The battle lines are already drawn for next season, but who will come out on top?
For years FIFA was the inferior game. EA relied too heavily on having the FIFA license and didn’t focus on the game-play. Konami on the other hand had the gameplay nailed but lacked the official licenses with PES.
The purists went with PES because it felt like football (soccer for the Americans amongst you). Even in it’s earlier incarnation as ISS, on the PS1, the game just felt right. OK so the player names weren’t quite right but it didn’t matter when Michael Oien (Michael Owen) was burying the ball past an Argentinian goal keeper. Many football fans parted company with FIFA after the Road to World Cup Game from 1998. Graphically superior though it was, there was no depth to the play. With PES you felt that you earned every goal that you scored because you’d worked every opening.
As a two player game PES worked even better and regular tournaments took place in homes all over the world. It was the footballers choice too, with Chelsea players famously holding their own competitions.
In 2008 things changed.
The writing had been on the wall the previous year when Konami failed to deliver a truly playable online mode for PES2008, but the game still held up, and their were promises that Seabass (legendary PES creator) was working on a new engine. But that didn’t materialize and EA produced FIFA09 stealing a big march on PES in the process.
FIFA09 felt next gen. PES209 felt last gen. Ironically the game we loved had not really evolved at all. FIFA09 stole many gamers hearts because it combined both their license advantage and much improved game play. Suddenly FIFA felt like the sim and PES felt like arcade football. The swing to FIFA was a marked one and this years releases could be a defining moment.
Both companies have started the build up to the games.
This link provides an interesting take on FIFA10. There’s no actual footage but clearly EA want football fans to know that there are going to be improvements on last years code.
And this is the link for Konami.
This may be being overly critical but shouldn’t Konami be hosting their own trailers rather than relying on You Tube?
It could be that PES2010 pulls a rabbit from the hat and once again captures our hearts and minds but it seems far more likely that it will be EA with FIFA10 for the second year in a row, they will not only sell more of their title (they’ve always done that) but also take the purists too.
Roll on October…