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Saturday, September 24, 2011

CG presents...."FIFA" vs "PES": the never ending story....

It is mid-september: after several weeks of rest, all top leagues started in Europe, the MLS is heading to the playoffs, and of course, the undisputed number one competition in soccer is ready to kick-off: the UEFA Champions League!
Not only the fans and the players on the pitch love these times, but also the gamers at home: tradionally, EA and Konami release their latest soccer simulation and every year there is the question: which one is the best?

And there is the problem: Neither "FIFA" nor "Pro Evolution Soccer"(short: PES) is the perfect game, but both communities swear on their favorite game series.
FIFA Soccer (1993)
ISS Superstar Deluxe (1996)
The days before the release of each game you can always read the same kind of question: "Should I buy FIFA or PES? Please help! Can't decide!"
And yeah, it isn't easy at all. I can't tell which game is the winner because none of them is really "better". Each one exceeds the other one in certain aspects and lags behind in others.

ISS Pro Evolution 99
First of all, let's take a look at "FIFA".
Since 1996, the main advantage is the original licence (First game had only nationalteams; the successor had original league names, but no original player names). Not only the names of the clubs are original, but also the names of the stars. This was the first time that a triple-A soccer game used original names.
Over the years, the graphic improved and the shirts, faces and stadiums were always gettig more realistic. Personally, "FIFA 2002" was the first time I had the feeling that I was playing with Superstars like Alessandro Del Piero or Ronaldo. Their faces looked very good at the time and I only thought "damn, this is so real".

PES 5 (05)
Another argument is the brilliant sound. Espacially in the last years, EA had the right touch for the music while you were adjusting your team or choosing the right game mode. But also when you start to play the game, the sound is magnificent. If you turn off the commentator, the player really feels like he is a player in a stadium with 80.000 people. This may be the stongest point of "FIFA".

Now, let's talk about "Pro Evolution Soccer".
Well, actually "PES" wasn't "PES" since the beginning. Hmm... what? Yes, you've read right! The original name of Konami's soccer simulation was called "International Superstar Soccer" (ISS) till 2000 in America and Europe. In Japan, it is named "Winning Eleven" from the beginning.
Still today, the game suffers from the lack of some orginal team names (like the german "Bundesliga") and player names (not on PC; the community is doing a great job of editing the names!).
At the end of the 90's and the beginning of the new millennium the press agreed that "ISS"/"PES" was the soccer reference. Still today, the game features a great gameplay and the match is unpredictable; it isn't just the same over and over again.

PES 12
At the end it is a matter concerning the faith. Both are great series and very popular. Together, they sold more than 180 million copies and there is no reason why Konami's and EA's soccer simulation won't dominate the following years.
In a few days, both developer studios will release their latest update of their games and the annual question will rise again: Which game is better? "FIFA" or "PES"?

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