PES Matters 18th March 2013

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who left messages to last week’s post.  Including the clown “billy”!  He made me laugh if nothing else!

As it stands, I’m actually enjoying my football right now!  I’ve got various patches which bring PES6 up to date, and it plays a solid game of football.  I think the key difference with the game is that I feel totally in control of my players.  Which is crucial.  A little test I’d like you guys to try right now is to do a 360 pirouette with a player in PES2013.  Do it again, but this time note how long it takes from the time you execute the move on your game pad, to the player actually performing the move. I believe there is way too much of a delay in control.  Players don’t snap into moves as they would if you had full on control.  It’s something that is fundamental to how I believe the game should be enjoyed.

Hey Moatstar, I appreciate the comments – but ultimately the game just doesn’t cut it.  I’m lying to myself if I say it’s a great game.  Don’t get me wrong, Konami have worked hard to try to move the series on.  But in the cold light of day, it is pretty clear they have kept the same underlying engine and have just tried to tweak it, rather than really address the key issues.  It’s a balancing act they have to work with.  They clearly know what they want to do, and don’t want to make any radical changes to their strategy.  This has cost them many fans over the last few years unfortunately.

Hey Makkak-Yema – I’d like to try answer your question about blind loyalty to footy games.  For some of us, it’s the love we had growing up playing THE most awesome football imaginable.  Once upon a time, the ISS Pro series, and then the PES series was just immense.  Every year it just got better and better.  Each year we thought – how can this possible get any better, but then Konami would show us just how.  For those fans, of whom I’d proud to say I’m one – that is why we’re loyal to PES.  It’s almost comedic how each year we’re waiting for the game to finally come good.  But there’s enough baby steps to keep us hoping.

We could just move on to FIFA, but for me that is a very dangerous move.  Whilst FIFA may be doing very well, and raking it in – their motivation is purely a vehicle to make money.  They have the power to sink opponents in most genres as we’ve seen over the years.  For many genres this results in their competitors just going bust, and then EA can release whatever they like annually.  I’d hate to think what football games would be like if EA were the only player.

EA raised their game when they saw just how good PES was.  They’ve done exceptionally well, but I can never bring myself to pay good money to play that game.  I’ve tried to get on with it, but as many of us will attest – it lacks soul.  Many people have lost faith in Konami and have just adopted FIFA.  For some of us, it’s more than just a game.

That said, I am fed up with the direction of PES currently.  Instead of enjoying football, I feel you have to learn how to exploit the game to get some joy out of it.  You can forget crossing balls in from the wing and trying to head.  If you don’t play how it wants you to, then you’re not going to get along.  Once you adapt to their new way of thinking and behaving, then perhaps you can tolerate it.  Seeing the ball virtually trickle past defenders, seeing stupid shots go in – there’s only so much you can take that sort of stuff.  And as for refereeing – I can’t believe anyone can release a game which blatantly disregards basic rules and we’re just supposed to get on with it!

For these sorts of reasons, people have moved on, or just stuck with PES and are waiting for the new incarnation.  For me, the answer was to go back to PES6.  By using some great option files, I’m still playing with relevant teams and right now loving it.

I’m using players’ strengths and the balance between attack and defence is very good.  I can play my play, and decide on strategies as I please.  Since PES6, the strategy elements of the game have been watered down.  Dare I say it – to appeal more to the casual crowd who most companies are going to great lengths to please.  You used to be able to set the level of aggression with which players could man-mark players.  It was a vital tool in keeping star men at bay – especially online!  You always had a chance with smaller teams with good organisational skills with some moments of brilliance thrown in.

PES2013 is all about building a team with the quickest players that can go on mazy runs.  That’s not football for me.  Which brings me nicely to online play.  I’m sure Barry will have different views on the online experience – given his brilliance at the game.  But for most of us average joes (yes that is an admission that I’m not that good with the game online!) it’s a mess.  Whilst some people tolerate playing against super duper teams all the time, most of us are so fed up of it.

PES6 online was utterly brilliant.  It was simple – and that was it’s key strength.  Fancy a friendly game?  You would just either accept a random opponent – where you had the opportunity to reject the game, if you felt they were too strong for you.  Or you could go through a list of potential players and issue an invite to play.  Right now, that is all many of us want.  Give us that over all the various tournament options anyday.

I can’t say enough how much I despise the current online system – the match rooms system is appalling.  Who in their right mind when looking for a friendly game is just going to find a server, set up and match room and just sit there waiting for someone to come along and decide to play against them?  It’s engineering for engineers not for players.

I’ve had to sacrifice online play on PES6 on the PC, but it’s worth it just to be able to have a meaningful master league mode which delivers.  The biggest compliment I can pay to PES6 is that when I lose a match against another opponent (non-cpu), I know I only have myself to blame.  It’s that simple.  It’s not because of the game engine, or anything else.  It’s down to my own mistakes which I am more than happy to live with.

Thanks for reading.

Dougiedonut

(dougiedonut@pesgaming.com)

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21 Responses to PES Matters 18th March 2013

  1. Amateur says:

    I think I understand where you’re coming from, even though personally, I cannot be bothered with PES6 as I find it too outdated at this point. However, I am fully convinced that PES6 is a better video game than PES13 or any PS3 version of PES.

    Ironically (and as it should’ve been expected by anyone who understands the industry) Pro Evolution Soccer never evolved, and arguably, did just the opposite. At this point Konami is playing EA’s game, and EA is simply better than them, when it comes to producing a certain type of product. Few times have I seen a franchise with such a lack of understanding about what it was that the fans liked in the first place. I prefer to believe that their intent was genuine, and that the truth behind the failure, was that they really were at a lost, as to what it was about PES5 and PES6 that fans liked, and how to offer an analog-based concept of what was a d-pad game.

    If that was the case (rather than yet another franchise “selling out”), then it shows that Konami did not have a person with vision on their team. They should’ve known that the PS3 coming out, meant that the d-pad would inevitably be replaced by the analog; yet, they offered “360 degree” passing, only after EA Sports had made the jump a year or two earlier. That pretty much sums up the beginning and the end of PES as far as the PS3 console is concerned.

    And as for “selling out”, there is no doubt in my mind that the PES franchise did “sold out”, however, I prefer to believe that they sold out after realizing just how out of their depth they really were; in other words, out of necessity, rather than intent.

    In any case, and fortunately for us footy fans, the PS4 has been announced and will come out soon…. I think there is a very large probability that, given the magnitude of Konami’s failure with the PES franchise, that a third party should join the game early in the PS4′s life. It would be a waste if no third party joined, seeing how easy the “hardcore market” would be won over by anything that is less bad than either FIFA or PES…. EA Sports and Konami will do exactly the same things they did during the PS3 era: EA will offer a gimmicks fest and then sell it as “innovative”, and then Konami will copy them add some gimmicks of their own and call it “hardcore”. There has never been a better time for a third party, to produce a real hardcore product that can speak for itself and create a niche. Hopefully, what should happen, will happen…. if not…. then I fear the PS4 will be just as disappointing as the PS3, as far as football simulation goes.

    At the end of the day, I think PES lost the plot as soon as Konami realized that they didn’t know how to produce a hardcore analog-based video game, thus then going for what EA was already offering: a d-pad game at the core, with analog gimmicks at the surface, which (as should be expected) doesn’t stand the test of time as gracefully as a solid d-pad game like PES6 would.

  2. Billy says:

    Dear Dougie, glad you read my post, sorry if it upset you but the truth hurts so just deal with it, i cant be arsed reading you post to be honest, i guess its just the same old drivel i.e. you whinging about pes2013, well may i suggest you fak off and let somebody else take over, preferably someone who plays, enjoys and is half descent at the actual game.

  3. Pingback: allsoccer-football.com » Blog Archive » PES Matters 18th March 2013

  4. Seabass Out says:

    Mr Billy Bob, aka, Mr 4 bars.

  5. Dec says:

    Its funny how you waited until now to give your honest opinion about pes 2013 when the majority of people have already bought the game.

  6. Gola says:

    love Pes 6 but cant get a game online… im guessing its pretty hard to get one years down the line since its release date. its probably been hacked and everyone can fly and what not, like WaW

  7. James Goblin says:

    Dec, if you bought the game expecting it to be good it’s your own fault, buddy

  8. kubi_kz says:

    @Dec

    You are aware that people first have to play the game for a while before they can formulate and establish opinions, right?

    Also, are you saying that many people bought the game because Dougie did not say “this game is bad”?

  9. moatstar says:

    having read your previous post and replied i decided to pull out my copy of pes 6 on ps2 ( i did initially buy it on 360 when it first came out but i couldnt get on with it so went back to ps2 ) for a game. after playing some matches i can say that it is a pretty good football game but to suggest that it is better than 2013 is in my opinion ludicrous. i have followed the iss/pes series since the n64/ps1 days and i can honestly say hand on heart i have enjoyed every one of them sure the series has had its high and low points ( for me HIGH POINT = 2013 LOW POINT = 2008/2009 ) and konami does have a annoying habit of giving with one hand a taking with the other but for me they have never broke the game . having said that i understand that just because i think pes 2013 is the best pes ever not every one shares that view i can only hope that 2014 adresses the issues that have stopped people enjoying 2013 . as for the pes haters who just live to moan about the game why not do what dougie has done and go back to a pes you really enjoyed because even though i think you have to be a sandwich short of a picnik to think that pes 6 is better than 13 if its what you enjoy playing then its all good

  10. Amateur says:

    @ moatstar

    It is not ludicrous at all, to believe that PES6 was/is a better -and I put emphasis on this- VIDEO GAME than PES13. Yes, PES6 was very scripted, as should be the case when there are about ten players on your team that are out of your control; however, PES6 was not nearly as scripted as PES13 is.

    I do not blame you, if you think PES13 is “superior” when compared to PES6′s quirky eight directional design…. In fact, I prefer to play FIFA13 before either PES6 or PES13…. but in spite of that, I am fairly convinced that both PES5 and PES6, are better video games than either FIFA13 or PES13.

    PES5 and PES6 were solid d-pad games. Which meant that the potential variables that an eight directional concept could offer, were so very few, that the computer did not needed to cheat you, in order to compete against you. On the other hand, FIFA13 and PES13 are d-pad games at the very core…. and the fundamental problem with that is, that in spite of what EA Sports and Konami have done (read: they have simply taken the old d-pad formula and attached it to the 360 degree analog, therefore obviously maximizing the number of things you can do, but without actually making any improvements to the actual concept of the game), the d-pad concept remains as simplistic as it ever was, even though it now offers more variables than ever before….. meaning that the computer needs to cheat you, to great lengths, in order to compensate for the fact that the design of the game is not intelligent enough to properly contain the number of options that the new “360 degree” passing offers you.

    The lack of intelligence, in terms of game design, is the reason why the off the ball movement is as inconsistent as it is. Sometimes you play a not so good long ball, yet the target of the pass makes the perfect off the ball run, and somehow the not so good pass actually comes off perfectly, and that’s a one on one against the GK, and probably a goal scored. Sometimes you play the perfect long ball, but then the target of the pass decides that he is not feeling up to it, and that means game over as far as that particular play was concerned. This is all the more evident, when you realize the fact that “manual passing” offers absolutely no advantage: a fact that is well known, and can be voiced over and over again, by the many people who have played online against opponents who like to play with highly assisted passing.

    Such inconsistencies were few and far between back in the PES6 days, because the game design was intelligent enough -in relation to the d-pad passing mechanics- to contain all the possible variables without the necessity of hijacking the game. I’m not saying that PES6 was not notoriously scripted: it was…. but my point is that it wasn’t nearly as scripted as either PES13 or FIFA13. That is why, in my view, PES6 was a better video game than either PES13 or FIFA13. Even though, again, I would rather play FIFA13 before touching PES6.

    Games like PES13 and FIFA13, have the so-called “360 degree” passing, but the off the ball movement and in fact the entire platform on which the “360 degree passing” takes place, remains as eight directional as it was back in the PS2 days. The off the ball movement in FIFA13 looks dynamic, but then, if it looks so “organic”, then why is it that the passing game is so repetitive and so predictable? Because it’s eight directional, the same old d-pad platform, with a fresh analog paint job. Real “manual” passing, is not possible without a sophisticated off the ball system; 360 degree passing cannot actually be “360 degrees” without an equally sophisticated off the ball system; neither PES13 nor FIFA13 offer anything remotely close to “manual” passing.

    With more passing variables, and more dribbling variables, etc, the off the ball aspect of the game needs to evolve in proportion with all the key aspects of the game. In fact, the off the ball aspect of the game needs to evolve before anything else, since it is the platform on which the entire building stands. With PES13 and FIFA13 we have, precisely, the very opposite of that: an outdated off the ball system, serving as the platform for “360 degree” dribbling and passing and shooting…. and it doesn’t work at all, it is fundamentally broken.

    Konami and EA Sports, should find the way to create a methodology and a rationality, behind miss-timed off the ball runs; such a methodology should not require directional “manual” input, but at the same time should be mostly determined by your ability as a player, as opposed to random outside factors. RPG elements need to be introduced into the off the ball game, in order to create the reasons that are necessary in order to explain why the miss-timed off the ball run, in order to explain why one team is tactically outplaying the other, etc. Such RPG elements should not affect the responsiveness of the game, and should not actually be RPG in the literal sense. And yes, statistics should have an effect on the tactical game, but nevertheless the tactical game should not automatically play itself without your input, as it currently does.

    Such reasons to explain miss-timed off the ball runs, were not necessary back in the PES6 days, because back then the passing mechanics were so very limited, that a complex off the ball system was not necessary at all, and in fact would’ve been a highly illogical choice that would’ve contrasted badly against the extremely restrictive eight directional passing.

    Everything changes with “360 degree” passing…. You cannot have the consistently perfect off the ball runs of PES5 and PES6, because then it would be too easy to score goals, as well as too difficult to defend against such passes. Therefore, with more passing variables, the game needs to be slowed down: hence why off the ball momentum is so much more noticeable today than back in PES6, miss-timed runs, etc, etc. All things that you will not see when playing PES6. But unfortunately, there is no methodology and no rationality, behind miss-timed off the ball runs or well-timed off the ball runs, or the space that you have available or the space that you don’t have available, etc, etc.

    And now that the off the ball game has so much depth and dimension to it, it becomes all the more obvious that we have less control over the game: hence why so many former PES fans complain about “not feeling in control” when they play PES13, and rightfully so. Another classic complain is that “the play is on rails”, and rightfully so. This was not the case with PES5 and PES6, because back then random outside factors were not necessary at all.

    Which brings me back to the initial point, which was, that even though I prefer FIFA13 over either PES13 or PES6, I am fairly convinced that PES6 was/is the better video game. Why? Because when you play PES6, the computer does not need to rob you of your input (read: by undermining your input and basically hijacking the game), in an effort to compensate for the fact that the platform of the game is not intelligent enough to properly contain the many options that the new “360 degree” passing offers you. A video game where the computer needs to constantly cheat you in order to balance the play, is not a very good game.

    When Konami manages to introduce a new simple-to-use off the ball element, that gives us control over the essentials of the off the ball game, that gives us a consistent and reliable reason as to why certain things happen off the ball: when that happens, that’s when many of the former PES fans will come back. Until then, it’s more of the same I’m afraid.

    At the end of the day, I’m just saying this, in an effort to give a more formal, more rational reason, as to why so many people prefer to play PES6 over PES13. Yes, people who prefer PES6 over PES13 could, very possibly be old school guys who can’t handle the analog. But, then again, PES13 is not real analog control, FIFA13 is not real analog control, and therefore the fact that so many people prefer PES6 over PES13 might not be down to people who can’t adapt to analog-based gameplay, it might just be that they prefer to play a video game (however outdated the mechanics are) where the computer is not constantly hijacking the game in an effort to compensate for the illogical design of the game.

    Again, I prefer to play FIFA13 before touching PES6, but still, from an objective point of view, I can acknowledge certain facts, and I can certainly see why some people would prefer PES6. Yes, for many people it might just be down to their particular taste. However, the most important point as far as I’m concerned, is the fact that PES6′s game design was logical, whereas PES13′s game design is not. That much is a fact regardless of the opinions of us consumers.

  11. paul2478 says:

    I have to say even though I don’t always agree 100% with your comments @Amateur they are always well thought out & structured.

  12. declan says:

    That clears that argument up once and for all “Professor” Amateur. Very informative indeed.

  13. Amateur says:

    @paul2478

    I always write on this page expecting that no one (except the writer of the blog) will bother reading my comments, so it comes as a welcomed surprise that someone would read one of them.

    What is your opinion about PES5/PES6 vs PES13/FIFA13?

  14. paul2478 says:

    @Amateur I personally prefer to play PES13 over any of them, even though it is not perfect. I don’t get that much time to play due to editing, but when I do I mainly play BAL so I probably don’t get annoyed with a lot of the things other people do.

    I can see why people might want to go back to PES6, but as I was a late mover to PS3 I basically played it for 3 years as PES08 & 09 on PS2 were the exact same game gameplay wise.

  15. Amateur says:

    @ paul2478

    I also played PES6 for about three years, because PES08 and PES09 were pretty bad. The difference between now and then, for me, is that PES6 blew me away when it came out, whereas my opinion about FIFA13 is that it is less disappointing than PES13.

    If I had to play one, I would chose FIFA13 over both PES13 and PES6. Though to be honest, I rarely feel in the mood to play FIFA13 these days: it gets old very quickly, and for me, the football simulation genre as a whole is just stagnant. I’d rather spend my time playing something else.

    Classic play has become too automated as a result of the random off the ball features that have been introduced into the game. I am all for a complex and “organic” off the ball system, but the player should have control over the essentials of the off the ball system. At the end of the day, I’m just very frustrated with both PES and FIFA, as both have gone for the same formula of automatic off the ball play.

  16. harmonyvid35 says:

    I bought myself a second hand copy of PES 6 a while ago too. The greatest 20p purchase of all time lol.
    It’s such a better tactical game of football than any of the new PES’ could hope for. Breaking down ai defences is a lot harder and more natural than todays game. I swear regular difficulty on PES6 is harder than superstar on PES13. And its a simpler game of football

    Tbh, if there was an option to reduce game speed to a more realistic pace, I’d play PES 6 24/7.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I recently purchased pes 6 for the pc and I’m hoping to patch it soon with a shollym patch in order to get a footy fix.

    Just thought I would pluck a couple of quotes from the above article from Amateur that interested most, and explains the reason why I went t an older game.

    “it might just be that they prefer to play a video game (however outdated the mechanics are) where the computer is not constantly hijacking the game in an effort to compensate for the illogical design of the game.”

    Such reasons to explain miss-timed off the ball runs, were not necessary back in the PES6 days, because back then the passing mechanics were so very limited, that a complex off the ball system was not necessary at all, and in fact would’ve been a highly illogical choice that would’ve contrasted badly against the extremely restrictive eight directional passing.”

    I think this hits the nail on the head with me as it explains a lot about the concept of the pes over the last 6 years. I think their has been zero innovation and like you say an analog paint job over a very limited engine giving less control where it wasn’t necessary at all.

    Oh and please give us a third party developer to challenge the lack of ideas.

  18. ConteMichaelos says:

    What Pes needs is the following:
    1- organic animations
    2- defenders to stop ball watching and running backwards towards their own goal
    3- online is beyond a joke
    4- better and more options for editing

    Fifa :
    1- I feel players are running on skates!! Too much momentum .
    2- I need to hear a sound when I am passing and kicking the ball. At the moment ,I feel like I am passing a balloon around!
    3- am I the only one who is not remotely enjoying the ultimate team thingy. May be am too addicted to the master league.
    4- defending , specially crosses. Sometimes defenders don’t jump or challenge for the ball. Or worst , decide to suddenly move away from the striker they are marking giving him a freebie goal . Aaarrrggghhh!!!
    5- a soul would be nice!

  19. Amateur says:

    @ Anonymous

    You did well to narrow it down to the essentials, and I agree with you, of course. Other than the characteristic responsiveness of PES6′s animations, you also felt very much in control over the tactical game. Even though PES6 was a very scripted game in terms of off the ball movement, it still was not scripted enough to overwhelm the ability of the actual players. That’s why PES6 is a better video game in my opinion, because d-pad (eight directional) passing mechanics and the off the ball system actually complemented each other, and even though the game was scripted with statistics playing such a crucial factor, you still felt as though your ability was important enough, to get you to play just one more game and one more game, etc.

    That addictive “one more game” feel to the game, has been lost since PES made the jump to the PS3 and 360 consoles. PES13′s analog passing mechanics still function around the same old d-pad concept, and the off the ball system still “logically” functions around the same old d-pad concept, but what makes PES13 an “illogical” video game, is the fact that the new off the ball elements that needed to be implemented into the game in order to minimize the effectiveness of the new “360 degree” passing system, are completely out of your control and, at the same time, are influential enough to make you feel like your ability doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was.

    For me, when you narrow it down to the essentials, PES6 was a finished product, whereas PES13 and FIFA13 are “experimental” projects. The off the ball system of PES13 and FIFA13, simply is not good enough to properly balance a video game with analog mechanics. Furthermore, the “analog mechanics” are not real analog control, but merely something of a hybrid between d-pad and analog: thus, further sustaining my argument that PES13 and FIFA13 are “experimental” projects as opposed to finished products.

    With PES6 you don’t really need to have any control over the off the ball game, because the off the ball game was neither complicated nor influential enough to justify your “manual” input. When Konami made the jump to “360 degree” passing, and still thought that they could get away with the same old off the ball concept, that was when PES truly lost it.

    Essentially, PES6 gave more importance to the things that you could control (however restricted that control was), whilst PES13 gives more importance to the things that you have no control of. The obvious solution, is not to go back to eight directional passing, but to reinvent the off the ball game. The lesson to be learned from Konami, is that maximizing the number of passing directions at the expense of actual freedom, does not equal more freedom; when off the ball movement evolves into something as complex as what it is in both PES13 and FIFA13, you need to have some level of “manual non-directional” control over it, otherwise, whatever advances are made in terms of passing, will be undone by the influential computer hijacking of the game (read: the off the ball system).

  20. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, PES 6 gave you an near prefect responsive control/passing and off the ball movement system. The on-screen characters stats were perfectly implemented; they played a much more pivotal role and obviously complimented with well synced off the ball movement; creating a lovely balance between the CPU script and player input, which has since been lost.

    Again pasting the 360 analog system and off movement system over the pes 6 model which was an already brilliant system led to all sort of problems. The consequences were fatal because the analog system felt sluggish and very unresponsive and out of your control. Konami responded by compensating; to shoe the introduction of an off an ball movement system which was needed in order to compensate for the 360 control; causing the players to move randomly and inaccurately because of Konami’s inability to produce a balanced formula.

    They really need to produce a game that is built from the ground upwards if they are to succeed in implementing any of these off-the-ball movement and 360 features; they have compliment one another not compensate one another.

  21. Amateur says:

    @ Anonymous

    Yeah, that’s pretty much the bottom line: they should complement one another, instead of use gimmicks in order to compensate for the lack of compatibility.

    The potential of real analog control is amazing, but unfortunately neither EA Sports nor Konami have really ventured far enough. Hopefully the PS4 will be less disappointing for us football sim fans.

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