If it's crap ... We'll tell you
FIFA 2011 VS Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (Review and Comparisons)
For PS3 and XBOX 360
In the U.S.A, Soccer has never really been the most popular of sports. Soccer (or Football, as it is known throughout the rest of the world) has always had a stigma attached to it as being not as manly as American Football, and to be fair, when you see a flamboyant long haired Italian man rolling around in agony because someone tapped him on the shoulder, you can understand why. But times are changing, and with the help of David Beckham joining LA Galaxy, Soccer has began to rise in popularity in America.
Sure, it will never be as popular as American Football, but one can not ignore the rising popularity of Soccer in America. I am sure that many people will have became fans of the sport upon realising that the U.S.A has a decent International team, doing very well in World Cup 2010: South Africa. It would seem that you guys in the states are starting to catch on as to why Soccer is the biggest sport in the world (Though not the biggest sport in America).
Many people who play computer games, usually have the occasional Sports Game in their collection. Why? Because they are fun to play, but also because they usually provide a longer “shelf life” then other gaming genres. Once you have finished an adventure game like Final Fantasy, that's it! You will put it away, and it will gather dust. The brilliance of sports games is that each match can be different, each competition you create will have different outcomes, and that can really help with longevity of these games.
Soccer games have always been popular in Europe, but recently, sales in North America have started to rise. FIFA 11 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are at the forefront of sports games, with FIFA 11 recently becoming the biggest selling sports game ever! Amazing right? So, for all you soccer fans (and some of you who are curious), it is time to review and compare two of the biggest soccer games to date.
Fifa 11 and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2011 are both soccer simulators, that's a given, but the similarities stop their. These games are two very different beasts, with different pro's and con's for each area of gaming. Which one would you spend your money on? Well, that depends heavily on the type of gamer you are. If your an online gamer, then FIFA 2011 provides a perfect online experience. If you are an offline gamer, and you just want to play alone, then PES 2011 definitely has all the modes and challenges to keep you entertained. Both games have all of your soccer needs covered, but each have their own individual strengths.
Sports titles can have the best graphics in the world, but they have to play a good game as well. Fortunately, both FIFA and PES 2011 play a brilliant game. PES 2011 has always been known for it's realistic gameplay ever since it's debut on the Playstation 1 (International Superstar soccer, as it was known back then). FIFA on the other hand has always struggled to keep up with PES gameplay wise, but with it's last 3 instalments it has really caught up with it's rival.
PES 2011's gameplay is sharp, fast and fun, the passing feels crisp and the balls physics really have a sense of realism. The manual passing system makes things difficult at first, if you have the ball and want to pass it to another player, you have to aim your d-pad in the direction of were he is, if you don't, then the ball will just roll into open play, potentially causing many problems for you. Once you get used to the manual passing though things become much more entertaining, with you being able to play the ball anywhere you want (e.g. laying the ball off in front of a player so they can run onto it and have a powerful shot on goal). The ball physics are definitely a strength for PES, enabling you to create sharp passing, slow passing, lofted through balls, powerful shots on goal, slow chip shots and much, much more. Players run with smooth animations, and really show their individual strengths (e.g. smaller players will struggle against bigger players, but will generally be more faster and nimble on the ball).
FIFA 11's gameplay is also a very enjoyable experience to play. Passing is sharp, but lacks the manual aspect of PES 2011. There is definitely a sense of semi auto-passing with FIFA, but that is not to say it is a bad thing, sometimes it is helpful as it creates a much more fluid game. Ball physics are good, but not as strong as PES. Passing along the floor is a joy, with short passing feeling sharp and fast, but longer balls through the air feel a little slow and “balloon” like. But were FIFA lacks in ball physics, it makes up for in player animation and movement. FIFA blows PES out of the water when it comes to AI, which sadly hasn't always been the case with PES usually being the better at gameplay. Players will make darting runs into open space, defenders will pull at your shirt and hustle you off the ball and strikers will show a burst of pace to beat the last defender then adjusting their body to slot the ball into the back of the net. While PES does all these thing, it simply doesn't do it as well as FIFA.
PES and FIFA 11 both include a number of game modes, so whatever game you choose, you will not be bored. FIFA comes complete with all official league modes (Premier League, Serie A etc etc), a host of cup modes and also career modes that involve taking your chosen team to the top of the league, or even taking an individual player throughout his career (Be a pro mode). PES offers similar modes, but also includes an official Champions League and Europa Cup mode. The most important modes for both games are FIFA's Ultimate Team and PES's Master League. Ultimate Team involves creating a team using packs of cards (kind of like Pokemon), then taking your 11 most powerful cards and playing other teams online. It really is fun mode, but the only draw back is that you have to pay actual money for your card packs, so unless you are completely dedicated, you might want to try PES's Master League. Master League is simple, you take a set of unknown players and try to win the league and all of the cups. Throughout the seasons you can buy players, sell players and win PES money by winning games, leagues and cups. The good thing about this mode is that you won't have to spend any money! I must also mention the FIFA has a similar mode called Career mode, but in my opinion it doesn't match the quality of PES.
Graphics for both games are strong, and it would be difficult to choose which has the better. PES has great character builds, with realistic faces and animations. FIFA has beautiful stadium designs, and excellent kit designs. All in all, FIFA just edges it graphically, as it includes smaller details such as players sweating throughout the match and kits looking visibly wet when it is raining during the game. Take nothing away from PES as it is still a stunning game to look at, with player likenesses beating FIFA's sometimes zombie-like appearances.
FIFA 11's strongest point is online gameplay, unfortunately this is PES's weakest area. If you want to buy a Soccer game to play other people online then you it would be FIFA all day. FIFA online is so enjoyable to play, with lag free matches and end to end fun. PES 2011 has improved online from it's previous versions, but is still a terrible experience, with many games being unplayable due to lagging. That's not to say that FIFA is without it's problems, now and again you may experience a bit of lag, or a game losing connection, but compared to PES's clunky and glitchy online experience, FIFA is a walk in the park! (Or a run on the Soccer pitch so to speak!).
Licensing is also one of FIFA's strong points, with all of the team names and kits being correct and updated often. It boasts all of the main leagues in the world, including all of their respective divisions (e.g. Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two). PES 2011 struggles to match the huge number of leagues and teams FIFA has to offer, and also does not have some of the licences. One major drawback is that PES does not have any English licensing. Teams in the Premier League have fake names and fake kits (e.g. Liverpool FC are called Merseyside Red), however the game does include a brilliant editing system, so you can create kits and rename all of the teams as you see fit. The only two English teams that are licensed for this years instalment are Manchester United and Tottenham, if you don't support them you will have to make do with fake names! Unless of course you have a good few hours free to edit them all.
FIFA 11 Gameplay
Overall, it is tough to decide which is the better game. FIFA has a better online experience, sharper graphics and licensing to all teams and modes. PES on the other hand has brilliant gameplay, an excellent array of game modes (including the superb Masters League), and lovely ball physics. What game should you spend your money on? Well that is entirely down to the type of gamer you are. But if your looking for the most complete package, the best value for you money, then FIFA 11 is the game for you. FIFA just barely edges it overall for me, as it has everything you need to enjoy a Soccer game, plus the online mode is superb. That being said, PES is still a brilliant game but will appeal more to the offline gamer. Ah sod it! How about you just get both games, then you won't be missing out at all.
If you would like to see more of me, then please check out my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/mcevoy2006.