PES 2013 – The Only Video Game For Footy Fans

PES 2013 by Konami launches on PS3, XBOX 360, Wii and PC this autumn and will give FIFA 12 a run for its money this year if the online rumblings are to be believed. The PES franchise has been around for 16 years and progressed through many iterations both in title and game play style, so what makes Pro Evolution Soccer so popular?

If you live in North America, the chances are that unless you are a die-hard ‘soccer’ fan, this event will simply pass you by, but if you live in the rest of the world, most specifically in Europe, then as every PES fan knows, the football season starts in August, but you only get to play out your own footy fantasies come October, when the latest and greatest version of PES hits the video game shop shelves.

It all started way back in video game time, actually 1996, when Goal Storm was released on the PlayStation. Since then, PES has moved through several naming conventions and the latest update will be called PES 2013. It will go head to head like it has for the past 16 years with Electronic Arts (EA) and their masterpiece – FIFA (12). There are really only these two games vying for gamers’ hard cash every year and if anything that makes the competition even more fierce.

You see the two games have battled it out year on year and this year PES stands a chance of getting back to the top of the pile. It has been languishing behind for the past 5 or 6 years, due in part to complacency, but also the resurgence and downright brilliance of FIFA.

The facts of the case are this your honour;

FIFA (which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association) as the name might suggest, is an officially endorsed football game, this means that the game comes replete with all the real player names, team names, football kits, competition names and stadia. PES has never had these rights and has had to rely on an editing mode and the ingenuity of the gamers who buy the game to recreate all of the aforementioned details, liveries and stadia. This has fostered a powerful online community purely along editing interests, but when coupled with the obvious game play advantages of PES you begin to see why the popularity of the game is still so high.

So what are these game play advantages?

Well, the trade off in the licensing situation has always been overcome by the sheer beauty of playing PES – it is a game for footy fans. The actual game play has always more closely mirrored the real game, whereas FIFA has traditionally suffered in this area. Playing PES in the first few years was always pure fun, games were high scoring, but varied, FIFA always felt staged and the ball never seemed to behave like a real football, feeling much too floaty. By comparison, PES footballs have always had a weight to them and challenges between players have felt meaty.

An analogy between the two games is to think of FIFA as being a Premier League or Champions League setup, it looks polished and has endorsements coming out of its ears, but it isn’t really true football, it’s a pre-packaged version of the game designed to ensnare glory hunting footy fans, the ones who shout about how great their team is despite knowing nothing about their own teams history.

Pro Evo on the other hand is jumpers for goalposts, dirty knees and eating soggy cornish pasties on a cold, wet Tuesday night away to Barnsley! The analogy might be lost on many and that to some degree proves a point, football isn’t always shiny, multiple step-overs and pink Nike boots, it’s about the teams outside the Premier League who still have fans that turn up for every home and away game, despite not having seen their side win anything for years. That is real football and that is what Konami have tried to encapsulate, despite being based in Japan.

To a large degree they have succeeded, but the line has been blurred between the two games in recent years. FIFA has now moved very close to matching the whole ethos of PES, some say their game play is actually better, I still disagree with that statement, but certainly with the online patches available now to PES gamers, they can sidestep the licensing issue and create photo-realistic players, teams and kits – which means the two games are very much on a collision course to meet in the middle.

Konami have cheered up their fans in previous years by securing licence rights to the England National team, two Premier League teams and various other leagues and players around Europe and the world. This has undoubtedly helped, but give me a fake named Man Red (Manchester united) and quality game play any day over the FIFA version of football. At the end of the day I buy football computer games because I like to play games that recreate the beautiful game, FIFA now does it well, but PES does it better and I’m just hoping that the next instalment of PES 2013 will again give me that option to take the mighty Derby County to European Glory!

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The Importance Of A Goal Keeper In A Soccer Team

As discussed in my soccer formation or system article, a goal keeper in a soccer team is always critical player. He would have to be fielded regardless of whatever formation or system a team would be put out to play. A goal keeper can be defined as the player who guards the goal of his team during the course of a match. Furthermore he is the only player legally allowed to touch, pick or save the ball with his hands within the six yards box or penalty box. This alone makes him different from all the other players.

Under the laws of soccer, any other player who uses his hand to touch or block the ball purposely would result in a foul minimum and a free kick or penalty would be given to the opposition. Another fact is that most keepers would stay within the penalty box or not across the half as their job is to keep the ball out of the goal. Technically a goal keeper is the most difficult position to play in. The reason for this is simple even if he saves every shot at him in the match except for conceding the one goal that loses the match for his team, he would become a villain instead of the hero at the end of the match. Hence a keeper has to be on own his toes and maintain concentration throughout the whole match as a single mistake or lapse could cause his team to lose.

Therefore usually a goal keeper is treated in a very different way from the rest of the team. The characteristics of a great keeper can be summarized as: Having a good command of the box, having good positioning sense, having good agility or jumping ability and having a good pair of hands. Having a good command of the box, would enable a goal keeper to better or organize "arrange" his defense during opposition corners or free kicks. This is critical as most teams in the modern game do work on their set pieces and just a lapse in defense may result in conceding a goal.

In the past, great keepers have always been seen commanding the box like generals such as Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United fame.Another important aspect is the positioning sense of a keeper. Sometimes it can be akin to a sixth sense of where the ball would be shot towards. In some games, poor positioning of the keeper can result in a goal being scored. Being agile or having good jumping ability has enabled many a keeper to keep out or pull off magnificent saves when the opposition has shot certain goal bound shots. While equipped with a strong pair of hands is a necessity as shots can be coming in at a high speed or from different avenues with a variety of power.

Some of the best keepers in the modern games are Buffon of Italian Giants Juventus and Peter Czech of English Giants Chelsea fame. Each of these keepers possesses most of the above characteristics to make them a highly valued member of their teams.Without a doubt, a goal keeper is one of the most specialized positions in soccer or football with their ups and downs in each match.

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Soccer Cleats And How To Keep Foot Pain At Bay

Soccer just like any other sporting activity is vigorous and you need to have the right protection for your feet to remain in top shape for your game. To out your best foot forward during a match, you need to have the right gear for the sport and cleats are some of the most important items you need to select considering that most pressure remains on the feet as you engage in the play. Movement types on ground surfaces should all be considered when buying soccer cleats to ensure that performance is maintained at a high.

The truth is that feet have lots of joints and bones as well as ligaments and muscles and this means you can experience pain in lots of different areas too. Foot pain can be on the bottom or the upper part of the foot, heels and toes and others. Severe foot pain or injury can hinder mobility and some of them can actually develop into infections that cause long term disability or damage especially when left untreated. Wrong shoe fit is the biggest culprit when it comes to foot pain.

Types of injuries

The most common foot pain forms resulting from cleats include heel pain such as plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, Achilles tendon injuries and blisters. Pivoting or having the feet caught when moving to a different direction leads to sprains whereas wearing soccer shoes that are not padded or not well-padded can lead to inflammation that is plantar fasciitis. Blisters also result from ill-fitting shoes that rub onto the foot raw skin.

Prevention tips

1. To keep foot pain caused by cleats at bay, always ensure that you get a proper fitting pair. Know the sizing prior to making the decision and remember to also put your foot type into the picture to get the best fit. For instance, wide feet will require a proper design from the regular soccer shoes.

2. Remember that the material used to make your soccer cleats can have an effect on the fit. Leather tends to stretch after a few years, whereas synthetic materials may not stretch as much. Avoid selecting shoes that make your feet feel cramped and instead think of comfort and stretching possibility.

3. Break-in your soccer cleats before you wear them to a competitive match. The last thing you want to do is try on the new pair in your next big game because it could be pretty uncomfortable.

4. Have any pre-existing conditions checked out and put in measures to avoid more injuries. You might need to treat the injuries before wearing your cleats and this can easily be done by keeping feet elevated, using ice packs on the areas and using a compression bandage to reduce any swelling. Blisters should remain covered to prevent irritations and infections.

5. Choose soccer cleats designed for comfort and control. Check out the padding, the heel, the cleats and even the uppers. The design and selection of materials should all be inclined in keeping your feet comfortable and protected.

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Simple Ways Of Quick Drying Wet Soccer Boots

Wet soccer cleats can be challenging to play in and they can also be pretty uncomfortable for your feet. It is also very important to remember that moisture can be damaging to shoes and you therefore need to ensure that your cleats dry properly after every wash or after wet play. But what do you do when you have very little time to allow the shoes to dry properly?

1. Let the laces loose. Loosening laces opens up your cleats getting more air in them, hence hastening the drying process. When you let the cleats dry with the laces on, you also expose the seams to tension because they contract as they dry. Loosening the laces is therefore also helpful in eliminating this kind of stress.

2. Remove the shoe insole. Most cleats come with removable insoles. Such insoles are convenient because they give players the chance to change into more comfortable and supportive ones as the situation demands. They also come in handy when looking for a quick way of drying the cleats. Removing the insole does not only help the shoe interiors to dry faster, but the insole will also dry faster by itself. You can wrap it up with paper towels or hang it upright using clothe pins or pegs to hasten the process.

3. Wipe off grass, dirt and mud. If the cleats are wet from a rainy game or wet grounds, you should make a point of wiping off the grass, dirt and mud off the shoes using a damp towel. It could add to the wetness, but the drying process will be simpler without these elements. This is also a simple way of ensuring that you have an easier time the next time you wash the boots; dried mud can be harder to remove when washing.

4. Use dry cloth to pat your cleats. It helps in removing most of the surface moisture this kick starting the drying process. You can do this both on the outside and the inside of your boots to reduce dry time.

5. Fill the boots with balled newspaper. The newspaper ball will help in absorbing a good percent of the moisture. You can let it sit for a considerable length of time before removing and replacing with a dry ball before later allowing the boots to air dry. This action can also be helpful in keeping the cleats from shrinking when drying, but you should ensure that the newspaper does not leave them too bulgy either. You can also slide a newspaper piece on the laces and the tongue to enjoy similar drying results.

6. Place cleats in breezy areas. The truth is that even cleats will dry much faster under moving air. The breeze wicks off the moisture speeding the drying process. It is however important that you ensure the area is not humid or damp; drier air is much better in hastening the drying process. Avoid using heat as it can permanently damage your shoes.

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