Clash Of The Footballing Demo Titans
With this year’s more heavily publicised gaming face-off between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 taking all the limelight, it’s easy to forget about one of this year’s other big face-offs. I’m talking, of course, about English sports teams vs. success. They’ve never quite been able to get a grip of success in the past few years, although their recent win in the Rugby World Cup against the “bleedin’ Argies”, as my one part wise, one part clinically insane and offensive Papa put it, they may actually be getting close – for once. With the country’s number one sport set to hit the gaming scene for another year over the next few weeks, both EA and Konami have released the final demos for FIFA 12 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2012. Now that both have hit various online marketplaces, it would seem like a good time to take a somewhat satirical look at this year’s third biggest face-off and compare some key areas.
The Intros: Our first topic for comparison is also our most closely contested section. FIFA 12 kicks things off with its cover athlete, which is usually well and good, but unfortunately EA Sports have chosen Shrek to come back for another year, an off-putting sight indeed. PES spares us the nightmare looks of husband of the year Rooney in favour of a near ten minute, unskippable intro video showing off the features that are never going to be as good as FIFA’s – a formidable opponent for Mike Myers’ CG counterpart indeed. Our verdict? This round has to go to FIFA, with Rooney’s ugly mug being only slightly more preferable to ridiculously long, unskippable intro video in PES – but only just.
The Menus: While FIFA’s menus have been admittedly a bit crap in recent years, EA seem to have pulled the finger out and designed something that’s slightly functional and appealing to the eye. The PES menus, however, look like they were designed by an eccentric Japanese kid who has just discovered their first silver and blue gel pens, but fortunately they are slick in their navigation. Our verdict on this round? Again, FIFA takes top spot due to being actually somewhat appealing to the eye, unlike the epilepsy-inducing design of PES.
The Commentary: Gone are Andy Gray’s dulcet Jock tones and questionable sexist remarks, and EA Sports have brought, or should I say “bwought”, in Alan Smith to replace him. On the PES side, we get the rather minimalist approach of… err, nothing. Konami don’t like to include commentary in the demo, they obviously don’t want people to see even virtual commentators get confused over bugs before release. Don’t worry though, they will be in the full release. Still, we must compare what we are given. Our verdict? Actually, PES takes this round. There’s only so much “Pedwo”s a man can listen to before going insane, so nothing is better than something in this case.
The Player Rosters: As we all know, having an up-to-date roster in a football game is a hugely important thing. This makes it easy to find each player in the editor and transfer all the good players to Manchester United. What, doesn’t everyone do it? Anyway, let’s look at how up-to-date each game is. FIFA 12 seems to be spot on, with each player on the demo teams available currently at the club as well as the new players, unless you’re Arsenal who seem to have been caught in a time warp. Konami, however, seem to be a bit behind in that department. Or they know something we don’t. In the world of PES, Samuel Eto’o seems to have left the vodka-guzzling motherland of Russia to return to Italy for some more sweet, sweet match fixing. Our verdict? FIFA is the definite winner here, but kudos to Konami for managing to actually get some real players in their game. Makes a change from the usual PES trend.
The Gameplay: Finally, the most important aspect of them all. Do these games play like the beautiful game, or like the Craggy Island Priests Over-85 5-a-side games? In the case of FIFA, its formula is as smooth as a baby’s bottom, despite the horrid penalty system. PES however does not seem to include a penalty system, at least not for the player. The AI are so good at pinpoint tackles, you’ll never get a penalty. I think it’s all a ploy by Konami to disguise the fact that they don’t actually have a penalty system in place. Scoop! Other areas where PES falters include rubber-banding of defensive AI, awful goalkeepers and the fact that shots are magnetised to hit ten foot over the goal. Our final verdict? You’d be expecting FIFA to win this one, but you’re wrong, and that’s because PES has one secret weapon. You can clear the ball from your box by doing an overhead kick. Category instantly won.
So there you have it folks, with a slender 3-2 victory as FIFA takes the honours. Of course, none of this may be fact, but we’ll have to wait until their prospective releases to cast a real verdict. Needless to say, MediaKick will have reviews for both games. Will they be as in-depth and analytical as this piece?
Well… yeah, definitely.