelona. I traditionally tank badly in my first European season in any Master League, so I feared the worst. But given that every team in PES2018 plays in a Barcelona-like fashion, there wasn’t perhaps so much to worry about.

This one should have ended 0-0 too, but I converted one of my few chances to snatch the surprise away victory.

This result and a few others have started me thinking that it might be time to give Superstar another go. I don’t want to, as I suspect it won’t go well, but if these kinds of results keep coming I will have to. I will probably wait until mid-season and review it all then.

By the by: that number 21 in my team list above, S ATAIDE, is the 94OPR player whom I was on the verge of signing in my last post. He is, of course, Classic Ronaldo – the original and best Ronaldo. Brazilian Ronaldo. That one. (That’s him standing next to the team list in the screenshot above. The resemblance is uncanny.)

So far, he has done nothing. All his stats have yet to manifest themselves on the pitch in any way. His Finishing stat of 95 has no apparent effect on his actual finishing. Or is it me? It’s both, of course. I would seriously struggle to tell the difference between ATAIDE-RONALDO and any 70-something OPR-rated Youth striker.

And this, right here, is the True Tragedy of nuPES.

Forget fouls and forget AI and forget everything else on the nuPES Shitlist. When they turned the series in the direction of online, they had to ‘balance’ the way the game plays, which involves the flattening out of stats. I.e. my Ronaldo can still be ‘better’ than your Danny Ings, but not by much. Barely at all, even, given that the mechanics of first touch and dribbling are rendered more or less universal by the demands of online matching. Can’t have the game making complex player-by-player decisions based on stats, and slowing the flow/creating lag, now, can we?

The near-total elision of player individuality is the current era’s principal Crime Against PES. One of the most revered of football gaming legacies was unceremoniously chucked overboard in the name of business models and spreadsheets, and here’s the kicker – it had to be done. PES as it was, pre-PES2014, probably couldn’t survive in today’s marketplace. No point in giving the masses Gran Turismo when they want Mario Kart.

That the wisp of something like PES player individuality still remains is undeniable. Everyone – even me – has favourites whom we would hotly defend as individuals. But they are scattered names. Not even enough to make a five-a-side team.

The League table after 6 matches:All my usual gripes aside, I had a couple of sessions of PES2018 that were so good I almost started to entertain fantasies of becoming a nuPES liker, or even lover. I amused myself thinking of how I would turn it all around on the blog, and join in the PES2019 party after all.

But no. In PES2018 I’m very much enjoying what is a good football game of the 21st century. To get my full PES fix I will indeed have to go back to the past – and stay there.

Updated: 9th February 2018 — 10:22


  1. Elision, nice. Now trying to figure out how I can fit that into an e-mail at some point today.

    However, given that three of my young colleagues have just revealed that they think Charles is the Queen’s husband there’s probably not much point.

  2. Nice Kit NG, a nostalgic nod with the Talbot sponsor.
    My Season 9 has just started, as champions, new kits, a few new signings, but most fundamentally, its almost like a new game.

    Still on Top player, I changed game speed down to -1 and changed to the broadcast live camera. The game feels totally different. Early days, so not sure if its the new view, or placebo, but gone are the matches,one after the other where there was literally no midfield battle, there may have been a drawbridge between defence and midfield as play was so direct, now every match feels different and is full of midfield scraps, careful short passes to try and find pockets to play into to get behind the midfield and defence, and I’m loving the new strategic tactical elements needed.

    Played the pre-season tournament, North American Champions Cup, I was joined by Real Madrid, Ajax, and Bayern Munich, I finished bottom with 1 draw and 2 defeats, CR7 played like CR7, Bayern’s midfield were almost impossible to get around, and Ajax were good but beatable.

    Hoping this trend continues.

  3. And yet the irony is that my clubbers will be spending their money, opening their tokens or whatever it is, and shuffling their squads to choose their ideal XI, all the players they want to see together. When in fact it might as well be just ‘number 7, number 9’ etc for all the stats and differences are evident. When I was young and playing Kevin toms classic on the spectrum I inserted a line of code in the program (get me, I really did have a flirt with nerdy stuff) to display a random name after a goal was scored. I then kept a tally of who had the most goals. It added a bit of personality to the matches as the players and action were completely divorced – white or black was the choice, goals coming from top middle or bottom of the screen. Pes now feels like that. Wilson was likely no worse than any other of my strikers, he simply didn’t score for a while, I could have edited his name and would be none the wiser. We used to defend pes against fifa’s better presentation by bigging up individuality. I don’t know what we have left now.

  4. I feel that some of the most individual players really were back in the very early days of ISS98 and ISSPro. I’m thinking Davids who was quick but couldn’t turn and had a ridiculously powered but wayward shot. Carlos. Owen. Babadinga (spelling probably wrong) who was incredibly quick and a good finisher. Then of course the slow AMF’s with great short passing (Boban and Prosinecki). There might be some elision in terms of the actual games I’m referring to but those players still stick in my mind.

  5. Turf – how did you decompile the code from the actual physical spectrum tape cassette and then edit the code and recompile and write it back to a tape to load ?

    Just played another 2 matches on my new found settings. A 2-0 Way won at Newcastle followed by a 3-2 win away at Arsenal after coming back from 2-0 down at half time.
    Recorded the entire 2nd half. Will upload later to show how much more tactical the games are.
    Midfield battles being back is very welcome, I’m also finding that the slower pace accentuates player individuality as stats are more evident.

  6. RANDOMIZE USR 26296

    Paul – I’ve been dabbling with Superstar again. More next week (I doubt I’ll get time to play again until Monday night now), but Superstar plays really well – until it doesn’t. It’s when the human player is trailing in a match that Superstar shows its worst side in so many ways. The human player’s natural urge to recover the ball leads very easily to sprint-clamping, which makes the whole game crazy.

    Uncle Turf – that was indeed PES’s principal bulwark against all things FIFA. Everything came back to the uncanniness with which PES represented individual players. All else flowed from that. Even if it wasn’t as pronounced as our nostalgia remembers it (and I don’t think nostalgia is misleading me when I remember it), it was still a hundred times more pronounced than it is now.

    Keith – given time to think back and remember, I could reel off twenty names of players from each edition of PES since PES2 that would qualify for the Individual XI squad. I genuinely would struggle to cobble together a 5-a-side team (just the team, no bench) from PES2015-18. Castolis and Crouch from PES2015. Castledine from PES2016. Friday from PES2017. Veldwijk from PES2018. And that’s about it. Kane has been on the pitch in name only for me since his swashbuckling opening session.

  7. Paul – you lost me at ‘how’.

    Back when I were a junior geek doing that to a text based game like football manager simply required pressing escape or some other button to stop the game. You’d then get a cursor prompt on screen which allowed you to type in something to get the whole game code up (I’ve forgotten all of what I might have once known), you could then find the line that said ‘if x then display goal’ or whatever, and I simply added a line that said ‘at x,y show go to random and then the list of players’. You could then save it and go back to run. It would then follow the goal by printing a name from your squad list in the middle of the screen. Sounds way too tricky for me now but it really wasn’t more than a few mins work. I guess I simply did it each time the game loaded.

    See also cricket games where I would enter ways to be out and the like. Machine code was the death of my dabbling though.

    Not before I hacked Grendel and turned it into the million selling game we all know and love though.

  8. In contrast, with his first two touches on PES2011 3DS – a cut inside then deadly crisp shot across the keeper – my new signing Higuain immediately felt distinct from all my other strikers

    Mario Kart is miles better than Gran Turismo though!

  9. For the first time in memory I have zero interest in a major sporting event. I can’t think of a single sport in the Winter Olympics I’d watch, it feels increasingly like the red bull high flying super cool kids show and will no doubt be accompanied by awful commentary telling us why 5m quid on a bobsleigh team is good value.

  10. Turf – I do quite like the one where four snowboarders race against each other, assuming that is in the Winter Olympics

    Orlando Jabulani – thanks, your 3-3-4 formation worked a treat, not sure I’d have ever escaped D2 otherwise! The AI is only really threatening through the middle, so a core of 3 CBs and 2 DMFs can deal with it reasonably well. It is not a version of PES that rewards patient passing and build up play so having 4 up front means you can get it forward quickly with long balls or through passes. Sticking with the same formation in D1, having made a couple of great like-for-like transfer deals: Higuaín for Floccari, Lucio for Boateng. Two wins and two draws so far. Still not happy with Agbonlahor at RWF though, might try to trade him for someone a little slower but with a bit of technique

  11. abbeyhill – Glad I helped, let’s see how it’s going to work in the D1.
    How old is Agbonlahor in your save right now? If he’s past his prime, trade him! He’s just a speedster, once he starts declining he’ll quickly become useless – even more. It would be fantastic if you got a younger player in the deal to develop in the following years.

  12. I agree with Paul. It’s a bold statement, one you don’t hear often on here but it’s true. This is not the AI we want….

    I mentioned my 1-8 hammering. Next game I won 1-0, then a 0-0 draw. Then I lost 1-7 to another mid table team. It’s completely unrelated to the quality of the opposition, who they’ve got, how they play, it’s all the same just the overdrive that kicks in. They only had 9 shots, I had 16. Everything NG and Paul have listed I can agree with – fouls are non existent (still), an average of under 1 per match certainly, ive never had a penalty, ive never had an injury, ive never had a release fee offered, all the teams play the same way, individuality is virtually absent. It’s tragic that this is what it’s come to, it’s still playable, it would otherwise be a really good game but knowing what we do it’s a great shame.

  13. Uncle Turf – outside of a news bulletin I doubt I’ll even catch a moment of the Winter Olympics, unless there’s an Eddie the Eagle character who pops up somewhere.

    I’m dabbling with Superstar again and I find The AI That We Need most obnoxious when I’m trailing and of course desperate for the ball. It keeps the ball with such insane computer-gamey trickery that I can’t help but bear down on the sprint+X+Square buttons, which might or might not be the optimum way to win back possession, but works enough of the time for it to be worthwhile – coupled of course with spam-slide tackling – which adds to the no-fouls mechanics to produce the kind of gameplay (fast, frantic, and [retch] fun) that I imagine is the typical online experience. For this to be the signature experience of single-player is the End of PES. PES2018 is a good football game, no question, as was PES2017 before it and even PES2016 – but they’re not PES games.

  14. Paul – Given your IT background I can’t decide if your comment was in jest, but as Turf alluded to you could break out of Football Manager and view the Spectrum Basic code. I read chunks of it a few times to learn how to program. I also modified it to bring in newly promoted teams, but never worked out how to change the highlight stickmen colour to match the team kit.

  15. Chris99 – Paul was clearly joking I think. Hope.

    Even the Spectrum games that disabled Break were hackable on a per-session basis.

  16. although I’m sure the ‘match engine’ on Football Manager was in machine code

  17. I think we are forgetting Paul is a younger man than us. I’m sure he mentioned the Amiga as being his formative experience rather than us hardcore Sinclair users. Although I may be wrong and missed the point of his post.

    NG – certainly I think my hammerings are due to me going two down and having to chase, that’s the point that the speed goes through the roof and it becomes an insane pass fest till I’m put out of my misery with another goal. Once the AI is a couple of goals to the good you’d be doing very well to keep it down, let alone get back on terms.

  18. One match to go in season two, im level on points with three other clubs but bottom of them thanks to the huge losses. Whoever finished top of this mini league takes the last Asian league qualifying spot (whatever it is called, the equivalent of the euro league anyway, despite this being the ‘Scottish premiership’). If I’m made a serious offer I won’t be around to play in that competition. I’d accept any of the major European division 2s, and maybe South America.

  19. A draw for everybody meant I finished a respectable 7th on 10/7/9. The chairman decided this was worth a whacking boost to funds of 144m for the transfer budget and 11m for wages. However, I had numerous offers – rather confusingly it now looks like you can choose any club rather than needing them to be without a manager? – is this right? Seems outrageously easy – anyway I decided I’d only respond rather than seeking out a club. One of them finished 6th in their league and has a good squad but most of them are 30+ so it’s a potential rebuilding job. I opted to take it on, so for season three I’m the manager of West Bromwich Albion.

  20. Uncle Turf – Paul had to be joking, I’m sure. Not even a millennial like him could believe that Spectrum games ‘ran from’ cassette tape.

    And so you have moved on to another team. I’ve not been even slightly tempted this time round to stray. I have no idea if you can pick any team or not, having never even peeked inside the relevant menu.

  21. Yes, usually when you go to transfer request you have to select a team without a manager, now it appears every team can be chosen. Whether you get the job I’m not sure as I didn’t want to proceed. West Brom are one of those teams I have no feelings for whatsoever, they don’t register as anything in my football past. Their current manager is the very definition of ‘if he was chocolate he would eat himself’ but the club itself are nothing. Like Swansea, Southampton and the like. At least a club like Coventry has the cup win to relate to, villa their European exploits, wba have a blank.

  22. You can apply with any team you want – doesn’t mean you’ll get the job though. This feature was in last year as well.

  23. NG – Would you believe up until yesterday I had never watched Groundhog Day. As I had a rare afternoon to myself, aside from a sleeping dog I thought I would watch a film. Your post the other day aided my decision. As you say the chore theme is an important one and left plenty of thought. You see I am not a film buff and as such there are so many big films out there that I haven’t see, such as The Matrix. The best thing is seeing these films now for the first time as I appreciate them more now. Maybe there is a point to this with regards to those hidden PS2 games that you haven’t played or maybe there is no point at all.

  24. I dislike the use of the phrase millenial. It smacks of the modern tendency towards impatience, as if people got excited by the thought of the phrase and couldn’t wait to use it. Previously phrases like baby boomer and child of the sixties referred to when you were born.

  25. So – just got offered a position at Manchester united. Thought about it for a while but decided otherwise ultimately. Conversely my application at Ajax was declined, go figure.
    Also, Solanke keeps scoring like a demon. 18 goals at the midway point of season 2 and just scored all my goals in a 5 nil win at burnley. Hes only rated 75 but plays far above his stats. Surely he’s not this good in real life, is he?

  26. Ah right, so you can at least be knocked back which is something. I got offered the England job – two seasons, 13 wins out of 52, clearly international calibre! I declined. I’ve already bought and sold eight of the baggies starting eleven, getting morata in and if I can free up another million in wages, Gareth bale.

  27. Darryl – I would believe that you’d never seen it. The phrase might have made it into everyday life but relatively few people have seen the film – and fewer still think it’s anything more than an amusing romantic comedy. It really is a sober demonstration of the secret of life. Not merely how to have a good life (although it does that too: the morning after he has his first good day and wakes to find everything reset as usual, but genuinely isn’t bothered about it, is the secret), but of life.

    If you’ve never seen The Matrix, it’s been much-riffed-upon ever since in countless sci-fi films and TV shows, but rarely bettered. Again it’s the portrayal of an idea as old as the human race: that we inhabit a reality that is, in some way, illusory. An idea older than the wheel, of course, but it’s amazing how many people think The Matrix originated it.

    Chris99 – I love the term millennial as it’s almost always used pejoratively. Fucking snowflakes. [opens Daily Mail] Yesterday at work, speaking to one of these frightful folk, I used the expression ‘play it by ear’, and then had to explain it. And I could tell that the youngster in question was thinking ‘what’s this bald old bastard telling me this for?’

    Baby boomer is a confusing one, as I’ve often seen it used to group anyone born within a 20-year period (or longer) after WW2, instead of in the 9-to-18-month period immediately after it. So that’s not strictly tied into a set time period either.

  28. Baby boomer is up to 1947. 20 years is ridiculous, you’re half way through the 60s by then (see the maths degree didn’t go to waste)

  29. NG – there is a programme on channel 5 tonight called ‘The Nation’s Favourite Rom-Com’ and Groundhog Day is on the list. As for Baby Boomers I remember Trivial Pursuits had a Baby Boomer Edition with the questions all related to the 1950/60s.

  30. Yes, because those would be a baby boomer’s formative years.

  31. Groundhog Day is spoiled by the presence of Andi mcdowell in every single one of those possible scenarios. See also four weddings, Julia Roberts in notting hill, et al. They cast these god awful American actresses and pair them with the most unlikely partners. That love actually…please just past the sick bag. What I want to see is the first x months, possibly years, that bill Murray woke up and realised he could get away with anything. Obviously there was something with Nancy. There’s a whole lord of the flies type effort to be worked on there.

    Ml has taken a slightly silly turn with my dealings. I’ve replaced just about every thirty+ player as I intend to be here a while. I’ve shipped in a load of 16 year old regens to offset the wages and have bought bale, morata, martial, Luke shaw and some continental midfielders. There seems virtually no limit to who will come to me although I failed Ina bid for salah. In season 3, it’s not how it used to be.

  32. Morning all, good weekend’s all round I hope.

    NG – I wasn’t joking about the Spectrum hacking, I was aged from 8-11 when I had various spectrums, and my only concern at that age was playing Jet set willy and the likes, not hacking code.
    I was in Game at the weekend and they are selling Spectrum Vega consoles, mini sized Speccies, with HDMi connection, pre-loaded with 1000+ classic spectrum games, gotta be worth the 79.99 surely.

    Also I’m not a ‘millenial’ – I was born in the 70’s. Just.

    Few more games in PES 18 ML, still unbeaten in the league, and have lost 1 and won 2 of my first 3 Champions League group games.

    Have to say the CL licensing/branding/presentation is superb, the real adboards, the presentation elements, the whole feel of a night time CL match – brilliant.
    Shame Konami didn’t apply as much attention into the standard league matches.

    Still loving the -1 speed / broadcast cam setup, midfield battles are superb, and make the games totally different.
    Toying with moving up to SS, just beat Liverpool 5-0 at Anfield with a Lukaku hat trick, still only rated 8 after the match though.

  33. Uncle Turf – yes I was far more interested in the stage where Bill Murray was exploring the limits of his new world and seeing what he could get away with. The love story is what makes the film appear to be what is isn’t, a romantic comedy. The director has said that Bill Murray’s character subjectively spent 10,000 subjective years in the loop before it ended, i.e. about 28,000 repetitions of that one day, so there was a lot more than we were ever shown.

    Paul – I’ve also seen the plug-in Speccy in GAME (saw it the day I popped in before Christmas to get FIFA17) and also been tempted, but really, any of the games are playable in a browser window for the 5 minutes it’d take to scratch the nostalgia itch, so it’d be a waste of money IMO. An actual Spectrum from eBay with all the leads would be excellent to tinker with, and much cheaper.

    I’m sampling Superstar in PES2018 currently and it’s good… until it isn’t. In a scenario where you’re a goal or two down it is the most frustrating thing ever. The AI That We Need’s fancy Barca-style keepball routine just enrages.

  34. I will probably remain on Top Player NG, as besides the odd drubbing I give out, most matches are challenging still, and as this season is shaping up to be my last, I want PES 18 to finish on a high, not be frustrated and disappointed by SS.

    Heres a full half (2nd half) of a match recently vs Arsenal, using -1 speed and broadcast cam, note how there are much more midfield battles and space is at a premium.

  35. Paul – I’m still giving SS a go, will explore it some more in tomorrow’s post.

    It should be noted that PES2018 is still going in mid-February, which is amazing value as ever, and especially good considering it’s more ’21st Century Soccer Game’ than Pro Evolution Soccer. I believe I will eventually be able to play a FIFA to this extent on the same basis.

    Nice vid and that’s a lovely goal from Embolo.

    The picture seems a touch dark, though, is it my screen or did you slap a filter on it?

    And you’ve got Shawcross! How good of you to take him in off the street.

  36. Will keep a keen eye on your SS exploits NG, as my past experience with it was positive, until it wasn’t, then it was hugely disgusting.
    Agree that to still be playing PES 18 in Mid-Feb, still playing the same ML, and looking forward to sessions, is well worth the £40 quid alone despite its flaws.
    I’d go as far as to say even after everything PES 18 is up there with my all time fave PES experiences.

    The video doesn’t have any filter, it was a ‘cloud with rain’ match setting so was darker any way due to the nature of it, I adjusted the PES18 colour settings bumping up contrast and adjusting brightness etc, to give a more realistic look to pitch turfs and lighting, as its quite dull and flat as standard, makes a huge difference as ‘fine’ weather matches are baked in crisp sunlight, night matches accentuate the floodlights and turf colours and cloudy/rainy matches seem duller and more colour washed, gives good variance to the look and feel of each match.

    The Embolo goal – when you see the slow mo replay it actually deflects off the defenders outstretched shin, that’s what made it flick up and over and gave it that looping trajectory, was surprised but pleased to see it go in when it happened.

    Shawcross was a youth signee, signed last minute as all my first choice CB targets declined the move, hes developed from 74 OVR up to 80 and is solid and sturdy.

  37. Paul – interesting, what are your colour settings in-game? I don’t want to change the overall settings on the TV.

    Shawcross in real life is very much a member of the Chris Smalling ‘entitled, hands-on, mauling, bullying referees’ school of defending, so he’s on my Shitlist for that reason. It’s a packed Shitlist. This weekend I was annoyed by Stoke’s missed penalty. Not only should Dunk’s ‘clearance’ actually have been another penalty and a red card for him, but it should have been retaken anyway for the encroachment that enabled him to be there that fast. But no, the referee was already deemed to be ‘brave’ for giving it in the first place, so the unwritten rules of football meant there could never be a retake or 2nd penalty. I tell you, this so-called ‘real’ football really winds me up.

  38. NG – I will screenshot them when i get home later and post them.
    No, you just change the PES settings, no need to change global tv settings.

    I have my 4k TV professionally calibrated, so on top of that is another layer of crispness, and gamut correction, black levels, colours etc, which I use for skyQ, and films, but disable for Games as it slows the processing down and sometimes causes ghosting.

    I don’t like Shawcross IRL either, but his pixelated self in PES is performing well for me, and as a youth he was available, whereas my other transfer targets weren’t.

    PS: you can try this and tweak to your liking.

  39. if SS enrages NG – who I imagine is the furthest from a “controller thrower” of any footy gamer I can think of – then I will be steering well clear of it. it’ll probably see me throwing my PC out the window…figuratively speaking of course.

    winning very easily on professional now so will bump it up to Top Player and stay there methinks.

  40. #1 – SS currently annoys me rather than enrages me, and only when I’m behind and chasing the game when the next-level keepball shenanigans kick in, with the likes of Hull playing the kind of tippy-tappy keepball that makes real-life Barcelona look like real-life Hull. The rest of the time, it is very enjoyable, I find.

    And no, I am not and never have been a controller-thrower. I don’t understand the practice – it’s a childish tantrum. I’m quite happy to judge adults who indulge in it as mentally challenged individuals. I never used to believe it was real. I thought it was just a thing people said, a figure of speech online, until I saw somebody do it and was frankly astonished. I just stared and wondered why anyone would do that. Not only is it a futile act in and of itself, but the controller itself could be damaged. Even when controllers weren’t 40 quid they weren’t cheap.

    Paul – thanks for the link.

  41. Not a controller thrower either, pointless really, whats happened will still have happened after you have thrown and damaged the controller any way so usually just blurt out a selective swear word instead.

    As I continually mentioned a while back, the AI [That we don’t need] is awful on SS, even more so than normal, in that its unbalanced because Hull can and do play like Barca, and Burton Like Juventus etc, completely ruins the game as there’s no point in building a better team to qualify for europe to test your skills against the big teams ….. because there’s no difference between Barca and Burton.

    I’m seriously tempted to move clubs after this season, and take a job trying to rebuild one of the Spanish sides, along with Spanish commentary etc, something I’ve always wanted to do, but then I promised myself this season would be my last, and move to FIFA.

    Might adopt NG’s ethos of ‘If what I’m playing is good and enjoyable, why leave it’.
    FIFA 18 will still be there in 3 months time, or even 6 months time, there’s no rush to have to always be playing the latest version.

  42. Wimps…the Superstar?… can’t handle the superstar! A 1-1 and a 0-0 in my first two premier league games. I also added a mr Peter crouch of this parish to my regens.

    On the spectrum front I have to admit after the initial wave of nostalgia fuelled enthusiasm there has been limited effort put into the snes reboot. Of course if Grendel is pre-loaded…

  43. Turf – Can handle it, won more than I lost on SS< it just wasn't enjoyable being dumped out of cups because of the AI cheating.

  44. Paul – in my case with no PES2019 or any other PES after it (because PES came to an end roughly 3 editions ago, and I’ve finally got round to accepting it) the usual annual timetable is gone, kaput. Instead of observing an annual schedule I’ll just go on with PES2018 for at least this season, probably one more it now seems, and then move on.

    Uncle Turf – I once read a sci-fi story in which the character only knew he’d moved from one dimension to another because of some strange detail that kept cropping up that he had no recollection of. This Grendel of which you speak is such a detail. Another is the phrase ‘now we’re cooking with gas’, which I swear I had never heard until I was in my mid-30s. I wonder what my home dimension is like now.

    Since the second dawn of computers in my life circa 2002 or so, I’ve never played a game from the 1980s home computer era for longer than 5 minutes, Atic Atac excepted, which got 10 minutes.

  45. Watched a film last night, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ in which they fired up a particle accelerator and as a result distorted time and space so traveled to an alternative parallel dimension where thereselves were already existing, was pretty decent. Netflix original.

    That’s what playing SS is often like, couldn’t help thinking there was another one of me somewhere sitting playing it and loving it.

  46. NG – I recently read stephen king’s short story ‘ur’. I’m slowly filling in the references to the dark tower in his various works but speak quietly and with reverence to ‘the grendel’ lest the men in yellow coats appear.

    Paul – it’s ok to be scared, no one thinks less of you for avoiding it. ; )

  47. Paul – read good and (very) bad things about that movie. Recommended for a bit of a sci-fi fan?

    Also with regards to controller throwing – a bit of swearing is just fine for me. NG / Paul there are videos of people with “FIFA-rage” that punch through their TV’s. Now that there’s mentally challenged and then some.

    As for me I got my transfer to Ajax. I was automatically entered into a “pre season” tournament where I get to take on a number of European champions (bayern, man city, porto). If I recall correctly from all your comments this is something of a rare occurrence, no? Also, I’m glad that the youth regens have “normal” stats and growth curves this time around.

  48. Paul – I had another free afternoon and am on leave, so watched ‘The Iron Lady’ which I quote enjoyed. I did see ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ pop up on the list and was tempted to watch it.

  49. well, that tournament was interesting. absolutely no resistance at all and walked right through Porto, Bayern and City which are supposed to be the best teams in the game. Moved up to Top Player promptly. Much better…had to fight for my first win, the Johan Cruyff Schaal.

    Interesting side note, the patch I’m using contains so-called “Legends”, normally only obtainable through ShiteClub as far as I know. Bayern had Ruud Gullit and Porto fielded McManaman. THey looked the part but produced nothing special, at least not with the CPU in control. I imagine they’re not much different were we, the player, to control them. Imagine actually PAYING for these players, as I believe you have to do to get them normally.

  50. Hmm, I know I jumped up from a no name club to a Euro league qualified premier league one but I’m not seeing this difficulty in signing players at all. Having a lump of cash still in the bank I added Harry Kane and Ross Barkley to the squad. I haven’t had to try at all really, pretty much anyone will come.

    The deep irritation of new pes though in my first euro league match – 1-0 down to spartak Moscow I wanted to bring crouch on to go route one. From 55 mins to 85mins I couldn’t get the ball or cause a foul to do so. It’s laughable really, I know modern football is ridiculous at times with its fouls that aren’t, non awards that are fouls and ‘common sense’ interpretations but they still have throw ins, corners, offsides and the like. Instead we get thirty minutes of midfield triangles.

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