Ok, I've now spent a bit of time on the new Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 demo on XBLA and I've drawn my initial conclusions.
Fixes of things that were shit in PES6:
- Lobbing the goalie has now been demoted from it's previous position of 'Most Difficult Thing'
- Taking a 'quick free kick' isn't completely pointless as in PES6 the screen would still fade down and everyone would have recovered their woeful positions and be ready to immediately steal the ball off you. Play doesn't actually stop now and you can still catch your opponent unaware and lay your GOAL POWER upon them
- More kit options to avoid the PES6 effect where your best option would sometimes be both teams playing in exactly the same kit. Except one of you would have a stripe or different coloured socks
- Nicer graphics and menus and eye candy that isn't very important. Although I should point out that I can't see a huge difference between PES6 and PES2008. Maybe it's because I have only got a standard def telly, what with me not being a tsar or being able to print money
- At least my telly is massive though
- Goalies don't seem to be butter fingered twats quite so often
Things that worry/annoy me so far:
- Players still look 'a bit burns victim'
- The frame rate on the demo is AWFUL and there is quite a bit of glitching here and there. I can only assume this won't be the case in the final release but seriously, there was loading time aplenty when I was playing
- Wayne Rooney doesn't have any new weapons and has not been given 'plasmids'
- It doesn't seem to be very different from PES6, most of the character animations and celebration routines seem to be the same. The gameplay is slightly more fluid and fast paced but it's nowhere near the difference between PES6 and PES5
- There's no commentary on the demo which is really annoying because if there's one thing I need it's new phrases to get used to such as "He must be wondering what he has to do to beat this goalkeeper today" (The answer in PES6 was usually 'just wait' as he'll probably trip over his own defender soon)
Now it may seem like I'm a little underwhelmed. That's because I am. But that is also because the way I've played this demo is not how I play and love PES.
The thing that makes me love PES is getting all (both) of your mates over and playing for 5 hours solid because neither of you can let the game you just lost be the last. It's needing one last match. It's saving replays of goals scored from the halfway line after rebounding in off the keepers arse.
It's one of the most social games ever, and I know I'll be buying it. I know it probably isn't going to be a huge revelation or even a massive leap from the last version but I'll be happy just getting a slightly new twist on an old favourite. New players, new teams (Derby?) and a facelift is pretty much all I needed from PES2008, as long as they don't mess with the formula then I'll be happy.
I may not bang on about it the way I did over PES6, but I'll almost certainly play it as much.
Which is all that matters right?
IN OTHER NEWS: Matt has put up all our gamer cards on the right there. My gamerscore is pitiful and I feel the need to point out that I've only just renewed my Xbox Gold Membership and that I've only just bought a 360. I also need to change that stupid pirate twat for my picture.