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I left the playtest with a quiet confidence about PES2010. We’re well onto our way to getting a serious game that has bounced back. I am holding back from declaring my undying love for it, because we’re on the home straight, but the race isn’t over yet. It would be easy for Konami to start to wave to the crowds and even perhaps sign a few autographs, and offer self-congratulatory smiles to the crowds with the finish line in sight. But the big three sites which in my opinion are us guys at PESGaming, WENB and PESFan (in no particular order) will be continuing to provide feedback and request more out of Konami until the very last minute, because there are still small details to iron out.
I’m trying to think of negatives to point out, as I did with my previous playtest, but I can honestly say that there isn’t anything that sticks out that is fundamentally wrong with the game. We need to play a build that is closer to the finished product to categorically state whether the last few features that we want to see implemented are added (such as the invisible throw-in barriers, keeper goal kicks etc, as well as online play).
I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Konami for implementing 360 control in the game.
It’s absolutely amazing that after the complaints people made after the previous playtest, that Konami listened to what we wanted, and implemented a vital feature – and it works! It’s not a bodged implementation that partially works, but a proper new feature that they can be rightfully proud of. They listened to what we wanted to see in PES, so please do express your appreciation for the hard work Konami have put into adding features into the game at this late stage.
I’m not sure that Konami’s long-standing claim — PES’ depth overcomes its lack of licenses — holds as much water after EA’s two years of exceptionally deep gameplay and licensed clubs with FIFA. That said, from the 3-0 drubbing I gave the Konami rep in a Roma – Juventus match (hardly indicative of the real-life results this past Sunday), I get a strong sense that with Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, the Tokyo-based team is finally sculpting a better soccer experience for this console generation. The shooting system feels tighter than the past two years, the AI got itself fewer yellow cards, and the visual menus really help with explaining complex ideas. I’m not sure it’s going to walk away with the championship, but it could at least qualify for a slot on your shelf.
Overall, I think 2010 is showing a lot of promise. but is PES2010 a return to form? Personally I think it could be. On the other hand, in the same way beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, playability is in the eyes of the player. But for my money, it already presents a good, solid game of football, with only minor glitches preventing it from being the best I’ve played in a long, long time. With Konami really under the spotlight to make this year’s PES the best ever, I’ve no doubt most of these will be ironed out in the coming weeks.