This Is Football! (Soccer!)

Over the last couple of days I have managed to spend a fair bit of time with the latest editions to the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) franchises. Coming to grips with the subtle changes that both series have made in the up coming 2012 versions of the games, through the demo's that have been released. Firstly though a bit of back story for those that may not know.

The football game genre is constantly evolving and both franchises have been fighting the battle for supremacy since the days of the original PlayStation. FIFA had an arcade game play style that was fast paced and allowed players to shoot from pretty much anywhere near the 18 yard box and score. It was less about the "beautiful game" and more about who could rack up the most amount of goals in 10 minutes. PES on the other hand was a tougher more methodical game that required a level of skill, that tested the player. It treated football fans as if they knew how to play football and gave them control, allowing the game to flow. For many years this trend continued with PES reaching its dominance over FIFA in 2004 with PES 3 even with EA snatching up 90% of the licences for the players and teams.

FIFA 2005 brought change to the way EA made their game. A new engine was bought it and a new team of previous PES players were now in charge of creating the future of the game. PES carried forward too, churning out games with minor updates, but the FIFA team started making major changes, taking note of what PES was doing right and looking to improve further. In 2008 these changes took shape in FIFA '09. The control system had been overhauled to mirror that similar of PES and that new engine was ready to show what it could do. The rivalry began.

PES had its core elements in place, though Master League was still exciting the rest of the game had become mechanical and boring. FIFA had shaken up the genre and PES was losing fans at an alarming rate. With FIFA 2010 PES was no longer the leading game, FIFA had fluid game play, slick animations, fully licensed teams and grabbed football fans alerting them that there was a new king. Konami started to add new features and rather then improving the gameplay, decided too add gloss and shininess, thinking this would help them regain the throne. How they were wrong.

This brings me to the 2011 editions of either franchise, PES is a love hate relationship, one the one hand a great Online Masters League mode, ruined by a aged and frankly broken engine. The game feels punishing and scoring even the simplest of goals feels like relief, rather then rejoice. FIFA 11 established itself are the football game that people had been waiting for, for half a decade.

After playing both demo's of the 2012 versions of the game, Konami has lost the plot, forgetting why people play football games. Their engine, whilst looking gorgeous, still feels mechanical and the players look as if they are on rails. When you initially load the demo you are forced to watch a 5 minute video showing so called "improvements". The whole experience has fallen apart and the gaping holes have been filled with gimmicks. On the other side FIFA 12 is the best football game I have ever played. It feels like the PES of the past with the polish of the FIFA franchise which captivates this genre. The graphics has been improved the physics and collision systems that were criticised have been fixed. EA is listening to its users, making the best game it possibly can.

So in conclusion. You may have noticed from my blog that I used to be a PES follower, buying every game without fail, having faith that they would fix the bugs. Instead I have transferred to the FIFA camp where innovation and evolution are clearly happening. I would recommend playing both demo's to any football fan, but would be highly surprised if they did not walk away with the same feelings as I did. Worryingly this asks what is next for the Konami franchise and can they just carry on making mediocre games. With one franchises future so bright and the others so bleak, I look forward to this time next year to see if anything has changed.

Thanks for reading...

Viv

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Vivek

Over the last couple of days I have managed to spend a fair bit of time with the latest editions to the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) franchises. Coming to grips with the subtle changes that both series have made in the up coming 2012 versions of the games, through the demo's that have been released. Firstly though a bit of back story for those that may not know.

The football game genre is constantly evolving and both franchises have been fighting the battle for supremacy since the days of the original PlayStation. FIFA had an arcade game play style that was fast paced and allowed players to shoot from pretty much anywhere near the 18 yard box and score. It was less about the "beautiful game" and more about who could rack up the most amount of goals in 10 minutes. PES on the other hand was a tougher more methodical game that required a level of skill, that tested the player. It treated football fans as if they knew how to play football and gave them control, allowing the game to flow. For many years this trend continued with PES reaching its dominance over FIFA in 2004 with PES 3 even with EA snatching up 90% of the licences for the players and teams.

FIFA 2005 brought change to the way EA made their game. A new engine was bought it and a new team of previous PES players were now in charge of creating the future of the game. PES carried forward too, churning out games with minor updates, but the FIFA team started making major changes, taking note of what PES was doing right and looking to improve further. In 2008 these changes took shape in FIFA '09. The control system had been overhauled to mirror that similar of PES and that new engine was ready to show what it could do. The rivalry began.

PES had its core elements in place, though Master League was still exciting the rest of the game had become mechanical and boring. FIFA had shaken up the genre and PES was losing fans at an alarming rate. With FIFA 2010 PES was no longer the leading game, FIFA had fluid game play, slick animations, fully licensed teams and grabbed football fans alerting them that there was a new king. Konami started to add new features and rather then improving the gameplay, decided too add gloss and shininess, thinking this would help them regain the throne. How they were wrong.

This brings me to the 2011 editions of either franchise, PES is a love hate relationship, one the one hand a great Online Masters League mode, ruined by a aged and frankly broken engine. The game feels punishing and scoring even the simplest of goals feels like relief, rather then rejoice. FIFA 11 established itself are the football game that people had been waiting for, for half a decade.

After playing both demo's of the 2012 versions of the game, Konami has lost the plot, forgetting why people play football games. Their engine, whilst looking gorgeous, still feels mechanical and the players look as if they are on rails. When you initially load the demo you are forced to watch a 5 minute video showing so called "improvements". The whole experience has fallen apart and the gaping holes have been filled with gimmicks. On the other side FIFA 12 is the best football game I have ever played. It feels like the PES of the past with the polish of the FIFA franchise which captivates this genre. The graphics has been improved the physics and collision systems that were criticised have been fixed. EA is listening to its users, making the best game it possibly can.

So in conclusion. You may have noticed from my blog that I used to be a PES follower, buying every game without fail, having faith that they would fix the bugs. Instead I have transferred to the FIFA camp where innovation and evolution are clearly happening. I would recommend playing both demo's to any football fan, but would be highly surprised if they did not walk away with the same feelings as I did. Worryingly this asks what is next for the Konami franchise and can they just carry on making mediocre games. With one franchises future so bright and the others so bleak, I look forward to this time next year to see if anything has changed.

Thanks for reading...

Viv

Posted by kalmis

Yeah similar here. Jumped to Fifa camp few years back and have not even bothered to check this years PES demo. Based on the Fifa 12 demo will be getting it for sure. Especially with the new defense mechanism. Can actually do some realistic defending!

Still the best modern footie in my books is PES6, PS2 version of course

Posted by Vivek

@kalmis: I totally agree PES 6 is the best game they have ever made.

Posted by reflex

Honestly ive never been a PES fan and always thought it was the more Arcade feeling game, Fifa 12 is pretty amazing though but i cant get used to the defending part every time i go in for a tackle in the box i give away a penalty which i know is something i need to work on and ive been playing the Demo constantly every night trying to get better, cause to me and my friends Fifa is serious business haha.

Posted by RyShe

I am just starting to get into Soccer over the last few years, and planing on buying my first sports game day one ever. Thanks for the quick info, FIFA it is.

Posted by cap123

PES 6 is still the best football game ever made, better even than the latest fifas. I miss master league so much, but can't spend £40 quid on such an archaic game. I still dust off the ps2 and play pes6 (and pes2 which is another favourite!) every now and then but it would be nice to play a modern version. I can only imagine what HD versions of players like Miranda, Ordaz, Jaric and Dodo look like! :(

The new fifa 12 defending system is still a complete mystery to me at the moment.

Posted by Alpha1

I agree that PES 6 is the greatest Football game ever made, but now I just play FIFA just can't get enough of Ultmate Team

Posted by cap123

@Alpha1: Yeah i think Ultimate Team goes a little towards satisfying my need for Master League action, but it doesn't have that sense of growing with your team and you don't get all attached to your players.

Btw if you go to the ultimate team website at the moment you can start building your fifa 12 team before it's out, and you get some free packs! One pack if you're a returning player, and i think there's a random gift every day you log in.

Posted by Alpha1

@cap123:

@cap123 said:

@Alpha1:

Btw if you go to the ultimate team website at the moment you can start building your fifa 12 team before it's out, and you get some free packs! One pack if you're a returning player, and i think there's a random gift every day you log in.

Yeah I've only done that :)

Here's my Team so far: http://www.ea.com/soccer/fifa-ultimate-team/show-off#bFMBfmcNbbpGg

Posted by cap123

@Alpha1: nice have you done much buying/selling? or are they all your free players?

here's mine, i bought de bruyne and bertrand because i'm making a young chelsea team (de bruyne should be coming to chelsea next year, almost came this year but genk were being dicks), but apart from that it's all free dudes. Lucked out with Mertesacker and Eriksen! http://www.ea.com/soccer/fifa-ultimate-team/show-off#dJUF8mFXbbq2U

Posted by Alpha1

@cap123: Well in my free pack I got a regular Luka Modric but then i sold him for 30,000 then I bought 3 gold packs and got an In-form Luka Modric. I'm just going to do an all Premier League team first and then either a U-21 Spain or U-21 England side.

Edited by cap123

@Alpha1: 30k is madness, i've never got into that kind of money in the three years i've been playing it. My teams are normally 4 or low 5 star teams, with players you've heard of that aren't the best of the best. Players like Montolivo and Gilardino were the best it got, low 80 players. I think the most i've ever paid for a player is like 1500 coins which i spent on krasic! I'm pretty stingy :P

How do people even have 30,000 coins at this point? I guess they got lucky and sold all their players?