Tidy finishes are the new rock and roll

I’ve played quite a bit since Tuesday’s post, but I only have the above screenshot of the current league table to show for it. There have been no on-field highlights worthy of recording.

I’ve played as many Europa League and FA Cup matches as league ones. I’m out of the Europa League at the time of writing, having disastrously lost one of my remaining group matches versus PSV. I then won the final match of the group but PSV won theirs, and so my players sank to the floor in the now-traditional gutted fashion.

I’m still in the FA Cup though, and more than fancy my chances of retaining the trophy for possibly the first time ever on a nuPES game. That would be a handy route back to Europe, as the league route seems unlikely.

In the league I’ve started flitting back and forth between Superstar and Top Player. I find Superstar just too hard and Top Player just too easy. I score lots of goals on the latter, too many. On the former, I score few goals — too few.

I’ve started holding L2 frequently to play manual passes and shots and they feel great. I have more than half a mind to formally switch to PA0 rightaway. I might give it a few sessions and see how I feel.

There are no other highlights to show or talk about really. I remain committed to PES2020, but am not yet dazzled by it. PES2020 does not so far seem to be, for me, a PES of great goals. Good goals, yes. There are many goals where I nod appreciatively and admire the way a passing move came together, or feel delighted that Jarvis has netted yet another (he’s the box finisher par excellence).

Regular readers will be very familiar with the kind of goal that has me figuratively leaping out of my seat (or literally doing so). Those goals are simply not allowed in PES2020. It frustrates and annoys me.

I’m over 4.5 Master League seasons into PES2020 now. Which is a lot of games. It’s reasonable now to assume that I have experienced a thoroughly representative sample of the game. The amount of goals I would count as great are… few. Perhaps one or two.

It’s a PES of context and player/team development rather than those super-duper wowser moments. Maybe that’s for the best, who knows?

Some bonus content today.

My PES PC project continues — but not the PC PES2020. I’m still gathering all the stadia and other files there. It’s a project that will mature sometime in 2020 itself. I have learned that the effective PC release date is somewhere around the turn of the year. Up until that point it is all about experimentation and assembling the many parts that go to make the whole. Which is its own kind of fun.

I have an ambition to install every PC version of PES, and pimp them out as much as possible. The first candidate is PES2013, which I would like to get running with the Jenkey patch and gameplay tool — still the best such that I have seen on any PC PES.

I installed PES2013, the 1.00 vanilla version, the other night, and recorded myself playing my traditional England vs Scotland opening match. Professional difficulty.

Take a look at the surprising outcome, with a moment at 10m35s that will amuse any reader who has been following the discussion here about PES2020 free kicks:

Yes, I got hammered — HAMMERED — 5-0, on Professional, on PES2013, by the AI. I remember the game being so easy in a matured ML that I didn’t really take this Exhibition match seriously enough, and got punished.

And here is that amusing moment if you don’t want to click through the video searching for it:

Updated: 8th November 2019 — 11:51


  1. Tommy — I’ve seen a few vids containing laces long-rangers like the ones we knew of old, but they were clearly on lower difficulties and featured the likes of Messi-Ronaldo-Neymar et al. Having said that my feeling is the long-range nerf is a game balancing decision with online firmly in mind. My couple of R2 curlers and 1 solitary laces strike so far were satisfying, but enough to scratch the itch? Not even close.

  2. NG – tis written in the stars. You don’t get many spelt this way. You should see how many variations I get on Christmas Cards. I think I will get the game with any Christmas Cards. We have just bought a new house so funds are tight right now.

  3. For the curious, this what happened next after my Death Stranding vid earlier – strong platformer vibes here, and more sightings of the ‘helper item’ mechanic:

    No plot spoilers but a few gameplay spoilers. I head the wrong way up the mountain and get into trouble. Not-Darryl proves to be surprisingly strong and resilient.

  4. tremendous, thanks for the footage not-Greg, actually the first I have watched. Reminds me of roaming round Skellige in Witcher 3 and Skye in real life. Wish it was out for PC now, looks the ideal game for long winter evenings

  5. NG – He is certainly a not-Darryl as I have just seen that his character was spelt Daryl.

  6. Turf – I’m disappointed in myself but after a couple of games with my new team I knew I had to reload. 5 years of team building gone because I picked the wrong objective at the start of the season.

    nG – I agree that a mix between ‘Our Demo’ and V3 Gabe would be perfect. Still, I think it’s a very good effort. After 12 or so matches I am averaging 3 fouls for me per game which is 2 more than vanilla and the lowering of GKs to top player standards may allow long rangers, plenty or mid-rangers going in now. It’s the best I’ve played so far.

  7. Darryl – Americans…

    Cook – I skipped my usual PC modding session yesterday in favour of a certain walking simulator, but will get on today. I’ve only tried up to V2 of Gabe, curious to have a few test games on V3 now. And add in a few new stadia of course.

  8. The biggest issue in PES for me right now isn’t fouls, or long range shots, but Dribble nerfing.
    The way the game completely ignores player stats, momentum, foot planting, inertia, and the COM purely just reads your inputs, complete immersion killer and ruins the flow of the game play.

    That being said, I’ve had about 3 or 4 ‘Turdery’ games in my last 45-50 matches, and most have been hugely enjoyable, some of the football you can play and pass and move transitions are sublime.

  9. Paul – that’s why I said last week that this is really a PES for the purists – the football purists – as I totally agree that the general feel of stitching moves together, transitioning from def to attack, etc. is startlingly good. It turns out my footy game DNA is at least 50% biased toward the video game side of the equation, and I want 40-yard cannonballs and torrid 10-fouls matches and the like. I had a few matches last night after my DS session and felt very disengaged from the constant flow of action. Later I’ll be trying the new mod Cook mentions above with interest.

  10. NG – if PES20 had a few more fouls, allowed 2 or 3 out of every 20 long rangers to go in, and dialled back on the scripted COM reading of inputs/magnetism tackling radius, then it would undoubtedly be the greatest footy game ever created, even ignoring all the attention to detail deficits the game cointains.

    But it hasn’t and doesn’t, saying that I’m still enjoying my ML more than any ML since 2011, I have formed very strong connections with several players, and haven’t had that feeling since the PES11 Villalba days.

    The PC PES Modding area is one I would love to get involved in, but never would due to several factors, so isn’t really an option for me.

  11. Paul – the PES PC modding scene is in a state of flux anyway and probably will be until the new year or whenever Konami stop patching the game. Whenever that point does come I am giving serious thought to switching platforms. Which would be huge. 12 years and there has been no fundamental change on this blog, just the same thing year after year, until potentially this.

    I’d be content with 2 or 3 out of every 50 long-rangers, as that would be 2 or 3 per season, which would be proportional and realistic. And fouls, I just give up now, and hope for something from the PC modders. I see on EvoWeb today they’re talking about why fouls are broken and how they need to be fixed, etc. Maybe I’ve missed a part of the discussion but they seem to imagine it’s not 100% intentional, which it 100% is.

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