Over the weekend a lot of lucky people got to play PES2012 and FIFA12. I won’t try to summarise what’s been said. The forums are full of their observations.
Suffice to say that their experiences have been encouraging, even positive—but not entirely so. We’re not all about to be taken up by a football gaming Rapture anytime soon. Which everybody already kind of knew anyway, one hopes.
The one thing I am very worried about is something I latched onto in several throwaway comments on the forums.
Several of those who’ve played retail PES2012 since Saturday allege that the final game’s AI pressure has been cranked up again, and that the stumble animation is back again.
I spent most of the last football game year deploring PES2011’s stumble animation mechanic. If I see anything like it in PES2012, at anything like the same level of frequency, PES2012 will go straight in the fucking bin, and this I swear most solemnly.
I wouldn’t even try to live with a PES2012 equivalent of last year’s stumble. That is a pledge I would have no trouble keeping.
For me, Konami’s track record of meddling with the game immediately before release is one of the most dismaying aspects of recent PES games.
I hope and expect that the forum comments I saw were from people with only a few hours on the full game. It takes many, many hours—about 10-20 hours, minimum—to get to know the true character of a new PES game, as we all know.
Back onto happier topics, by which I mean: PES5.
The old-school classic PES game has been keeping me entranced for the past 5 days or so. I just can’t get enough of the thing at the moment.
It’s all destined to end this week with the arrival of FIFA12 (probably), but it’s nice to know I’ve got options on the backburner.
Between PES5, PES6(360), and indeed WE9LE—with a new fan-patch incoming—my football gaming life doesn’t depend solely on the fate of the 2012 games.
One thing I will say about PES5: I’m taken aback by how much AI pressure there was in this game. It’s not how I remember it being in the roseate hue of memory. But that’s how it is. The AI puts you under intense, charging pressure nearly all the time. It shows that the more recent football games’ use (and abuse) of AI pressure as a difficulty-raising technique hasn’t come entirely out of the blue.
But PES5 provides the player with the tools needed to play football even while it lets the AI bear down constantly. It’s possible to play some lovely stuff—as in every PES game, to be fair.
I’ve played about another 10 matches, winning roughly half of them by narrow scorelines, drawing a few, and losing another few. I’ve not had a win or a loss by more than a single goal yet. My team, Coventry ‘PES United’ City, are 3rd in the Division 1 table.
I’m having a great time with the old-school PES and the old-school Master League. It’s the perfect tonic to steady the nerves in what will be a very anxious week or two. I might join many people of good sense and boycott the forums between now and October 12th.