Career Mode, FIFA 21, Game Play, Goals, Master league, PES2021, Screenshots

A Vacillation Jab

Slight play on words there of course, whilst the majority of us wait for our vaccination jab, so we can get life back to some form of diluted normality, I personally am suffering acute vacillation, the inability to decide between a set of options, namely PES 21 ML, FIFA 21 CM, or FIFA 21 Ultimate Team, all of which I have on the go simultaneously.

PES21 is the most realistic gameplay, without a doubt, and wrapped in the PC master race world of mods, looks and moves beautifully, but coming off the back of playing FIFA, it feels very lightweight, and melancholy. Also, certain control mechanics feel missing from PES, such as FIFA’s L1 close control button, which you can use to stop, turn, shift sharply in order to wrong foot the opposing player, essential in creating chances, or the sprint and RS knock-on to push the ball into open space, again essential with fast players bursting down the wing, I know PES has a double-tap of the sprint for a speed burst but it’s nothing like FIFA’s RS knock-on mechanic.
Then there’s the FIFA driven cross field pass, or driven cross, by holding R1, which is a ‘laces through the ball, body over the ball’, driven pacey pass, again missing from PES in any shape or form, where you are limited to maxing out the power gauge but even then the pass still feels very slow paced and light weight.

I’m at a point where PES is very realistic and looks lovely, but is missing crucial elements, and has no depth at all within ML, to keep me engaged for more than a few matches per week, and where FIFA21’s CM gameplay is so stale that again, I get bored after 2 or 3 matches.
F21 CM game play has changed drastically, since launch, via EA’s patches, the difficulty has been ramped right up, playing on World Class, and the AI is vey very formulaic, and frustratingly boring, it insists on playing these little dinked lofted passes over the heads of your players in and around midfield all the time, which are impossible to prevent, and gets very aggravating, very quickly.
The bells and whistles and presentation is there, CM itself is very good, deep and engaging but the game play is lacking, which left me with one main option……

FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT).

I said a couple of weeks ago that FUT was a dabble, and wouldn’t last long, but I have continued playing, and mostly thoroughly enjoying the mode. There is the main divisions rivals mode whereby you win matches to climb the divisions and earn enough points to compete in the weekend FUT champions league, or squad battles where you play offline, against various other players real teams, and earn objectives, or a draft mode where you pick a fantasy team for a set formation, then the game rates your team on how well you picked for each position, based on chemistry, play style, suitability to the positions etc, then you play matches online against other real people and get rewards for winning matches. basically there’s tons to do inside FUT, always new stuff going on.

The stale game play issue is eradicated as playing against other real humans means matches are never predictable, and whilst they can be massively infuriating, they can also be very enjoyable and exciting at the same time, and the ‘AHA’ (AssHole Factor) has ben really quite low, most people play the game without too much fuckery going on.
I still have no idea how people with a lower skill rating than me, meaning they win less games, have amassed teams that consist of 11 world class iconic players, in almost every match.

on average you get between 500 and 700 coins for a win, a decent player on the transfer market is anywhere from 20,000 – 80,000 coins, and someone like Mané, Messi, Ronaldo, salah, Haaland etc are millions of coins, so how do they get these players?!!? It’s beyond me.

I open a few packs here and there, no real money, just using coins amassed in game, and even in the rare gold Promo packs (25,000 coins per pack) I’ve never once gotten any of these star players.
Players seem to just amass a squad full of extreme speedsters, forget about the chemistry, and they will just spam run down the wings, get in behind your defence and cut back for a shot, and they are also somehow able to constantly press your team, for a full 90 min match, without getting tired, yet if I use the team press tactic, my players tire and slow down after a half, if anyone reading this knows of some secret FUT trick then please share.

As I’ve mostly been playing FUT, here are a few goals from my matches in Division Rivals:

Notice at the end an act of fuckery by some online asshole doing keepy uppies with his GK when he is 6-1 up.

Aside from FUT, I have committed some time to my ongoing Luton Town Career Mode too.
I had a carabao Cup quarter final against Spurs to play, at the Spurs stadium:

A dogged 0-0 draw, and a win in the penalty shoot out, see’s us through to the semi final, a decent cup run should go some way to influencing the board when they next evaluate my position, season objectives was to avoid relegation, so a decent cup run and staying up would hopefully satisfy that criteria.

I also played a few more premier League matches, and lost most of them, the WC difficulty really is harder this year, here’s our current sorry league position:

I mentioned PES 21 on PC at the top of this post, and will finish with a little look at my ML journey, as Norwich City.

A very average squad, Pukki and Cantwell being the standout players, but severe strengthening needed if we are to push for promotion, 2 ML matches last night saw wins against Huddersfield and Cardiff, which pushed the TS (Team Spirit) rating up a point or two, PES really is a different game until your TS is at a decent level, until then its slow, cumbersome, and clumsy, great mechanic in theory, but poorly implemented.

Finally, a few goals from last night’s PES session:

30 thoughts on “A Vacillation Jab”

  1. Fatal. I know from trying to play football manager and a console game on an alternate basis that things don’t go well. You’ve got to be all or nothing I think Paul. I went all in to finish Belgium and as expected I was third. Club Brugge won again. The board was happy though as I get the europa place and they made money. There were no jobs available at all end of season so I start year three back with anderlecht, having done the only thing I could see to bugger up the ai – bought brugge’s goalie Simon mignolet. (Speaking of whom, when he lived in Sunderland was seemingly a top guy, very non footbally and a regular babysitter for neighbours and the like). I’m struggling to see how else to improve the team so it’s going to come down to being a bit cleverer, varying it up and a bit of luck.


  2. Not here turf. I can happily play pes and fifa side by side, plus I’m quite disenchanted with football at the moment, and the games, so I just play what I feel like. It’s my time so happy to experiment. Fully agree you get more out of a game you play 100% in solution but I’m not in that zone currently.


  3. Not surprising given the dross we are being served right now Paul. Liverpool are awful but to be honest it’s all been pretty rank – I stopped watching match of the day around Christmas. European results suggest it’s sport-wide, Man City are really not being tested much at all in racking up these wins. The Euros could be terrible if it’s down to player fatigue and the World Cup looks destined to be one of those go slow heatwave efforts. You’re best off watching the mighty Anderlecht, the third best team in Belgium.

    I’m moving back to Lara and her tombs for a few days rather than bombing into season 3. I’ve never played in Europe in Fifa so want to approach the campaign fresh.


  4. Results have picked up in season 3 and I am up to 10th after 22 games, 7 points of the play off spot. Higgins has 23 goals so far this season.

    Spent nearly an hour searching the soon to be retiring players last night, ready for their regens next season. Pepe and Marcelo look the pick of the bunch. Onwards!!

    Had the jab today as well, surprised to get it so early as I’m only 47. Greenwich Borough seem to on the ball with it though as the centre this morning was busy. In and out in 6 minutes. Boom!!


  5. You youngsters, stealing vaccinations from the elderly 🙂
    You shouldn’t have been in and out in 6 minutes though, as you’re meant to wait around for 15 minutes in case of any adverse reactions.


  6. Didn’t get told to wait, its was like a conveyer belt tbh. Arm a bit sore, but nothing else so far.


  7. It’ll be one of the dodgy versions, probably made in a garage in a former soviet republic… same here chris99, older than him but not jabbed either.

    Lloyd – how do you know who and how the regents are? My scouts remain terrible at sticking to instructions and only looking for contracts with 0-1 years on it.


  8. When a player retires at the end of the season, they regen at the start of the next season as acompletely different player with the same traits and good starting stats. They will have the same nationality and main position and be in the same league they retired in. This video explains it better lol.


  9. Lloyd- Most likely to feel rough 24 hours after jab, although paracetamol and ibuprofen should keep it in check. My arm ached for about four days.


  10. Lloyd- Most likely to feel rough 24 hours after jab, although paracetamol and ibuprofen should keep it in check. My arm ached for about four days.


  11. Sorry guys I’m going to have to take an extended break so I can get over a couple of rich people I don’t know saying things on American tv about another load of rich people I don’t know…

    Lots of Shadow of the Tomb Raider this weekend – I’m now quite bored of it and ready to finish. It feels like over the years they’ve removed the number of puzzle sections in favour of platforming. I had high hopes of this when I started, there were a couple of decent ones but now it’s all ‘you can’t get to there until you have this and done the that’ and endless climbing sections which is just frustrating. I won’t be returning to finish the tombs once the main game is over.

    Anderlecht lost the final of the preseason tournament. I don’t want to get a reputation as a runner up.


  12. Your area must be way ahead of the vaccination curve then Lloyd, if you got a jab? Unless you are a carer, frontline worker, or as Chris said, received some dodgy soviet mix of vodka and bleach sourced from the russian equivalent of B&M?

    Still no more career mode for me since the few games before last weeks post, been hammering Ultimate team, have now qualified for the FUT Champions weekend league, where I will probably get my ass handed to me repeatedly.


  13. Greenwich seems to have its act together. A lot of th epeople there when I was looked 50 or below.


  14. Played a bit of your Fut last night Paul, first time in a few years. It’s bewildering – so many menus, objectives, modes and screens. Within no time you seem to have a huge number of players. I can see why it appeals to people, particularly as I feel the player traits are much more obvious – the things you can do even with average players seems ramped up, but it’s just slightly batshit insane.


  15. Pretty much summed it up there Turf. Upon loading FUT it is overwhelming, menus, more menus, hidden menus, various modes, took me a while to get my head round it but more you play, the more it all makes sense.

    The vast array of players you accumulate fairly quickly can be used to build various squads, so you can assemble a Bronze, squad, Silver squad, Gold quad, squads containing all one nationality, or club etc, and the players you choose determines the chemistry rating, which is everything, dont even attempt playing online with Chemistry less than 90.

    I have 2 squads, my gold squad which is all Brazilians, with a couple of other nationalities shoe-horned in, and a a side hustle squad I just use for squad building challenges and objectives challenges.

    the pro’s of FUT for me are that theres so much to do, it keeps you amused and busy, can be quite addictive playing games, completing objectives and winning enough coins to snipe that key player off the transfer market that can revolutionise your squad, and that its much more fun playing against real people.

    The con’s are: Real people, and the antithesis of proper football, every match finishes in an absolute goal fest and rarely ever reflects real football.

    Had a few pre career mode matches last night, and I just was not feeling it at all, I was bored.

    Might yet decide by tomorrows post on a change of direction.


  16. I’ve always liked the treasure chest aspect of FUT and see why people get hooked but it’s a real challenge to build some of the squad objectives – you’re effectively buying players just to bin them. I also find the untradeable aspect of pack players a bit irritating – loads of really useless players – a Bosnian playing in the Dutch leagues for example – how do you shoehorn him into a one league sqaud or a one nation attack.

    I’ve played a few games though, offline of course, using an entirely English sqaud – chemistry 100. Absolutely no doubt the mode elevates statistics and abilities (or career mode supresses them) as I scored 4 with Glenn Murray against one of the world class squads. In another game I thumped in my longest FIfa goal – with Koscielny! If so, it’s clearly deliberate for the market. It’s interesting but ultimately not deep enough for me to persist long term – too much of the throwaway approach to players.


  17. Turf – The untradeable players are a bit of a crap heap, you complete a big milestone, and earn 2 jumbo gold packs, 24 players in each, and will maybe keep 1 or 2 that fit your team, the rest you have to bin for 0 coins as they are untradeable.

    Im still mystified how players have these icons, and star players all throughout their team that are worth 3 million coins each!?

    A day late i know but will aim to get a new post up later, i just simply hadn’t played any CM all week so had nothing to show, but had a session last night, so update incoming.,


  18. Yes, I haven’t been online playing but the transfer market is full of players set at huge sums – my best player is probably Eric Dier, or Lewis Dunk – that’s the kind of pack player I’ve opened. It’s especially odd as I think previous Fifas had an element of luck about who you got – the whole stopping the ball thing (was that FUT or Pes’s thing?) and the chance that in a cheap pack was a star. Now you know exactly what you’ll get – 12 bronzes or whatever, so in order to have Neymar you have to have bought at that level.

    Squad games are quite fun actually, but I think that overall never ending climb up the places will prove fatal. It’s just not like winning a trophy with a squad of 20 I’ve taken on a journey. I’ll likely keep prodding away till I’m ready to go back to Belgium.


  19. Hmm, see what you mean Paul – just played against a forward line of best, cruyff and pele….how do they get that many coins without huge actual spend?


  20. Mine was maradona, pele and oddly rudi voller. But they were all just like buying a standard player, nothing to see here. Just one of those on ultimate team is either insane luck, play or massive irl spend. I know you tubers sometimes do but it can feel like half the gaming population has. Must be so dull once you’re at that point.


  21. I honestly have no idea Turf.
    I’ve Squad battles, division rivals, and done some of the Squad challenges, i’ve amassed the 2000 points needed to compete in the FUT weekend champions league, didnt enter this week as was busy, and have played over 150 online UT matches now, and i had about 50k coins.
    Sadio Mané alone was 3 million coins.

    I honestly have no idea how people attain teams full of these multi million coin legends, and so many have, I’d genuinely like to know, not to do it myself but just curious as to how its possible.

    And having played enough FUT matches now to clearly see a trend, its obvious what the go-to tactic is for 95% of all players, Timo Werner up front, Mané, Salah, and any other super fast pacey player out on both wings, and either speed burst down the wing to the by line, cut back and tap in, or pass ball to Werner up top, and use sprint and RS knock on to sprint past every defender and score, its virtually unstoppable.


  22. George best seems the offline squads player of choice for that.

    I’ve become quite hooked on it now, despite not playing rivals. There is genuine progress there if not actual trophies, etc. I’ve played quite a lot of squad games and done challenges so have earned a fair few packs, including rares, and bought players in the transfer market to tick off squad building rewards. The only time I’ve had great players was in the draft mode. Where everyone gets them. Outside of that it remains Eric dier, a player you can get for under 1000 coins any time you want. I just can’t see how you could create squads where your 60th minute substitutes are mbappe and other ridiculously high options. Mine are Danny drinkwater and Charlie Austin.

    I doubt I’ll bother for 2021 but think I might take the online plunge from day one when 2022 comes around as I’d imagine you get a decent starting bonus. PES in all its forms is dead, there’s no way it can compete with any aspect of fifa except nostalgia. Even NG returning in a Vegas Elvis like comeback with a vintage setup couldn’t revive the life in the Konami corpse.


  23. ….feel like I’m on one of the planets in No Man’s Sky….I remember Darryl a while back posted and answered himself for a while, think you’re all lost in space, overworked or on a different party bus. I’m sitting in front of the laptop all day working on the dullest piece of research imaginable so I’m consequently hitting Fifa quite hard at night. I’m toying with the idea of trying PSPlus for a month with Fifa 20 just to see whether I’ll go down that route (it really irks me that you pay to play online), I think it’s too late for 21 for me Paul – apparently people generate coins quickly by anticipating the release of certain challenges, players and totw – all things that are now winding down. Till then fellow travellers….


  24. Still about turf, haven’t played much in the last 7 days, been on nights. Should get a good couple of hours tonight. Going fishing on Friday, good chance of a 20lb+ carp maybe even a 30. Boom!!


  25. yeah I’m struggling to find much momentum in footy gaming Turf, still regularly play 2-3 games of my Ipswich career on FIFA20 which are enjoyable but don’t leave me wanting to play long sessions. Think that 15 year career on FIFA19 took a lot out of me. Still doing lots of other gaming though – Valheim, wandering around post-games of RDR II and Death Stranding, learning to create Roblox games with my daughter etc. Also bought a game called Spiritfarer where you are a girl called Stella with a cat sailing a ship full of anthropomorphic characters on their way to the afterlife, I reckon you and Paul would love it! Sorry to hear research is so dull – thought you had an exciting new project coming up this year?


  26. That’s the strange thing abbeyhill – I can’t play many of the career mode games in a session, too tense, too much straining to get a goal, but I can play a lot of offline fut squad games. No idea why, possibly because I just treat them as a chance to experiment with players, formations and approaches. It’s quite odd really.

    No, the job is really good actually, and 99% of the time it’s really interesting when I’m interviewing or analysing data – ive just had a recent diversion to work on a document that sets out the rules for the administration of a new MSc course…I can only imagine your jealousy at such good fortune. It’s the ultimate in paperwork. The river fishing expedition of the university world. The Ipswich of academia. The Ico of life.


  27. Just back from a days fishing. 18 carp ranging from 3lb to 12lb. Good days sport and some fresh air.

    Will pick up the other comments and reply later.
    New Post tomorrow morning, will finish it tonight.


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