“How do you trigger player runs?”

That question? Beware—it’s about to become the most-asked question on PES forums in the history of the Internet. For the record, it’s right stick plus R3.

I’ve had the PC version of the PES2012 demo since Monday night. I’ve played about 20 matches in total. It’s only a demo, an early demo, and a fairly scruffy one at that. A fact that should be borne in mind.

I wanted to see some things in PES2012 and—perhaps most importantly—not see other things. The stumble animation, the step-around animation, the elephant touch, and much else: I wanted them all GONE. For now, I am satisfied with how PES2012 is shaping up.

Getting the demo on Monday, August 22nd, the earliest ever, was both gratifying and plain weird at the same time.

Monday was an odd day. The PES2012 demo wasn’t supposed to be out until today, Wednesday. But there was something in the air, you know?

The preceding weekend had seen the now-traditional annual pre-release community infighting reach epic new proportions. What we needed was a dose of actual PES2012 gameplay as a bucket of cold water in the face.

I was at a work training day on Monday. Around 5pm, on the way home, my spider sense started tingling. Suddenly I was sure that there was something I needed to know.

I checked the forums on my phone, again, as I had done a few times that day…

The PC demo was out! I didn’t know how it was out, and still don’t know how. Was it official, or a leak, or what? Whatever the reason, that bus ride home was one of the longest of my life.

The download started at my full 8MB download speed. ETA: 30 minutes. It looked as if I’d be playing PES2012 before 7pm.

Ah, but there must have been hundreds (thousands?) of other people joining in the fun. The download slowed painfully, inexorably, to less than 80 kB/s, and didn’t complete until almost 9pm. Painful wasn’t the word.

Over the past few days and over the week to come it will be common for people to ‘review’ their experience of playing this alpha demo as if they’re reviewing PES2012 itself.

  • You’ll see
  • lots of bullet
  • point lists
  • that look like this,
  • talking about passing
  • and shooting
  • and the goalkeepers –
  • dear God, the goalkeepers!

You’ll also see lots of admonishments (like this one!) about it being pretty pointless to assess this PES2012 demo in this way.

It really is an early demo. It’s a pre-demo demo, in lots of ways.

The graphics, for one thing. Blurry. I tired my eyes out squinting at the graphics. Seriously, it was the same kind of ‘sandpaper eyes’ and dull headache that I got from spending an hour playing the Nintendo 3DS.

Yesterday afternoon I played my approximately 20th and so far final game on the PC demo. I’ll wait for a fix for those graphics. The console versions of the demo are out today. I trust the graphics won’t be blurry.

I loved the PES2012 gameplay on show in the demo. After I’ve played the console version(s) I’l have more to say.

  • I might even
  • do a
  • bullet points thing

+Or one of
+These things
+That some people
+Do instead

–With all
–The pluses and
–The minuses

The goalkeepers really are as bad as everyone’s saying. The assisted passing settings don’t seem to do anything. The scissors kick animation is still too common. There’s a new ‘heel flick’ animation that fires far too often. (I saw a CPU defender use it to clear a cross.)

But overall, the feel and handling of PES2012 is exactly what I wanted it to be.

I lost all four of my opening games. Three on Regular, one on Professional. I scored one goal—a very good one, as ithappened, with Park Ji Sung from 30 yards. Shooting feels oddly heavier to me. As ever, it’ll come with time and practice.

Updated: 24th August 2011 — 09:28


  1. Not-Greg …. my goal clip was my first goal on PES 2012 in any form and was a mid-long-ranger so thought you’d appreciate it.
    I uploaded it from my iphone so hoping youtube hasnt battered the quality too much.

    Plan to put together a little PES 12 demo goals compilation in the usual HD glossy manner soon. 😉

  2. paww—the DS is a strategy/RPG platform for me. I’m afraid I can’t play any kind of action games on it as the thing’s too small and my hands cramp up.

    Get a PSP as well—or actually, hang on for the NGP, which will have a PES game as a launch title. With the high quality of the PSP PES games (since PES2008 anyway), I anticipate more of the same.

  3. Paul—very nice, those in-off-the-post goals are among the most satisfying you can score on a football game. That spot—about 25 yards out, slightly to one side—is roughly where I scored my lost Park Ji Sung goal in game #2 on the PC demo on Monday night (at the other end though). I wish now I’d got up and got my phone, because I haven’t come very close to repeating it since.

    Have you heard this week’s WENB podcast? Worth a listen, if only for what they say about this demo. Apparently, it’s the worst code of PES2012 that they’ve played. If so, that indicates the second demo and final game should be better.

  4. them in off goals do feel strangely satisfying, this one hitting both posts before flying in would especially climactic!
    I have downloaded the l;atest podcast, havent listened yet though.
    If adam and co are saying its the worst code theyve played then that is both promising for the final release or next demo but equally as bemusinga s to why Konami would release a demo with old outdated code!?
    possibly they are holding the Gamescon (or newer) code back for the 2nd demo.
    And i did indeed experience the crappy keepers last night, both for and against me, laying down and missing shots they should be saving.
    I still think the shooting feels a little too floaty though and you cant seem to generate the oomph and power shot like you can in PES 2011, those Schwarz like screamers! also the passing needs refining.

  5. paww – I think there were 2 versions of PES for the DS, both quite similar. I would agree with not-greg that they are pretty poor, very rigid player movement and some really old fashioned features like automatic 1-2s. Winning Eleven GBA was better, it actually had ML (all in Japanese though)

  6. Paul—Adam & Suff were saying the demo we played this week was by far the least best code of any they’d sampled so far, and listening to them discuss it, I’m convinced—and intrigued to see Demo 2.0.

  7. abbeyhill—you’re still the only person I know who has no problem with the 3D side of the 3DS. I’ll make a bold prediction that 3D won’t last in any form—games, TV, movies—for very much longer.

  8. not-greg I still find the 3D effect amazing and spectacular! Just a problem of finding things to play, in fact I’m just using it to play DS Okami in 2D at the moment. And the dramatic price cut was annoying, just after I’d bought a second 3DS for my wife!

    You might well be right about 3D overall, it just isn’t taking off in line with industry expectations

  9. abbeyhill—you know about the 20 free classic Nintendo games we’re getting as early adopters, right? See here if you’re only hearing about it now—great stuff, eh? (Summary: to qualify you merely have to have connected via the 3DS to the eShop before midnight on 11/08. We get our free shit in two stages. Sep 1st sees the first 10 games, then another 10 ‘by the end of 2011’.)

    As much as I’m a 3DS-hater (and I certainly am that), even I’m impressed with this and hanging on for them. Even though I know I won’t play them…

  10. Thanks guys, I have tried all of the titles available on DS now (FIFA & PES) and you are quite right they just aren’t up to scratch!

    It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a serious urge to play any football games to any great length, I wonder if that habit has finally died.

    Appear to be spot-on not-greg found some great RPG/Strategy games already, looks like it’ll be a winner without anything football related.

  11. Paww—if you’re doing what I think you’re doing with your DS, i.e. got yourself an R5 cart, you naughty boy—and watch out for the danger of having so many games that you never play one for more than 20 mins at a time before moving onto the next one. If you’re looking for some hardcore old-school RPG action, check out the Etrian Odyssey games. You draw your own level maps on the touchscreen as you go along. And the difficulty curve is staggering. It’ll make you weep.

  12. No I wouldn’t dare, an R4 however 😉 – I’m testing aren’t I.

    Yes so far I’ve stuck with two games more solidly Mario Kart (unsurprising as it harks back to N64 nostalgia for me) & a Might and Magic game (more puzzle than strat). I did read about Etrian Odyssey and heard how tough a game it could be! – I’ll have to add it to my list to try.

    I do hope that the slew of football games that’ll be released that one of them is an improvement. I’d be quite happy with PES 6 level of game play/graphics.

  13. Paww—that’s the Clash of Heroes game, isn’t it? If so I played that almost to completion and should really get back to it sometime. Great game, very more-ish. It’s also out on PSN and XBLA now I think.

    If it’s handheld PES6-style football you’re after, you need either a PSP or a 3DS. Any of the PES games from PES2008 on will satisfy you on PSP, and PES2011 on 3DS is a weird hybrid of old school and new. As you’ve discovered, on the DS itself there’s nothing much happening football game-wise.

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