No fun intended

7 League matches left in my final PES2018 season, and look what might be happening:

4 points off the lead, with an inferior goal difference granted, but considering where I was just a few instalments ago…. good old ML table scripting, working hard to get me up that table.

As I have said and felt all along, I will be there or thereabouts when the final tally is made at the end of the season.

It takes proportionally longer to get through the seasons when you’re still in 2 Cups, which I am, so the end – of the season, of PES2018, and of all nuPES games – still feels like a long way off.

I’m in the FA Cup semis, and now I’m in the Champions League quarters. Don’t know who I’ve got in the FA Cup, but it’ll be Leipzig in the CL. I dispatched Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 16, 1-0 on aggregate. They were surprisingly tough.

I’ve been trying out a new corner routine lately. For the longest time in PES I have swapped between two or three familiar corner routines: picking out a player in the box, going short, just blasting it randomly into the melee, etc. etc.. None of these familiar routines have proven optimal in PES2018 for me.

Interestingly, ‘real life’ football confirms that corners are far from worth getting excited about. Stats show that corners lead to a goal approximately 3% (THREE PERCENT) of the time. So that’s only 1 goal for every 33.33 corners. But the fans still roar and all stand up every time there is one.

Tired of a similar rate of return in PES2018, I’ve started L1+R-selecting a player on the edge of the box and sneaking him into Paul Scholes territory for a spectacular volley. Might as well. It amuses me, and it’s a nice mini-game of its own. Half the time the AI annoyingly insta-deploys a player to cover my L1+R selected player at the moment I press the buttons. This shouldn’t happen, because the AI is not supposed to ‘know’ what buttons I’ve just pressed, is it?

But half the time it doesn’t do that, and if the player I L1+R-select is so ridiculously far outside the box that he’s almost closer to the halfway line, I can get away with it easily.

When it’s all set up, I loft a circle pass to the selected player, and hopefully let fly with a spectacularly dipping volley into the postage-stamp corner of the net. Except that hasn’t happened so far. By the time the ball travels from the corner to my selected player, the AI has usually raced to block any volley – and half the time I get the timing wrong and/or the game messes it up for me, and my player tries to take a touch first.

Still, I have got goals from this method, by various means (usually playing a one-two for a regular sort of goal, etc.) These pseudo-corner goals come at roughly the same amount – 1 in 33 attempts. I ‘have fun’ doing it, and of course ‘having fun’ is what PES has always been about, right? Right? That’s what PES has always been about, yes? Having fun. That’s what everyone says now, so it is therefore the truth. Yes, having fun is what PES has always been all about. Many was the time in my 40+ seasons of PES5 back in the day – and in my 10+ seasons of PES2010, PES2011, and PES2012 – knee-deep in full-on PES immersion, experiencing a kind of rapt absorption that could only be compared to watching the best movie, reading the best book, or tasting the best food, when I exclaimed to heaven: ‘This near-transcendental state that I’m having now can only ever be described as FUN!’ When I’m watching Breaking Bad or Blade Runner, the only way to describe my enjoyment of them is with the word ‘fun’, too, which only a true churl would disagree with. How wonderful that this fun has been deified in the form of the myClub experience, which is, like, fun squared, or something. Yes, the having of fun is definitely what PES is now, and always has been, about.

Bit sidetracked there. Anyway, the corner routine: yes, it works sometimes, and here’s an example of it working. Not the greatest possible goal it could produce, but it’s something different.

Watch for GURPEGUI’s name tag appearing at the bottom of the screen, and watch me slow-walking him into position. The goal comes about as the result of a deflection, yes, but they all count.

Updated: 2nd March 2018 — 11:17


  1. Paul – in late 2014, me starting to play a new PES – at that time still untainted by the nuPES fiasco as we now know it – upon the release of that PES could not reasonably be described as a ‘whim’. Playing the new PES was my settled routine for almost two decades. FIFA was always the make-do stopgap in the years when it came out first. So it proved again that year. PES2015 was a better game than FIFA15 anyway, as good as the latter was. I’m not a games journalist and not obliged to represent any principle of fairness, balance or consistency. PES2011, here I come. I’ll give FIFA a week or two at some point, I’m sure. More than it deserves.

  2. how can you say PES 15 was a better game than FIFA 15? When you only played FIFA 15 for what? a month or so before PES 15 came out, have you touched FIFA 15 since? Bit of a wild flippant claim me thinks.

    You’ll give FIFA a week or two, more than it deserves‘ ??
    Haha so on what basis does FIFA 18 NOT deserve more than 2 weeks? Intrigued.

  3. Is this thing on? Tough crowd today…

    I played three complete seasons of FIFA15 before PES2015 came out. How many separate matches is that? What amount of time would be required before my judgement of it would be non-flippant? Four seasons? Five? How about SIX. Yes, I played 6 seasons of Career Mode in FIFA15 over the course of that year. I gave them both 9/10 in my End of Years that year, but would say PES2015 is the better game, for sure. Peter Crouch and Castolis were wonderful in PES2015. It gave me some of the best PES moments of any instalment. It was the last vintage PES year for me. You’re more than entitled to feel whatever you feel about any football game. You’re not at all entitled to tell me what I should feel.

  4. Fair enough then, on that basis I agree, 3 seasons on FIFA 15 would be enough to form your own opinion on which game you prefer, I must just point out though, that I’m struggling to see anywhere where I told you what you should feel?
    I said ‘flippant claim i think’ – emphasis on the ‘think’, now that you have explained why you claim PES 15 was better, I understand, but still never ever told you anywhere what you should be playing or what you should feel about a game.

  5. In the spirit of never say never….Might I suggest….bal….

    I remember when you flirted, and enthused, over ultimate team. So much so I dipped mine own in the water. I still like the offline idea, a variant on Brian cloughs football fortunes for those of us who recall that. It’s the online opponents who turd it up.

  6. Paul – FIFA15 was released a good 2 and a half months before PES2015 came out as I recall. It was the year PES came out in late November. I was balls-deep in FIFA15 at one point! I remember you and I marvelling at how good it was in the first week or two. Check my End of Year review for the game, where I tip my hat to it in a major way and acknowledge that it made PES2015 difficult to learn to love. I remember going back to FIFA15 for sneaky sessions in the first weeks of PES2015. So I’m more that up for a bit of FIFA. My history shows it’s all about timing. I’ve very confident that at some point over the next however-many-years-I-live, I’ll be making some lucky FIFA the happiest football game in the world.

    (The ‘more than it deserves’ was of course, a light jest….. I’m often told I’m over-dry in humour. Countless times I crack what I believe is a good ‘un, only to have people stare at me in horror and/or disgust.)

    Uncle Turf – now you really have dropped a stinker. Get that BaL shit out of here.

  7. orlando.jabulani

    Paul – If you told me 5, 10 years ago that you found FIFA to have “tons of individuality”, I’d laugh in your face; sadly today I completely believe your statement. Strange days.

  8. Yeah was just under 2 months between FIFA 15 and PES 15 releasing, and I do recall you enjoyed it immensely, which I was I was perplexed at why you dropped it so quick, but a new PES is a new PES and is tradition etc, I get all that.

    and not as a FIFA vs PES thing, as it could be called Capcom Ultra soccer for all it matters, but if you do put some time aside for some FIFA anytime soon, you really should try FIFA 18.

    We all moan about the demise of PES, how it just copies FIFA, poorly, nowadays,and how the lack of fouls, injuries, hollow ML mode etc make it difficult to like anymore, well in FIFA 18 you have the chance to play a game that delivers on all those fronts.

    A realistic, deep, tactical career mode, lots to do, player interactivity, fouls, injuries, great commentary, a real match day feeling, trophy presentations, and very good game play. After all the moaning weve done would be a shame if you didn’t try it.

  9. Orlando –

    Paul – If you told me 5, 10 years ago that you found FIFA to have “tons of individuality”, I’d laugh in your face; sadly today I completely believe your statement. Strange days.

    I wouldn’t have cared if you’d laughed in my face, what one person playing a game feels is completely up to them, not for anyone else to suggest otherwise, as NG pointed out just now.

    Cold hard facts though, are that I’ve seen more individuality in 1/8th of a season in FIFA than I did in 10 seasons of PES.

  10. Paul — I’m actually close to 50/50 on whether to spend a while with FIFA17 after PES2018 comes to an end. The PS4’s QoL trappings are a huge draw. I really don’t want to do the usual ‘play FIFA for a week then inevitably drift onto PES’ routine though.

    Generally, in an ideal world FIFA would pounce on PES’s turn to the dark side and emerge as the grand unifying force for all disgruntled former PESheads, but in reality I can only see the two games becoming evermore mass-appeal oriented, which necessarily entails dumbing-down. I would have to see and feel FIFA18’s individuality for myself. I’m deeply sceptical that any current-era footy game would risk alienating any of the Millennial multiplayer horde by making some players feel markedly slower and clumsier than others, not dribble so well, etc. E.g. how is weak-foot shooting in FIFA18?

    My only certainty currently is the end of nuPES in my life. It feels bloody fantastic to be getting off this doomed train to nowhere. The last 3 editions of PES have been like the shitty last few seasons of a great TV show that you watch through habit, and because one or two of your favourite characters are still in it just enough to make it sort-of worth watching.

  11. NG – I have only played a pre-season tournament (which I won – trophy and all) and 5 league matches so early days but one of the things that stood out for me instantly was both the feeling between different players, they way they move and handle, and the shooting, ie, shots go wide, some go very wide, weak foot shots often skew off into the crowd, or result in a feeble daisy dribbler into the keepers arms, especially if off balance, a massive departure from PES where every shot is on target, hits a post, or flies a nano-inch wide every time, so much more variation, I’m sure the other guys playing FIFA 18 here will have seen similar.

  12. I have to admit for all the benefit of extra management stuff to do I do find fifa just a touch too time consuming, particularly the transfers which still don’t have a good search facility. It’s very easy to spend too long simply looking for folk to buy and I can’t believe the fifa14 era overseas frees are still there (Indian strikers, Bulgarian centre halfs etc)

    Abbeyhill – pokken tournament was one, I think the other was an original Wii title – pokepark?

  13. Turf – There is no ‘search by overall rating’ facility in FIFA, but this is because you don’t get to see an OVR until you have scouted players, which takes time depending on the level of scout you have, how it should be, how it was in the glory days of PES.

    Its actually quite easy to find players of certain positions, skills etc, if you utilise the GSN (Global scouting network) properly.

    coming from PES where its pick unchanged team, play match, pick team, play match, pick team, rinse and repeat, I find FIFA’s daily dealings welcome.

  14. Lately I haven’t been playing FIFA or PES, but I have to say that I liked FIFA 15 on PC and FIFA 17 on the Xone a lot.

    Right now I am playing Smackdown! vs Raw 2007 on the ps2 and I am enjoying it a lot.

    NG: the Wii had really bad games, but some others were really good. For me Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda Twilight Princess were really good, along with some others.

  15. JS Hutt — the console was terrible. Its motion controllers didn’t work as advertised. I wanted to play Tiger Woods. I didn’t get to play Tiger Woods.

    Uncle Turf — you can be as active as you choose on CM’s transfer market. I remember during my last CM tilt — FIFA16 — I just browsed the market every so often and purchased based on the stats I could see, rarely dispatching a scout, having been conditioned by every ML since PES2012 not to do any more. PES of recent years has conditioned you, and all of us, to only do the bare minimum. The old-school MLs where you would pore over individual stats because they had palpable effects on your team, and you could only buy maybe one good player a season (!), are a memory now.

  16. NG: Wii wasn’t a terrible console, it had bad advertising and the motion controls were pretty bad. Other than that, it had really good games if you like to play something other than what every one else plays (it even had those games, but worse ports).

  17. The Wii console. Tiger Woods motion controls. That is all I have to say.

  18. NG – weak foot shooting is there for certain. David Meyler who is somewhat of a long – range expert in my career mode always shoots on target with his right foot. Just now I got the ball in front of his left, took a shot, and it went skyward into the crowd as per Paul’s comment. Meanwhile my CMF Irvine can’t shoot worth for shit with either foot! Instantly noticeable.

    Turf – the managerial part seems quite intimidating at first but as is the case with the gameplay, you have to “de-PES” first. There really is no other way around it. It actually adds to the gameplay and you find yourself making real decisions. And as always a lot is customisable with fifa. Want to do the real time transfer dealings yourself? Go for it. Too time consuming? Delegate it. Simple as that!

  19. NG – despite me and others being very enthusiastic about fifa I would still suggest going for pes 2011 first. As your time frame is now sort of infinite I would get the pes itch out of the way first. I know how that gnawing feeling can get you to dither and switch games before giving it a proper run (speaking for myself here based on my experiences this year).

  20. My opening match of my FIFA 18 career mode with Newcastle, just watch the presentation, detail, etc and tell me this isn’t light years ahead of PES

  21. No argument from me there Paul. I find myself actually watching replays, opening sequences etc. What difficulty are you on?

  22. Presentation in Fifa is so good (at least in 17) that if your player scores a hat trick, at the end of the match he will get the ball. And if you sub him, he will get it while he is wearing that thing for subs (sorry, don’t remember the name in English).

  23. Presentation in Fifa is so good (at least in 17) that if your player scores a hat trick, at the end of the match he will get the ball. And if you sub him, he will get it while he is wearing that thing for subs (sorry, don’t remember the name in English).

  24. #1 – Professional at the moment whilst I bed in, still fall fail to the PES muscle-memory, so once im settled in I’ll probably look to move to world class and look at some slider options.

  25. Here is a “screenie”, as I believe the kids are calling them nowadays (hope the imgur link works).

    This shows the league table after I won the title, the 7 month injury to my reserve striker Gounongbe, and one of my better players ready for some training.

  26. no screenie chris ?

  27. Chris99 – I couldn’t get it to display inline either there, so I just removed the tags and left it clickable at least. No idea why that didn’t work – the rest of ’em do. Your ‘screenie’ clearly didn’t want to be USB’d and Imgur’d.

  28. Paul – re. the Newc-Spurs footage – what a camera angle that is, and the game looks great. You’re right though, PES animations and modelling are preferable. I think I’ll have a different perspective on FIFA’s animations after a few months of PS3 PES though. I’m considering timing it so I symbolically start FIFA18 on PES2019’s release day.

  29. If you remember a few months ago NG, I suddenly couldn’t post any imgur links either, they suddenly just sopped showing on the blog.

    That’s the broadcast cam with zoom pulled out a bit and height at 0.
    FIFA has a ton more animations than PES, its mainly just the player models that look better in PES, a bit ‘meatier’ but there isn’t that much in them.

    What a symbolic slap in the face of ‘Nu-PES’ that would be !!

  30. I take it the image is accessible via the link? I did notice the anchor tag I posted didn’t show in the original post. I assumed it had to be allowed by nG before it would show.

    Does this fare any better

  31. Chris99 – saw the image via the link. IMGUR picvs used to show up automatically on here then one day they just stopped, whether thats a blog setting NG’s end or a IMGUR change dont know.

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