PES 2011: Bouncebackability?

After a few years of disappointment, with titles recycling the same animations and commentary, I switched from PES to FIFA.

I documented the change at the time in several blogs, here and here. It was not a switch made with a light heart – after a decade with PES I’d lost heart and FIFA had essentially caught up.

Looking at the latest released gameplay trailer for PES 2011 it seems a lot of the problems I’d had with the game have now been rectified. Check it out:

The issues I had with the game were as follows:

– The computer deciding where I should pass instead of letting me do what I want.

– No control over the through balls.

– Poor, poor goalkeeper AI (repeatedly just pushing the ball into the path of the oncoming striker etc.)

– Bad referee AI

– same animations as last few versions

– The commentary

If they can fix these then perhaps a return to former glories is on the cards.

Now until we have a chance to actually play it I’ll be reserving judgement but the intial signs are very promising and with rumours of an online Master League (Linkage) also making an appearance might my defection to EA’s juggernaught be short lived?

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FIFA 10 – Review (PS3)

FIFA 10 Main

As regular readers will know from my FIFA 10 and PES 2010 demo impressions blogs, FIFA 10 is my football game of choice for 2009/10.

After playing the game alone and with friends I am in a position to give the full game a review.

There are a wealth of options gameplay-wise which can be a little overwhelming to begin with but the first stop for everyone should be to create their virtual pro.

Once you’ve done this you can use him in any game type and level up your skills – yep, not just career mode people. Even friendlies contribute to your stats – and you can use your created pro online as well! 😎

FIFA 10 1

Obviously you have all the usual league/cup/friendly modes and alongside that there is the manager mode, which is a bit like a better version of PES’s master league (the main bonus being if you’re sacked it’s not game over you have to get another job).

FIFA 10 is quite tough (playing on World Class) and you really are punished for your mistakes. The positive from that is that, except for the odd goal here and there, you know it’s your error that has led to the goal being conceded. It’s a feeling I haven’t had for a long time in a football game.

Onto the match gameplay and the amount of freedom is wonderful. With power bars for goal kicks, throw in’s and through balls my gameplay prayers have been answered. Chuck in the fact the game doesn’t auto select the direction of through balls for you (which annoyed the hell out of me in the PES series) as well and my vision of total football is almost complete.

As I mentioned earlier this freedom is brilliant but it comes with a price – there is literally nowhere to hide if you make a mistake, especially in multi-player where your opponent will no doubt have a smile on his face in the seat next to you. πŸ˜†

FIFA 10 2

Online is fairly lag free with the odd small stutter here and there. Sometimes takes me a while to find a game but it’s not a big problem. There are plenty of different modes and you can even play 10v10 matches and join in lots of different online tournaments, which is cool.

FIFA 10 is a great game. It basically has everything I wanted fixed in PES and contains a lot less of the odd glitchy moments that Konami’s title still boasts.

FIFA has caught up and, in my opinion, slightly overtaken PES as the most realistic football sim out there. It’s time to switch to EA’s beautiful game people.

Rating: 9/10

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PES 2010 Demo Impressions (PS3)

PES 2010

As I’ve mentioned in plenty of previous blogs FIFA was the football game of choice for me from the release of FIFA International Soccer on the Mega Drive in 1994 right through to FIFA 2001 on the PS2 in 2000.

Then I discovered Pro Evolution Soccer and a near decade long relationship with the beautiful virtual game began.

But as I discussed previously (here) PES is a series that has been in decline since the switch to next gen consoles.

PES 2009 wasn’t a bad game as such – it was just annoying that the niggly issues hadn’t been resolved over time.

And having played the rather good FIFA 10 Demo I was prepared to switch back to EA’s juggernaut.

PES 2010 Gameplay 1

As I downloaded the PES 2010 demo last night I had a flicker of hope. That I would fire it up and Konami will have revamped the game engine or the controls… perhaps that’s why we’ve seen nothing of the game? Could Konami have just been waiting to blow us away!

The answer in a word was ‘no.’

Shooting appears to have lost it’s sting with shots seeming weaker than before.

The passing is terrible. Several times it passed the ball to the wrong player, especially on through balls – often trying to pass it to the far sided winger as opposed to the player running through. 😑

Having no control over throws or goal kicks is a little thing but being able to kick/throw as hard/soft as I want is something I’ve wanted in PES for ages. I don’t always want a goal kick to go all the way to the front man! πŸ˜•

Graphics are very good. Certainly as good if not a touch better than FIFA. Sadly that doesn’t stretch to any new animations – still the same ones from PES 2008 which is disappointing. 😦

PES 2010 Gameplay 2

The referees are appalling compared to FIFA – no play on’s even when I was through on goal and several players sent off for small challenges. Frustrating. 😑

That old PES favourite of inexplicable defending reared it’s ugly head. My defender, instead of leaving a ball for my outcoming keeper decided to flick it past him for their forward to score – without me pressing a button πŸ˜₯ Several of these crazy moments occurred.

They didn’t even bother having commentary on the demo – so I suspect that’ll be more of the same again.

The CPU scored several cheap goals. One of the things I’ve noticed in FIFA is that I haven’t once felt cheated by a goal. Annoyed yes, but not cheated. Tonight I felt robbed by a few of the goals that came out of nowhere. A break away, plenty of defenders back but the forward still gets through, his shot hits a defender, he has another shot – it’s palmed by the keeper straight to their other forward who runs the ball into the goal. 😑 Same old PES. 😦

PES 2010 Gameplay 3

And that’s pretty much it.

Played 5 games, which I would say is enough to give it a chance.

It’s just a (very) pretty version of PES 2009 and for my money FIFA plays a better game.

The lack of control in PES is disturbing. At least when a through ball or pass is intercepted in FIFA I know it’s my own fault.

I’m afraid after a long period of injury time the referee has blown the final whistle on the 2010 football contest… it’s finished 1-0 to FIFA 10.

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FIFA 10 – Demo Impressions (PS3)

FIFA10

I’ve been a PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) player for several years but since the move to next gen consoles FIFA has made up more and more ground with every release. (See here for an article on the decline of PES)

It’s generally accepted that FIFA 09 was better than PES 09 but I stuck with Konami and the game was above average.

But little things began to grate – things that have been in the last few games without being fixed and so for the first time FIFA has looked like an option.

As I downloaded the FIFA demo I was quite excited to see what it offered as I’d heard good things.

Everything looks very nice and the practice arena returns, where you get to warm up between, and before, games – it’s a cool little feature which is good fun.

You don’t have a wealth of teams to choose from (5) but each are good enough to give you a feel for the game.

fifa10 2

The tackling took me a while to get used to and I conceded a LOT of fouls in my first few matches πŸ™‚

Shooting feels natural and I seemed to have a lot more control over where the shot was actually going, which was great.

Passing was good and felt realistic, as did the refereeing decisions with some really clever play on choices displaying a great AI.

Overall I’m fairly sure this has done enough to switch my allegiance over to FIFA.

The fact is that FIFA has shown a lot of new features and got a persuasive demo out while PES has basically released a few videos about sliding tactical bars and a stat based card system.

FIFA has just taken a 1-0 lead in injury time at the end of extra time. It is going to take a heroic performance from the new PES to recover and pull this one back.

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The Sudden Decline Of Pro Evolution Soccer

PES GRAPH

My experience with PES started on the PS2, with Pro Evolution Soccer, hence why my chart of the series begins here.

I’ve given these games ratings out of 100 from my experience so you can get a clearer image of my opinion.

As you can see the initial high standard was maintained throughout the PS2 years, with some games obviously more favorable than others. (Down to personal opinion).

PES2

It seems to have been the move to next gen that has caused the most problems.

PES 2008 was, quite frankly, a disgrace. As next gen bows go it was a shocker.

The graphics obviously looked a bit better than the PS2 ones but they weren’t really stretching the PS3.

The game stuttered and shook, particularly on replays.

And the gameplay was ok but didn’t seem to have improved that much.

The online was the worst I’ve EVER experienced in a game. Some of it was unplayable. Meanwhile FIFA’s games were running, for the majority, smoothly.

We were promised changes for PES 2009 and we sort of got them – the problem being PES 2009 was the game PES 2008 should’ve been.

It left PES a year behind and allowed FIFA to close the gap.

PES 2009’s online was better than 2008 and the gameplay was much improved but I have no inclination to play a Master League (Career Mode) – I’ve played one on every other version (even PES 2008).

PES2009

Yes there is Be A Legend Mode which is pretty cool (and hopefully will be updated and improved for the next installment) but the major faux pas for me is giving the player 20 blank teams to create but not letting them use them in solo game modes! What. The. Hell? 😑

I played FIFA 2009 and I found it to be a little slow and lacking in control of players, however it was easily the best FIFA game I’ve played since the turn of the Millenium.

I have faith in Konami. I think they lost their way and the one glimmer of hope is that there was a (small) incline at the end of the graph.

They really do need to nail PES 2010 though otherwise it might be time for me to end almost a decade of PES and switch to FIFA.

PES Through The Years…

Wow, that was certainly a trip down memory lane.

Just on my way home from the Konami 40th Birthday Celebration at Centre Point in London.

The evening focused on Pro Evolution Soccer and how the game has developed and improved since the early days of PES (back on the SNES).

They had various iterations of the game on different consoles.

First up we sampled the SNES version. This was a tough one to control and the shooting wasn’t great.

Tackling wasn’t too bad and the passing was fairly accurate but the shooting was where we were struggling and a lot of the goals came from the keeper spilling a save and the forward sliding the ball home.

The graphics were true 16Bit – really took me back and while the controls were different enough to keep us on our toes I managed an 8-0 victory πŸ˜€

Next up we tried the new Nintendo Wii version of PES 2009.

You use the stick on the controler to move your player, the nunchuck to direct where you want to pass and a shake of the controller to shoot. It’s all a little bit complex and there is a hell of a lot going on on screen.

I’m sure with more perseverance it would get easier and it was quite nice to have total control over the play. This one finished 1-1.

Then we headed over to the first PS2 version ‘Pro Evolution Soccer.’

This was more like it but first impressions were “whoa! How fast is this?!” I played a fair bit of this game and certainly don’t remember it being so quick.

The passing was very unresponsive, often not kicking the ball until a good second or two after you’d pressed the button.

We went for a Euro XI vs World XI which was a close game as both teams were so good – managed to squeeze a 1-0 victory and got the same result again in the next game; Germany vs Uruguay. Felt a bit bad as was the betterΒ @shandation team in the 2nd game by a mile but succombed to the German counter attack. πŸ˜†

Our final stop took us all the way back to the N64.

This was easily the worst of the versions we played – didn’t help that the graphics looked even worse than they should as it was on a big HD TV.

It was hard to tackle, hard to shoot and we had no idea how to change player.

Dribbling was easy and fun (a little too easy at times, although they may have been us jumping into challenges πŸ˜€ )

It turned into a bit of a goalfest and I ran out as the winner with a final score of 10-3 to round off the evening in style 😎

It was great fun to revisit the older versions of the game, especially as I no longer own any of them.

Β 

Playing the previous games in the series really made you appreciate just how good the latest PES title is, even with the faults it does have.

Hopefully football titles can continue to evolve and improve with each version. FIFA has made great strides to make up ground on PES.

I used to play FIFA from the first game in ’94 right through to 2001 when I discovered PES. It’s been PES all the way since then but I am looking forward to seeing what both titles bring to the table this year.

Could FIFA 2010 really tempt me away from PES? We’ll have to wait and see.

For now I’m basking in the warm glow of nostaglia and enjoying reminiscing about great times had hunched over a control pad playing Pro Evolution Soccer.