Primates took time to evolve too.
With coverage of professional soccer at an all-time high, there is no doubt the fan base and general interest has been growing. Just this year, I’ve gone to one more MLS match than I had in previous years, bringing my grand total to... one match. It makes me wonder what other sports could flourish with proper showcasing. (Swimming is popular during the Olympics, but does anyone pay attention to it at any other time?) Regardless of the matter, here in the United States, where baseball, basketball, and football (Americáno) rules the land, fútbol has certainly made a name for itself.
With popularity growing, merchandise has gone through the roof, from jerseys, balls, playing accessories/equipment, movies, and of course video games. One of the most, if not the most, popular game to date has to be the FIFA franchise. For years, it has held dominance over all other soccer titles (the few that are around) and has continued to be best in show. There have just been few opponents to stand in its way.
For those who have never played any of the Pro Evolution Soccer games, you aren’t missing all that much. Not saying that there aren’t subtle changes that help make it stand out—it’s just not yet too legit to quit. Simply, it’s not FIFA, which still is head and shoulders above the rest, much due to the fact that PES 13 still lacks much of the player and team licensing we all want to see.
The brightest and newest upgrade in PES 2013 has to be the “Total Control” system, which now with a press of button allows you to dribble and pass the ball precisely, or as close as possible. If you see a teammate about to be open 15 meters away, you can lob him a beautifully placed pass and then rejoice on how perfect it was. It does, though, take quite a bit of learning and practice to master this new control system.
Going along with the passing in Total Control is the ability to direct your teammates. This was available in last year’s make but now with “total” control over the ball, play-making has never been better. It’s tough to say that the player movement engine fully agrees with the mechanics of it all, though. At times players will run gracefully down the pitch but then the ball comes and dribbling becomes a bit stiff. Turning and trick dribbling isn’t as fluid and can cause for horrible turnovers.
On the upside, scoring is a blast when you do get around to it. Customizing a player with one of the many celebrations can be entertaining to watch. Smooth play also comes down to how well you learn the controls. For some, mastering all of the buttons may be bothersome, but for others it can be just the tool they need in winning many matches.
PES 13 offers a host of game modes, with hours of challenges to be had in Champions League Tournament, Copa Libertadores club, and of course the ever so popular Football Life. You can now take your football life online and play against people from around the world as you begin your quest for soccer greatness.
International influences of course are still present in the presentation. Even though it doesn't have many licensing rights, PES 13 was able to add all football clubs from the Brazilian National League, helping keep some things somewhat authentic. It’s just such a shame how the game feels. There’s very little verbally said in game modes and even in simple exhibition. There’s almost a disconnection when playing, which causes focus to wonder and want to do something else.
This simulation arcade game is mostly for those who have had a liking for the game in past years, or maybe have become bored with FIFA and want something different. If the price went down a bit, I’d say it’s worth buying outright. If not, save your time and dimes for the glitz and glamor of FIFA.