Wish list for the next PES 2014 patch

The things I want the next patch for PES 2014 to fix:

(a) Fix the ‘near post goal bug’. That’s the only thing that looks buggy. And there are goals being scored through this bug. This should be fixed.

(b) Some final third scripts: While the whole game feels totally free and in full control, as soon as you enter the final third, some scripts do kick in sometimes. These are not always advantageous to the AI but also to the human player’s teams. Hope Konami’s next patch makes the final third action as free as it’s in the other two-thirds.

(c) More player weight: the players don’t look as weighty as they should be. Don’t know how they do it but they should add some heaviness with the players. Players should not be floaty or light. Not that they are in PES 2014 but some more improvement would do. I’m sure WE 2014 would make the players heavier.

(d) Slowness: Menus have become terribly slow after applying the option file. There’s no way the game menus can slow down because the option files have added a few images. Plus, sometimes, there’s some slowness in the final third and particularly when there are too many players in the box. Unacceptable problem in this day and age.

(e) Camera angles: They’ve made such an awesome game that they should be doing a show off with numerous camera angles. Instead what we got is limited camera options and customisation within those options. They should add more camera angles in the forthcoming patch.

None of these are game breaking for me yet but can immensely improve the PES 2014 experience.

Some misconceptions about PES 2014

Below are my views on some of the common complaints on PES 2014 that I read in the forums. I’ve had the game only for a week but most of these simply are misconceptions about the game because of the novelty of controls and approach that the game demands.

Player responsiveness: I don’t find any problem in this regard at all. Sometimes, the AI opponent reacts quicker but you need to realise that your player also has the pace to catch up and still win the ball. This wasn’t possible in PES 2013. So I think many may just lose hope and think there’s a problem with play responsiveness.

Dribbling: If you haven’t learnt the new dribbling mechanism in PES 2014, you’re going to be frustrated and you will surely hate this game. I’m not saying I’ve fully learnt the dribbling technique but I’m getting there. The biggest mistake one could do in PES 2014 would be to dribble like he used to in PES 2013 or in FIFA 13.

Catch-up bug: This is when the defender catch up the faster attacker even well after the attacker has broken away. There’s no catch up bug. If you think there’s a catch up ‘bug’, you’re probably not doing it right. I’ve scored many solo runs with capable defenders behind, beside and ahead of my player. Use the tools to your advantage. Slight direction changes, shoulder drops and speed bursts in diff directions – all help.

Player switching: Again, I don’t find any issues here. Yes there are these odd occasions where the switching may not be as quick as you want but hardly a game breaker. Too small and too infrequent a niggle.

Weak shots: My shooting was also poor. I used to be very poor with one-on-ones. Because every time, I used to hit the ball with 10% fill of the bar, just like the old PES. But all my shots were rolling slowly for the keeper to pouch safely. It was all about how much of the power gauge do we need to fill for a good shot. In the earlier PES, filling the bar would be row Z while just about 10-15% would be a driven shot.

In PES 2014, the sweet spot looks to be where you can fill the power gauge from 50-75%. If you fill it less than 50%, it could be a weak, pointless shot. If you fill it over 75% you run the risk of going off target. Again, needless to say, how quick or slow the bar fills will depend on the shot accuracy stat of the player striking the ball. Try this and let me know how this works.

Goalkeepers: Don’t know what people are complaining here. I find goalkeepers to be superhuman. They make some Incredible saves and many times looks unpenetrable. The only problem with them is the ‘near post goal bug’. It’s not a problem with the way the goalkeepers are coded. It’s an unwanted script that kicks in for the bear post goal bug. The goalkeepers in PES 2014 are bloody hard to beat otherwise.

High defence: Many complain that their defence plays too high up on the pitch. It’s a simple tactical tweak that you need to do in the game plan setting. By default, all teams are set to high defence. Change it before the kick off and you should be fine.

I think many of these complaints won’t exist if we spend more time on understanding and playing the game. Let’s remember one thing. These games are not meant to be 100% realistic. It’s a 15-min representation of what happens for 90 mins in football. There’s going to be some amount of artistic freedom that developers might take in making these games. If we really want 100% realism in a 15-min game, it could be boring like hell. With such games you can get closer to realism and to expect and to wait for perfect realism is just naivety.

What makes PES 2014 the best football game ever?

Just one week with the new PES 2014 but here are my views on what makes PES 2014 an excellent football game par none.

Outstanding passing play: The passing game in PES 2014 is incredible. No other game – past or present – has managed to nail the passing mechanics and passing physics as this game has managed. Sometimes I enjoy the passing so much I end up not doing much with the ball.

Freedom and variety: PES 2014 provides a lot of freedom to play. There’s no single successful method or a pointless approach in this game. Stays truthful no matter how you want to play. Playing as Villareal, beat Barcelona 2-1 where I had 39% possession and 5 shots to Barca’s 21 shots. Great variety is there depending on how much you want to experiment. Old habits say ‘pass and move’. If you come out of it and try to hold the ball or dribble to create spaces, you have a great game on hand.

Superb animations: PES have doubly improved in the animations  area. Now we have great animation for every single possible event on the pitch and the way they’re played out is just brilliant. This adds quite a lot to the gameplay. The animations also ensure that the player movements stay closer to reality. They have also suppressed the possible temptation to make all players agile and smooth. That’s not true in real life. Luckily Konami have kept it that way.

Great turf: All stadiums in the game have great turf to play on. It’s extremely important as that’s what you’ll be watching for almost all of your playing time. Both the day and night games have great pitches to play and provide great contrast and color backdrop to play with any coloured kit. This time PES have got both the day and night game lighting spot on. For once, I don’t need to pick and choose stadiums and time of the day to play my matches.

Atmosphere: The in-stadium atmosphere is absolutely mental. So much so that I leave the commentary (Spanish, because I don’t understand Spanish and I like the sound of the language) at very low volume while I turn up the crowd volume. Their oohs and aahs simply add to the immersiveness on the pitch. I can still add numerous audio clips for specific events like ‘unfavourable referee decision’ etc. Top job with the sound this time.

Game tempo: Real football doesn’t happen at the same flat pace all through the game. There are always some spurts, some high tempo moments and some slower moments. Basically, a real football game will have all paces from -2 to +2 in the space of 90 mins. In PES 2014, while there can be a base game speed, the game does speed up depending on the situations. I think this contextual pace is extremely bring in a video game. PES 2014 has done a great job in this area. Provides you a great sense of realism.

Immersive and addictive: The good old ‘one more game’ feeling is back. You want to play and you want to keep playing. It’s not just a pleasure playing PES 2014 but it can soon turn into an obsession. The game is that immersive and addictive.