Soccer's newest video games hit shelves Tuesday

FIFA 12 PS3PES 2012 Xbox360


Whether you're a fan of the FIFA series or if you prefer the Pro Evolution Soccer games, Tuesday marks the end of a long wait.

For the first time ever, both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer video games are set to drop the latest installments of their respective video games for the Playstation 3 and Xbox360 on the same day. Tuesday's release of EA Sports' FIFA 12 and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 also marks the first time that both games are simultaneously released first in North America, while other parts of the world will have to wait days or even weeks before they can play.

FIFA12 offers several new features this year. The game will include Tactical Defending, Precision Dribbling and Player Impact Engine, all of which have made for a much more realistic feeling when playing. MLS's expansion Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will also be included in this year's edition.

PES 2012 has done some finetuning to its gameplay as well, with improvements in artificial intelligence, game speed, and animations. One new feature in the game is the Teammate Control system, which allows a secondary player to be controlled by the gamer so as to make runs and shake off defenders before calling for the ball in a good spot on the field

So which game is the must-have this year?

It depends on what you want out of a game.

In terms of graphics and online play, FIFA12 is the superior of the two. FIFA is also better in terms of licensing as it has the exclusive rights to MLS as well as several second division leagues, something that has always appealed to American soccer fans. FIFA12 has also added more international teams, including Ivory Coast, Egypt, Peru and Colombia.

That said, FIFA12's gameplay while improved still can feel scripted at times, and the new Impact Engine can occasionally cause some awkward-looking collisions. Goal variety is once again not a strong point of the game, while there is a lack of fouls called in this year's edition.

Where FIFA12 struggles this year, PES 2012 shines. The artifiical intelligence and offline gameplay in PES is head and shoulders above FIFA's, with off-the-ball players making good runs, defending smarter and reacting better to what's going on around them. The variety in goals also adds to the games' more oganic feeling as does the game having exclusive rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Copa Libertadores competitions.

PES 2012 still lacks licensing though, which is a major fault that many gamers can't overlook despite the fact that option files with most team's real names and jerseys hit the internet a few weeks after the game's release. PES 2012 is nowhere near as smooth as FIFA12 and although it offers double the international teams that FIFA does, it has a noticeably smaller range of club teams to choose from, one that does not include the German Bundesliga.

FIFA12 is all but certain to once again sell more copies this year, but PES 2012 has picked things up in terms of gameplay to the point where gamers can't go wrong with either choice, making this soccer gaming season a win-win situation for all.

  • Steve C

    If you want a challenge, get a girlfriend. If you want fun, play video games.

    I work 40+ hours a week, come home and don’t want a challenge. I want to have a lil fun. Video games are that outlet.


  • Isaac

    I feel dumb saying this, but everybody here should probably play both games before really making any damning statements… Again, just my opinion. Moreover, everybody has different tastes, so PES might suit certain people, while FIFA might suit others.


  • Sugand

    No way, Fifa is the one with ping pong gameplay for every single team and arcade game style. Who cares about graphics? PES has better gameplay hands down, the only important thing that matters. Licensing doesn’t matter as you can just download an option file for all the ream team names and players.


  • jim in Atlanta

    Pay attention. They did fix this in 12, if you played then demo or early release I dont know how you missed this.


  • HoboMike

    Oh Isaac, you’re such a silly boy. How dare you bring common sense and reason to this board?


  • HoboMike

    Can we get a league or whatnot on the xbox360 for Fifa? I’m malex930. It would come with the no Barca/Real caveat.

    I had a gaming marathon with 2 English third division teams. The players suck…but it was much more fun than powerhouses.


  • ChrisB

    I only got to play the demo for about 5 to 10 minutes but I didn’t care for the tactical defending either, I like the concept but there still needs to be a way for the AI defender to actually press the ball, they just continued giving them a 5 yeard cushion all the way to the front of the net. I’m sure there will be tricks to it once we get some minutes logged though


  • Rory

    If you pre-ordered FIFA from Amazon they gave you a link to get a free mini Fathead. The cool part is their webpage has a thing that shows you where their most recent orders are headed… fun to see a bunch of Sounders and Galaxy fatheads headed to the East and Southeast. neat to see where the fans actually live. You can click on my name above this post to get a direct link.


  • Rory

    It cracks me up what a big deal PES makes of having the rights to the Champions League and Europa League names. Both games have European tournaments set up just like the real ones, only PES gets to call it the Champions League while FIFA has to call it the ECC (European Champions Cup?). But the pro-PES players make a huge deal out of that and yet are playing with a team called Manchester Red or North London. I know which liscense I’d rather have.


  • rory

    What do you mean by that? FIFA has had the MLS in the game forever, even carefully making sure they got the playoffs right each edition (home and way for first round, single conference final and MLS cup).


  • Colin

    Panizo’s assessment of these two games is pretty much the opposite of the major gaming publications. Check out GI and IGN. For the critics, FIFA is the outright winner this year. I have yet to make a side-by-side comparison, but I don’t know if I’m dropping the extra $60 to do that when I know I’ll enjoy FIFA and it’s what all my friends will buy. (Granted, I could get the PES demo)


  • Rory

    PES features a total of SIX, yes, SIX leagues. Five of which have the actual name of the league in the game. Three have the actual team names, three have a couple of the team names.

    Meanwhile FIFA has like 30 leagues including the top four in England and MLS. That means a heck of a lot bigger player database.


  • Ian

    When I say “impact,” I mean selling points. These features don’t make me want to go out and get it today. I just can’t imagine that most of the suggestions they got from customers was “we want more lifelike defending.”


  • NedMorgan

    Can you create your own team and stock it with your own created players in FIFA this year? It didn’t work in FIFA 11, which stunk. Maybe I’m a dork but I like to create my own team and players.

    Anyone know?


  • Adam M.

    Still waiting for the Tecmo Bowl version of a soccer game. Don’t get me wrong, all of the “realistic” stuff is tremedous and worthwhile and necessary and morally pristine, but every now and then I’d really like to see Neymar in Bo Jackson mode, be able to run Messi up and around the field three times before scoring (or, alternatively, try to stop him from doing that) and have Beckham score on some bombs from the midfield.


  • Real Cold

    I’m a career mode fan too, and the new features within it sound pretty cool. They brought back youth scouting (sorely missed last year), and added more realistic transfers (whatever that means). Biggest thing I’m looking forward to, though, is they’re including a deadline day.


  • Mo

    Do you guys know if additional commentary packs will be available for download? I was really psyched about the Arabic commentary on FIFA 12 but I now realize that it is only available for Middle Eastern countries.


  • San

    US ratings and updates have always been substandard. EA has not kept up with the times. Embarrassing considering the game is made in an MLS town.


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