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It's not just in recent years that there has been a big rivalry between Pro Evolution Soccer and Fifa. Every year all the games magazines and review websites go crazy about which is better. In recent years it seems that Fifa has been winning the day.
PES5, meanwhile, probably represents the last installment of the series which truly had the edge over Fifa.
As always with PES, the big disadvantage is that not all of the teams and players are licensed. Many of them are (and increasing number in fact), but it's still offputting when you have to manually go through and edit names and kits before you can even properly enjoy the game.
Putting this to the side however, PES was without doubt the best football game of it's year. Graphics were generally very good, but the strong point, as ever, was gameplay.
Fifa has always had the feel of limited gameplay - as if certain actions will always have certain predictable effects - and that you see the same types of goals scored all the time. Not PES. And not PES5.
Conversely, PES5 gives the unique feel that anything is possible - as if the physics engine of the game allows for pretty much any bizarre type of game, or goal. And it does. Play it long enough and it's unlikely you'll feel things starting to repeat. The game engine really does put the player in control, and in it's day, it was about as realistic as it got.
All the normal options are available - tournaments, leagues, cups, master league and training. It is possible to play online, but this was very much still in it's infancy with PES5, and so had/has a lot of problems.
While not everyone's idea of a perfect football game (some are loyal followers of Fifa no matter what) PES5 delivers as far as i'm concerned.
Gameplay is central to a good football game, and in terms of gameplay, PES5 wins hands down over it's Fifa equivelent.
It's an old game now, so things have moved on, but if you want to revisit an old classic from a time when PES was still better than Fifa, then look no further than PES5.
The major critisism's I've have heard and inded encountered with regard to PES5 are as they have always been, that being the lack of licenses and the team names being somewhat obscure. That said the game is by far superior to any of it's competitors especially in the actual game play. The main comparison with this game is with it's main rival FIFA which I have also played, for me there is no competition PES wins hands down.
I am never ceased to be amazed at how closely the players look like their live counterparts, and the resemblence does not stop at being merely cosmetic. The majority of the players in the game have some of the same quirks and skills as their likenesses.
The graphics in general are just amazing which can do nothing but add to the enjoyment of what I consider to be a superb game. I have being playing PES games for a few years now and have certainly noticed the advancements in graphics and gameplay.
The game is basically a football game where two sides compete in a head to head match, this can be enlarged by including the seperate games in a mini league, a master league as PES put it, and indeed a champions league. One can also simply play a one off friendly or exhibition match. Playing in a league gives you a better chance to develop your skills and after a couple of seasons assuming you are good enough for promotion you will then be entered in the WEFA cup which adds to the realism. You will play both cup and league matches as real teams do and suffer no doubt some of the downfalls that incurs. Players will be injured and some naughtly ones will be suspended. It is important therefor to make sure your team is at full strength. This is done my earnoing points from wins and buyiong selling players. Be careful here though because you must remember to keep enough points to pay the wages bill or you season will end abruptly.
The length of game can be changed to suit the time you have to play the game, the skill level can also be changed, but beware playing at the higher skill levels is not that easy. Well it might be to start with but can you keep it up.
At various points throughout the season you will encounter negotiation periods where you can buy and sell, it is for you to decide on the terms and conditions you will negotiate with your prospective new players. Don't offer more than you can afford or you game will end with you becoming bankrupt.
I play this nightly with my son and have found it has greatly helped us in bonding we did go through a period where we were fighting a lot and this game seems to have reduced that scenario dramatically.
Alll in all it is a superb game and can be found in most good game stores for around 39.99 which although I think is a bit over the top in most cases does appear to be rather good value for this excellent game.