Having a smartphone has completely changed my phone usage. In particular, my phone has now become my primary game platform (although I’m very enamoured with the work’s Barnes and Noble Nook Color I have running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)). One type of game I always seem to come back to consistently is that of the football simulator, and I thought it would be interesting to compare the 2 big hitters – FIFA10 and PES 2011.
FIFA10 has been around for a lot longer than PES, so I’ve played it an awful lot more. It’s also had some updates, which did resolve some of it’s initial niggling problems (like not multi-tasking properly). I’ve played a about 7 seasons worth of manager mode, and most of a season in Be A Pro mode. I’ve played in Amateur, Semi-Pro and Pro levels, too.
– Manager Mode and Be a Pro are excellent additions to the game, increasing it’s longevity and playability
– The variety of button combinations makes for a very in-depth (albeit complex at times) control system
– The game play is fast
– Menu system is responsive
– Good “training” subsystem
– Mis-hitting controls is easy to do, and it seems to misregister at lot of the time (this is possibly a problem with multi-touch on the HTC Desire – I am investigating further at this point)
– Some moves which should be simple aren’t – double-tap for a cross is very hard to get right.
– “Manager” mode doesn’t really involve much management beyond formation. You can’t see health or fitness levels from the team screen, so you can’t make tactical decisions based on player’s suitability
– Free kicks seem overly complicated to get right – scoring from a free-kick should be an art form, not black magic.
– The change in difficulty between amateur and semi-pro is _huge_; it was bad enough I almost gave up. Semi-pro to pro has been easier to handle.
– You basically run everywhere because the slower option is much harder to achieve
PES I have played mostly on the Nook, which has a much bigger screen, which shows off the graphics nicely. I’ve been playing in Regular and Professional levels. I’ve played a European club competition, an international cup and most of a league season.
– Quick-game – auto-picks the teams and just jumps straight in. Perfect
– Controls are big and simple. Complex passing manouvers are simple
– Scoring overhead kicks! It’s easy, and it’s fun
– Replay system is excellent, and offers saving your replays to a gallery
– Sometimes it’s hard to select items on the menu.
– No manager mode, despite having better team management system – you play 1 season on a league, and that’s it. No cups, or anything
– Not the real teams – usually find, but surely “Merseyside Red” should at least have a red team strip, not blue…..?
– Player selection is mostly automatic, which can be frustrating
– Penalty kicks are too hard to take (IMO)
– Menu system with slide-then-press is awkward – often it slides when you’re trying to tap; “Tap Anywhere” splash screen is pointless
– Training system only offers free-play and penalties
So – which one do I play the most? Well – it depends on a number of other factors. PES is more “arcadey” – easy to pickup and play a game. FIFA feels more in-depth, but it does require an investment of time to get used to the controls and difficulty level. If PES had a better “manager” mode (seasons, transfers, etc) then it would win outright.