Tackles often trigger ridiculous collisions, and it's hard not to laugh at the accompanying over the top sound effect.
Tackles often trigger ridiculous collisions, and it's hard not to laugh at the accompanying over the top sound effect.

Tackles often trigger ridiculous collisions, and it's hard not to laugh at the accompanying over the top sound effect.

It's not all doom and gloom. As mentioned, PES 2010 is a more enjoyable experience than PES 2009, but in some areas it's even better than FIFA 10. Of these the most notable is player faces, which are on the whole the most lifelike ever seen in a sports video game. The England team is bang on, as are most players from elite clubs: Torres, Gerrard, Rooney, Lennon, Terry, Kaka, Ronaldo and Messi all look incredible. The player faces are so realistic that PES 2010 is perhaps the only football video game where the entrance scenes are worth watching.

PES 2010 looks crisper than last year's effort, and thankfully there are no framerate issues at all. But the pitch view still looks somewhat dated and smacks of a last generation PES in high definition, albeit less so than in previous versions. The number and quality of the animations, as well as the physics of players and the football, are a huge influence here, but PES 2010 still doesn't look as "Sky Sports" as FIFA 10.

While the menus have been given a makeover with an edgy magazine lick of paint, text is often wooden and reads like a Babel Fish translation of a foreign language. Despite a convincing effort from Jon Champion (the less said about pundit Mark Lawrenson the better), the commentary is appalling. It's often seconds behind play, and at worst has nothing to do with what's actually happening on the pitch. Champion will scream that the referee's about to blow his whistle as if England are about to win the World Cup. Shame he does it just before half time.

The number of official licenses has been increased, but the Champions League license still, ridiculously, does not include all of the teams that are actually in the competition. So while Liverpool and Manchester United and 15 other European club teams line up with real badges and kits adorning their players, all to that iconic entrance music and night time paraphernalia, the likes of Chelsea (aka London FC) turn up in plane old blue kits. Oh, and while we're on the subject of authenticity, why are all players not at their real life clubs? With the transfer window ending the first day of September, is there any good reason why Richard Dunne is still at Manchester City, or Arjen Robben is still at Real Madrid?

While the graphics are not a huge step up, the player faces are incredibly accurate.

While the graphics are not a huge step up, the player faces are incredibly accurate.

Thankfully, Konami's efforts to bolster and improve the long-running Master League, an offline fan favourite, are largely successful. You're now in control of club sponsorship, which is a nice touch even if it involves silly fictional companies. The menu is a much more pleasant place to explore, split as it is between three distinct areas: Club House, Stadium Walk and Office. The new, officially licensed rock heavy soundtrack, which includes hits from Klaxons, Kaiser Chiefs and DJ Shadow, is a vast improvement on the brain-melting cheese fests of previous years. Transfers seem suitably realistic, too. As Chelsea, my day one pursuit of Ronaldo, Rooney and Messi were knocked back. I managed to prize Michael Owen from Manchester United, however, for a princely sum of £20 million. With the classic Master League players enabled (go Valeny!), I was only able to snag strikers Louis Saha and Craig Bellamy, both for vaguely realistic prices. By all accounts, Master League will prove a popular home for fans that prefer the single-player PES experience, and compared to FIFA's Manager Mode, which has proved something of a buggy mess, it scores points for at least working.

At the end of the day, though, PES 2010 is simply not good enough to challenge FIFA's dominance. It's an improvement on last year's effort, and fans of the more arcadey virtual football will find plenty to enjoy, but as a simulation it pales in comparison. PES 2010 is a return to form, but it is not a return to past glories. PES fans that have crossed over to FIFA in recent years need not concern themselves with switching back. Perhaps it's best to use a real world analogy: if FIFA 10 is Manchester United, then PES 2010 is Aston Villa. Despite flashes of class, only one team is capable of winning the Premier League.

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User Comments

alibehroz's Avatar

alibehroz

Changing very bad players designed. Davar game is a little difficult.'s Worst on difficult combination in this version is not stored
Posted 21:43 on 30 January 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ hecnob90

Sorry, there is no Argentine league.

But it does have Boca Juniors and River Plate.
Posted 16:14 on 30 November 2009
hecnob90's Avatar

hecnob90

can anybody tell me if ps 2010 has the argentine league in it ?
i live in us , here they have fifa 10 and it has the f..... mexican league ...can anybody help me pleaseeeee....thanks
Posted 16:02 on 30 November 2009
Kiroquai's Avatar

Kiroquai

To be honest, all the points you mentioned up there about FIFA (particularly the dumb AI and the scoring from the half way line) went out the window years ago.

Any reviews that score FIFA higher than Pro Evo have simply come to the conclusion most people have: it's better.
Posted 15:16 on 21 October 2009
hangar18's Avatar

hangar18

JamesB you are correct - FIFA is awful.

How on earth anyone can think its better than PES (with all its flaws) beggers belief. FIFA is not a soccer sim, end of story. The poor ball physics, jerky camera action, unrealistic tackling mechanics and easy exploits (e.g. scoring from the half way line) make FIFA rather inept as a soccer game, and lacking in challenge from the CPU. The dumb AI helps the CPU only to the point where you realise what not to do, and instead learn how to exploit the AI against the CPU. The challenge stops here even on top player mode.

Any review that provides FIFA with a higher rating (or even a high rating) than PES has alterior motives for doing so, or knows little about football.

If FIFA were advertised as a headless chicken soccer caper, captured by a camera man with an advanced form of parkinson's then it might be worthy of 9/10 but as a soccer sim.... pah... dont make me laugh.
Posted 01:51 on 21 October 2009
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ wyp100

If by gods, you mean Martin O'Neill and the boys, then yes, the football gods have indeed punished you.
Posted 13:18 on 19 October 2009
da_nik69's Avatar

da_nik69

People who don't like or watch football think FIFA is 'realistic' because it is slow and slightly dull?

I love football and watch it every week and i can assure you i know what the players should look like so your argument has no legs to stand on.

FIFA to me is easily the most realistic football game that has been created.
Posted 12:38 on 19 October 2009
JamesB's Avatar

JamesB

FIFA is painfully awful.

I know this, because I bought it. Somehow, the reviewers neglected to point out that FIFA's ball physics are completely wrong. Over the course of 10 days, I didn't score a single goal that looked remotely like something you might see on MOTD.

People who don't like or watch football think FIFA is 'realistic' because it is slow and slightly dull. They don't realise how poor the player likenesses are, because they don't know what the actual players look like.

I've been playing footy games for 20 years, so I don't really need reviewers to tell me what to think. That said, FIFA went back to the shop yesterday as a £25 trade in. Did I get £15-worth of fun out of it? No sirree...will be picking up PES on Friday...
Posted 11:52 on 19 October 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100

Gah. With that woeful away loss to Villa, clearly the football gods punished me for the last line of the review.
Posted 14:57 on 17 October 2009
bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby@ wyp100

Thank you. :) PES plays completely differently on Wii than it does on 360/PS3 y'see.
Posted 10:07 on 17 October 2009
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ rbevanx

Can't use Blues - It says there was Flashes of Brilliance - LOL!
Posted 11:05 on 16 October 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100@ bencrosaby

We'll do our best to make it happen :)
Posted 10:55 on 16 October 2009
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

I still think that Shingo "(kick his ass) Seabass" Takatsuka will pull it back next year.

I also think that the default camera in PES is better than FIFA's, which makes everything look too small.
Posted 23:41 on 15 October 2009
bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby

Will you be reviewing the Wii version?
Posted 18:22 on 15 October 2009
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

If FIFA 10 is Manchester United, then PES 2010 is Liverpool. Despite flashes of class, only one team is capable of winning the Premier League.
Posted 17:17 on 15 October 2009

Game Stats

7
Out of 10
PES 2010
  • Better Master League
  • Fun, arcadey football
  • Team and player strategy features miss the mark
  • Unrealistic animations
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/10/2009
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , iPhone , Wii , PS2 , PSP
Developer: PES Productions
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 4,156 33
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