PES2019 is unexpectedly enjoying a bit of a revival with me. Football game career modes are all about experiencing peaks and troughs. Those who play Master League long-term are well used to experiencing periods when it seems more of a chore than a joy. The trick is to keep going through those periods.
After a substantial trough that lasted most of a month or two, PES2019 suddenly seems to have rediscovered its mojo.
The great goals have kept coming. No real 30-yarders among them, just very satisfying finishes in matches where the results really counted. It’s great to be ‘allowed’ to score from outside the box again. There is a short compilation of goals scored in my most recent Monday night session at the end of this post.
Here is the table after 7 matches:I’m surprised that the game ‘allowed’ me to win 7 on the bounce in the League. Usually it chucks in a forced draw or defeat. I feared the worst before the early-season six-pointer against Manchester City, but I even trotted out a winner in that one too, winning 3-1 away.
In between all these league wins, I am playing Champions League matches where I have won 1 and lost 2, though. Perhaps those defeats are keeping the game’s internal script at bay.
Man City went 1-0 up straight from kickoff at the start of our league match. It was one of those heavily scripted-feeling 1st minute AI goals where I actually recovered the ball at least twice, but my players just couldn’t seem to dig the ball out and play it to safety. The AI kickoff momentum was too strong, and when the ball went into my net I was not surprised.
But I’m made of sterner stuff this season. You can see what happened next at the start of today’s clip reel below.
My players have all matured like fine wines at the same time.
Castledine is amazing now. I rarely post stats on this blog, for several reasons.
First because this is a very bird’s-eye-view blog, really, and second for time reasons (capturing, clipping, positioning on the page etc.; I’d rather be playing), and thirdly (perhaps most importantly) because of the stubborn uneasy feeling that stats ain’t what they used to be in the world of PES.
The consolidation of the stats several editions ago, coupled with the appalling focus on online multiplayer and its ‘balancing’ requirements, means that the way we used to exult over a player having 90 Speed feels rather old-fashioned now. I don’t believe that stats are meaningless in nuPES, but they’re certainly not the glowing holy numbers that they once were.
Castledine in PES2019 is now the kind of PES player that I will remember playing with in a decade’s time. He plays as a central AMF, just a notch short of the SS zone, and he can take a game by the scruff of the neck. He can also score a goal or two as well, as last week’s 30-yard blaster showed, and as the first goal in today’s highlight reel (below) also shows.
The debate over ‘which is the best version of the Cas-character’ is an eternal one.
The astounding Castello of Master League’s earliest days is the best one for me. Cinalton and Castolis and PES2016’s Castledine (the last black version of the character) were all great. But PES2019’s Castledine, for me, pound for pound, all things considered, is the best Cas-character PES has seen since the one that started it all off, Castello.(I couldn’t find a proper headshot of Castello.)
Here are my informal ratings of them all:
Castello (ISS2-PES2) – 10/10
Castolo (PES3 and PES4) – 8/10 (these first two incarnations were the foundation of The Myth of Castolo)
Castolo (PES5-PES2011) – 5/10 (it didn’t matter that he was no longer great: the Myth persisted)
Cinalton (PES2012) – 7/10 (an interesting remix of the character)
Castolis (PES2013-PES2015, when he became Greek) – 7/10 (a return to form)
Castledine (PES2016, and Brazilian once more, and still black) – 8/10 (an overpowered incarnation in an arcade-driven edition of the series)
Castledine (PES2017-18, still Brazilian, but now turned white!) – 6/10
Castledine (PES2019) – 9/10
My memory is not what it used to be and I may have forgotten one of the incarnations of the character, or got a detail wrong. Feel free to chip in with corrections and with your own ratings of Master League’s very own Moorcockian eternal champion.
Right, that compilation to finish with, and the very first goal here comes from the man himself, E Castledine. He also has a few assists throughout the package.