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Old 30-06-2009, 14:06   #30
Ideas a Plenty

I wrote this to KONAMI mid-2008 and edited it a bit in December 2008 before sending it off - so I know that it is a bit old and some of my ideas are repeated, but I think there are lots of ideas in there. I have edited it a bit now. Sorry for the length. Oh and I've been playing since 2003 and I'll never go back to FIFA as this is the only true simulation of football!

To the great programmers at Konami

(I did write [type] this letter well before PES 2009 came out so I have made changes/additions where necessary but please forgive any improvements that I have missed out)

Every year I receive great enjoyment from the Pro Evolution football series. It’s the most realistic representation and simulation of the game and is not matched by any other series in the genre. I understand that some people prefer FIFA’s large number of licensed teams, but for any true footballer Pro Evo is the best.

Every year there are certain aspects of the games, minor shortfalls, which nag at me. So this year I have decided to email my constructive input so that you guys can make the game even better.

(Just a quick note that I want to make is FIFA’s new moving kits are a big plus in the game so hopefully Konami can create something similar for 2010.)

Now to the shortfalls that I find every year:

1 The invisible barriers for players during some set pieces.
2 The number of kits and the way they are selected.
3 The number of balls, stadiums and boots.
4 The number of teams, leagues and competitions in the game.
5 The commentary
6 Minor improvements

1 The gameplay in PES is great. 2009 seems to be more realistic than ever with the defences a lot stronger and more intelligent I am finding Top Player to be a challenge this year! The only problem with gameplay is still the rigidity during set pieces. At kickoff all the players are in the same spot every time, they do not move around and the kickoff always goes back to the right. Throw ins still have the same set up with opponents not being able to come within a certain radius of the throw in. If the ‘invisible barriers’ could be taken away and the players positions varied slightly it would enhance the realism even more.

2 Every year the teams are limited to two kits and you can only select one or the other. I think it would appeal to fans if teams were allowed to have up to 4 kits with the shirts, shorts and socks being separate so that you can mix and match as the teams do in real life (it would also help with some kit clashing in the game). The keepers can still have their two kits, but I think the player should be able to choose which kit the keeper is wearing too.

Another point for the kits which links to the competitions is the competition badge on the sleeve and the shirt numbers. For example - a team like Liverpool will use the premier league numbers and badge for English league and cup games, but for the Champions League (CL) they use the adidas numbers and CL badge. It would be nice if players could select these options before games. A simple menu above the player models (like the ones in ProEvo 2008) could be used:

Shirt : 1st/2nd/3rd/4th (cycles item on model)
Shorts : 1st/2nd/3rd/4th (cycles item on model)
Socks : 1st/2nd/3rd/4th (cycles item on model)
Badge: : (cycles through different competition badges showing name and picture)
Number : (cycles through different number designs showing name and design)
Keeper : 1st/2nd (cycles kit on model)

Eg: Liverpool

Shirt : 1st (Red)
Shorts : 1st (Red)
Socks : 1st (Red)
Badge: : English PL/ FA Cup/ English Cup/ Champions League/ Uefa Cup
(these are all badges that could be used by English teams)
Number : EPL/ adidas
Keeper : 1st

3 Every year there are +-10 balls, +-10 boots and +-15 stadiums and users cannot create new balls, boots or stadiums. I understand that stadiums may be large files to create, but new games now are up to 8 or 12 GB’s so I think a larger database should be able to handle a decent amount of stadiums. This goes for the boots and balls too - there should be no limit for these items.

The stadiums could be linked to countries so that a user could have a World Cup in Italy and only Italian stadiums would be used.

There are lots of features that would benefit from this improvement!

4 Every year there are the same number of leagues and teams. FIFA boasts many more teams and leagues including multiple leagues for countries. Increasing the number of leagues and teams would make the game a lot more popular. I know that Pro Evo does not have a lot of licenses, but users could be allowed 20 or 30 different leagues of up to 4 divisions for example or maybe just 100 divisions. Then a user could have 1 league with 6 divisions and another with just 2 divisions. This would allow for users to have full working league systems for all of the major leagues in Europe - England, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Scotland, Italy, Greece and then create their favourite leagues - Brazil, Mexico, MLS for example.

It would also be a good idea to include all national teams so that all international competitions could be played like the real thing - European Cup, African Cup, etc.

To accommodate this, the team selection menu would need to change. A simple system like the one below would work:

International/Club: (followed by example)

International  Choose Continent  Choose Team

International  South America  Brazil

Club  Choose Country  Choose Division  Choose Team

Club  England  League 1  Mansfield Town

The leagues will need to be fully customisable. Users would need to select how many teams are in the league, how many promotion/relegation spots there are, which competitions (linked to the country) that league plays in, which teams qualify for European competitions (for example), the name of the league, the badge for that league (for the team’s shirts), etc. Obviously the leagues would need to be ordered so that relegated/promoted teams go to the correct league.

I mentioned competitions above - these could also be created to be associated with clubs (national or continental) or countries (continental or international). For example, a player could create the ‘English League Cup’ and associate it with only the English Premier League and Championship whereas the FA Cup is played by all English teams. So again the leagues would need to be fully customisable so that users can create all of the unlicensed content.

When a player would want to play a cup a menu such as the one below could be used:

International/Club: (followed by example)

International  Continental/International  Choose Competition

International  Continental  Euro Championship

Club  National/Continental  (If national) Choose Country  Choose Competition

Club  National  Italy  Italian Cup

The leagues and competitions should also be linked to their ball and the TV logos. So a Champions League match would use the adidas teamgeist with the Cl logo on it and the scoreboard in the top left corner would be the CL one (now PES has the CL license so you’re going in the right direction!). This would make competition seem more authentic and would make long seasons feel less repetitive with scoreboards for each competition.

Another addition could be different referee kits. So the adidas ref kit could be associated with the CL and World Cup, but the Diadorra kit could be used in Italian leagues and competitions and the Umbro kit for England. It would also add to the realism of different leagues.

Perhaps a referee kit selection could be included before games. This would have two benefits:

1 – Players would be able to use any referee kit for their exhibition matches.
2 – It would avoid the kit clashing that sometimes happens between the referee and one team

5 The lack of in depth commentary is sometimes disappointing. Even though not all of the teams have their stadium represented in the game, maybe the name should be used if the player has selected the game to be at the home team’s stadium. So if its Fulham vs Everton but a generic stadium is used as Fulham’s default it would be nice to hear something like “Welcome to Craven Cottage for today’s game…”

The number of generic player names could also be increased so that the created players do not always remain nameless in the game.

Perhaps players could be given a first and second name in commentary so sometimes they’ll say “Henry with the cross…” and other times “Thierry Henry with the shot…” Increasing the database like this may also alleviate the problem in the previous paragraph.

I don’t know if it is simple, but I have used programmes where a word is typed in and a voice says the word. Some words had to be spelled differently to get the correct pronunciation, but it always worked. Perhaps this could be done with the commentator’s voice and then any name would be available. It would also help when creating teams and naming their stadiums.

The players could also be given actual dates of birth. Using the current calendar (or the date in the season while playing a league) the commentator could use the age as some sort of highlight. For example - “This player has really grown in skill over the years…” or “It’s not often you see so much skill at such a young age in a player”

6 The new continuous play with the quick free kicks is a great addition! I thought it would add more to the realism if more aspects of the game such as goal kicks, corner kicks and throw-ins could follow the same process. It would allow for more random positions at plays and a quick throw-in or corner could add to attacking advantages. In 2009 I have noticed that for goal kicks the players are right outside the box if they were in the box before the ball went out so this is a step in the right direction.

Players should be able to choose the players involved in set pieces. I am a Spurs fan and find it irritating when I have Lennon and Keane in the box for a corner instead of my big defenders that have high heading skill such as King, Dawson and Woodgate. It would mirror the real game more accurately if players could choose target men that would go up for corners and attacking free kicks.

It is also irritating when your right side midfielder comes to defend a throw in on the left and visa versa and the players are out of position.

Every game has the same intro music (I noticed two different ones for 2008 entrance scenes). It would be great if music could be associated with leagues, competitions and even teams (mainly for the international teams I suppose).

I like the new crowd with their swirling scarves and other animations, but sometimes 5000 fans are doing the same thing at the same time. It would look a bit better if they had different timing and if not everyone was swirling their scarf.

Long names on kits often overlap on the kit where they shouldn’t. Perhaps some sort of boundary could be used on name places on the back of kits so that the name curves more to fit or shrinks to fit depending on the style that kit uses. For instance, some teams have straight names like Arsenal that would need to shrink the name (Adebayor), others have semi-circular names like Tottenham Hotspur that would need to curl the name more (and perhaps shrink it too)(Malbranque). Also, the fact that only letters can be used on the shirts makes names like Eto’o impossible to create.

My last suggestion is to make the managers now seen on the sidelines the actual managers. Its not a big issue though, but would be great if you could see them with their nuances - Alex Ferguson looking stern, chewing his gum for example. I love the fact that I can see my subs on the bench and would enjoy it even more if the actual manager was there talking to the players and staff. And, last point, perhaps the substitutes’ bibs could be the real ones made by manufacturers (nike, adidas) and could also not clash with the opponents (it would be even better if the teams could wear their tracksuits but then that’s a whole new kit!)

I think that is enough complaining from me! I hope that you can use some of these suggestions.

Keep up the great work!!
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