Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 Playstation 3
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 Product Details
Released on 14-Oct-2011
- Active AI.
- Teamwork Control.
- Exclusive UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europe League.
- Extensive license package.
- My PES: Social network integration.
- Extended and optimized online gameplay.
- Smooth animations realized in less time.
- Physical 1-on-1 situations.
- New penalty shot system.
The Beautiful Game: 2012 Football Games Dissected
As soon as the first Premier League match gets under way, gamers know it's only a matter of weeks before they can start playing along at home. The virtual football season follows its real life counterpart so closely that excitement for them both overlaps into a frenzy of footy fanaticism. And things finally kick off this week, with a derby match that is now as familiar as anything involving teams with City and United in their name: FIFA vs Pro Evolution Soccer.
FIFA, the Man Utd of football gaming, dominates the conversation, of course. EA Sports has poured extra gallons of slick TV style presentation into the 2012 edition, and gone the extra mile in improving gameplay both on and off the pitch.
Three big changes have been made to the match gameplay, of which the Impact Engine is the most obvious. This is a physics model that governs every challenge, tackle and foul, making players move and interact far more realistically. Tactical Defending deepens this system, with the emphasis now on positioning your defensive line and pressuring the opposing team, boxing them in manually rather than sending the AI to get the job done. And Precision Dribbling offers benefits on the other side of the equation, allowing attackers to maintain close control while jogging, fending off tackles on the move.
Throw in a much richer Career Mode, with media and management issues as important as tactical decisions, and the new EA Sports Football Club, which links your account and progress across all FIFA branded games, and you've got a seriously impressive distillation of the sport.
What has Pro Evo brought to the pitch to combat this ruthlessly driven assault? Refinements and tweaks, mostly, although there's certainly something to be said for concentrating on getting the details right, rather than coming up with new features for the sake of it.
Key for Pro Evo fans will be Teammate Control, which allows you to control a second player with the right stick, moving them into position for the perfect pass or interception. It sounds confusing, and it is tricky to master, but the benefits are enormous and there are varying levels of manual control available to ease you in. Goalkeepers and referees have been tickled with the AI feather, making them more reliable and realistic in their responses.
Is that enough to topple FIFA from its throne? Probably not, but it definitely makes Pro Evo a much stronger game and should encourage a few die hard fans to try both of them.
And what of the more cerebral player? The sort of player who knows what 'cerebral' means. For them, the long dark nights ahead are simply an invitation to lose themselves in the warm, comfortable bosom of Football Manager 2012.
SEGA's award-winning, best-selling management sim somehow gets better every year, and this year is no exception. It's more flexible than ever this season, with off-pitch decisions getting some extremely interesting adjustments. Transfers and youth contracts are more detailed than ever before, and you can use loyalty bonuses to keep your best players happy. Equally, when negotiating that new contract, you'll have more control over where you compromise or when to stand firm. Team talks now offer five different tones, ranging from cool and level-headed, to raging tantrum.
It all comes together to create an experience where you really feel like a football manager. Not just someone clicking on a game, but a personality within the game, making decisions based on live data. It is, in many ways, the most realistic footy game around.
And if all that joypad and keyboard action has left you feeling a bit flabby and lethargic, why not just fire up Kinect Sports and boot a few penalties of your own? Football's coming home, and we couldn't be happier!
With another new season on the horizon and continued pressure from arch-rival FIFA in the battle for virtual football glory, PES 2012 (Xbox 360, PS3), steps up to the plate with a range of improvements over last year's edition, alongside a few of its seemingly ever-present quirks. While it may lack most official team licenses - although it does have the Champions League competition – and the commentary and crowd sounds are still as poor as ever, PES sparkles in several ways.
Visually, in some departments at least, it's arguably the best-looking football game yet. The stadium environments are excellent, with a quality lighting system and use of shadows adding weight and dimension to the stands, the players and the pitch itself. Player likeness is equally impressive in places, although star names appear to have been given more attention to detail than less well known players.
On the pitch the game has made some significant strides too. Your team-mates are much smarter this year when it comes to positioning, especially up front where strikers are better at making darting runs through the opposition's defence. But if you want to take greater control of proceedings, you can direct a team-mate's run yourself with the right stick. This is also the case when it comes to free kicks and throw-ins, meaning you can actually position a second player exactly where you want them to be rather than just delivering a hopeful ball into the box, as has been the case in previous PES games.
Compared to FIFA the general flow of games, from passing to shooting, is zippier and more arcade-like, resulting in faster-paced, end-to-end action and unpredictable results. Displaying what feels like an aversion to actually catching the ball, goalkeepers can be a bit of a liability. Opting to parry or punch the ball in almost every situation, they're not very realistically presented, although their inability to effectively pluck the ball out of the air leads to plenty of exciting, frantic goal mouth scrambles.
The game now supports online play for up to eight players simultaneously, while the online matchmaking system has been improved to ensure you're more likely to be pitched against a rival whose manner resembles your own, meaning those with poor reputations will be pitted against one another, leading to a smoother, improved multiplayer experience. Additionally, players disconnecting to thwart a defeat will also be blocked from certain competitions.
An impressive range of game modes mean there's something on offer for all types of football fan, from those just interested in playing to those who want to take a more hands-on approach to team matters and off the field affairs. In Become a Legend, you receive agent support and complete coaching missions in a bid to become a legendary player, while the returning Master League mode sees you take control of a team, buying, selling, training and playing your way to world-beating stature. A new addition to the series is Club Boss mode, where you try your hand at running a club as an owner, guiding it financially.
Top of the table
PES 2012 might not be as accurate a football simulation as FIFA 12, but if you're looking for a more entertaining game of attacking football - and don't mind the odd moment of goalkeeper-inspired craziness – then you should look no further this year's title.
With a wealth of improvements both on and off the pitch, PES 2012 represents a strong showing for the long-running, much-loved football franchise.
+ Fast-paced, exciting gameplay
+ Something for every type of player.
+ Looks great.
- Lack of official licenses.
- Commentary isn't great.
- Goalkeepers are unreliable.
Facebook app myPES launches for PES 2012
Konami has announced the launch of the new myPES Facebook application to accompany its new football game PES 2012.
The full version of the revolutionary free application allows Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC owners to easily share results from multiplayer matches and create their own tailor-made leagues via their Facebook walls.
It syncs automatically with the popular social network website and automatically update league tables as and when matches are played.
Those who download the free app can also unlock a number of in-game bonuses, receiving double game points and special rewards when they fulfil specific criteria.
PES 2012 is now available in stores for high-definition formats and is billed as one of the biggest evolutions in the series to date, with new features such as the ability to control two players at once.
Don't call it a comeback
The digital version of the beautiful game has undergone quite the facelift over the last few years. Back in 2007 Pro Evolution Soccer was the purists' king, but FIFA had a king's ransom in annual income to make itself feel better about "only" being the more commercially successful game. As of last year, the boots were on the other feet: FIFA was the critical darling, a champion of simulated football, and PES was rebuilding its fortunes but still unfinished.
This year though, we're spoiled for choice. FIFA 12 is a masterpiece of simulation its new tactical defending system teaches you to defend properly, the Impact Engine transforms the physical side of the game into a believable tussle, and precision dribbling gives you more creative outlets than ever before. Meanwhile, PES is back on form as well.
Ironically, PES is now better looked at as an arcade football game. It can't hope to compete with FIFA's amazing physics, animations and game balance, so instead it goes all-out attack, allowing you to tear all over the pitch with the ball at your feet at lightning speed, passing the ball around quickly and accurately while peppering the opposing goal with shots. Defensively it's bewildering you mostly just halt the attacking onslaughts by good fortune but it's a price we're willing to play when the gallivanting offence is so pleasurable.
There are still some tweaks that need to be made by the developers, like goalkeepers who can't catch the ball and frequently let shots zoom past them in comical fashion when they really should be at least parrying them but the majority of last year's more glaring issues, like perfectly good slide tackles being called as fouls, have been resolved. It's still too easy to score from crosses, but it's no longer a foregone conclusion, and the score lines are sensible.
In the dugout
Off the pitch the famous Master League, where you take a team of nobodies from obscurity to hopefully global superstardom, has been updated with a new, more visual approach that stuffs your custom avatar into a suit and plonks him in the back office and on the touch line. It's not just a superficial gimmick though your man now regularly meets face to face with the first-team coach, who dispenses advice about player morale and upcoming opposition tactics.
The game still lacks some of the bigger licences, so there's no official Premier League and half the teams there have silly names Merseyside Red for Liverpool, London FC for Chelsea and some transfers haven't gone through yet, so Juan Mata is still at Valencia. (Arsenal fans sorry, North London FC fans won't mind though as it means they still have Nasri and Fabregas. Sniff.)
But the UEFA Champions League and Copa Libertadores licences are in place, so those modes are incredibly slick and full of little details that match the television presentation, making them feel authentic. Meanwhile, the online play is actually really good in our test matches, there was very little lag and control was fast and fluid, meaning that even though the game is very dribbling-intensive it still handles properly over the internet.
Visually it's also getting much closer to FIFA, with excellent player-likenesses and some very nice animations. It's not quite as meticulous with the latter, but there's a characteristic visual charm to the way PES articulates player behaviour and movement that does enough to win you over. The commentary is much the same as last year, with Jon Champion and Jim Beglin doing their worst, but we're used to them by now.
Back of the net
It's taken a few years, then, but PES 2012 is a massive return to form. There are quirks and bugs in its fast, attack-heavy approach to football, and games are just as often punctuated with howls of laughter at weird physics glitches as they are with cries of delight at superlative footballing skill, but if you love football then you should have no difficulty loving what's on offer here. FIFA 12 is the better simulation, but perhaps this is more fun over the long haul.
+ Fast, flowing attacking football
+ Great player likenesses
+ Official Champions League licence
- Still quite buggy
- Not enough real teams and leagues
- Defending is a lotter
Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has achieved a social media milestone after racking up an impressive five million "Likes" on Facebook.
To celebrate the occasion, PES cover athlete and official spokesperson Cristiano Ronaldo has recorded a special message to the game's five million online fans.
Gamers who go to the page and view the video will even be able to enter a special competition to win one of five football shirts signed by the Portugal and Real Madrid superstar.
The game introduced a number of innovative new features to the classic formula, including improved AI and off-the-ball player control, as well as a wide variety of modes and options.
It has since also been released in an enhanced handheld edition on Nintendo 3DS.
The Beautiful Game: 2012 Football Games Dissected…
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 Review (04/10/2011)
With another new season on the horizon and continued pressure from arch-rival FIFA in the battle for virtual football glory, PES 2012 steps up to the plate with a range of improvements over last year'…
Facebook app myPES launches for PES 2012 (17/10/2011)
Konami has announced the launch of the new myPES Facebook application to accompany its new football game PES 2012.…
The digital version of the beautiful game has undergone quite the facelift over the last few years. Back in 2007 Pro Evolution Soccer was the purists' king, but FIFA had a king's ransom in annual inco…
Pro Evolution Soccer series receives … (31/01/2012)
Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has achieved a social media milestone after racking up an impressive five million "Likes" on Facebook.…
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