Master League is a journey. A long one. This year it might just be longer than ever.
What a week or so it has been. I’ve been active in comments since Thursday with other commenters on the site, comparing notes about progress. Lots of similar stories out there.
The consensus seems to be: this game is the most surprising PES since PES2011 in terms of altered mechanics. Passing and shooting are strange in various ways. And the game is HARD.
I made a huge fuss last week about how ‘easy’ Professional is now. ‘Top Player is the new Professional!’ I declared. But I was forced back onto Professional over the weekend after a truly atrocious time on Top Player. I’ve only just now, at the time of writing (Tuesday morning) started to get to grips with Professional.
The gritty grind of a Season 1 in master League with the Default players has always been, ah, grindy — but is PES2020 the most grind-y it’s ever been?
I cannot remember any other PES since the PS2 days being this much of a battle to achieve the basics.
‘Potentially the greatest PES game ever’ is what I’ve been thinking for most of the past week. A few niggles – AI goalkeepers, and fouls, which both must be buffed – cannot take away from the deep and meaningful gameplay on offer here.
I have almost completed my entire Season 1 at the time of writing. By Friday’s post I will have completed it.
I passed through mid-season and was so desperate for new players to alleviate the grind, that I went crazy and brought in a combination of Loanees – too easy to do again in PES2020, even on my ‘Fairly Hard’ transfer settings – and journeymen Frees.
Here is my current second-half-of-Season-1 squad:
Look at that front two. Shaqiri and Llorente. Both of them Loanees. Neither would ever come to my club in any real-life scenario. But at the time, I didn’t care – and I still don’t! PES is all about this sort of wacky thing.Nice to see that Rami Malek is following up his Oscar-winning turn as Freddie Mercury with a spot of virtual footballing.
Shaqiri is great to play with in PES2020. Individuality is strong in this game, and he handles just as expected. And after a sedate first few matches, Llorente is not bad either.
I only have both of them until the end of the season. I paid a hefty chunk of my transfer budget – millions – for the privilege, but already it seems that this will be yet another year where I’ll never have to worry so much about the transfer budget. Salary is where I will struggle again.Popescu at CB is fully mine, as is Mattheus at CMF. I’m running without a DMF in that screenshot. Mattheus has been absolutely solid as a deep-lying CMF though.Here is the bottom portion of the League table as taken yesterday morning. I played a session very late last night in which I won all but 1 match, so I am almost up to mid-table now – and about to make the move back to Top Player.
One of the things that last night’s session brought about was a formation rethink. My standard 4-2-2-2 as seen above has stood the test of time for many a PES, but it has to change. Ive gone for 4-1-3-2: one deep midfielder; two central/wide midfielders (can be CMF or SMF based on the player); and one central AMF just behind the front two.
I did this to test Castledine in the middle. He has been a true enigma for me so far. Anonymous and frustrating out on the wide left position that he made his in PES2019. I was beginning to think this was a year in which he had been nerfed.
But last night, from the very first match where he moved inside onward, he was electric.
Here is a miniature goals compilation featuring the great man.
Watch for 3 Casteldine goals, including a lovely long-ranger curler, and also a Shaqiri special from the same sort of range (what curl!) – then finally an almost-goal from Llorente that would have been Goal of the Month, at least. As the ball came over I knew my timing and aim had to be spot-on or the ball would simply skew off the side of his boot and go well wide. That’s shooting in PES2020.
I did my part, but the AI keeper unfortunately did his too. Still, it shows the kinds of goals that I will hopefully end up scoring in this game.