That man and Robin

Today is all about Robin van Persie, specifically, my Master League Regen version of him in PES2020.

The story so far with my Regen version of Robin van Persie:

I am always looking for the classic ML experience of bringing in a ‘name’ player whilst young and developing him into a personal legend. It has happened to me so many times over the course of my Master League life that I could fill a hundred posts with tales of the great and memorable players I’ve had through all the eras of PES.

Stoitchkov in PES3. George Best in PES4. Bergkamp in PES5. Raul in PES6. The list goes on, past the Golden Age era of PES, all the way through the Silver PS3 and Bronze PS4 years. It is the foundational principle of Master League. There is an Eternal Champion who must be found – usually more than one.

Master League retains this essential aspect of itself. No matter how blighted the current PES era is with all those appalling concessions to multiplayer (no fouls, no long-rangers, no headers, no penalties, etc.), the magic persists.

Last year in PES2019 it was Forlan. This year, I’m still holding out hope that Robin van Persie could be the man of PES2020.

So far it hasn’t looked good. He arrived in the first transfer window of Season 2 as a raw 16-year-old.

It’s currently the latter half of Season 5. RVP is now still only a raw 19-year-old and it shows. He’s scored only 3 (THREE) goals in three (3) seasons – until now.

Away to Manchester United – decent in PES2020, but beatable – a combination of injuries and poor form meant I had to play van Persie up front as an out-and-out CF. Here is a 90-second clip of his highlights in the match:

I was happy, it’s fair to say. Both great finishes with his favoured left foot, with the first one being especially satisfying.

The problem after this was something I have always noticed in nuPES: the dreaded Next Match Nerf.

RVP’s form arrow was firmly down for the next match. How absolutely aggravating is that when it happens? In what footballing universe is a young player who’s just scored two match-winning goals in a big game, not considered to be on form for the following match?

Or are the arrows supposed to signify other things? Injury during training? I don’t think so – the arrows exist solely to indicate morale and form, as far as I am concerned, and as far as I am concerned, RVP’s form arrow in the match immediately after the one above should have been glowing bright and pointing UP. But it wasn’t.

Yet another balancing method from online that has infected offline.

I’ve focused on one player and one theme in today’s post for two reasons:

1) Nothing else really happened worth mentioning. PES2020 is still not a PES of great goals in their own right for me. And I’m still ticking over in mid-table. I can’t post yet another picture of me in 9th. I just can’t.

2) The potential Story of RVP is representative of the spirit of PES and ML. This is what makes the series and mode distinctive and still worth playing year after year.

Oh, and 3) I’ve spent the week playing a bit of Death Stranding in the time I would have otherwise spent playing PES2020.

I’ve decided I will give Regen van Persie another 4 seasons. That’s all the way to Season 9. By then he’ll be in his mid-20s. I want him at least on the same level as Jarvis – a striker who is as deadly in PES2020 as any other striker I’ve yet to play with. If PES2020 ended right now, it’s Jarvis I’d remember. Let’s see if RVP – or any other contender – can change that.

Updated: 15th November 2019 — 11:57


  1. Paul – remember OnLive? I think it was you who introduced me to that and it was great, a one-off payment for the games and it worked even on a slow connection (think I had 8MB at the time). They went bust because they didn’t charge anything else. No monthly subscription and no extra ‘box’ required to take delivery of, unlike this Shadow malarkey – which isn’t even available yet. I’m interested in things like this though as I’d love to be able to take XCOM2 and PC PES around the house with me and play on my older computers and tablet. I’ll keep an eye on it.

    Have you heard of Microsoft Azure? Set up virtual machines in the cloud and do what you like with them, pretty much the same as Shadow except you get a month free, I think.

  2. NG – Yeah I remember OnLive, I’d actually forgotten about them.
    This service looks promising and useful to be totally portable, for those not wanting to shell out on a proper physical PC.

    We us MS Azure here for our data centres and data warehouses, so yeah, pretty much the same really but aimed at gamers.

    Would it support plugging a controller in though? wouldn’t a peripheral have to be plugged in on the actual physical machine?

  3. Paul – same as using a Virtual Machine on your own computer, it recognises any plugged-in peripheral (mouse, keyboard, controller) and treats them as native. There’s a website where you can try out virtual machines in the cloud for free, completely forgotten its name now, but it all does work.

    I’m interested but if it wasn’t for the Shadow Box you have to take delivery of and plug in somewhere, I’d be very interested.

  4. From what I understand NG, you dont have to have the shadow box, thats just an optional extra, if you dont want to access it from a phone, laptop, or whatever, you can use one of their dedicated boxes.

  5. NG – are you using this? looks awesome

  6. Paul — I’m not yet using that and it does indeed look awesome — only for League mode, that one, but I’d bet there already is one for other modes or soon will be. I’m a bit behind the curve when it comes to modding. Rather than adding everything at once I choose to add one or two new things a couple of times per week. Right now I’ve got about 30 stadia, the scoreboards (not yet automatic though as the text file changes required are fiddly), a few camera tweaks, a few gameplay mods that I flip between (none are perfect; most are interesting), and other bits and bobs. I like to start the game up and play a few when I install something new to see how it works. I keep mentioning Jan-Feb as the likeliest point when I’ll be all-complete with the PC modding and it probably will be that. If I didn’t have my PS4 ML on the go right now (great session this morning, one of the best since the start) things would be different of course. The PS4 is still the ‘master’ PES platform, but I think that could change in 2020 itself.

  7. Paul – that menu stuff looks absolutely awesome. Have to dive into that sometime this weekend.

    By the way – that nonsense about having to win the game before a derby and then the pre match talk about derbies being their own separate thing has to be the most Konami, japanglish type bullshit I’ve seen in a long time. Typically something the developers read about in some shape or form and then deciding “that must be a good idea!”.

  8. #1 – What makes it worse is that, in my experience on Superstar, AI bullshit is usually ramped up in those two “derby build-up” fixtures, before you have to endure PES 2020 at its most miserably unfair and arbitrary when the developers breathlessly usher you into the main event.

    This is why my new PES 2020 career is with Bristol City, because I will not pick a team where there’s even a slight danger of playing a derby match until they scrap the current system – and, ideally, also stop using front-end systems designers who couldn’t fill the back of a fag packet with everything they know about football.

  9. This fucking game.

    Every time I begin to enjoy myself on Superstar, I seem to get a run of matches where – irrespective of the team faced and their position in the the table – the AI gifts itself with boundless strength, incredible speed, superhuman reactions, and a pocket referee.

    I mean: what’s *not* to love about scenarios where doped-up demigods ping the ball with perfection, pass instantly at 100mph, and smash the very shit out of you for ninety minutes, ignoring all the meaningful rules of the sport and the videogame they’re taking part in? When PES is in one of these moods, I’ll almost always pick up a few yellows for touching the ball when I’m not supposed to – and meanwhile, the AI pulls its favourite trick of having one player body-slam/kick/murder any player that I move with in possession, while a teammate nips in to steal the ball. Over and over and over and over, as I constantly check to see if I’m sprint-clamping, or just doing things wrong, until I’m incredulous at my own stupidity for even thinking of playing ML as it stands.

    Again, I have to ask: are Konami sabotaging their own game? I cannot for the life of me fathom why the gulf between Top Player and Superstar exists, nor why the Superstar AI has been set up to suddenly suck every last iota of joy out of the game at regular intervals with rampant cheating.

  10. NG/#1 – I think it works in ML mode too, they just used League mode as an example.

    James – Played the first 2 matches on Superstar last night after moving up from Top Player, the first match was glorious, I thought “If this is what Superstar offers then I’ll have many many more ML seasons”, then the second match was against Huddersfield, who played more like prime 50’s Hungary, and Mounie suddenly became Puskas.

    They battered me 2-0, and were noticeably stronger all over, faster, could not be nudged off the ball, were able to shield 4 of my players off then crack in 25 yard netbusters.

    Will give it a few more games, but if this is the norm for Superstar, I fear having to move back down to Top Player, where life was becoming too easy for me.

  11. James/Paul – I quietly dropped back down to Top Player about a week ago, and I believe I will stay there. No joy for me from Superstar yet. I think a team of superstars would be required to offset the AI boost in all areas, and even then it’d still be an ordeal.

  12. NG – Have you unlocked Legend? If so have you tried it out? is it as superhuman as superstar ?

  13. James – Don’t forget, your players feeling like they’re treading quicksand. Dirty, dirty Konami.

  14. Paul – I have unlocked Legend and tried it out, just for one match, and it actually felt a bit more honest about things than Superstar, i.e. the AI still got its crazy boosts, but my players didn’t feel as nerfed. I still lost badly though. I’m content on Top Player for now. In a 5-match session on TP yesterday I won 2, drew 2, lost 1.

  15. Tommy – I’ve had a loose ball rolling out of play for a throw-in to the AI, but I’ve had a player close enough to get it and retain possession. He moved as if through quicksand all right, and the ball went out for the AI throw-in just as intended. R1 sprint was disabled.

    When the game ‘pre-loads’ a micro-outcome in a given situation on the pitch, all other variables are forced to adapt to the master outcome, I.e. my player had to be slowed down to allow for the AI throw-in. I’d bet there are hundreds of such cases per match that we don’t register because we’re so used to them.

  16. I will give it a few more matches on SS and see how it plays out, but I would hammer Huddersfield on TP, to lose 2-0 and not really have a sniff on SS is worrying, i’m all for the harder challenge, but has to be in a semi-fair way, I didn’t feel as though my players were nerfed, if anything stats looks more prevalent on SS, its just that the COM players felt boosted to the nines, which renders player weaker teams like Huddersfield null and void.

    If the game is boosting its COM players on SS so frequently, then it is like playing a superbly good team in form every week, which is just pointless, and would become tedious quickly.

    My fear is that moving back down to TP would be too easy and the game would become stale, nullifying any longevity.

    I have a new post ready to publish on PESFX which details the back end of my last season, which puts things into clearer perspective as to where I’m at with the game, but was going to hold off publishing it until tomorrow so as not to conflict with your Tuesday post here.

  17. I’m sticking with SS, even with all the rage. Despite my constant grumbling, this is what I’ve been wanting for a while, in an odd way. A challenging AI that doesn’t get easy after a few seasons. It’s just the way they’ve gone about it that’s infuriating.

    This season started off with a run of about 8 wins in 9 games before it switched to AI boost mode. This has happened before. Now I’m drawing most of my games, or occasionally having them stolen from me with one unstoppable turn-and-shoot strike from inside the penalty box.

    However I will carry on. I can still win games, and I do as I’m still only two points off top spot (January S6). It’s making me explore tactical changes and formation changes to make the difference. It’s making me work for it.

  18. Paul – it does work in ML, indeed. Just installed as I’m working from home. Took all of 5 minutes and looks absolutely brilliant.

    James (et al) – I hear you and I’m fortunate enough to have gameplay mods waiting in the wings when superstar shovels shit my way. Just moved up to top player so it’ll be a long way off for (and hopefully a konami patch or two) me until I get there.

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