We've all had a while now to get to grips with the new versions of FIFA and PES, and one thing is clear - even though it has overhauled its game engine, EA are still sticking it to Konami. Conclusively.
While it has taken everyone some time to get to grips with the new defensive system under FIFA's hood, the most noticeable thing about Pro Evo is how similar the demo is to last year's game, in terms of gamplay at least. That's not necessarily a bad thing - Tiger Woods PGA Golf remains largely the same game it was back in 2004, without people getting too tired of playing it - but when your competitor continues to raise the bar, then at some point you're going to find yourselves truly unstuck; for PES, this could be the point.
Both game have always had their die-hard supporters, and always will. Personally, I was a dyed-in-the-wall Pro Evo boy long after FIFA overtook it as the premier football sim, and it wasn't until FIFA 10 that I was finally lured to the other side. Despite this, I continued to buy and play the latest Pro Evos, but I found that my desire to play them didn't come until I had played FIFA to death. They caught FIFA up a little bit last year, offering a game that, to me, was different enough from its competitor to make it a via project. That still remains the case, but with the economic climate as it is, and with a multitude of high profile games about to hit the market, it is debatable how many people will choose to buy both games this year. If they do have to make a choice, they're going to choose FIFA every single time.
It has taken me numerous matches to get the hang of the new style of defending in FIFA, but at long last I'm finally getting it - don't throw yourself into tackles, and only press the standing tackle button when you're close enough to your opponent to win the ball. With Pro Evo, there was nothing new to figure out, which again is fine - if it weren't for the fact that FIFA continue to make changes that enhance their product. It's a good game, is PES 2012 - it's just not good enough.
There is no doubt that FIFA has won the battle of the demos. With two weeks all to itself, there seems little doubt that, once again, it is also going to win the war.
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