Why I’m Going Back To Pro Evo
September usually marks the beginning of the demise of my bank account when it comes to video games. After the summer drought September comes forth with its gaming goodness to quench the thirst for new titles. Week after week we see huge games being released and we are all left scrabbling around trying to find the pennies/trade-in credit to afford all of them. Even though I end up not being able to afford all these games at once I always end up purchasing a football game – it’s the law right? If you like the sport you have to buy a football game each and every year.
Ever since 1997 I had been a Pro Evolution Soccer player; to me it was always the best representation of the game I love so much (and injure myself playing) and it was for a long, long time. Then it started becoming stale and the old enemy, FIFA, started vastly improving (and copying PES in a lot of ways). In 2008 I finally lost my patience with PES’s lack of innovation and started playing FIFA. I have been playing it now for four years, but this year I will be going back to PES for the same reasons I left it in the first place.
So, here are the three main reasons why I will be returning to PES.
I was good at PES; I would win most matches online and during the offline mode I would blitz through on the hardest difficulty. I got bored, what’s the point of playing with little challenge. I was useless at FIFA when I first went over and still am while online, but the single player game is as dull as dishwasher and I’m looking for something to play when alone. I miss wanting to play a football game by myself and feeling a challenge. As well as being dull, the single player seasons including the ‘Be a Pro’ mode are not a challenge, even on the highest level. By reverting back to PES13 I would have missed four years of the game and it will feel like a challenge once again.
PES can be accused of being lazy in recent memory; there wasn’t really any innovation going on and that’s why a lot of people fled over to FIFA. This year, after playing both demos I feel there have been sufficient innovations; the biggest of which is the full manual passing/shooting options. I always remember being infuriated playing PES when you wanted the ball to go to one player and instead it went to another. The manual passing in previous titles were mapped to the right analogue stick and it just worked horribly. This year, by pressing L2/LT it brings up an arrow; you direct that with the right analogue stick, press the pass/shot button of your choice to the desired level and the ball will go exactly where you have asked it to.
Now, reading that back it actually sounds pretty complicated but it isn’t. I’m certainly no master at it and in the demo I over-hit or under-hit passes with alarming regularity, but that loops back into my first point and the challenge aspect. I have something new to try and overcome and be the best at.
It’s actually bloody good
It wasn’t just the lack of a challenge that drove me away from PES and kept me away since, the games just weren’t very good if truth be told. FIFA had the best iteration of football out there. This year I’m not so sure which one will have the best truest representation but I don’t find myself as concerned with that. You will never recreate that in a video game, you have to go and play in real life. But, the demos of PES I have played have shown the game is fun, plays great, looks decent (although it will never be favourably compared with FIFA in that department), has interesting innovations and will offer that challenge. Here’s hoping the online holds up as I remember dodgy connections in previous titles before I disappeared from the franchise.
FIFA is in its B year with no real innovation as far as I can tell and although I will undoubtedly play it over at friend’s houses it is Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 for me this year. Roll on 21st September.