Tag: football (page 2 of 8)

Fifa or PES?

For the football loving gamer this is usually an annual question with an easy answer. If you prefer real stadiums, teams, leagues and players as well as some great graphics you pick Fifa. If you prefer subtle controls, a more realistic game and some flowing animations you pick PES. For me PES has always been an easy choice. Fifa suffered from repetitive gameplay, easy goal scoring and a real lack of challenge. PES was tough and I felt a better sim of football.

However the last release of PES on the 360 was disappointing. Stuttery graphics and more importantly gameplay that was far less fluid than the PS2 version had left a bad taste in the mouth. Online wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exactly glowing either. A subsequent patch had left it almost unplayable as it would drop half way through a match.

The demo’s for this years versions pointed to a far closer battle. PES was smoother in game than before but still stuttered badly in replays. Fifa felt very slow but had a lot more depth than previous versions. Both had camera issues but that was down to poor options in the demo.

Why I Bought PES
So I stumped up for PES yet again. The game was a lot better than last year with all in game stutter a memory that only returned during replays – they were awful! The gameplay was also smoother with a lot more depth and a nice feel to the game. Strict referee’s were back but once again i was happy with PES. Online though was a kick in the teeth. The first online PES 2 years ago was a mixed bag. Cheats could quit without penalty and the net code wasn’t the best. But it did allow 2 vs 2. Last years was less laggy but cheats could still prosper. Also the hosting was shared between the two gamers…meaning you could have a great first half if your hosting followed by a horrible, laggy, torrent spoiled second half. 2 vs 2 was also dropped.

This year still sees only 1 vs 1 and the couple of games I played were mixed. Seemed to go OK but after a period the lag was horrendous making the game unplayable. It was PES but only just. This was disappointing especially with Fifa promising online leagues, a way of playing for your team online and also a 5 vs 5 mode. To be honest I laughed when I read that – they’ve no chance of getting that to work well.

Why I bought Fifa
A couple of trusted friends eventually bought Fifa….and loved it. It didn’t have the depth or the fluidity of PES but online it rocked and the 5 vs 5 mode…..worked a treat. I’ve had the game over two weeks now and it is superb online. 1 vs 1 and up to 5 vs 5 is a very special game mode. Lag free and just a joy to play. It can be spoiled by greedy and mouthy players but played with a few friends is a great experience.

Graphically the game is good although sometimes the animations are a bit clunky. Sometimes the game can frustrate as it just isn’t as good as PES. However the online mode is so good you can overlook those issues.

You also have the ability to create your own public and private leagues, upload video’s and pictures to the net and take part in matches representing your team. Offline has much the same modes as PES but not to the same depth as PES master league.

So what should you buy?
If you only play offline, PES. If you are going to play online at all or never have done but like multiplayer gaming them Fifa is for you. It’s been a long time coming but Fifa has finally bettered PES this year for me. If only Konami could get near Fifa’s performance online – what a game that would be.

Euro 2008

So England are out too. To be honest, and this is going to sound like a bitter Scotsman (too true), they never deserved to go through on not just tonight’s performance but their performance through out the whole qualifying stages. To be given a second chance by Israel and then blow it tonight on home soil with a real lack of guts and determination is pretty shocking.

McClaren was also pretty surprising. His demeanour was of a man sucked of any confidence or drive. Maybe that’s pressure, the press, the job. For whatever reason, he doesn’t look like a man to lead an international team. Standing with that brolly on the touchline trying to stay dry – nothing wrong with it really but it just sent out the wrong image. I guess it’s bye bye for him.

So no home nations at Euro 2008. Great attempts at qualifying from Northern Ireland and particularly Scotland. Terrible effort from Wales, Rep of Ireland and in particular England though. Room for a home nations tournament next year perhaps? Our footballers haven’t much else to do.

One last thought. Why is the Wembley pitch in such a bad state? For a stadium to cost THAT much money and have THAT bad a playing surface is a disgrace. To blame NFL and concerts is a bit rich. It cut up badly in the FA Cup final and has never looked in any way decent for a stadium with such a proud history.

Emotion

Never has a football game been more looked forward to than tonight’s Scotland – Italy match. All week I’ve been getting more and more excited about it, more and more drawn in to the drama and passion surrounding it. Flower of Scotland has never been sung more louder at Hampden I reckon. Never have I felt so cheated and so down after a game of football.

We got off to the worst possible start and lost a really soft goal. To many not paying attention, Toni given too much room. At times we looked a real second best and a cracking Gordon save followed by a great decision by the linesman kept the score 0-1 going in to half time. But we had hope. Hutton came close and Weir’s header was cleared of the line. Second half was certainly better for Scotland. Hutton started to make the run’s we’ve become used to, Brown roamed as the game opened up and from a poor free kick we scrambled an equaliser. I went mental!! We had another glorious chance that McFadden just couldn’t connect cleanly with but it looked like a great draw for us and a nail biter on Wed as France went to Ukraine looking for a win. Italy brought on a defender and we seemed to have defended a late attack as Hutton covered in defence and then got fouled on the ball. WHAT? Crazy decision. The ref (bastardo) gave the Italians the free kick and they promptly scored. Game over, Scotland failed to qualify again.

I’m still gutted, almost empty at the loss. However it would be too easy to dwell on negatives, to familiar to adopt the unlucky loser mentality. Scotland have had a great campaign, one of their best ever and if it wasn’t for the group of death we were drawn in then who knows. To get to the position we were in tonight with three of the top ten teams in the world, the world cup runners up and the world cup holders is amazing and the whole Scotland team, past and present management and especially the supporters should take a huge amount of credit and also a massive amount of confidence into the soon to be drawn world cup campaign. Bring it on!

Scotland 3 – 1 Ukraine

It’s early days but a brilliant start to the game. To be two goals up within 10 minutes is unbelievable. Hopefully they can keep a clean sheet until half time. Two set pieces, two goals. Fantastic.

Update – another great win! It was looking a bit dodgy at 2-1 but McFadden stepped up again to give us a third. 24 points with two games to go. An unbelievable position but heartbreaking that we will likely need more than 3 points out of Georgia away and Italy at home to go through. The run of form has been tremendous and never did I think we would top a group containing Italy, France and the Ukraine.

Around two and a half years ago we were ranked 88th in the World. 18 months ago that had risen to 72. February this year saw us break into the top 20. We’re now ranked 13th which will make a massive difference to the World Cup qualifying campaign…but never mind that – there’s a Euro Championship place in our hands. Roll on Wednesday night.

Lyon 0 – 3 Rangers

What an amazing result. One of the best from Rangers in a long time, and easily their best result in Europe in recent years. Certainly the most surprising result in the Champions League tonight and also the best performance by a British team. We rode our luck at times but good defence and clinical finishing won the night.

So we’re joint top of the group with Barcelona. Suddenly talk is of qualification and what results we need to go our way. Great times that will hopefully lift their domestic performance. Bring on Barca…gulp!

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