Here’s a review I wrote for Sun.Star Cebu’s Cybercafe page last year. I posted this in one of the previous versions of Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments.
THE first time I played Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 4, I was a little bit disappointed.
I’ve been playing EA Sports’ Fifa franchise for months, starting with Fifa 2004 and then Fifa 2005 (which I’ll review for Cybercafe in the coming issues).
Unlike EA Sports, Konami failed to get licenses from many football leagues and national teams for their PES 4. As a result, the German national team has as goalkeeper a certain Kalm, which, at first glance, you might misread for (Oliver) Kahn.
If not for persistent reviews that PES 4’s game play is better, I wouldn’t have bothered installing the game. While checking on soccer gaming websites for Fifa 2005 add-ons and patches (which I haven’t dared installing yet for fear it could crash the game and wipe out my four-year career record), I keep on stumbling on reviews that trumpet PES 4’s superior game play and action realism.
I eventually installed PES 4 and found the game inferior to Fifa 2005. Yes the game play was a notch or two better than EA’s title because of the more varied attacking play of the computer opponent — with its mix of wing play, one-twos, solo dribbling efforts and long ranged attempts.
The computer opponent of Fifa 2005’s default difficulty level — semi professional — leans more toward wing play. At 90 percent of the time, your computer opponent will attack you from the wings. Geeky fans of Fifa 2005 have even written a patch to make the attacking mode more varied.
But if you turn the difficulty level higher — to either professional or world class — you’d have your hands full trying to deal with the attacks.
What PES 4 does better than Fifa 2005 is the implementation of the advantage rule. Playing advantage is when a referee doesn’t call a defensive foul because an attacker is on scoring position. PES 4 does this very well. I still haven’t encountered this with Fifa 2005.
PES 4’s passing is also a little bit more realistic. The accuracy of your player’s ground passes in Fifa 2005 may at times seem unnatural. Lobbed passes, if you don’t use off the ball controls, are a little trickier in both games.
PES 4’s game commentary is provided by Peter Brackley and Trevor Brooking and they sound nothing like the Fifa 2005 duo of John Motson and Ally McCoist. Fifa 2005’s commentary is more authentic with Motson and McCoist cutting off their sentences to comment on a goal attempt.
When it comes to graphics, PES 4 is also inferior to Fifa 2005. EA’s game renders players’ appearances, replays of goals and the pitch better. PES 4 has that washed out arcade game look, and if you’re playing on Brazil’s home stadium, you’d feel like playing on stadium-sized denim textile.
It is in playing tournaments and having a football manager’s career that PES 4 really disappoints, especially if you are a Fifa 2005 player. Konami’s failure to get licenses for many national leagues dooms its gaming franchise. Itï¿½s licensed leagues and national teams look puny compared to Fifa 2005’s database of 350 official licenses, including 18 leagues, 40 national teams, and 11,000 players.
Faced with the choice of buying either PES 4 and Fifa 2005 – which are expensive, the P100 a disc price you’d get from certain stalls here in the city are pirated versions of the game — I’d take Fifa 2005 anytime.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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