PES 2019 - Review

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Jason R. Rich

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Summer is coming to an end and with it they begin to arrive on the shelves, to the delight of all the football fans who are currently enjoying the Serie A championship, which began in the middle of August, the pair of football titles that gives years are battling for the scepter of the best game of the genre: Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 and FIFA 19.

We will do ours in this clash of titans, going to evaluate both titles, to give you our opinion, as objectively as possible, as lovers of sports and football games, starting today from PES 2019, the last chapter of the Konami series. .

As every year, expectations are high, in this constant and frantic chase that, from the previous generation, sees the best-selling EA title, forcing developers to rebuild the general framework from scratch several times, to constantly shorten this gap.

Now we find ourselves in our hands a very interesting chapter, which has learned from its mistakes, to be in all respects a valid alternative. Here's what we think!

An increasingly simulative aspect

Pad in hand the sensations are very positive, having a very staid rhythm, tending to realistic, with constructions of more reasoned maneuvers and full of cobwebs of passages, ignoring what has been the high-speed ping pong of the competition, in the last year football just spent. This pleasant simulation, however, is not enough to eliminate the shadows that are thrown again on the game system, represented moreover the excessive woodiness of the movements, both in the possession phase, and above all in cover, where we will feel the weight of the defender almost excessively, or midfielder, in the moment of contrast, as if he were heavily anchored to the ground.

Obviously this makes it difficult to defend the actions vertically, where the more "manual" and less assisted nature of the steps, both in terms of direction and strength, cannot completely compensate, making construction more difficult, but in any case very difficult to counter.

To all this we add some goalkeepers still to be reviewed in the movements, failing to convince us in their excessively accentuated "jerkiness", as well as their efficiency not up to par.

Leaving aside these annoying details, we found it very pleasant and reasoned, satisfying those who prefer to spin the ball to sudden vertical actions, with greater realism as regards the management of the ball in stops and restarts.

Farewell to the UEFA Champions League

One of the heaviest losses of the brand was certainly that of the two top UEFA club competitions. Considerably increasing the lack of licenses affecting the title, one of the most critical points from supporters and non-supporters. This year, in addition to these, we still have a high lack of licenses, from Juventus, to the entire Premier League, excluding Arsenal and Liverpool, the entire Spanish Liga, excluding Barcelona and finally, among the most important, the absence of the Bundesliga. . They represent in effect a valid reason to go elsewhere, if you want to play with your favorite teams and they, for one reason or another, are not present.

To help the title from this point of view is the editor, specifically the Option Files. For those unfamiliar with them, they are importable files on the PlayStation 4 and PC version, created by the community to faithfully recreate faces, players, transfers, leagues and above all teams, with everything that circulates around, so logos and shirts. These represent the only possibility to literally transform the game, with a completely new and rich content, going to replace unlicensed teams, or of lesser importance, being able to play, from our point of view without being able to use the state of form. variable, with missing teams.

In addition to this, there is precisely the editor, to make similar changes, although obviously minor, in all the teams of the game, alternating banners, forms, shirts, logos and so on, also importing totally new and invented ones. Here one of the most intriguing aspects of the title is born, that is to be able to create a totally customized team in every aspect and use it in the Master championship, or even in MyClub, replacing, as mentioned above, one of the other teams present, even if, we reiterate, it remains a view exclusively limited to us and to those who own our own files.

What do I choose now?

The modes are many, whether you want to play online or offline, guaranteeing us the opportunity to have fun for several hours as we please. Specifically, we have, in addition to the classic friendlies against the CPU, the Become a Myth that is revived, in which we will follow the deeds of a footballer of our choice, created or existing, against the CPU. It is also possible to play online with a single controlled player, in the 11 vs 11 mode, very confusing, but just as fun if played in company, being able to experience the atmosphere of the game from a completely different point of view from what the title generally offers.

Returning to the offline modes we have the two main ones, namely: the championship and the Master championship. The first, as the name suggests, is a classic tournament in which we will play a competition of our choice, while the second is one of the cornerstones of the series since its first editions. Over the years he has seen his skin change several times, but on the whole always remaining very similar, given his amusement always and in any case.

As always we will have the possibility to do it in two completely different ways: with a real team, or the classic mode. Dwelling only on the classic, for obvious reasons, it represents the essence of the Master League, where we will have low-level invented players and, if the chosen league has relegations, we will start from the lowest league, to build our future battleship from the ashes.

For the rest we can define it as a career mode in all respects, managing our team in every aspect, from jersey numbers, to training, passing through the management of training and above all of the negotiations, with the help of the observers to find the best talents. In addition, it is possible to have all the statistics at hand to get a complete picture of the situation of our team, as well as being able to choose whether to play the games in person, simulate them by being a coach or simply skip them.

In short, even this year we can expect hours and hours of fun with this mode, given its being tremendously solid and varied.

Finally we conclude with an online mode, that is the 3 vs 3 Co-op, a way to play with friends even without being in the same room, to be able to have fun in company without any restrictions. This idea is also taken up to greatly improve the experience of the MyClub mode, but we'll get to that in a moment.

A grown MyClub

FIFA in recent years has been leading the competition thanks above all to its Ultimate Team, a way to awaken in the nostalgic figures, as well as managers from all over the world, memories that are now past, but very strong to allow record collections over the years. In recent years, PES has also tried to ride the wave with its MyClub, with its balls of different colors that contained our favorites ready to be deployed, but not without flaws. This year we have been able to notice a considerable series of innovations, as well as above all improvements to existing systems, focusing strongly on what is their idea for this mode.

Specifically, we immediately see the abolition of the roulette of balls, for a simple random system, in which the success rates, in addition to knowing who we will be able to find inside, are explained before the purchase. After that we will have a very interesting animation, which goes to show the geographical area where the player in question plays, to then see the type of ball and finally its reveal, complete with a presentation with our current shirt.

Everything is very scenic and impactful, managing to make it even more especially if we had, as discussed above, created our own customized team.
Another characterizing aspect of MyClub is the grinding behind it, that is the possibility of playing incessantly to get certain things, whether they are GP, game currency, or observers, up to the interesting possibility of empowering our players. In fact, the more we use them, or we will upgrade through training cards to increase the experience, seeing its values ​​increase.

This turns out to be interesting because no game is an end in itself, but it will always bring us advantages, or rather: of experience; so if we lose a match, it won't be a waste of time, as we will see our players grow.

The system linked to their deployment is also very particular, passing through a system of understanding linked to experience with a certain form and position on the pitch, the more in fact we use it in its preferred position, the more effective it will be in the game. An integral part of all this is above all the coach who, in addition to determining which form we are going to use, has a value that indicates the maximum level of the squad that he can train, forcing us to manage our team in the best possible way so as not to exceed, keeping a fair balance between eleven owners and the bench.

This thing, together with the question of contracts, linked to the money earned, as if it were actually a salary to be paid, avoids being able to exploit, without the monetary outlay, a high-powered team from the early stages of the game, although finding them is all. 'anything but difficult, with special offers at the start of the game and teams of the week.
Finally, we have at our disposal how we can play, the modalities where to field the team we created, between tournaments and games with the CPU, online classified matches and daily challenges, passing through the simulation, where we will only be the coaches and finally the mode Co-op.

This is the most welcome novelty of this MyClub, which allows us to play up to 3 against 3 with our "clan", or random players, in which the allied teams will merge, taking from 6 to 9 players for each team, to create one specifically for that game. A very interesting idea to try new players and above all have fun in company, which is the basis of games of this genre.

It almost feels real

One aspect of which PES has always been able to boast is the graphic realization of the whole atmosphere that revolves around the game of ball, from the stadiums, to the players, passing through the field and above all the chosen color palette. The latter is more realistic, unlike the competition where the colors tend to be brighter, which together with the staid and slow pace, make their dirty figure in terms of simulation. The cons, however, there are also here, where some faces are not made to perfection, albeit having a very high number, detaching themselves from the appearance of the player in question. In addition, the animations, although the step forward is constant over the years, still arouse many doubts, more as regards the goalkeepers than the other protagonists of the field, who certainly nourish a greater care. Specifically, they left a bad taste in our mouths, not having a complete and fluid animation, but rather a sudden leap towards the ball, then transforming once grabbed, in a slow and exaggerated descent.
In short, there are still many aspects to be reviewed, but the work performed is a priori to be praised, also in terms of sound where, in addition to the soundtracks chosen to accompany us in the navigation of the menus, we see the steps forward.

Last note to note is our desire, in the next chapters, to see fewer and fewer cut-scenes that break the match, especially when you go from being played to a still ball due to an interruption caused by a clash of play or ball out, for increase the feeling of realism.

In conclusion

Here we are, certainly in the most awaited part: the verdict. Will PES 19, after all these years, be able to catch up with its arch rival? For many it is and certainly for many others no, it is a subtle game of opinions and subjectivity, on how each of us interprets the world of football and on how he wants to live it. Objectively speaking, leaving aside personal tastes or style of play, we have seen constant progress and this has left us very satisfied. Konami's guys are working more and more every year, introducing important and tangible improvements, so much so as to increasingly shorten the gap between the two productions, indeed, even to be preferred by many pads in hand. In our opinion it is still far behind in terms of modalities, although it presents a Master mode that still reigns supreme, as well as some interesting ideas such as Co-op in MyClub. But this is precisely the one in which you will have to focus more and on which FIFA has bet everything with its Ultimate Team, there is a need to improve it more and more to give fans of the title an increasingly rich, exciting and wanting to be playing incessantly, with a number of things to do, on and off the pitch, certainly greater.

That said, we are very satisfied with the steps forward and we invite you to try it, possibly in its demo version that is present on the store, PSN or Xbox Live, in which you can feel, at least in part, also the multiplayer sector, maybe you will find what is for you, to enjoy the best sport in the world to the fullest.

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