Category: PES2011

Feel the Schwarz

My wanderings from football game to football game continue – for now.

I’ve enjoyed playing bits and pieces up to a point, but the enjoyment is now starting to wane. My settled habit for many years is to play one game regularly. It’s how I get my nourishment. Picking up one book, reading a few pages, putting it down and picking up another, means you never actually read anything. The same goes for football games, and gaming in general.

So I’m on the lookout for my next permanent game. It might be FIFA16. It probably will be FIFA16. It’s due.

I should warn readers that in the course of my wanderings I have alighted upon The Greatest Football Game Ever Made.

I thought to myself: this game is still perfection. Why am I bothering with everything that is second-rate in comparison?

So there might be an extended PES5 period in the offing. Something I’ve never done on the blog before, astonishingly.

The reason for that being the fact that I’d have to play PES5 on PC, and PC gaming is awkward and inconvenient for me. Mainly because I keep lots of random stuff on the computer desk in my room. This stuff all needs to be moved whenever I have a sit-down session. But that can be changed. I could ‘tidy up’ or whatever it’s called.

In the meantime I’ve played PES2011, PES2013, PES3, FIFA12, FIFA16, PES2016. I’ve looked at videos of Winning Eleven on the GameBoy Advance.

I’ve followed news of PES2017. It being July the 1st, it’s fair to say that we’re on the countdown to the next footy game season.

I’ve got a list of old games to play and talk over.

I’m not too sure about the spoken-word vids now. Viewing figures for the talky vids are surprisingly low – barely above 20-odd. The blog gets a few hundred hits per day. This is interesting as I’d have guessed things would go the other way before starting them.

The talky vids aren’t really worth doing apart from the novelty value for regular readers, and that novelty has pretty much worn off. I’ll definitely play all the football games nominated, and will definitely film them – but I’ll do them in compilation. One long video with voiceover, and that’ll be the last of them.

For now, here is a true blast from the past. PES2011, and the Master League legend who goes by the name of Schwarz, doing what Master League legends do best:

You can fault the keeper. There’s often a case in PES for saying that the keeper should do better, given his starting position and the amount of time he has to judge the flight of the ball. This goal is one of those occasions.

Oh the humanity

emergency pes2011

Disaster this morning! Well—more of a mild inconvenience, really. Nothing anywhere near a Hindenburg scale. Just a minor bump in the road. Don’t even know why I even led off with ‘Disaster this morning!‘ as a first sentence. The Good Internet Writing Guide recommends this kind of thing, granted, but it also recommends mentioning Paris Hilton a lot in the opening paragraph (yes, my copy of The Good Internet Writing Guide is from 2008). And mentioning Paris Hilton is something I never do. Don’t even know who he is.

My disaster was that I couldn’t get PESJP2013 to run no matter what I did. I never touched the settings from my last session, so nothing was different there. The bugger just wouldn’t run. It would load to the main ML menu, and then crash, every time.

I gave it about 10 separate goes, twiddling this and that (I know all the tricks, don’t worry).

Admitted defeat, and played some PES2011 instead. That’s where the picture at the top is from—my left-back, Ruskin, tackling Liverpool’s Suarez.

Don’t worry, there’s no chance of yet another lane-change over to PES2011 on PC. It was strictly a stopgap measure in advance of the now-inevitable full reinstallation of PESJP2013 is a more user-friendly fashion that I won’t bore the non-technical reader with.

But I did play two matches on PES2011(PC).

First of all—wow, what a light ball! And what a lenient referee…

Second: that game, PES2011, is rock-hard compared to PES2013. Even on its hardest difficulty with mediocre players, PES2013 is just too easy. There’s no time on the ball in PES2011. That’s the chief way it shapes matches. In PES2013, you can stop, turn inside, check back, retreat, without much danger of the CPU player(s) just barging in and taking the ball. PES2011’s AI is brutal by comparison.

That’s the kind of difficulty I want to have in PESJP2013. I’ll be working on that as and when I finally get the game reinstalled.

There was one magic moment in the two matches on PES2011 that reminded me of just why I play football games, and why I still think football games are almost the perfect computer game.

A high floating ball came into the box. Deegan, my sturdy midfielder, had a chance at a header from the edge of the area, but I decided to nod the ball down sideways for an incoming side-back to volley into the net—and that’s exactly what happened.

The signature moment for any dedicated football gamer is when you’re grinning your head off at seeing and feeling something magical on-screen, after first seeing it in your head.

Betwixt and between

I’m strenuously resisting the urge to go back to PES2013 for a non-developmental Master League experience. I’m against chopping and changing my football game at a whim and don’t want to encourage bad habits in myself.

It’s a tempting call because I really do think that PES2013 is the apotheosis of next-gen PES. Every good idea they’ve had since 2007 was put into the on-field action. What a shame it was so severely let down by the Master League and other modes. (I don’t regard any kind of online football—or ‘squeezeball’ as I call it—as a football game. I’m sure the people who play it like it. They’re welcome to it.)

Only PES2011 is keeping me from PES2013 again. Only PES2011 is stopping me installing the final WENB patch on the PS3 and setting up again in PES2013 with a new team in a non-dev ML.

I’m nearly at the exciting end of my first season on PES2011. The current table:

PES2011 on PC season 1 after 31

Too many draws have cost me my top-three spot. With three games to go, I could miss out on promotion (although somehow I think I’ll make it).

The final three opponents are all top teams, with at least one of them also vying for promotion:

PES2011 PC season 1 run-in

So I’ve been playing on with PES2011—only a few games per day, on average, but enough to keep the flame alive.

I’m even enjoying nursing a certain Myth from the depths of youthful mediocrity towards being a respectable striker again. This is him after almost one full season. He plays as a sub most of the time and gets the odd goal.

Castolo in PES2011

The 34-year-old Sibon has been hugely disappointing. One goal since he signed mid-season. I marvel at how PES uncannily models the fading performances of a retiring player.

I swear that this game has got the PES ‘X’ factor. I rather misjudged it back in the day. I was too ready to see its gameplay features as insurmountable obstacles rather than as challenges to be dealt with.

I do miss a lot of what came in later PES editions. I sorely miss PES2012/13’s right stick control, especially at corners.

I even miss the ‘send player on run’ feature.

I also miss the L2+directional buttons method of changing the ATT/DEF levels.

On PES2011 you have to awkwardly tilt your controller towards yourself and press SELECT+R1/R2 in order to change the ATT/DEF levels. It’s never a comfortable way of doing it, and I’m not surprised it only lasted one iteration of the series.

Another downside to PES2011 is that I’m playing it on PC. Yes, the novelty has worn off a touch. The PC’s graphics and customisation options are wonderful, but I miss the convenience and routine of the console.

So the arguments to head back to PES2013 are stacking up, but I’m resisting—for now.

I do want to see what happens at the end of this season in PES2011. If I get promoted, I’ll be tempted to play on. But I know that if I play PES2011 into next season and pursue this career, it’ll be a while before I’m ready to look at PES2013 again.

And with so much PES under my belt, would I still want to play PES2013 in a few months’ time?

All things considered, the only window of opportunity to play a non-dev PES2013 ML might be right now… The decision time is coming.

Hold Onto Your Knees

Clingan up close

Another few days of another few matches. Life is taking me through a spell of busy-ness that will be alleviated by a few days off next week, so I’m looking forward to that.

But even when I have days off I plan to do a lot more in the way of Football Manager and Civilization and general ‘goofing off’ (as I believe the young people still say), than football gaming. I keep wondering why this is.

Around this time last year I was beginning one of the most intensive periods of football gaming in my entire life. PES2012’s second wind carried me through a total of 18 seasons all the way to August. I wonder just what effect that unusual spring-summer schedule had on my general disposition as a football gamer. Usually a football gamer’s schedule is more autumn-winter, and maybe a nibble of spring, with summer as the relaxing downtime.

Like a rogue comet entering a stable star system, PES2012’s unusual timing last year set off perturbations that I’m still feeling today. Mainly in the form of a certain distance from football gaming.

Like every other ageing gamer, I see the loss of will-to-game as an alarming development that should be resisted as much as possible. Like losing your hair or your libido, or your knees (my knees hate going up stairs lately).

PES2011 is fighting the good fight in fine form. I’m still loving its qualities and seeing its annoyances as challenges rather than obstacles to enjoyment. The only thing I ever see dragging me away from PES2011 is a non-developmental Master League in PES2013. I do want to get to that at some point.

Training in PES2011

PES2011’s Master League setup is great, with the only downside being the odd decision to communicate player stats changes in the form of text notifications between weeks.

Bizarre. But the rest of the mode really holds up. I’m still loving the PC gaming revolution too. The likelihood of the PS4/Xbox720 being an automatic day 1 purchase grows fainter with each passing day.

I’ve fallen off the top of the league table, but am still in the top 3 and looking good for promotion. I’m about two-thirds of the way through the season.

I’m still having a few matches every couple of days on my Bootcamped Mac installation of PES5.

Below is a clip (best viewed in 720p) that first shows the notorious thinly-lined pitch that we all hated playing on in PES5. I still hate it, and should get around to removing it from all the teams that use it.

Then see a bizarre goal the CPU scored against me—especially see the famous/notorious ‘check side’ motion of the bouncing ball when it comes back off the post and rolls in: