It’ll all be over by Easter

How’s this for a Season 10 Premier League Top 4 heading into the final third of the season?That’s the top of the Premier League at the back end of the year 2028. I like my goalscoring this season, although my defending still needs work.

My recent real-life bets haven’t gone very well (thanks, Liverpool, for being crap now, etc.), so I won’t be rushing out to put a bet on these teams being in the real-life top 4 in a decade’s time.

But, if we’re all still alive cometh 2028, it’ll be interesting to compare. Hey, if the blog’s still going, I’ll do a special post on it. #remindme

Speaking of my blog posts… in an idle moment this morning I counted how many posts there should be on this blog between now and the release of PES2020.

Assuming I stick to twice-weekly posts all year, and taking September 1st as a rough PES2020, release date there should be 52 posts between now and PES2020.

In how many of those 52 posts will PES2019 be a live and going concern? I’d guess at about 20-25 posts, but we’ll see.

Recent weeks have seen me grow very gloomy about the overall tendency of all things football gaming. It’s over for us single-players, isn’t it?

I’m very gloomy about the future of PES again. I suspect that Keith Konami would like to quietly take the single-player game out the back and drown it in a bucket, but he doesn’t want to have to put up with all our crying and complaining, so he doesn’t.

After yesterday’s combined DLC and gameplay patch (a patch that was fully annotated and publicised, as all actual non-imaginary software patches are) I played a few matches. Difference? None noticeable. In fact, things seemed a tad worse.

I’m through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. I emerged victorious from a tough Quarter Final vs Spurs, who played hyper-fast and pinbally, all the time, like all the big teams in PES2019.I have to get past Chelsea in the semi, which will be tough, and if I get to the final, I’ll face either Arsenal or Watford. In this ML, at this time, anything’s possible.

I’ve got a great chance of the title this season, but I will also be treating the FA Cup as a major priority. I still have no trophies in PES2019, remember. (Invisible trophies, of course.)

I’m looking forward to this ML winding to a close. I think two more seasons after this one and I’ll be ready to bring things to a close.

I won’t wind it down prematurely, though. One thing I’ve learned, if there’s unfinished business with an ML, the worst thing I can do is try to walk away. I’ll only end up coming back.

Updated: 8th February 2019 — 00:32


  1. Assuming your 2 posts per week, and an estimation of 20-25 of those 52 posts being PES 2019 orientated, that should take you up to around mid May – coinciding with the end of the real life season – I’d bet all of WERD’s pasta pans and Turfs Kentucky bluegrass samples that your top four does not mirror the real-life top 4 !

    After the commotion FIFA fans made this year with EA not touching the career mode between FIFA 18 and 19, and putting no development into it, I’m hoping EA take note and make some refinements and jazz CM up for FIFA 20, as that’s the only hope I have as a single player of footy games.

    PES as a product is long dead, ignoring the false PR, over-hype, and lies, anything Konami do to ML will be minimal, rushed, half-assed, poorly implemented and the usual non-translating jibberish mix of japanglish nonsense.
    Bhatti’s over-stated claims of a ‘3 year plan’ for ML won’t come to any fruition, maybe they’ll add even more stupid nonsensical nicknames to the database so Rice can become a fan favourite, and earn the new accolade of ‘Pygmy Farmer’ or ‘El Japseye’ which will improve ML no end.

  2. Paul – it’s a late Easter this year (April 21st) and my figure was approximate… 2-3 seasons and I will be done… it’ll be around April/May time I think. I will definitely want to finish properly, leaving no unfinished business.

    There’s precedent for me still playing the current-year PES as the real-life season ends. I remember clearly laying on the bed playing PES2012 and listening to man City-QPR commentary on the radio, and the Aguerooooo moment. I remember the bright May sunshine filling the room. Those days will be here again soon. I’m looking forward to the summer.

    Only a deliberate and genuine turn back to single-player care and consideration (which isn’t just about modes; it’s massively also about not putting out a game that’s calibrated for online first and foremost) will save footy gaming for the solo player now. Sadly I think market forces are too powerful and it’s pretty much over.

  3. NG – you’ll have gotten your money’s worth and then some if you play up until may or thereabouts.
    As for the future of offline footy gaming the one shining light for me is the rapidly declining sales for both fifa and pes. Seems just banking on fut and myclub isn’t cutting it for them anymore? Which doesn’t mean that offline gets better as that won’t boost sales by that large a margin. But maybe, just maybe this is a wake up call to provide and all round quality product again. Well see. Not holding my breath.

  4. NG – I think the ship has sailed and there is no getting it back. I feel that same gloom about gaming in general and everything is aimed at those market forces. Take The Forest I am playing at the moment. It is possible to get what I want from the game by selecting the right options. But search for anything related to the game and it seems to be all about getting your mates to join in with you and build your base so that you can defend against wave after wave of mutant asualts. Very few will play it the way I am doing. I have contemplated giving up gaming all together but what would I do then when the misses has gone to bed. It is my routine.

  5. Darryl – I’ve had recent thoughts about reducing gaming to a very small % of my time and going back to what I used to do: reading books all the time. I used to be able to read a book (250 pages or so) in a single day before the Internet and gaming came along. That seems incredible now but I could crack a book open late morning and finish it that same day. I do well to finish a book a week these days, in fact I don’t remember the last time I did that, more like a month. I am invested massively in PES2019’s ML but I wonder if I need to force myself off this hamster wheel… I could do with getting those hundreds of hours back. PES2020 will be a rinse and repeat jobby – no matter what is shown and said in the summer, that’s what it will end up being. I’m still heavily invested in the likes of Civilization and XCOM and any other similar games that come along, but footy gaming…? Does it have to take up so many chunks of hours of my time every week? I could get it down to a couple of hours and keep the blog going (I’d like to keep the blog going), but it doesn’t have to be any more than that. This is the thinking now.

    #1 – I don’t see any single-player footy gaming renaissance ever happening. The only single-player revival is the one that involves going back in time.

  6. NG – All sounds like a good plan to me and there is no reason whatsoever why you can’t carry on with the blog. We knew that would be the case with 2019 and despite early promise it always ends up the same after the patches come into force. It was the same with FIFA as the vanilla game had a heavy ball feel to it with a much slower gameplay. Over numerous patches it went back to type.

  7. You could even start the pes chronicles book at bedtime blog. If/when/whatever I get a proper means of working I think my gaming will be as good as down to a Friday night at best.

  8. NG – and why not. A few hours per week will mean the footy gaming-going will be slow but the blog could be all the more interesting for it. Could be beneficial to longevity as well. Books can be just as much, if not more, of an escape as gaming to me and I suspect much the same is true for you.
    I find myself getting weary of footy gaming as well and “trying to make it work”. In truth with the exception of pes 17 this has been the case since pes 2014 for me.

    As soon as this hits (for free I might add) pes / fifa will definitely be on the back burner for me. Always been more of an rpg man than a footy gaming man to begin with.

  9. A small tip for anyone annoyed by player positioning in this game. Should be most of us. Have a look at this :

    This actually works. Takes about 5 seconds. Works better if you edit entire leagues but obviously thats a no-go for ongoing ML saves. Works well enough if you do it for just your own team. With all players not being spread out all across the pitch in stupid positions like idiots, the cpu is forced to incorporate some variation into its play. You will get caught out on the break a lot less and players in general behave more intelligently.
    There’s actually a little midfield play now.
    Really easy fix. Wish I’d known this earlier.

  10. On the subject of books, it seems that September will see a new joe abercrombie book. Now that’s something to look forward to. More Glokta, hurrah!!

  11. Darryl – I’d be less annoyed if it had felt like nuPES from the demo on. To have an August demo with 5-minute halves that had 3-5 fouls per match, to go to an early 2019 scenario where the game has zero fouls in most matches for me and is hyperfast, is almost too much to stomach.

    #1 – escape?! Reading has never been an escape for me. More an integral part of life. The workaday world is the shadow world to which books (and gaming in many aspects) are the reality.

    I’m very interested in the looks of that Skyrim mod. I have the PC version of Skyrim (Special Edition) and like it, but have always been put off the realism mods by all the pre-mods and the pre-pre-mods that have to be set up before the relevant mods can be put into place (the problem with PC gaming in a nutshell). I see it comes out on Thursday?

  12. NG – it’s not a mod per se, but a total conversion. It just uses Skyrim’s engine but it’s an entire game upon itself in a separate world. It has nothing to do with Tamriel or Elder Scrolls lore in that sense. I tried an earlier version a while back (the one coming out this Thursday is a version with expanded questlines, the main one being “Forgotten Stories” and distributed through Steam) and it was excellent and in some ways superior to Skyrim – depending on one’s preferences of course. Keep in mind this is absolutely free and fan-made. They (SureAI) have done similar things for Morrowind and Oblivion in the past but my PC wasn’t up to snuff to run these back then.

    As far as your issues with modding goes – there is no fiddling about. Click and play, pretty much. I’m not sure it works with Special Edition though – I think you need regular / Legendary Skyrim for it. But since the mod is free and Skyrim should cost 5 quid at the most nowadays…it’s very much worth a go. I’ll be all over it this Thursday, that’s for sure. You should read up on Reddit about it, most people are raving about it. Avoid spoilers though…apparently it’s a bit more story-driven and less open sandbox.

    Final tip: if you want to experience “normal” Skyrim modded to the hilt and not wanting to screw around with pre-mods and hours of fiddling about – look into Ultimate Skyrim 4.0. It’s set to release soon (I’m guessing within a few months) with an auto-installer (Automaton) which frankly looks incredible.

  13. I’ve been slowly going round my cupboards reviewing what I actually use (an absolute necessity for kids toys as you quickly get overrun). There are games here that I haven’t even opened in the year since I bought them, things I traded for I never play – take my recent tomb raider effort, played the intro and that’s it, back to pes and fortnite. I reckon I could get through life with pes, skyrim and something like minecraft. There’s also the family Wii u and me being eased out of my console chair by younger players. I have pes5 and final fantasy for the ps2 – they alone could occupy a year. It’s time to make the break and get rid of all but the essential stuff. More and more gaming is just not my go to pastime.

    Btw this is the point where my master leagues often fall – post January window, not in the top 6, lots of matches to plod through. I’m going to try and do two a day if possible otherwise it will start to crumble.

  14. 12 months out of PES5 and final fantasy, Turf? Must be a damn good edition of final fantasy

    I’ve got a promising feeling about my latest ML Challenge mode attempt, this time with Red Star. A 4312, with 3 big strong DMFs in the hope of hustling the life out of the AI, with attacks built around Castledine at AMF and the full backs Giorza and Teixeira breaking forward. Just one goal conceded in the first 4 games

  15. Interesting to read most of you going on about gaming as if its a chore, it should be something you do cause its enjoyable, if you don’t enjoy it, then just don’t do it, simple.
    There are thousands upon thousands of amazing games to play, if you don’t find some enjoyment amongst that plephora then gaming obviously isn’t for you.

  16. At this moment in time I have only got the following games in my possession on the PS4-

    The Forest (Download)
    The Long Dark (Download)
    PES 2015/17/19 – 19 set to be traded in
    Ark Survival – due to be traded in
    Madden 17

    The ones that are not down to be traded in have no value and am unlikely to play again. The minimalist aproach to gaming is why I have stuck to FIFA 19 and now The Forest. When I am finished with The Forest I have an eye on Horizon Zero Dawn.

  17. Abbeyhill – only because I have such little time on the machine these days. I can’t ever see the chance of returning to hours long late night sessions when I don’t even binge watch DVDs due to getting old, tired and too flighty to sit in front of anything for a long time. An hour a night on a rpg would take me towards 12 months of playing if it was a good one. The forty minutes before bed on 31 Dec is clearly the pes 5 contribution…

    Paul – not so much a chore as something that just no longer comes out as the must do activity for me. Consequently I don’t need the shelf of titles that I’ve just sold to cex. I’m going full Kondo or other similar ‘personality’ who is making a ton of money stating the bloody obvious. The Darryl way is going to be my way. One at a time, then trade, then get one new game.

    Abbeyhill again – defensive solidity has never been my issue, I just can’t score. I average 1. Not much per game.

  18. Turf – Funny thing is I was in negotiations this morning with the 7 year old as to the state of his room. He is a bit of a hoarder and won’t get rid of anything. I am off with him during half term and plan one day going through with him and getting rid of his stuff. I may try to kill two birds with one stone and buy him a game with the trade ins if he agrees to get rid of stuff he doesn’t play with anymore.

  19. Darryl – a mother of two older kids I know suggested a plan where you persuade them to put the things you reckon need to go into a box and move it somewhere in the house. When inevitably the box is untouched weeks later it’s easier to get the point across that they can offload that shit and free up room for some shiny new, hopefully smaller, thing. It worked for us – usually he discovers a burning need to cling on to some bit of off the front of the comic plastic shit if we just say ‘can this be chucked out?’

    Worst thing for me is skylanders. We have hundreds of them and they’re worth precisely sod all. Does anyone even play those games now? They’re amazing figures but useless outside of the games.

    Btw I have a new irritant, I know we like to air these on here – if I hear anyone use the term ‘dna’ inappropriately it makes my fists tighten and my piss boil..Eg. ‘I love football, it’s in my dna’ or ‘we want to embed this type of response in our company’s dna’

  20. I never find gaming a chore personally, I get so little time to do it that any hours spent happily pottering around in Civ V or XCOM 2 or other, is time that is well-spent. Have to say I’m on-board with the one thing at a time policy though – one book, one game, etc. The modern disease of restlessly picking things up and putting them down in order to pick up something else (that will then be put down, etc,), always in search of an illusory gratification from something else, is one that I am so over.

    One of the reasons I want to reduce my footy gaming time is to spend more quality time with other games as well as books.

    abbeyhill – Final Fantasy VII is generally held up as the PES5 of Final Fantasy (although for me, that title must go to Final Fantasy VIII – yes I said EIGHT). Might be too late for you to get into the series as a whole now though.

  21. Just had my first mini session since the update. Two games, two tight wins. But it’s not the same game, not by any measurement. It’s happened slowly but in that Gandhi sort of ‘first they laugh at you, then they…’ way. They fixed the LCS (totes a thing…) but then the payoff seemed to be a gradual adjustment to where we now have quicker games, fewer fouls, more samey matches. In match one there wasn’t a stoppage (no goal kicks, fouls, throw ins, what ever) till minute 26. I’m playing on -2 and it felt rapid. It’s gone from an interesting possible successor to 2014 to just another one of the 2016-18 group. Someone could put any of the last four years on for me to play and I really wouldn’t know any different on the pitch.

  22. Uncle Turf – I’m forced reluctantly to agree. PES2019’s ‘taste’ is now practically indistinguishable from PES2018, for me, and it most certainly is now just part of the family group called ‘nuPES’. It really was cruising to a 9/10 end of year score, but now it’ll do well to get 8, and if I’m in a real strop with things, I’ll apply the nuPES penalty of a points deduction for anti-PES elements (no fouls etc) and give it a dastardly 6 or so. But this is something for August.

    One of the interesting tasks I’ll have when I bring the curtain down on my ML will be to play the vanilla version again (after uninstalling every DLC and patch of course). Just to see.

  23. Darryl, I downloaded The Forest…….and haven’t even THOUGHT about any other game since!

  24. I’m being held in mid table, partly due to poor performances but also rubber banding around me. I think my biggest irritation with this game, obviously now LCS has gone, is the difference between what is allowed anywhere in the middle 60 yards of the pitch and what passes for fair play in and around the box. They must apply different settings as I am repeatedly fouled, obstructed and slid a la 2016 just as I am about to shoot. Cut to the halfway line and a decent tackle stands a chance of being pulled up as a foul.

    Transfer wise I’m going to let Gomis go, he’s declining already and at 1m he takes up a huge lump of year 3s budget.

  25. Mike – Well creepy isn’t it? It is hard to describe how good it is as there really is no other game quite like it. It is so hard at first but the more you get into it the more sense it makes and challenges you to prepare for everything. A real adult thinking man’s game.

  26. Darryl/Mike – it’s just a tenner on PC, but in the spirit of ‘one thing at a time’, I have a few one other things to get through first.

  27. I’ve just looked up the long dark Darryl, and that’s the game I thought the forest was (in the way that wings were the band the Beatles could have been…).

    I’d got confused when you started mentioning cannibals, etc thinking it was more a ray mears effort. I’m not a zombie survivalist genre person at all (one of the few who didn’t like any resident evil type of game). Is TLD better than TF or other way round? From a couple of YouTube vids I see you could still just survival it in the forest.

  28. Turf – Depends what you want from the game. If it is hardcore survival you want then TLD as there is no point or outcome to it other than see how long you can survive for and eventually your resources will run out and you will die a slow death. As for The Forest it isn’t really a Zombie Survival game in that respect. It is all about learning the behaviour of the tribal cannibals in pockets around you. Sometimes they will attack you when approached and other times you will get a lone member of the tribe just observing you, watching and reporting back to the others in the tribe. You have got to play it to understand as they have a more complex behaviour than any of the stereotypes of other games. As Mike will elude to, once you play it there is no turning back and is difficult to leave the game.

  29. NG, it’s amazing. SO involving and the depth is unreal. Like Darryl says there’s nothing else like it. You can play exactly the way you want, there’s no strict story to follow or anything. So strange that for such a big game you can just dip in and out.

  30. “No point or outcome to it”….now that brings to mind a certain ‘dwarf fortress’…

    I did wonder about that thanks Darryl. Sometimes in those kind of games I end up just frustrated and want to kill things. I trace it back to adventure games on the spectrum, all that ‘look’…’look at what’….’the door’….’I do not understand the door’

    Watched a video where some guy built a houseboat in the forest which seemed quite cool. Fallout was one of the games I let go. Liked the crafting idea but things like the map just really frustrated me.

  31. Turf – I have finished my house boat now which is kitted out for long journeys. I have a storage area for logs and sticks, a water catcher, food drying rack, fire and a bed. It is a must item.

  32. Very much a one game at a time person too, playing fIFA 19 with the limited time I have, haven’t touched RDR2 for weeks and weeks, once FIFA is finished with I will revisit Red Dead, then I have Detroit still in its wrapper, also downloaded that Apex Legends which looks worth a go, and quite fancy the Division 2 out in a few weeks.

    Need more game time.

  33. Need more game time indeed. Too much good stuff coming out soon that I know I won’t ever get to play due to not having enough time. Cyberpunk 2077 is one of em. I want to play the everloving shit out of that one.

  34. I could live with playing PES twice a week for 5 or so matches each time. The weeks after release would still be intense, but after 20+ years of being on this hamster wheel, it only makes sense to stay on it if the product is as good/feels as good as it did in the Golden Age, and I think everyone knows those times are never coming back again.

    Paul – same with Fallout 4. That’s my next ‘one more thing’. Before I do any Skyrimming (oo-er) or Foresting, Fallout 4ing is unfinished business. A great game that doesn’t deserve to be just left. I think I’ll be months getting through what’s left of it.

    Uncle Turf – ahhhh. Dwarf Fortress. As you played enough to remember, not really a hard game, more like a hard interface.

  35. Adult life just doesn’t lend well to being able to dedicate time to multiple games.
    I remember as a kid, rushing home from school, playing the ZX Spectrum for hours upon end, or the Amiga, then in my teens Mike Tysons Punch out or Mario 3 on the NES, at weekends I often stayed awake in bed playing Tecmo wrestling until 4am, few hours sleep, footy training, then do it all over again, interspersed with Hogan vs Savage on Sky one in WWE’s saturday nights main event.

    Those were the days.

  36. Paul – it’s the type of gaming that fits in well with adult life, that tends to be what we focus on. Footy games go into adult life like hands into gloves of course. The likes of RDR2 and Fallout 4 tend to be suitable only for ‘vacation time’ periods of days when there’s ample scope to spend consecutive hours amusing ourselves. In a typical working week, not so much. Even the likes of Football Manager isn’t a great fit.

  37. It’s definitely the ‘pick up and play’ accessibility of footy games that are a perfect
    fit for adult life.
    I can press the PS4 controller button to wake the PS4 up from rest mode and be knee deep in a match within 30 seconds. This fits perfectly around my 60-90 mins gaming time 2 or 3 times a week late at night.

    I had a day off yesterday, so thought I’d try Apex Legends whilst I was getting ready and breakfast was cooking, I had maybe 45 mins to play with, could have fit 3 matches into that time on FIFA, yet by the time I had finished the mandatory training tutorial on Apex, my time was up and I had to go out, so never even got the play the game proper, and probably now won’t revisit it for ages, if ever.

  38. Paul – adult gaming in a nutshell, right there. So much quality out there and so many games to explore. But as long as work and life are in the way you can look but never really touch.

  39. It’s probably a good thing in some respects NG.
    I could easily sit and spend 4-6hrs playing a game, or games, and not leave the house but then after would think I’ve wasted my day, and cabin fever would set in.
    I think a few hours per week, as most of us only get is probably a healthy portion of time to spend gaming.

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