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Old 29 July 12, 19:05   #1
s33k3rgr
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PSN ID: s33k3rgr
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Athens---->Greece
Default My ultimate critique on PES13 demo (very long post warning)

My purpose with this thread is to give a mini review, having now played enough on the PC. PC gives you the chance to play more than 5mins halves, so i can make a better judgment. My point of reference will be Fifa cause i've been playing this title exclusively for the last 4 years without PES giving me any excuse to convert back.

The last 4 years i've been playing Fifa and i was very dissapointed with how PES was developing for next-gen . On the other hand Fifa made steady progress over the years making it better and better. Innovations such as 360 dribbling , manual controls , the impact engine and some game modes such as Clubs and H2Hseasons was some of Fifa's highlights. Even though Fifa reached a very good level it never hit perfection so we former PES fans had a hope that Konami could present something different from mentality and ethos perspective. Something that could reach Fifa's quality and even surpass it. We hope that PES could return to its roots, back to hardcore simulation.

Personally in Fifa i play with full manual controls in the PS3. As soon i started playing Fifa (it was Fifa 2009) i met some other manual players from the PS3 community and wa formed an online community called TAMFA (The All Manual Football Association - tamfa.com). From there we started making manual online leagues and we even made a Club manual team and we started playing other manual Clubs or non-manual random teams. No doubt , fun experience. As you may understand i think that manual controls should be a standard thing in future football titles. No assists should be allowed at least in the online department and if you want to be competitive and have fun. Giving players manual controls gives them the chance to express themselves freely in the pitch and also gives them the "opportunity" to make their own mistakes avoiding thus circumstances like the ping-pong passing (a scource for online players for both PES and Fifa).

Having made a legthy introduction (sorry about that!) i am coming slowly in the substance of this thread which is to make a review of the PES 2013 demo and to point out some of the possibilities that emerge in PES,Fifa and future football titles in general.

I haven't played PES 2012 because i didn't like it so much right from the start. So i can't use it as a point of reference. So my review will use some footballish criteria and in some points i will be refering to Fifa.

Passing

One of the most important parts of a football game. I liked the fact that manual passes are much better from previous PES versions. Its obvious that some serious job have been made there. Also non-manual passing is better (i use zero bars) but i would prefer a full manual system instead.

In this paragraph i would like to point out something specific regarding manual passing. It is hard for someone to make a manual pass and use dynamic one-two's in parallel. Someone has to be a magician to achive just that . In order for someone to make manual pass and one-two he has to hold L2,L1 and X button and then he has to give the first player a direction with the R stick. Not handy at all. If manual passing was the default option then thing would be better.

Another negative point arising from the fact that there is no full manual control system is that crossing is automatic enough so there is no satisfaction from pulling a good cross. Its a matter of luck and CPU.

That's for passing.


Momentum-Inertia

Very well represented on the demo. Players react realistically , for example when a player runs and loses tha ball then because of the momentum he's carrying drops out of the game for some few seconds and some other circumstances he loses balance and falls. Also there is a nice way for some player to push the ball in front of him while moving (open dribbling) . To do that you have to hold R2 and push R1 and direction when the player touches the ball.

In that department Pro is much better than Fifa. The sense of inertia in Fifa is pretty much non-existant and its one of the biggest deficiencies. I am wondering how can someone make so good animations but can't represent well inertia. I wish Fifa 13 will be better in this department.

Artificial Intelligence

In general i could say that good job has been done in this department especially on the defence. During panic situations in the box CPU makes right decisions and either clears the ball or when not in so much pressure move the ball away from the box with a pass. In the defence these CPU auto-intervension are crucial because otherwise there would be some non-realistic ridicolous goals. Not that now there are no ridicolous goals but now there seem quite realistic. I had one such occasion from a corner where the defence tried two times to clear the ball but came off attackers and defenders and then the attacker made no mistake to just tap the ball into the net. Looked very realistic.

Except Defenders we see realistic behavior from all the other players. Midfielders ask the ball or come close to get it. Also side backs make overlaps when the time is right. Attackers make some vertical runs off the ball and they open themselves to the side when the team is starting its attack from the back. All the above moves should happen a little more frequently in my opinion.

Also there are not many moves from the attacking players in the attacking side of the midfield. There should be more urgency there from the players but it could be the formation or the teams of the demo that have their limits. Overall its not bad but it could have been better.

It is widely known that one of Fifa's not great stuff is its AI. Players appear one-dimensional , static and as a result every team in Fifa is trying to play in a similar fashion. This have the consequence that there not a lot of midfield battles . This situation changes in the online multiplayer (manual controls) because there are some wrong passes for some player to pick up.


General movement - Animation - Dribbling

Animation appears more fluid. Deft touch dribbling is a very nice and clever addition and helps the player to keep the ball in some tight situations .In some cases deft touch dribbling gives the player the chance to get rid of his marker with a nutmeg or with a run around movement.

As much as animation seems improved though there is an urgent need for Konami to use a more advanced game engine that provide the background stuff needed to eliminate once and for all situations such as clipping (going through players like ghosts) and some robotic animations. Animations need to be more fluid and lifelike.

Fifa with the introduction of impact engine and using better animation engine have managed to make big progress year after year making PES look like a PS2 era game. However in Fifa also there is big room for improvement but the problems need to be solved by the developers is more managerial and not creative. Developers in Fifa have managed to find a way to produce whichever animation they can imagine but their struggle is that they have to find more efficient ways to give the player the chance to use those animations-moves. For example in Fifa in order to perform a skill move you should push a trigger button and them make a combination of moves with the R and L sticks. Not so simple. Not that it should be that simple to perform a sophisticated skill move but some simpler fakes should be easier than the current control system. In PES in order to perform some of those moves you have to push R and L stick only and not some skill trigger button.

I hope that Fifa 13 will set new standards in the animation field.


Shooting

Manual shooting is a nice addition but if we compare it to the Fifa shooting we notice that Fifa's manual shooting is more realistic along with ball physics in general. This offcourse relates also with the better goalkeepers of fifa. This year PES features improved goalkeepers though not at the level of the competition. There is room for improvement there.

In the demo i notice that shooting is kind of hard , harder than it should. Ok for some players like Ronaldo or Rooney it makes sense , but again it should be slightly more hard and not like double speed shoots.

Note : I haven't tried normal shoots cause i am not interested since i believe that manual controls is a must for those who seek serious competitive and fun games.


Dynamic one-two's

One brilliant addition which lacked since.....ever in any football game. Real players use one-two's for a variety of purposes. Strikers use it to come to face to face with the keeper, wingers use it to reach a good spot for a cross or cut inside, and sometimes defenders use it to relieve from being pressurized.

For future PES editions it needs to be taken notice and improved the behavior of the player we send for run. This player has to have a good sense of scope for which he makes the run in order to avoid being in offside positions and also when the move we order is to play the pass and cut inside then the player has to focus on how he will get rid of the markers and make himself available for the second pass.

Fifa need so desperately this feature. It is a must for future footie titles.

Camera's

I believe that PES camera options are much richer than Fifa's in general. I came to this conclusion after i used the demo tweak tools the PC offers , allowing you to customize the available cameras. Unfortunately these tools are not available to the PS3 and its a big plus for PC's.

I don't know though if these customized cameras can be used online. Someone who has played PES 2012 on PC can verify that.

I have to say that every camera has its positives and its negative points.

For example by putting the player changing cursor to be fixed a very good choice of camera is the "player" camera but max zoomed out and giving it maximum height in order to be able to see the pitch. When i used C.Ronaldo this particular choice of camera seemed almost perfect. Same thing happened when i picked G.Chiellini of Italy as my player. But this was not the case when i choose to control a midfielder (Deco of Fluminense) and ill explain further why that happened.

By choosing a central midfielder such as Deco , player which happen to be able to orchestrate the game from the midfield , my duty was to pick the right players to pass to and not make easy mistakes in my passing because when you lose the ball in midfield you run the danger of quick counter-attack. The camera "player" was not suitable for this particular duty because it spins to much around your midfield player and thus become confusing for picking passes and its even more difficult to make manual passes. In case of Deco the camera of choise was the classic "wide" camera with focus on player.

By putting the player changing cursor to be unassisted the camera that appealed more to me was "wide vertical" camera with focus on the player and not the ball. Its a pity that this particular cursor option (unassisted) is not available for online matches and i will explain further below why this is the case.

In general i believe that 3 key elements such as cursor-cameras-automated CPU moves when exist in a right balance then the gameplay could elevate to new heights in future football games.

Going further from the last paragraph i would like to expand my ideas deeper for those 3 key elements. So far it was a given fact for us that in football games why should take control of all the players and be responsible for all their controls, passes, shoots, crosses everything. But now things have changed with the introduction of more advanced AI and it becames unnatural and inhumane task to try to control all the players on the pitch. I noticed in the demo that when i had my cursor change option on "unassisted" then i had better control of my players thus i could control a pass better , i knew where it was better to move my player after the control and i was able to see much more passing options around the player i was controling. Off course this has to do also with the camera i choose.

I know that some people are not so fond of the idea of not having always the control of their players but this is the situation that arises from the advances being made in the AI. Perhaps future football titles will give us more managerial options as well as more "off the ball" options in order for the player to feel more active during the match. For example i can imagine voice commands or touch screens (such as the upcoming WiiU controller) can become very usefull in a football game as long as the implementation of such a project will be relevant and have football logic and not being absurd.

As we are reffering to the cameras this gives me the chance to point out some deficiencies if Fifa. There is no doubt that the current cameras on Fifa are really poor and could be improved a lot. Specifically the "Be a Pro" camera (the more dynamic type of camera's in Fifa) is completely awfull and has no to little use. Another thing is that in Fifa Clubs i've been using almost all the camera options and none of these seem convenient enough. Perhaps the only camera that has some potential is the "end to end" camera but again this particular camera gives you the limitation that you can see a vertical stripe of the field and there is no chance that you can see diagonally whats happening on the field. Maybe the game should take into account where the player we are controlling is facing giving thus the needed angle to the optical view of the camera. There is an endless room for improvements In Fifa's cameras but for some alien reason EA seem to not bother about it as if the currrent options provided are perfect.

In general the issues about the cameras are huge and needs an even closer look.

To be continued .........( Please leave your comments thus far)
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