For many years, Pro Evolution Soccer has been at the top football sim over EA’s FIFA Series. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 managed to boot FIFA 09 from the top spot of the UK charts when it was released in November, however critics held it in less esteem than its Electronic Arts-developed competitor. Overtime, EA took back the top title with FIFA 09, although the Wii version of Pro Evolution Soccer fared better with more favourable reviews.. Konami is planning to make a big comeback as this year’s installment offers several new features and unveiled their first trailer for PES 2010 at E3 2009.
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The development team has gone back to the drawing board to respond to some of the criticism of previous years. They promise improved AI, an overhauled, more intuitive online mode, and fewer tacky J-pop tracks for Western audiences this year. The Master League and Be a Legend modes, new additions to the series in recent years, will again return for 2010. Master League has also been extended to allow you to manage a team over a longer period than before.
Now, Konami has announced that PES 2010 will be coming to the Wii this autumn alongside its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts, with the publisher abandoning last year’s staggered releases. The game will have a whole host of new features, including improved graphics, player animation, and realism. Animations are improved as well as more detailed player models. Skin textures, blemishes, sweat, and even forearm hair have been added or improved to add to the realistic likeness of some of the world’s greatest footballers. Apparently the graphics will even show the detail of different weaves in team uniforms. The quality of instant replays has also been improved to reflect those visual updates.
The gameplay has been significantly enhanced with a new game balance system. In addition to overall stamina, players now have something Konami is calling “instantaneous stamina,”. Another interesting detail that is quite amusing pertains to the realism of player control, as overzealous sprinting will now have adverse effects on the onscreen players, such as causing them to lose immediate control of the ball. The overall look of the game is also being tweaked, with creator Shingo “Seabass” Takatsuka aiming for better player likenesses, animation, and lighting systems. In addition to the news of the enhanced AI, midfielders and defenders will work together, eliminating weak spots and the chance for soft goals. A new power-gauge system will assess players’ formations against their opposition’s before and during a match.
In a more strategic angle, Konami has also introduced a new free-kick system where set pieces are viewed from the vantage point of the kicker, and using the pointer system, gamers can target the ball, add swerve, and add additional pace to kicks. Players will also be able to move goalkeepers sooner in matches against human opponents. Controls have been tightened to allow for more fine movements, and AI feints have been added so players can bypass defenders while dribbling. Lastly the new Power Gauge, as seen in the trailer, allows you to manually set certain tactics on a sliding scale, such as the amount of pressure, the defensive line, and receiving positions. Categories will let players change their overall style of play, strategies for players in possession, the frequency with which players change position, and defensive pressure.
The licensing has also been secured the UEFA Champions League and Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) for the game to make their return. There’s currently no word on which English Premier League teams will make an appearance or if last year’s top-tier licences–Manchester United and Liverpool–will return again. With their performance in this season’s Premier League and Champions League, it certainly wouldn’t be unexpected, although Chelsea would also make a sensible option.
The game will feature Lional Messi and Fernando Torres on the box art. Torres, 25, has enjoyed an incredibly successful season both at club and international level, and will now join UEFA Champions League winner Messi on the front of PES 2010′s packaging. The licences also allow for “extensive additions” to the Master League in the game. Konami also plans to improve Pro Evo’s online component, and intends to release a number of items as downloadable content after the game’s launch. With thanks to Burritoman217 of Gamespot forums, we provide you with a summary of the game’s improvements.
Special Features (Summary)
1) Enhanced Realism: PES 2010 delivers a pace of game in tune with football played at the highest level. Triangulation of passes and use of off-the-ball runs are key to breaking down the opposition, forcing the player to use the strengths of their team mates to create scoring opportunities. Gone are ‘soft’ goals that can be used to break the deadlock – instead, only working the channels and the precision play expected of great players will make a difference.
2) Player Characteristics: Key skills of the many players have now been attributed named, allowing users to incorporate them into their play strategy. Cover star Torres, for instance, is renowned for his ability to receive a pass in the penalty area, and to drop the ball to a teammate in a good position for a goal-scoring opportunity. As such, he is labeled a “Fox In The Box” and “Goal Poacher”, in line with his prowess in both scoring and setting up goals.
3) Instant Tactical Switching: Each team has unique settings matching their real-life playing styles. Torres at Liverpool, for instance, will recreate the Merseyside club’s sophisticated play and high numbers in attack, their pressing from midfield, strong defensive line, and width across the pitch. For the offense, the default settings support wide attacks and the aim to move in the back of the opponent’s defense line. The user can summon the bar instantly during a match to adjust team tactics to enhance their defence or strengthen attacks.
4) Master League: The Master League now incorporates both the Champions League and Europa Leagues in its content, offering a complete season for players to enjoy. Success in the Master League will see players streamed into these competitions. The lure of European football can also be used to attract stronger players to your side, with transfer dealings and contracts now significantly more realistic in their use.
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