April 01, 2020, 11:00:04 PM

Author Topic: PES 2009 at Leipzig  (Read 486 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bally

  • Hero Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 1552
    • View Profile
PES 2009 at Leipzig
« on: September 05, 2008, 03:22:00 PM »
PES 2009 at Leipzig

By: Steve Titchener
Friday, 22 August, 2008 
It’s fair to say that those expecting PES 2008 to deliver the first truly next gen iteration of the series were left wanting, and while it was undoubtedly still an enjoyable football title, it still felt mired in its PlayStation 2 roots. Seabass and the team have clearly benefitted from the critical mauling it received last time out, partly due to the stasis in which the series had found itself, and largely due to the huge advancements made in the FIFA games that were beginning to win over football fans.

Sitting pretty atop the bustling new feature list is ‘Become a Legend’, a mode that charts a single player’s rise up from the youth team all the way to International glory. Our initial reaction is one of unchecked cynicism, seeing as it so closely apes FIFA’s own ‘Be a Pro’ mode that has recently proved so successful – even the Konami rep at hand suffers a little slip of the tongue and calls it ‘Be a Pro’ when guiding us through the addition. But, we’re informed, it’s an extension of the ‘fix’ mode that has featured in many Pro Evo’s of the past. Given that we’re PES stalwarts that have rinsed every title dry since they moved to the PlayStation 2 and we’ve never noticed the mode before, we’d take point with Konami’s insistence that it was ‘popular’, but it’s still a fair addition that works well for its first time out. The camera’s takes a horizontal view on the pitch, zooming in on the player as necessary – which will all be familiar to anyone who’s delved in EA’s take on the single-player focus. Regardless it works, and in taking players from the pits of the youth team up to first team glory it could well have a little more depth than its counterpart.

The Master League, which has eaten up an ungodly amount of our leisure time in the past, gets a few enhancements, with multi-tiered deals as well as players reacting on the pitch to deals they find unfavourable – so field a wantaway force such as Ronaldo for United and you’ll see a performance that’s maybe lacking in commitment.

Following gripes about the threadbare edit options last time out, there’s now a full import mode, so despite the lack of licensing for the Premiership it’ll be a matter of weeks after release that some spod’s imported all the correct logos and made them available for download. Elsewhere, the not-so-new-now Wembley makes its debut appearance in a PES, and England sport their official kit, alongside the majority of other National teams, and Konami have also pulled off a licensing coup it’s currently unwilling to disclose that should finally appease the many who despair at the lack of official kits. A neat touch sees the ability to import sound files, so players can create their own chants – most of which are sure to turn the air blue.

Graphically, it’s perhaps the first time that PES has looked like a truly current gen game, with an enhanced lighting system that moves away from the all pervading sheen that blighted previous games. It’s a few marks short of the out-and-out realism of FIFA, but PES long ago carved its own niche with its visual style, and here it’s buffed close to perfection. There’s also LED hoardings implemented, though in all honesty in the cut and thrust of a game they’ll likely go unnoticed.

Of course what really matters is what goes on on the pitch, and here it seems as if Seabass and crew have looked to some of the peaks of the series, with the revered PES 5 being a clear point of reference. The ping and bounce that’s long marked out PES is intact, and when running in tandem with all the aforementioned improvements, it plays out a compelling game – so compelling that we began to wonder why it had been so long since we last picked up a PES game.

Keepers have been much improved, proving much more resilient and less likely to spill shots. Defensive animations have also been the subject of much work, and now have a whole new set of animations that make challenges for the ball seem much more realistic. The ball is an independent entity – something that’s always been the case with PES, but that’s more pronounced this time out. Completely malleable and reacting in a pleasingly lifelike fashion, it’s one aspect that PES definitely has over its chief rival.

One key addition that could tip the balance in PES’s
favour is Manual control, a mode that allows almost unprecedented control over the play. When PES hit the Wii last year, not only were we excited to see someone finally putting some thought into how best to utilise the Wiimote, but also eager to see what influence the all pervading control would have on the next generation of games on the PS3 and 360, and in Manual control we have our answer. It essentially gives complete control over when to switch players – and that extends to when you’re in possession of the ball. It means you can lay off a ball and continue a run off the ball, allowing some cunning plays for the quick minded. While it stops a little short of the complete control that made the Wii version so special, it’s still an interesting addition, and one that adds another level to an already deep game.

Some of the new features help enhace the game’s realism, with players calling for space and a sense of genuine intelligence from your teammates. The tweening animations have been smoothed out, so there’s a more natural flow, and the newer animations help lend games a more believable physicality. In fact, many of the improvements seem to take the game in the same direction as FIFA, and it’s almost eerie how both have come out with almost the same improvements on the pitch - but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they’re both shaping up to be great games.

It’s genuinely looking like it’s too close to call between both FIFA and PES this year, with Konami seemingly having addressed many of the issues with its last game, and EA consolidating what was already a comprehensive package. We’re looking forward to see which one wins out when the final whistle blows this October.

Empty barrels make the most noise