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Demo Impressions: PES 2013 Demo 2

September 7, 2012, Author: Phil Ubee

It is not often that big developers see fit to give us two separate demos of the same game, even less so within a short space of time. However, this is exactly what Konami have done with this year’s PES title, releasing two different demos within less than a month to try and get the jump on their biggest rival. Having been impressed by the first effort, I have been spending time with demo two to see what more is shown off this time and whether it adds to the expectation for the upcoming release.

Needless to say, I was more than a little surprised when I heard that we were getting not one but two PES 2013 demos this year. This surprise soon turned into frustration when I loaded up the second coming to find that it was another offline-only affair, that in all honesty shows very little more than the first did at the beginning of August.

Let’s start with the similarities. Demo two gives you the option of a match in the Copa Libertadores competition or a standard Exhibition match. The Libertadores option sees three new teams with Corinthians, Chivas and the Argentinian giants, Boca Juniors, joining the returning Santos. In the Exhibition Match option we switch from International to Club sides and welcome Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

Graphically and audibly there is no noticeable change between the two demos, so I think it’s fair to assume that the finished game is unlikely to add too much polish in either department. We still haven’t heard any commentary yet, though.

Learn to play like this little magician

The new feature in this demo is the PES Performance Training, which gives you the chance to take to the practice pitch to look at the first five skill challenges. While fun, these are unfortunately the five most basic.

First up is dribbling which is split into two challenges. The first is Deft Touch, which educates you to use RT rather than the Sprint button (RB) when dribbling to keep the ball closer to the player and allow you to change direction easily to go past defenders. The second is the double touch, which has you nudge the right stick to the side a fraction before the challenge comes, while pressing forward to do a quick double touch around the defender. This is quite possibly the most awkward of the training games to perform, and probably the one that will offer the least benefit in an actual match.

Defence follows with three challenges. Hold Up Play is basically just shadowing the man with the ball by holding the A button and keeping a set distance. Pressure is performed by holding A and then pressing the RB button to take the ball from your opponent at the right time. Finally, Tackle is a case of still holding A to shadow the attacker and then tapping A to tackle, again at the optimum time.

Next up is Trap, which again has three parts. Perfect Trap teaches you to bring the ball down close to you by pressing RT just as the ball reaches your striker. Then we have two different Flick moves, which are both triggered by pressing the right stick in as the ball reaches the player.

More stunning Stadia

First up is the Sombrero flick, which needs you to flick the ball over the defender’s head and then get to it first. To do this after flicking the ball up, you need to push the left stick towards the goal and then sprint around the defender as the ball goes over his head. This sounds easy and when performed right you can see the benefit of learning this skill, but in practice it remains to be seen how much benefit you’ll get from it. More often than not the defender blocks your run after the flick and then gets to the ball first. I had hoped that in a game situation this would result in a free-kick as an obstruction, but alas that doesn’t appear to be the case too often.

The second flick move is Volley and requires you to flick the ball up on your chest and then shoot on the volley, scoring to clear the challenge. Having flicked the ball up it is fairly easy to time the Volley, and is a pretty simple move to execute in a match situation. Personally I feel this shows off the animation in the game better than anything else at this stage, as the body movement of the attacker looks pretty awesome.

After Trap comes Long Pass and just two challenges. The first is a case of drilling the ball across the field by holding the B button, and the second is a Lofted Long Pass that needs you to cleanly win the subsequent header. Both are very easy and straightforward, and as with the two Dribbling challenges I was simply left thinking why this was deemed important or interesting enough to add to the demo. The only thing I will mention is that to Loft the pass you hold RT (used for controlled shots) rather than LB (used for lobbed through passes and shots), which I personally thought was a little odd.

A good volley is arguably the most beautiful sight in football

That takes us to the final section of the training: Shooting and three challenges. The controlled shot is a case of cutting in from the wide area and curling a shot past the keeper with two defenders in front of you. As mentioned, this is performed by holding the RT button when shooting and is a fairly easy challenge to complete.

Next up is the Knuckle shot which is a lesson in long-range shooting. Hold X to set your power and then, just as your player is about to connect with the ball, tap X again. This takes the spin off the ball and arrows it goalwards. The hardest part of the challenge is timing that second button press, as pressing too soon will just cause your shot to have additional power and lift, and go sailing over the bar.

The final challenge is the nutmeg shot which requires you to score through the legs of the onrushing goalie. This is used with a combination of the Controlled shot and impeccable timing, as you have to wait for the exact moment the keeper makes his move to block the ball, hold RT, press X and aim at the keeper. It’s a challenge, of that there is no doubt, and in-game it’s unlikely you’ll use it too often. A simple controlled shot is far more effective when in the same position.

Now don’t get me wrong; some of the training challenges are fun and teach you something you’ll want to use in a match, as well as having really good-looking animations, but personally I felt their inclusion was just totally pointless for a demo. If Konami wanted to really sell PES and get fans of the other big football franchise to sit up and take notice again, they should have released this as the first demo and then given us an online demo that showed off Master League Online again. That would have answered more questions and created more anticipation as well.

As it stands I’m now a little underwhelmed. PES 2013 looks better than ever and as I mentioned at the end of the Demo One impressions, the player AI is superb. Yet that’s the problem; I knew all that a month ago.

Having missed the opportunity that the early demo release gave PES, it’s now over to EA Sports as the FIFA demo hits next week. Will Konami live to regret the lack of show in this?