Today is the day I feared – the release of the PES2013 demo on xbox live. You see my boy I am an enormous fan of Pro Evo and year after year it became worse and worse to the point were I just stopped playing it and hopped on the FIFA bandwagon. I would say as a huge fan of the PS2 versions of the series…there has not been one good Pro Evo in this current console generation, few would argue with me. While I enjoyed FIFA 10, liked FIFA 11 and love FIFA 12 there is this thing in the back of my head…it’s no Pro Evolution Soccer 4.
Even when I bought my Xbox 360 in 2005 (yip…it has been out that long!) i continued to buy Pro Evolution on the Playstation 2, basically because the formula was unchanged! It was simply a cash cow that I was more than happy to milk. I never liked FIFA as it was woefully unresponsive and charmless while Pro Evo offered freedom of movement due to the old super-cancel move and amazing shot selection. FIFA sucked…Pro Evo was for winners.
I started working in a games shop in 2005 and I still remember “Pro Evolution 5″ coming out and almost topping its great brother 4. I was amazed it was that popular, comfortably outselling FIFA in my personal experience. FIFA was boring, untouched and unimaginative – relying purely on it’s official kits and stadia. Pro Evo killed it again and marched forward to Pro Evo 6…and that’s where it started to suck!
Flash forward to today and things are radically different. I gave up on this thing called “PES” when I realised Pro Evo was passed it. FIFA rules the roost now and there has not been a good entry into the “PES” series since 2005. Today I downloaded the PES2013 demo after work and after reading good things on MCV, IGN and others. I was prepared to be disappointed for the sixth year running so no matter what happened it would have no affect on me as Iv been burned before! But my sweet Satan IT IS AMAZING!.
This is PRO EVO! Fluid, attacking football at tremendous pace. End to end football every single game. Player likenesses are fantastic and the new Player ID feature is really excellent. Picking up a ball with Christiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney with 5 yards of space ahead of you is really exciting….and simple…in a way. If you hold down RT/R2 you go into a skilled control mode. You simply flick the right stick Up or down or left or right or a combination of a few to pull of stepovers, drags, feints or whatever you’re having yourself and it is spectacularly effective and so bloody simple. One little press of the right stick while running at a player can completely take him out and leave you free for a 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper. Try that in FIFA now, it involves holding LT/L2 and then performing right stick Olympic type gymnastics with your contorted right thumb, rarely working well.
All of your old favourite moves are of course still there, the old “square X” move is still lethal while running at a player and the old “R1-R2 tap run” is still effective for creating space to cross. All of the things I hated about PES 11 and 12 have been tweaked and now make the game amazing. The manual pass has been tweaked so that the power is less ridiculous and the crossing has been improved.
But the main thing, and my number one gripe about these recent so-called Pro Evolution Soccer entries, the shooting…greatly improved. Shots no longer balloon over the bar even with the slightest of touches, they stay down and “stay hit”! So what makes this worlds ahead of the last PES?
I have the same feeling I had when I played ISS (the original name for Pro Evolution Soccer) as I do now. FIFA 98 and 99 were universally loved until ISS showed up. Now FIFA 11 and 12 are universally loved and PES 2013 is about to show up, it is that good.
Sure, the presentation issues and general menu dreariness are still there but who gives a flying arse?! The gameplay is fluid, fast paced and familiar. This game will blow FIFA players minds. No crappy AI, no well rehearsed routines and no freaking cut back goals! It takes thought and patience to be a Pro Evo master. Make no mistake, this IS NOT an easy game starting out as a FIFA guy.
This is hardcore gaming in a simplistic guise. It’s simple to play but it takes time to really get to grips with the intricacies of it’s sheer excellence. Just give it a chance and for the love of Satan look at the control differences …vital for attacking. If you try one of your contorting FIFA right stick skill moves your player will have a spasm on screen! The right stick is so wonderfully responsive that it takes care to perform. If you use a right stick movement your player will do it! No UP DOWN LEFT UP RIGHT while quarter circling the left stick just to pull off a stepover… just a well timed little tapa tapa up or down to burn a player.
A new feature – The nutmegs are AMAZING! If you hold RT and RB while running forward at a defender your player will automatically attempt to nutmeg him. I cannot begin to describe to you how satisfying that is when it comes off. Just like every aspect of this entry to the series it is spectacularly easy to pull off with good timing and it is completely fluid on screen. FIFA makes it look like a video game movement, this looks like an actual football match. I assume after a few weeks playing and attempting this it will become second nature, a wonderful type of second nature.
It will take a long time for Pro Evo to come back and take it’s old place as king of football sims but hell…it took EA Sports 12 years to become the recognised king. My faith in Pro Evo has been restored and if the games on the next console can match up to this world changing level of improvement they wont be stopped. Sunrise, sunset. This is no crappy PES title living on past glorys, this is Pro Evo. If the demo is this good I am salivating while waiting to see what the final version is like! Roll on October.
THIS IS PRO EVO!!! Welcome back old friend…iv missed you.
Repent! And you shall be saved,