Here is a small poll about new pes update. How is it for you, do you like it ?
So far we’ve been playing the Xbox 360 version, and most of us are pleased and impressed with this years offering of Pro Evolution Soccer.
Here are our positive and negative thoughts and points about the new edition of PES, in no particular order:
* The players feel heavier, sturdier, more realistic, but slightly more sluggish.
* The ball feels heavier, and does not fly around the pitch as fast as it did in PES 2009.
* If you bump into the referee, on or off the ball, he still knocks you down to the floor, or makes you tumble.
* Attacking players still get into very offside positions.
* The slide tackles still feel good, but the ref does not always spot a good tackle and you can get booked for a decent, fair challenge.
* If you shoot and it gets blocked by a players hand/arm, this is recognised and a free-kick will be given.
* The replays are much smoother than 2008, and keep your settings from the last time you have viewed a replay (camera angle etc).
* You can view a replay after whistle has been blown, so if you shoot, miss, and then a goal kick is taken, you can then go and view the replay from the missed shot. This has not been possible in the past.
* Going from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second half is very quick, in fact just two button presses.
* Individual players have a lot more characteristic animation than before, for example Ferdinand passes exactly like he does in real life, Rooney runs exactly like he runs.
* Player collision has more animation before, it looks really realistic when two player shoulder barge or crash into each other.
* Lots more player animation overall, the game looks a lot more next-gen and realistic because of it.
* CPU controlled players call for the ball both through audio and visual prompts.
Tell you what Jon, it’s that time of the year again. Yup, Konami have released the latest code of PES2010 to the press, and here at the bright lights of PESFan towers we’ve managed to get our grubby little mitts on it for your benefit. Oh happy days. As always when trying a new build of PES for the first time, I headed straight for Exhibition mode. What better way to test the ins and outs of a new code than by reliving that most classic of world football matches – West Midlands Village vs. East London. The first thing that struck me about the game was just how hard it was to run with the ball now. Granted, every time I play a new version of PES there’s always that little adjustment period, but I was completely beyond all redemption. Every time I tried to dribble around a player I came unstuck, it seemed almost impossible. Even faster members of the squad like Ashley Young could only run a finite amount before being thwarted by a member of the Hammers defence. Before I knew it, I was a goal down inside 10 minutes. What on earth was I doing wrong? Several games later – it hit me. I was playing PES like I always had. A general rule of thumb I’d previously employed was a few long passes to a member of my team on the wings, sprint for a while, cut in and shoot. Probably about three or four passes in total from receiving the ball. This sort of thinking failed me utterly in PES2010. As soon as I realised what I was doing wrong and started to actually pass the ball around, the game opened itself up to me. It felt more realistic, goals actually took…effort. There was no bolting around seven men and planting the ball easily in the corner of the net, these were worked build ups and felt genuinely satisfying.
Mind you, I was hardly playing with world-beaters (Steve Sidwell excluded), so next on the agenda was Barcelona vs. Manchester United. As you would expect with a higher quality team, it was easier, but the dynamics were still the same. Even Messi wasn’t able to just buzz past players like he was some sort of mutant fly. One of the reasons for this is that changing direction at speed is no longer painfully easy. The new turning animations ensure that the pace of the game slows down when trying to dodge past a defender, and although this movement feels unnatural and weird at first, when it clicks – it really clicks. It’s something I ended up missing when going back to an earlier version of PES. Although you can still gradually change your direction while running with the ball, 2010 made me want to cut down on the easy ninety-degree turns I’d got so accustomed to, instead opting to pass. The AI also seems to play a part, with both your team and the opposition providing much sterner challenges to work around. From personal experience, it felt the AI was far more competent at covering gaps in its defence, and would eagerly close me down at the earliest point. Goalkeepers too seem to be more skilled, and in my opinion managed to position themselves and cover goal much more successfully than before. There was still the occasional unwelcome spill or unnaturally acrobatic mega-save, but overall I felt they were a definite advancement. The new Cards and Team Style systems are an interesting addition, and I found combining them both results in quite a variety of games panning out. The changes are subtle, but they are there, and I’ll be curious to see how people use them differently as time goes on. One point of note was that I could only find twenty-one different cards (with two even being allocated for goalkeepers), but I should mention this was only by investigation of Master League at the start of the game, so don’t quote me on it.
Penalties are another area in which Konami has tweaked for 2010, with the idea being that how you take a pen now lies in a) how much power you give the ball and b) which direction and how much or how little you point the analogue stick. However as of writing this the system seems to be either too sensitive, resulting in penalty after penalty being blasted miles high and wide, or not quite finished yet. Out of about twenty penalties taken I only managed to score two using the new system, although this may just be down to my lack of skill. I actually found it was a more successful tactic to press no buttons at all, as after a time the computer automatically takes one for you and usually scores with a minimal of fuss. The animations show real promise at this stage, and are already a step above previous instalments. Even with a fair percentage of them yet to be included, they still look fantastic, smooth and as genuine as I’ve seen in a PES game. Injured players even hobble around the pitch when they aren’t being called into action. I regret to inform I’m not able to comment on the game’s new 360 degree movement control, as this is a feature that has apparently been left out of the Xbox version’s design due to ‘technical limitations of the hardware’. We are informed that this feature will be available on the Playstation 3, but it seems odd that Konami have left out any increase in running directions at all for Microsoft’s console. It would have been nice if there were now even, say, sixty angles instead of sixteen, but there you go. Perhaps It’s something the makers are looking into for the near-future. It’s worth mentioning that the overall presentation is a big step-up, even in this preview build. The early lighting effects look brilliant, the menus feel slick and player faces have seen a ridiculous level of improvement. Having said that, some lesser known players from smaller clubs can still resemble beings from an alien world, but for the most part even they looked more like their real-life counterparts than in 2009. I think it’s safe to assume the player faces are still a work in progress, you can tell that a lot of the teams in the game haven’t been properly dealt with yet, so hopefully it’s still on the to-do list of Konami’s efforts.
Areas of the audio have also been tweaked. It was great hearing my fans jeer the visiting team if they had too much possession of the ball. Jon Champion and Mark Lawrenson return to their seats as commentator and co-commentator respectively, with Lawro continuing in his tradition of making sarcastic comments at me when I’m at my lowest. The overall commentary doesn’t seem noticeably different at this point, but it’s difficult to say at what stage in 2010’s development any new lines would be included. Master League on the other hand has evolved considerably and now includes proper team budgets, coaches, athletic trainers scouts, youth teams and more. You can change the way the league is organised; do you want it to be structured by goal difference after points or head-to-head results? It’s up to you. There are some interesting improvements, and I’ll be discussing these in much more detail in a special Master League report tomorrow. Unfortunately the much maligned Become A Legend has not seen a similar overhaul. Apart from the general gameplay improvements implemented in PES2010, the mode itself hasn’t changed noticeably, which I found a bit troubling. I can only hope that BAL is scheduled to be upgraded closer to release date, because in my opinion it’s something that showed a lot of potential when it debuted in 2009. Overall, I think 2010 is showing a lot of promise. but is PES2010 a return to form? Personally I think it could be. On the other hand, in the same way beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, playability is in the eyes of the player. But for by money, it already presents a good, solid game of football, with only minor glitches preventing it from being the best I’ve played in a long, long time. With Konami really under the spotlight to make this year’s PES the best ever, I’ve no doubt most of these will be ironed out in the coming weeks.
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“Become a Legend” and “Legend Modes” A whole new experience, but so quintessentially PES! The most notable difference between these new modes to those already existing in the game are that they are focused on just the one player and not the team as a whole. New camera angles have been introduced to accomodate them and this further immerses you in the mindset of your alter ego standing on the in-game pitch. Simply put, it is a Master League mode which you play solo where your objectives will be to play through the eyes of one professional footballer who tries to get his shot at the big leagues and then through development and playing experience to grab that chance to play for some of the biggest clubs in the world. Our intentions are to bring a whole new gaming experience to this already successful formula and to do that we needed to make use of what we define as the core that makes “PES” which is the “Soccer Game Engine”. This allows the other 10 players on the team to act as if each one has a vision and a gameplan all of their own. So, linking up with these AI players in creating that decicive attack which results in a match winning goal should award the player with a completely different sense of elation as opposed to when every move was a result of his or her own work. What we mean here by a new gaming experience is that of achievement through teamwork much like in the real beautiful game where you can pull off a move through a telepathic understanding with your teammate, or feeling that giving your all for the team has been awarded… What about threading that pass that wins you the trust of your teammates? This is so much more than just winning and losing. Hence the line “PES Unites”. “Become a Legend” mode is also online compatible. You can take players you have developed through playing “Become a Legend” onto the online battle ground that is “Legends Mode”. Here you can play along with up to 4 such players and with 3 other human players on your side, the feeling of working towards a common goal and understanding the thinking of others become that much more real. “Become a Legend Mode” This is essentially, a Solo Master League Mode. As you can focus all your efforts on controlling just the one player, it may be suitable for relative beginners who could have problems with trying to track the movements of all 11 players initially. For those who are familiar with this series we aim to provide them with an experience even closer to playing the beautiful game themselves as they delve in the sense of achievement and elation of their in-game alter ego. The Gameplay flowchart: 1) Create your player Set name, nationality, stronger foot, position, height, weight and appearance. 2) The Scout Match This is the chance to earn your dream ticket. Play in a game between 2 amateur league sides and impress the scouts. After the game offers will come in from multiple clubs and you will get to choose your very first professional club. 3) Player Development You probably won’t be given too many run-outs in the period immediately after your debut, so your immediate aim should be to play well during matches in training. This will lead to a place in the squad and eventually, the starting line-up. Players will gain more experience and develop quicker the better they perform, but you can also set up your strengthening points in order to focus on certain areas of your game which you want to improve so you can tailor your player towards a certain playing style. 4) Player Transfers Through gaining playing experience, you may end up receiving more offers on the table from other clubs. Winning titles such as League MVP or Top Scorer can land you offers from leading clubs or earn you call ups to your national team. This can earn you titles unique to the international scene as well as offers from clubs abroad. 5) Retirement from football The game starts when the player is just aged 17 and as each season goes by he will age. You can announce your retirement at any point in the game after you reach the age of 27 and at 35 you will be forced to retire. The main objective will be to win as many honours and accolades in your career as a professional footballer. “New Features” added to enhance gameplay 1) New Camera angle: A new camera angle made specifically for “Become a Legend” has been added. This will enable the player to easily grasp the positions of players, the ball, the opposition goal and finally the overall team formation. 2) The offside Icon: If a player is in an offside position, an icon in the shape of an offside flag is displayed above him. 3) Fastforwarding: You can fast forward matches when you are on the bench and the speed can be controlled in-game, thus cutting any waiting time until you get the nod to come on. 4) Auto Move: Press L1 to get the CPU to control your player’s position. If you are unsure where to go on the pitch, just use this button initially to get a grasp. “Legends Mode“ The players you developed through playing “Become a Legend” can be used in co-op games with any player in the same region. The concept of “Legends” is to shift the focus of play from just winning and losing to that of connecting players. Experiencing the joys of being able to share a common vision or building trust between teammates in the spirit of cooperation and teamplay in a way to reflect as much of the elements of the real game are the key objectives to playing it. Up to 4 players can join 1 team. You can through the use of both preset chat and voice chat communicate with them to combine effectively in coordinating any moves. All combination play is assessed and a score will be given after each one to show just how well you worked as a team. The general rule is the more you link up, the better your score and a “Combination” score will give a tangible indication of how well a move was coordinated. Movements including dribbling, passing, shooting, creating space and getting behind the opposition defence will be taken into consideration when working out your score.
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In hindsight, we’d go one further. The myth that EA makes the bimbo football game and Konami makes the cultured one is – to return to the note upon which we began our FIFA 09 review – thoroughly dead. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the same is now true in reverse. FIFA 09 may be excellent, and the last few Pro Evolutions have gone backwards, but what of PES 2009?
At its heart, we suspect, lie many of the same lines of code that drove the success of the series on PS2 for so many seasons, because the fundamentals are unchanged: player movement is on eight directions (with in-betweens during sprints), passing is zippy, and ball movement is physically convincing, if a little heavy. The graphics reinforce the impression that PES is reliant on existing content and assets, too, because despite the usual claim that it’s “undergone a stunning graphical update”, movement animations are wooden and repetitive, and the players look more like they’ve undergone a stunning facial beating under a railway bridge.
FIFA, by inevitable comparison, is so smoothly plastered with graphical Polyfilla that almost every angle of ball receipt, every tweak of the analogue stick, is covered by an appropriate animation, which frees the players and football to move organically in ways that PES wouldn’t countenance. It’s not quite that perfect, but the fact is we used to talk about the difference between PES’ loose ball and FIFA’s gluey boots, and these days it’s the difference between PES’ grids of movement and FIFA’s cloud of possibilities. No wonder Peter Moore’s crowing about the review scores.
But while the visual comparison between PES and FIFA is now rather harsh on EA’s Japanese adversary, Konami’s re-minted PES Production Team in Tokyo is a bit like the James Bond film crews – their grandfathers worked on this stuff, doncha know, and they know a bit about it. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to discover that while PES 2009 lacks FIFA 09’s fluency – graphically and mechanically – and the EA game’s authoritative command of licences, it still plays much better than last year’s effort thanks to a few nips and tucks, and gives PES fans who can’t break away from its hard-coded diagonals and toxic waste likenesses their best return for a few years.
PES moves at a fair old trot, and while the attacking principles are the same as they are in FIFA – pass the ball, retain possession, go backwards when you can’t go forward, drag players out of position to make space, be ruthless when you do – wing play is more effective, with a high frequency of goals from diving or jumping headers, and the trick moves that used to be on the right analogue stick have now migrated to the d-pad or left stick (whichever you use for movement), so they’re easy to incorporate into your approach play, rather than an afterthought. Nippy strikers and wingers have less trouble holding onto the ball under duress, too, reaching the byline fairly often in spite of typically adhesive pursuing defenders.
This is because, absent the need to counterbalance FIFA’s omnidirectional player brains, PES doesn’t have to be so rugged and physical. Defensive pressing is more about pushing wingers inside or driving your opponents down blind alleys. Aggressive pressing with two players – similarly suicidal in both games, since it leaves tons of space for AI or a wily human opponent to exploit – results in a fair few niggly trips, but there’s less bullying. If you want the ball, you’re going to have to chase it and earn it, which in turn encourages patience in attack. Once you have it, as with FIFA, the basic vocabulary of controls and a sensible approach will bring you results, but there’s a huge range of subtleties to master, whether it’s different types of pass, cross and shot, flair techniques, off the ball instructions, when it’s best to make substitutions, and so on.
So then, for all the superficialities that divide PES and FIFA, there’s quite a lot that unites them. But superficialities can be a bitch. PES has the UEFA Champions League licence, and Manchester United and Liverpool licences (it’s Liverpool FC’s official game, for goodness sake), along with previous agreements involving Spanish and Italian sides, among others; but most of the other Premier League clubs still have silly names, some of the national teams are totally fictional, and there are lots of noticeably incomplete transfers, with Berbatov yet to arrive at Old Trafford and Shevchenko still running around Stamford Bridge. Although he’s not, of course, as the game only models 19 stadiums. Elsewhere the commentary’s dreadful, and the crowd chants lack the overlapping you hear on TV or the growl of being among them, and are sickeningly rhythmic and artificial instead.
PES’s answer to FIFA’s Be a Pro mode (and its online counterpart) is weaker, too. You define a custom character, starting out as a reserve at 17, and then play one role in the team – either midfield or striker – earning experience points in practice matches and trying to break into the first team. But it lacks FIFA’s coaxing feedback – the greens and reds acknowledging good movement and involvement during the game – and in a mode where the significance of good movement is amplified so considerably, the fact FIFA kicks the PES movement code so hard around the park that you could stitch lines on it, throw on laminate and sell it at JD Sports, is rather damaging. That said, there’s a bit of value to be had from it if you ever overcome that hurdle, and the four-player online variant may lack FIFA’s 10v10, but it’s still a good number. (We’ll be comparing PES’ and FIFA’s single-footballer modes in more depth soon.)
Inevitably, PES also suffers from the same football-isms we brought up with FIFA, namely passes going to a player other than the one intended, the game selecting the wrong player in a moment of crisis, and a bit of residual input skewering the odd attack. But it also suffers the odd PES-ism, like players confused what to do with a loose ball when in close proximity, throw-ins, corners, free-kicks and ball distribution from that keeper that all rob the game of pace, and being unable to tell at a glance which slide tackles are fair and why. You often suspect the game computes the outcome fairly, but the paucity of animations and grid-like movement means you can’t tell at a glance, and it’s frustrating.
PES still has the Master League though, providing many seasons of well-designed progression, and the Champions League is a boon, even with its overblown presentation coupled to misnamed teams and, hilariously, Sony PlayStation ad hoardings all over the 360 version (probably down to the terms of any UEFA licence, but we like to think it’s the new spirit of friendship). There’s also a full Edit mode for people who want to tweak their line-ups.
Even so the result, overall, is a game that by any objective measure now languishes in second place behind EA’s spirited new-look FIFA. And yet it’s only with a heavy heart that we mark it down a point lower, because we still love PES for its personality. The new generation of F
IFA games are so new that we’re still exploring their limits, but we already understand all that about PES, and when something out of the ordinary occurs, like a shot-cum-cross from halfway up the touchline creeping in at the far post, it’s like hidden treasure. When you realise the ref isn’t calling play back for astonishingly vicious tackles that occur after the ball has gone, preferring to let attacks develop, it’s hilarious.
Should you stick with Konami, then, PES 2009 will grow on you, and you may forget you ever thought about switching teams in the first place. But personality isn’t always enough, and the fact is that PES can only draw alongside FIFA in the areas where the Konami game’s strong, falls short in others, and never could hope to compete on the glossier, contracts and lipstick side of sports game production that EA’s ruled for years. Not quite a reversal, but PES needs to be a very different game when it hits 2010 if it wants to overhaul the Canadian upstart.