Second Impressions count double

So my 1st Impressions on Wednesday were somewhat lukewarm. At that stage I’d only had the game a few hours, and only played a handful of matches. I spent much of that time trying to get things looking nice on my new telly.

My 2nd Impressions today are rather more enthusiastic. I’ve gone from a general 7/10 kind of Satisfaction Score to around a 9/10 today.

The lesson of Release Day for me is: don’t spend ages fiddling with your settings on a new 4K TV and expect to come away with a proper appreciation of whatever you’re supposed to be playing on it.

By very late Wednesday night I’d settled on my settings. It turns out that the psychology involved in calibrating a 4K TV is a little like the mind-games you play with yourself over FIFA’s sliders. No matter how ‘nice’ you end up getting it, after a while you think: hmmmm, maybe another slight tweak will make it absolutely perfect.

In the end, I left HDR ON, and everything else I left as it was more or less out of the box. My replays will look a little washed-out all year, but screenshots – as above – should look OK.

I don’t know if PES2019’s apparently wonky typography is a side-effect of a 4K TV, or if everyone has it. Look at the kerning and multiple baselines on show here. Shudder.

I played a one-off Exhibition match to test out the Option File I’ve installed – and got hammered 0-5, as seen above. That was on Top Player.

I keep hearing about PES2019’s allegedly poor AI, but I keep failing to see any real evidence of it myself. Sometimes, yes, the AI does dumb things. Unquestionably. But the spaces separating those things are large enough to preserve suspension of disbelief. For now. I am watching the AI closely.

After this I was thirsty for some Master League experience.

I’d had the notion that it might be time for a change. After… 18 years or so of playing ML with my own custom Coventry City team, why not make up a completely new team? A Melchester Rovers-type of team? Yes – why not? Covchester United or something.

I whizzed through set-up, Editing PES United and moving them to the Skybet league in place of Brentford. (Poor old Brentford. I think they’ve been replaced in my MLs before.)

I couldn’t think of a good new name, so I left PES United as-is for now. At this stage I still believed this was my real and final ML that I was starting.

It was right about here, seeing this green-themed introductory cut-scene, that I started to think: nah. Bring back Coventry City!

Still, I persevered, curious by now just to explore Master League and have a few matches with the Defaults. Just to see what the feel of PES2019 is when playing with really, really poor players against better opposition.

In ML this year, you start with an ICC tournament where you are matched against much better opposition. It’s a great introduction to your new team, as you battle against the odds to get a result.

I started on Professional difficulty.

This scene right here was the point when I knew for sure that I wanted to restart as my usual Coventry City. That moment of seeing your team stride out for the first time in Master League. They have to be in Sky Blue!

My PES United kits were two generic kits that I’d grabbed from PESFX, whose proprietor, Paul, is a regular commenter on this blog. When I realised I needed to restart, I asked Paul for some Coventry City kits, as he has provided them in previous years.

Paul does take requests over on PESFX. I understand it is currently a busy time for him. Many thanks, Paul!

I’ll be playing with these kits, as Coventry City, from Monday onwards. A busy weekend of life and work is annoyingly positioned in the way first.

So I played two of the ICC matches with the Defaults – that match against Atletico Madrid, and then the next against Boca Juniors. I lost both quite heavily, scoring just one goal in the process. But overall, these matches might well have been two of the best matches I’ve played in any nuPES game, ever.

The feel of the ball. The passing. The tactics. The wonderful aggression of the AI. The fouls and free kicks providing the variance and depth that nuPES has sorely lacked. The sprinkling of new names in the Defaults didn’t impress me much, but there’s a lot of getting-to-know-you to come with them.

I came away with my Satisfaction levels very high indeed. Master League proper will start for me from Monday. My post on Tuesday will be my proper setting-up-ML post, of the kind that I do every year. Today’s post is a warm-up.

So far so good. Can it last?

Updated: 31st August 2018 — 11:40


  1. I’ve had a stamina injury forcing a sub but not a tackle injury.

  2. Managed a 1-1 draw last night with Aberdeen, my fourth point of the season. Superstar is old school, ball achingly tough season one for some of us. I’ve scored three goals in 14 matches. The Japanese free agents don’t improve the defaults by much, they may simply assist with the budget.

  3. I’d take any forced sub at the moment – and a few AI fouls. Not really seeing any, maybe 1 per match at best. I put this down to ‘only’ being on Professional.

  4. Yes, there are maybe 3-5 or so per match for me, plenty in shooting range.

  5. Uncle Turf – indeed, Professional really lives up to its lowlier difficulty status this year I think. Last night I picked up the ball on the edge of my box with Redmond, and ran him all the way to the other box, in acres of space, and scored.

  6. 3 fouls in one game is my highest so far, top player.

    Speaking of TP, it’s great. I’m getting beat, but I can still play my football. Superstar was just plain hard, and I couldn’t string anything together. Will probably switch to SS when I get promoted, and who knows, maybe a real threat of relegation for a change?

  7. Had a fantastic scappy 1-0 win last night in which the AI committed 9 fouls and picked up 5 bookings in the process. Music to your ears N-G! It was a 10 minute match on professional. Would post the image here but no idea how I do that lol.

  8. Been averaging 3 or 4 fouls per match, on Professional.
    Captured a screenshot last night showing I committed 4 fouls and the AI committed 6. Great Game.

    The Master League series video I posted on the last page shows a scored free kick as a result of an innocuous foul, that just wouldn’t have been given last year.

    Think I’m definitely going to step up to Top Player, I’m currently 6th, in the quarter finals of the FA Cup having just beaten Watford comfortably, and find it fairly comfy in most games, certainly not how a 1st division with the defaults should feel.

  9. Paul – I saw your vid very late last night and meant to ask: is the filter you put on much of it to offset the 4K HDR capture issue? I’ve noticed the chalky effect only happens sometimes, and in some camera angles and screenshots, things look fine. But you turned your HDR off?

  10. Having sorted out my option file issues last night, I’m hoping to finally start a ML today.

    Checking Brighton in the game, I did notice just how horrible their kits are this season. The away one is particularly naff. One season and I’m planning a full kit change.

    Paul – Is the kit template on PES 2019 the same as 2018?

  11. I’m still holding off my ML until all the fake teams and fake players (even Brazil are fake this year!) are gone!

    I’m playing on Top Player – plenty of fools – doing a La Liga season with Bilbao. Have had numerous plyers pull up in my 17 games so far and one 3 day inury courtesy of an in-game knock.

    I’ll be starting my ML on Superstar. The low crosses from the AI is definitely a thing in *some* situations. It punishes you mercilessly if you X + square pressure. Standing off when they’re outwide works sufficiently.

    In terms of formation, I’m so far favouring the formation England are preloaded with, but with changes to the advanced settings. The AMs and WMFs link up a treat. I’m also noticing some individuality. I think this PES is the best one this side of 2012, and the only reason I don’t say further is because I can’t honestly remember earlier ones too vividly anymore, other than the fact I loved PES3 and PES6

  12. NG – No, the footage i captured was all Non-HDR and looked perfect (as perfect as the PS4’s 720 capture can) I just added that high contrast/colour filter to add some cinematics to the footage, no other reason.
    Every HDR enabled vid I’ve captured has looked ghastly colour wise.

    Shed – Almost, the PES 19 template is slightly narrower in the body and the short sleeves are thinner by a tad.
    As long as you dont have any intricate design around the outer most edges of these elements then the PES18 template should work fine.

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