PES is back, but how does it compare to FIFA 09?
PES is back, but how does it compare to FIFA 09?

PES is back, but how does it compare to FIFA 09?

PES 2009 is undoubtedly better than last year's disappointing effort. And yet it's got a lower review score. But how can that be? It plays at a more considered pace and, finally, online play actually works with no teleporting, hardly any lag and an impressively speedy quick match option (with two versus two support, no less).

Have we lost our minds? No. Of course we haven't. The reason why PES 2009 is being given a harsher time of it this year is because these things aren't big changes. FIFA 09 is the better game, not only from a graphical point of view, but from a basic gameplay point of view, and EA has tried to tailor the PC version to the hardware. Playing PES 2009 after a FIFA 09 session makes you realise that, actually, there's not much about Konami's game that couldn't be achieved on the PS2 and almost no effort has been made to build a game suited to the PC.

Player animation is rotten. Players run about with their arms pumping back and forth as if they're robot men. The eight way movement is as wooden as ever. The passing and shooting animations are archaic. The commentary is delivered with as much quality as an episode of Hollyoaks. The soundtrack has been cribbed from a wedding DJ's vinyl collection. The player faces look silly. A magical barrier surrounds the throw-in taker. Keepers take forever to distribute the ball. Having speedy wingers cross the ball in for headed or volleyed goals is an overpowered strategy. Month old transfers have been ignored. Half the teams have made up names and games often descend into hilarious pinball battles as the ball whizzes about as if a cat's plaything (one goal we scored against a friend - where a shot slowly rebounded off the post, onto the keeper's shoulder and into the net, had us crying tears of laughter).

None of these criticisms will surprise PES fans. This is the way PES has played for a good few years now, and this is the way it plays once again. We've forgiven PES these deficiencies in the past because, well, FIFA was no alternative. But now it is. In fact it's better. It's impossible to ignore. PES doesn't play a real game of football any more, as it once proudly proclaimed from the terraces. It plays something else, something different.

The game plays similarly to last year's disappointing effort

The game plays similarly to last year's disappointing effort

Admittedly there are some areas where Konami is clearly trying. The Be A Legend mode is at first glance a complete rip off of FIFA's Be A Pro mode, but those in the know will be aware that it's actually the Western implementation of Winning Eleven's Fantasista mode, a feature that's been running for longer than FIFA's alternative. Here, you create a 17-year-old player (you can scan in your face via Web Cam if you fancy it) and bid to become captain of your country. You start out, however, playing for the wonderfully named Babilayna CF versus Athletic Club Salsabie, but you're being watched by a number of scouts from top clubs. After the game you're offered a contract at a top club (no matter how bad your performance you're picked up). We were offered terms with three clubs, but Man City (sans Robinho of course, this is PES after all) seemed like the best bet. From there, you need to impress during training matches to make the bench, and then make an impression when brought on as a substitute. It's an interesting mode to mess about with, and we have to admit that it's something that we can see a lot of players pumping many hours into, especially if they're bored of the now tired Master League, which once again makes an appearance without any significant changes. That you can take your created Legend online is an added bonus. But, ultimately, we can't see the mode replacing the traditional one on one PES match.

The addition of the Champions League license sounds a lot better than it actually is. You'd think that Konami's securing of the best club competition in world football would mean PES 2009 would have the official license for all of this year's participating teams, but it doesn't. Only a select number of clubs are officially licensed, once again. Disappointingly Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC are the only officially licensed Premier League teams on offer. The illusion that you're playing a real Champions League game is shattered somewhat when Manchester United are going up against London FC. Yes there's now a full edit mode, which means that those of you with the time and inclination can right all those transfer wrongs (of which there are many - Shevchenko is still at Chelsea and Berbatov is still at Spurs, for example), and correct all the club names, but really it's a pain in the arse we shouldn't have to suffer. The saving grace for the PC version is the ease at which players will be able to download unofficial team and player conversion mods transforming non-licensed teams into something closely resembling the real thing.

Online play works, which is great, and there's still a great feeling when you score a cracker.

Online play works, which is great, and there's still a great feeling when you score a cracker.

And yet, despite all of the problems, there's still fun to be had from PES 2009. It's incredibly hard to nail down exactly why this is, but it's there nonetheless. Perhaps it's due to the fact that the pace of the game has been slowed ever so slightly, and that keepers are actually a lot better than in previous versions. Whatever the reason, a screamer from 25 yards is as magic as it always was. It'll still get you up off your seat and screaming your heart out. This just about saves the game from filling our hearts with bitter disappointment. That and the fact that online play actually works, which is absolutely great. PES might be feature light in comparison to FIFA's packed offering, but it still offers a fun game of virtual football. And, inevitably, some people will always prefer PES' gameplay, which is fair enough.

Still, we can't help but feel that there's going to be thousands of PES fans who embrace the power of the dark side this year, on account of the fact that it simply doesn't feel like Konami is putting much effort into the so-called 'next-gen' versions of PES these days - and that includes PC. You might even say the PS2 is the lead platform, when you compare the strides forward between Konami and EA's efforts. PES 2009 is a good game, but the times they are changin', and we're afraid that Konami is being left behind. Time for a reboot, Seabass.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

priyesh's Avatar
Delete Post

priyesh

Pes any given day is way ahead than Fifa. May be yes it is not that well publisied as what Fifa is but nevertheless Pes is a real and practical football game. Passing , Dribbling , Defence , Attacking , Skills , Ballcontrol , Goal keep , Shhoting and even playmaking every thing is real as compared to the cartoonistic of Fifa. Hats of to Pes.......
Posted 09:14 on 26 February 2009
ALam's Avatar
Delete Post

ALam

ridiculous...u all just say things so stupid..u all didn't play football professionally and stil wanna say crap bout PES 09..i played as pro footballer, n i know PES 09 is brilliant..if its not because of the licensing issue,PES 09 would be so realistic it can even surpass the beauty of playing the footie in real world for god sake..Wesley Yin-Poole is just a critics who never played the game for real..n i'm sure he is well paid 2 say those crap bout PES 09 on this website.. if i can rate this game, i wanna give it a perfect 10/10...
Posted 08:46 on 11 February 2009
dj_dimitrakis19's Avatar

dj_dimitrakis19

thanks
Posted 16:13 on 07 January 2009
sgtlopez23's Avatar
Delete Post

sgtlopez23

You know what? yeah FIFA 09 is good on the ps3 and xbox 360 hands down, but for pc the fifa gameplay and graphics suck. On PC PES is the best next gen game of football there is, and if you dont like the fake team names you can always put a patch that are online to fix it. PES 09 on pc is king. FIFA may be putting there money more on consoles and leaving the pc behind but on PC, Konami always thinks for on PC players
Posted 16:35 on 03 January 2009
nutti's Avatar
Delete Post

nutti

good to see so much thought put into some comments ( "Fifa Sucks!" ). If anyone's played the next gen console version of fifa 09 they'll know it is VERY good; the dynamics & physics of the game have improved dramatically. They also have an extensive library of moves. Fifa 09 on pc is significantly worse; they removed a lot of the tricks, and there are none of the physics seen on ps3/xbox 360. PES 2009 (i think) rips Fifa 09 on PC, which is a shame because EA really could have catered to those with high end pc's, and done a direct port of the ps3/x360 version. I still like PES though, but they really need to step up.
Posted 06:15 on 01 January 2009
folly's Avatar
Delete Post

folly

is there a PES shop on the pc version? any feedback would be handy
Posted 17:51 on 30 December 2008
martin's Avatar
Delete Post

martin

pes 2009 is the best game ever, fifa is the same crap every year the only diffrent i find is the game menu..pes is alot alot alot of fun konami just needs more money to get all team kits, logos and names. that's it..
Posted 10:43 on 23 December 2008
ashrazor911's Avatar
Delete Post

ashrazor911

Fifa Sucks!
Posted 10:50 on 22 December 2008
lecture's Avatar
Delete Post

lecture

fifa is ****ed.pes is d real thing.the only thing that fifa is better than pes is in the manager mode.pes master league is not dat good.but in gameplay and graphics and other things apart from commentary pes09 rules.fifa is a game 4 babies
Posted 11:08 on 13 December 2008
SCIPIrox's Avatar
Delete Post

SCIPIrox

haha dude, i played pes demo that came with my NAG mag and after i mastered the "easy" controls i scored on average 5goals per match while in fifa i score like 3 on average. PES is way easier and sure it has better graphics and the only only reason it has better gameplay is coz its easier. PES sucks dude. PES 6 was legend. Konami is watching to much porn
Posted 17:42 on 06 December 2008
leon's Avatar
Delete Post

leon

pes 2009 cover is evev better than fifa's
Posted 00:06 on 04 December 2008
leon's Avatar
Delete Post

leon

all you guys that think that fifa is better than pes are all a bunch of dumb assssss lol
Posted 23:59 on 03 December 2008
Catani84's Avatar
Delete Post

Catani84

Actually they are...Google it and you will find the 1.10 updates for the PES 2009.And...just wanted to say that I agree with the person who said that it seems annoying at the beggining and that it makes sense after a few weeks. At first I was furios that the gameplay seemed screwed up...but in reality they just made it more realistic. I was dissapointed that I couldn't just score a half from 50 meters away and all that. After you get used to it...the game just becomes a perfect simulator of soccer. No more 10-0 matches...This time you have to fight hard to win. Kudos to Konami for such a great game. Brilliant...absolutely brilliant.
Posted 12:14 on 30 November 2008
plankton's Avatar

plankton

are there update pes 2009???
Posted 06:01 on 27 November 2008
Darren Mc Master-Smith's Avatar
Delete Post

Darren Mc Master-Smith

Did Ea send all the reviewers bags of money because the Pc version of Pes 2009 is way better than the Fifa ps2 look alike effort.

I can't believe the biassed reviews Fifa is getting when on pc (not other platforms because i haven't played them yet)it is inferior to PES 2009.

PES has the better graphics,gameplay is smoother than a baby's bum,and I had no controller issues with my usb to ps2 converter like I did with FIFA.

Plus I need a magnifying glass to look at Fifa's menus.

Fifa has the upperhand online but that is all.

PES on PC is the way better football game.
Posted 11:17 on 25 November 2008

Game Stats

7
Out of 10
PES 2009
  • Online play works
  • Plays a fun, often hilarious game of footbal
  • Feels out of ideas
  • Dated visuals
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 17/10/2008
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3 , Wii , PS2 , PSP
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 639 12
Check Price