By FRANCO PANIZO
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.