Consolation wars

I’m heading to the end of my first season with Catania in season 3 of my BaL career. Wednesday’s post should see it finished. My only aim this season is for us to qualify for Europe next season. The league position is rather precarious (sorry about the glare):

With just a few matches left, a run of indifferent results has seen us fall out of the top 6 into mid-table. We’re currently 11th. But there’s only a few points between us and that precious European qualifying zone.

I’m still on starvation rations as regards my football gaming. I manage just a few matches per session, and some days I don’t play at all. This is a sea change for me. I’ve had bad next-gen PES years before (haven’t we all), but my interest in football gaming has never waned until now.

What is going on here? Is it simply the natural passage of time, ageing, and the inevitable change in habit and routine? Or is it a sneaking, chronic disaffection for what has been, even at its height, a considerably less than illustrious showing for PES in the next-gen era? Which is now getting on for 6 years old. They got the first effort right, IMO, with PES6 on the 360 back in 2005. But it’s been mostly downhill ever since.

I have now pretty much accepted that PES2011’s orthodox full-team game is dead for me. I’ll never play it again. If I want Master League, I’ll have to go elsewhere. PES2011 is over for me, and in truth it’s been over for a long time. I no longer see any of the subtleties that so many others see in the game. It’s a wry inversion of last year, when I loved PES2010 despite so many others seeing it as a troubling, retrograde step.

I might end up breaking PES2010 out of mothballs. But we’ll see. There are plenty of options, really. But for now, I am still involved in my BaL career.

Catania are fighting for that Europa League place. There’s would be no better stage for growing my player’s stats than European competition. Catania have to be there next season. I intend to stay at the club no matter what, but it would sweeten the pill if I could rely on European football.

I’m turning in a lot of indifferent performances. 6.0 and 6.5 are my most frequent post-match ratings lately. Occasionally I have also been subbed for the first time in a long while. And they’re justified subsititutions on each occasion. I seem to spend many games now just watching my teammates bumble and stumble around whenever an opposing player brushes them.

BaL is very much a consolation prize. I don’t really love it, as is probably obvious to most regular readers—but I like it just enough to go on playing it.

Updated: 28th March 2011 — 12:11

32 Comments

  1. What is going on here? Is it simply the natural passage of time, ageing, and the inevitable change in habit and routine? Or is it a sneaking, chronic disaffection for what has been, even at its height, a considerably less than illustrious showing for PES in the next-gen era?

    I think it’s the latter — at least that would sum up my stance towards NGPES.

    I am of course, loving the wii version and have blown a bit of dust off my Defaults-only PES6 game, which I might someday complete.

    It’s not over for the title until they cancel it, but at this rate, I don’t believe they are capable of making a great next-gen game anymore. I just don’t. Like any good rationalist, I would say “where is the evidence?” Was PES 2011 an improvement over 2010? Not in terms of playability or longevity for me. More animations over a crap engine riddled by aggravating flaws can’t be considered an improvement over a clunky-looking game over a crap engine riddled by aggravating flaws.

  2. ck—the only point I’d disagree on there is PES2010, which for me was the high point of next-gen PES (PES6(360) partly excepted)—making PES2011 actually a retrograde step. For many people PES2011 is their PES2010, but I think everyone would agree that the sun has all but set on the PES Empire—relative to its Golden Age, of course, which I’d peg at approx. 2003-2006. Its Silver Age was the ISS/PES crossover period 1998-2002. Its Bronze Age would be 1997 and before, with the various N64 and SNES efforts. The current spell since 2007 can only be Pro Evolution Soccer’s Dark Age, or The Age of Confusion. Something like that.

    I mean what I say in today’s post: as soon as BaL is over, PES2011 is over. Playing BaL for 90% of the past few months has been another factor in my reduced football gaming time, actually. Playing so much of the solo-player game means I’m possibly deconditioning myself to the ‘proper’ 11 vs 11 game. I have an awful feeling that’s what’s going on.

  3. i feel the same way. im nt liking any football game. i thought playing in a final for the first time might lfit my spirits about the game but when it cam to final day against juventus i was suspended. i was so frustrated. tro make it worse we lost 2-0. i feel i could of made a difference in that game if i was playing. maybe my last hopw will be marseille. even if i do move im still getting very board of both fifa and pes. i jst cant play them for more than 3 matches. i hardly play them everyday. mayb i might test out pes 2008 on the ps2 again and see how that feels. might return to my ML and see how long i can play until i gt board.

  4. Generally, I do feel the same as most others when it comes to the next gen games, but I still keep playing PES. The fact that there are more modes to play with, makes it that little bit easier to switch when you are gettin worked up or bored with one particular mode.

    I tend to go back to other modes when I have had enough time to forget whether I stopped because the game annoyed me or just loss of interest. This helps me with updating content on my PES blog too.

    Do you have this view or do you just stick to one mode?

  5. @not-Greg:

    Yes, that’s the only place where we differ, I think — you really enjoyed 2010 and got a lot of hours out of it. I found 2010 unpalatable after a fairly short run (I spent more time editing Master League than playing it, IIRC — I think I finished two seasons in ML before giving up) due to the kind of niggling annoyances that have driven us both to despise 2011.

    I’m amazed you still play 2011, but I totally understand the appeal of BAL. I did squeeze a few seasons of BAL out of my 2010 game, and scored a goal in a losing effort in the World Cup final for the USA. (See, who says PES is a sim? The USA in the final of a World Cup? lol.)

    We can sit here and say, “if they’d only fix this laundry list of problems, it’d be a great game,” and we’d be right, but what makes us think they are capable of doing that, and not including more bugs, or stumble animations or a game-wrecking leaden first touch included to “improve defending.”

    Their vision is the problem, and that isn’t going to get better next year.

    The PES team is engineering for results, rather than trying to model the real game. (I can expand on what I mean by that if it isn’t clear.)

  6. ali—I thought PES2008 on PS2/PSP was one of the best PES games ever, and I still play odd matches of the PSP version to this day. If that had been the successor to PES6 instead of its next-gen namesake, i.e. if Konami had held back the buggy, glitchy next-gen version and spent another year on it, well, we might be in a very different place today.

  7. The Dribbler—what I say on the blog is what I’m playing, usually. Over the past 6 weeks or so I’ve sometimes had sneaky ML sessions without mentioning them, but they’re over now and won’t be happening again. As I’ve said many times, for me a football game is its career mode (its full-team career mode), and everything else in it is an add-on that I’m used to more or less ignoring.

  8. ck—I don’t think I really am still playing PES2011—instead, I’m playing the BaL mode within it, which isn’t the core gameplay of PES2011, which I have come to genuinely loathe. In BaL I still do see all the step-arounds, stumbles, running-in-superglue moments upon receiving the ball, elephant touches, and all the rest of it, but in a solo-player mode they less intolerable.

    Way back at the turn of the century, I read an article in a games magazine (remember them?!) about the genesis of the ISS/PES ethos. Seabass said that when they decided to make a soccer game, they watched hundreds of hours of tapes of real matches, and made their game based on what they saw. So instead of merely a computer game based upon football (i.e. old-school FIFA), what resulted was a football game in computer game form (vintage ISS/PES)—that’s the PES ethos that built the Empire that is now crumbling/has crumbled. For all that I genuinely loved PES2010, it was the best of a bad bunch. I’d put all the PS2 games before it, and most of the PS1 games too.

  9. Can see why you are all aggrevated and frustrated by PES 2011, it has so many small things that really should just not be there that ultimately add up to making the game unplayable for some.
    I have been down this road before with PES11, but persevered, adapted the way I play the game and will go aganist the ethos here by saying that Im loving PES11 now, and would probably say that its my favourite PES title Bar PS3.
    The reason I say PES3 is because it was the first PES title id ever played, after always buying FIFA, and the freedom and change was massive for me, so instantly loved it.
    Of course i still see things in PES 11 which completely dumbfound and annoy me and make me think ‘how the hell was that not spotted/fixed’ but they happen so infrequently now that they are ignorable.

    I really do think though that to fully enjoy ML you have to be patient and persevere, the game plays horribly when you have a bunch of 50-60 rated players, the responsiveness, sluggishness, stumbles etc all rear their head the worst here.
    My current ML team doesnt have ANY big names in, but all players are rated between 72 – 92.
    This has come from shrewd buys and developing players, including youths.
    Ettori, Oscar and Fatecha are still with me 10 seasons in, Ettori is now rated 88 OVR.
    When you start to build a better team and play the game the ‘right’ way then it becomes a different monster, you can have some beautiful games.
    I say play the game the ‘right’ way, of course they shouldnt be a ‘right’ way to play a footy video game, just YOUR way, thats one criticism of PES 11 i guess, but as my tips last week, confirmed by Not-Greg show, there are little ways of improving gameplay that when you think about it, make real some, in the real world.
    Timed, controlled sprints, body position for jostling etc …
    Konami really do need to fix the appalling things with PES 11 like player switching, collision detection, referees and get rid of the silly stumble animations and so forth but I really do think PES11 is a solid base for future growth of the series, and its definitely NOT in sharp decline as seems to be the feeling on this blog.
    I played one game of FIFA yesterday, absolutely horrible, absolutely no time to play any football, its a matter of get rid of the ball as quickly as you can, to a fast player and run run run cut back and shoot!

    I know where my optimism lies for future footy titles that we can all enjoy, and its definitely not in Canada.

  10. I’ve been a silent reader of your blog for a while (this is my first comment) just wanted to say thanks for providing the best PES blog on the web.

    What level do you play on PES 2008 PS2/PSP? I’m afraid I just can’t enjoy this game 🙁

    It seems the AI of your central defenders part like the red sea, whilst at the same time an opposition player runs right through them. This is due to the opposition AI preferring to go on long solo runs, rather than pass it to the player next to them.

    For me, the only way of fixing this AI flaw is to downgrade the difficulty by one level (which I think is called ‘Amateur’, as I usually play ‘Regular’). The AI seems more willing to pass the ball more on this level, rather than going on a solo-run. However, it does mean I have to hold back more whilst playing due to it being a lower difficulty level.

    Which is a shame, as I really enjoy playing the International qualifying matches against teams you don’t usually see on PES (like San Marino and the Faroe Islands).

    For me, PES6 is the best version for the PS2/PSP. I’ve nearly finished editing all the teams/players for the current season and soon I’ll lose my life again within the bosom of its Master League mode 🙂

    On a side note, I still play my Master League career on PES3 too. Probably the best £2 I’ve ever spent on a computer game.

  11. Paul—I disagree that it’s about perseverance. True, there are many who might only have given PES2011 a few hours before abandoning it, but there are also many who have given the game considerably more time who have come to see it in a bad light. I played PES2011 for hundreds of hours and built a team of top players over 9 full seasons in Master League. My latter, high-rated ML players—all in their 80s and 90s OVR, with supporting stats to match—seemed to stumble and bumble and elephant-touch their way through match after match.

    I’m thoroughly tired of next-gen PES games being described as solid bases for future growth. I want jam today, not tomorrow, and definitely not next year. After 4 years I’m entitled to expect that. And after 4 years of no jam (PES2010 partly excepted, for me; PES2011 for others), at this stage it’s legitimate to wonder if the jam will ever be forthcoming.

    I don’t really know where FIFA and Canada (?!) come into the equation. Japan isn’t a traditional footballing nation either, but they had no trouble providing us with footy gaming greatness for a decade or more.

    But that’s a moot point—poor old FIFA’s decline from its peak with FIFA08/09 is the other great mysterious story of next-gen football gaming. Being critical of PES isn’t an endorsement of FIFA, as seems to be a common misperception right across the PESverse. “Go play FIFA!” is a hollow cry on so many levels. (I’m not saying that’s what you were saying, it just strikes me as peculiar that FIFA always crops up in the context of PES criticism, as if the only alternative to bad PES is FIFA. No: the alternative to bad PES is good PES!)

    FIFA’s not even a factor for me in considering my views on PES. And that’s all they are really, when it comes down to it—personal views conditioned by numerous factors. As I’ve said, I’m happy that PES2011 is to many what PES2010 was for me, i.e. the best PES has had to offer so far post-PS2.

  12. Jon—thanks for your comment, and to echo your last point first, the best £2 I ever spent on a football game was on the Xbox360 version of PES6. It might nto be long before I go back to finish my unfinished business with that game. I’ve had an ML career going on that thing for 3 years now….

    I play/played the PS2/PSP version of PES2008 on Top Player for all but my first days with the game (which were waaay back in 2008 itself now). That thing with the central defenders parting and standing out near the full-backs has been a problem in PES for a few years.

    I applaud your self-control in playing on a lower difficulty level. I know I could never do it, bit the lengths people will go to to preserve their real love for this series constantly amazes me. As you’ve probably seen recently, PES2011 has gone badly wrong for me, and after all the recent history of PES I’m pretty disgusted. But I still can’t walk away! I’m playing BaL, for now, and when that ends (might be soon), I’ll be back on PES6(360) or PES2010. I just can’t quit….

  13. Firstly let me just say that Ive shared, and still do to some extent, the grievances your having with PES11, ive seen it all too, and been annoyed, exasperated etc etc, have also put in hundreds of hours of play time and all I was saying is that for me, personally, ive adapted to really enjoy the game.
    Maybe there are some proof in the murmurings that PES11 plays differently on different systems etc.

    I totally 100% agree with you that by now, we should have had the ‘Jam’ and be licking our sticky little fingers, but alas, for whatever reason, we dont quite have it, and no ranting about it here will make Konami change their plan for the next few years or magic up some mega all conquering title instantly, so best we can do is look forward.
    My reference to Canada was basically saying I dont see the future of footy gaming being forged there, as EA Sports are based in Canada and produce FIFA, ie, i dont think FIFA is the way forward for the reasons i mentioned.

    Oh by the way, I picked up PES6 on XBOX 360 for 99p a few months ago 🙂

  14. Paul—it didn’t take me long to crack, I’ve just picked up a 3DS with PES2011. I’m on the bus home with it now. Traded in a DSi and about 12 games, paid just 90 quid in the end. I’ll probably have some words about how PES2011 plays on Friday 😉

  15. Haha theres no greater lure than a gleaming new gadget!!!
    Did you get the blue one? they do look nice.
    Yeah share your thoughts on PES 3D when you can, i only played a 5min half so hard to tell by that.

    Maybe a Master league beckons ???!

  16. Hey Paul, any further thoughts on PES/3DS? I’ve given up on the PC version after my BaL transfer debacle, and finding FIFA harder to get into this year (a shame, as passing and shooting are spot on at last, it’s just all too cramped and frantic). Just got my 3DS and am very tempted by PES despite some mixed reviews, particularly if it’s a port of the Wii gameplay that ck and bbl rave about here!

    My own view of NGPES is now pretty negative; to me its problems run deeper than a list of silly little faults that Konami has carelessly allowed through. The game ‘engine’ (for want of a better word) seems to have lost the smoothness and playability of PS2 versions, and these little faults are side effects of its fundamental awkwardness. Presumably it will be quite difficult/expensive to fix this. In contrast all EA really needs to do (in my eyes) is slow the action down and spread the game out a bit – not that I think they will!

  17. apologies, I posted this before reading the previous 2 comments

  18. Paul—it’s charging now. I always do a full charge first thing with a new chargeable gadget. I must say I’m very impressed with the device’s build quality. That’s one solid metal chunk of gadgety goodness. I’ll be very interested to see how integral or not the 3D experience may prove to be. I’d be perfectly happy just with it being a 2011-era DS system.

    They only had the black one in GAME, which was the one I wanted anyway.

    I would have picked up a couple of other games but knew I’d only have time for PES today, so just got that. I can order Ghost Recon from Amazon for £10 cheaper than in-store.

    I’ll try to post a comment here later with very, very first impressions, but will probably save it for tomorrow’s post.

  19. abbeyhill—re. the 3DS PES, as soon as it’s charged I’ll do my usual England-Scotland/England -Germany/first few matches of an International Tournament thing, and post my very first impressions back here in a comment later.

    Re. FIFA11, that’s so true about its superb shooting and excellent passing being let down by the overall game. On day 1 with FIFA11 I spent an hour in the Arena literally just shooting, and it was a joy. The actual game is too frantic, as you say, and my old bugbear of the effectiveness of sprint-pressuring as a ball-winning tactic just won’t go away. I hate what that thing—double-sprint-pressuring—has done and is doing to football gaming, because it seems undeniable to me that EA and Konami are shaping their products to meet the expectations of those 99% of online players for whom the sprint-clamp is normal.

    I’m firmly in the negative camp. For many reasons I don’t think PES or FIFA will ever be the game(s) I want them to be. It’s PES that causes me the most anguish. FIFA seems to be travelling full circle and is well on its way back to being a joke IMO.

  20. @Paul:

    I really appreciate your point of view. I’m glad to hear that you’re getting so much out of the game, and you make me want to fire 2011 back up and see if maybe . . . maybe if I squint . . . 😀

    @not-Greg:

    Seabass said that when they decided to make a soccer game, they watched hundreds of hours of tapes of real matches, and made their game based on what they saw.

    Absolutely right. And now, I feel they are designing to make sure that games remain “challenging” or finish as low-scoring affairs, etc.

    The wretched first touch of even the best PES 2011 players is a sterling example. That’s a decision made for game balance, not to model real life. Why is scoring a goal so hard in football? It’s not because top players need five yards to control a pass. The leaden touch exists to give the defenders time to regain their shape, or on higher difficulties, perform their magical full-field press.

    The one counter-point to my overall negativity is a notion that seems to be gaining some traction on teh intarwebz that PES 2011 is the first installment of a two-year cycle, and some of the clumsiness of the game comes from not having enough time to really do all the new animations justice. If that is the case, and the game plays up to its promise next year, then I hope I am the first to throw out a hearty mea culpa, because I really want an excellent next-gen PES!

  21. not-gregg,abbeyhill – i feel fifa passing is terrible. the power bar for passing seem pretty usuless for me. when i put full power in a pass it goes to som1 right next to me. i put full power for a reason. also the through ball is terrible in fifa IMO. i feel pes passing is much better. you can play a killer through ball to cut the defence. i can rarley do this in fifa.

  22. Mixed bag of comments there, which is good as thats what keeps a good blog lively.
    Id say my first impressions of the Nintendo 3DS are promising, even if you turn the 3D slider down to off, PES looks like a a good HD version of PES6 on it, how it plays though, i havent had more than a couple of minutes on it whilst being given the Game sales rep Schpeel so hard to gauge that.

    I am currently getting alot out of PES 11 and enjoying it immensely, im seeing less and less of the annoying parts which is good, for me personally anyway, but i dont disagree with everyone else thats fed up with it, the bad points are definitely there.

    FIFA is a non entity for me, as Ali said, the passing is monotonous, full powered passes seem to float whimsically across to the player, shooting is pretty damn good but its rare you ever get to unleash a decent shot as its always blocked or deflected.
    Abbeyhill summed it up perfectly, FIFA is too Frantic and cramped. There is no room to express individuality on the pitch with any player, its just get rid of the ball as soon as u can and hold L1, run, sprint cut back, shoot….. horrid!
    EA sell millions, they have received plaudits ever since FIFA 08, they wont change their core game any time soon.
    I really do believe and hope that Konami, with their newly fan-based feedback vehicle in place will greatly enhance PES for next years title.
    I still feel like im playing a big important game when i load up PES, for me the atmosphere encapsulates that of real life football quite well, in FIFA, it feels like a plastic coated kick about.

    @Not-Greg … get a little gameplay vid and initial comments of the 3DS PES up when you can mate, the girlfriend has got me one for my birthday in June so will have to wait til then.

  23. ck—since PES2009 appeared and wasn’t bad, it’s been said that there’s a secret development cycle that’ll culminate in the one PES to rule them all. I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I believed in that line, but I don’t any longer. If there was anything to the ‘secret long-term super PES development plan’ theory, it would have borne fruit by now. I believe this is all there is going to be, with various refinements, up to the next next generation of consoles. Even then the PS2 era’s Golden Age status will probably never be seriously threatened.

  24. ali—by your own admission you’ve only played FIFA on the default control settings, i.e. with fully assisted passing. Semi-assisted and manual passing in FIFA is a whole other ball game (literally!). That’s the passing (semi-assisted, in my case) that strikes me as excellent.

  25. Paul—my eyes feel as if they’ve been through a full workout. I haven’t got a headache, but I’m still trying to blink away the 3D effect from the 3DS. I feel cross-eyed. There’s an introductory 3D video preloaded on the console that is stunning to watch. It’s an amazing effect and a glimpse of the future, but I don’t think I’ll be able to stand it for very long. It’s amazing in-game, too, but I turned it completely off after half an hour.

    I played two full 10-minute matches of PES2011, Eng vs Sco. I didn’t score a goal, losing both matches 0-1. Calling it a HD version of PES6 is about right, but it’s got some of PES2011’s bells and whistles, the powerbar for one. And I swear I saw the dreaded stumble animation once or twice, but only once or twice. Overall I really enjoyed the matches, but I have misgivings that are nothing really to do with the great gameplay and more to do with the 3DS itself. DS versions of PES are tough for me to play on a tiny console. My hands were cramped after just a half. The DS has always been a strategy/RPG platform for me, not an ‘action’ game console. I don’t know whether PES can really be a viable long-term game for me on the 3DS.

    I’ll post a few paragraphs in more depth tomorrow, and more on Friday no doubt. I tell you what, just playing those two matches has re-whetted my appetite for full-team, proper, all-11-players football gaming. I think I’ll be back on some past version of PES before too long, and playing Master League. I didn’t know how thirsty I was until I found water…

  26. Hi everyone, I just wanted to mention about a GOAL OF THE MONTH entry I have submitted for this month.

    My goal is an over head scissor style shot from a player I just signed in my offline master league called Gokhan. He is worth getting if you haven’t much money to buy new players.

    Anyways, about the whole Nintendo 3DS comments going on in here, keep ’em coming! I have been interested in the whole 3D gaming experience since it has first been mentioned, but its nice to find out more for when I eventually have the money to purchase such things myself.

    Glad to see you trying it out not-greg. It was a shame that you lost the games, but with most new format games, they take a bit of getting used to. Keep trying mate and I am sure you will come through.

  27. oops forgot to mention the link to my goal is

    http://bit.ly/hY8jKA

    Sorry for grabbing a little limelight not-greg, please let me know if this was ok. just thought it was worth a mention as the goal was very enjoyable.

  28. The Dribbler—that’s no problem at all, anybody is welcome to come and post anything they like. I don’t mind seeing any links to goals or sites of any kind. Er, short of Viagra spam, of course. Otherwise, just go for it.

    And your goal is an actual, proper bicycle kick. There’s no ‘scissors’ about it at all. It’s rare enough to see the bicycle animation, never mind see the ball go into the net from one. Congratulations on getting something that’s as rare as… I can’t think of a good example of something rare. It’s only a shame it was from so close in with no keeper there, but hey, it’s still a bicycle kick.

  29. as rare as ‘rocking horse sh*t’ ??

    From what ive read, ironically alot of people are turning the 3d effect off for PES on the N3DS, it looks very crisp and sharp im sure you’ll agree Not-Greg.
    There is nothing like the full 11-a-side team game to enjoy, maybe PES 3D will give you the chance to experience that again before the gaming year is out.

    Have you tried the augmented reality cards?
    You can photocopy them, enlarge them to huge sizes and still use them, almost turning your entire living room into a 3D environment. Pretty cool.

    Continued on with Season 9 of my ML campaign last night, currently sat top of the English Prem 3 pts ahead of Chelsea. I was on a run of 3 wins in a row, and 1 defeat in the last 12 games, when I came up against a very realistic Bolton side.
    Went 1-0 up early on with a bullet header from a corner, put home by young future propsect N’Kufo.
    from then on Bolton literally put every man behind the ball and hit me on the counter attack, 1-1, 2-1 to them, 3-1 to them, 3-2, then as I was pressing all out attack to get the late equaliser they countered, long ball up to Kardec, he finished, 4-2 to Bolton.
    Very entertaining end to end game with Bolton playing very true to their real life counterparts, no matter what i did, I just wasnt going to win this game, and got punished for leaving gaps open.
    These are the kind of games I dont mind losing as it plays like football should.
    9 games left, top by 3pts, my aim for this season was a top 6 finish and european football next season… its mine to throw away now.

  30. Paul—I haven’t fully unpacked all the 3DS stuff yet—even today, the day after. And also today, the day after, my eyes still know they were put through a strenuous workout with the 3D effect for just half an hour yesterday. I’ve switched it off and will be activating it very very rarely. A shame that it’s affected me this way, as it’s truly an astonishing feature. You’ve got to see a player waiting to take a corner, for example, to believe it.

  31. what camera did you play using mate?
    For me the 3D effect had most glory and impact in over the shoulder Player Cam, it looked incredible, but I HATE that view, so switched to wide, where it looked good but as it plays parallel, it loses some of the 3D oomph!
    Not sure id be able to play for long periods with the 3D effect ramped up either, as im not great with motion sickness but even in 2D i think its a very decent upgrade both in gfx and build quality to the old DS’s.

  32. Paul—I switched between the two cameras as you did, and also tried Vertical Wide which is a stable behind-the-player camera without all the swooping and swirling. I think the 3DS even without the 3D effect is a very worthy ‘next-gen’ handheld. It’ll be put to shame in November when the NGP arrives, but it’s still top quality. I love the feel and heft of it, more metallic-feeling than the plasticky old DS. Later today I’ll be loading it up with some old DS games (Advance Wars, Etrian Odyssey) to see how they look. I hear that the old games don’t graphically upscale, which if true is a shame and an opportunity missed, but it’ll still be nice to have them on this futuristic-feeling new handheld.

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