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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PES Games – A History Of Pro Evolution Soccer Part 2

In 2003, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was released and included a big game play engine update, introducing new features such as the advantage rule and much improved long-ball passing techniques. PES games were now starting to get their hands on lesser European licenses such as the Dutch Eredivisie, but at least this was a start or inroad into FIFA's dominance by Konami.

Pro Evo 3 was the first PES game to be programmed for PC via Microsoft and it was popular, but the lack of online mode disappointed. Further enhancements to the licensing agreement occurred over the next few PES iterations, with many more official teams and players included, but the big one, the Premier League, always eluded Konami – not something FIFA was willing to give up. The Master League (career mode) was expanded and editing options improved, making likenesses even closer to reality.

In 2005 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 finally cemented Pro Evo online, allowing players to play against other PES gamers anywhere in the world. Jubilation reigned in online forums as we finally got real English teams, albeit only two – Arsenal and Chelsea, but again it was a start.

At this point in history PES was still dominant over FIFA, generally getting higher review scores, despite the lack of complete licenses throughout the game. PES stood up so well against the FIFA machine because of the superb two player experience.

Playing against a computer can only ever be so good, as computer AI is still no match for the gaming experience of another human being. It was this sense of randomness and downright fun that kept Pro Evo at the top of the footy charts and this position was further solidified in Pro Evolution Soccer 6, which for many PES fans was the finest hour for Konami.

Pro Evo 6 or Winning Eleven 10 had most of the best elements that have survived to the present incarnation. Fast, fluid, attacking football, a combative tackling mechanic and a slew of new tricks and flicks. To go along with the ever present official Japanese strip, the England National team were now decked out in their official kit as well as other nations. The Xbox version even had next generation high-definition graphics and this would be the last version before Pro Evo made the transition to PS3.

There was no Pro Evo 7, the next installment would arrive in 2007 and the naming convention changed into what remains to this day – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or PES 2008. This was the first version to debut on PS3, but still remained on PS2 and the other consoles. High definition graphics enhanced the gaming experience and PES started to move away from FIFA in the player likenesses stakes, although at the same time the complacency led to FIFA closing the gap and it was around these years that FIFA for the first time started to achieve higher review scores, as ironically, it was likened to the PES game play of old.

Even though many things improved, PES games started to struggle during the versions 2008-2012. Improvements in graphics, master league, competitions, licenses and online play, were negated by fussy changes to game play, that made Pro Evo harder, but sometimes less fun. It seemed that the game almost had a cheat mode in player versus computer games on harder skill levels, as it could be almost impossible to win the ball back or keep it against the computer. Keepers would inexplicably parry weak shots straight back out to unmarked strikers for easy tap ins and referees could be incredibly harsh, sending players off for minor offences, whereas it seemed computer controlled players could get away with murder!

The last few years have been repeated 'overhaul' fixes for PES as they've tried to regain top spot. Shingo Takatsuka known as 'Seabass' has come up with multiple buzz words every year as Pro Evo innovates and pushes the limits of the high-definition consoles and what PS3 And XBOX 360 can handle. The online play has improved on PS3 as it struggled at first to catch up to the online system XBOX had in place and now the edit modes, coupled with the skill and efficiency of PES fans means that the lack of licenses is almost irrelevant.

PES games will have their latest blockbuster out in October 2012 and by all accounts, online rumors and playable demos, PES is back. The review scores were close to FIFA last year and although the FIFA machine now exudes a high level of polish and superb game play, if PES 2013 regains some of that magic from the mid noughties, it'll be top dog again this autumn.

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Facts About Soccer Cleats

When it comes to soccer the cleats play an important role for the players. The cleats are essential, but are ignored by many players. Having a perfect pair for the ground you play on can help you a lot and benefit you in numerous ways. There are certain circumstances in which using the wrong soccer cleats may prove dangerous. Selecting a pair which is comfortable to you is more important rather than buying the one your favorite player wears. There are various kinds of cleats that are available which are suitable for the right seasons and the right ground which you play on.

Rules

The soccer cleats were developed in the 19th century, which actually had studs on them. The first soccer cleats were worn by the king of England in the 16th century. The modern cleats have replaceable studs which makes them convenient to use. According to the rules that apply to the game internationally the players are not compelled to wear cleats. The players can choose to wear anything other than cleats on an artificial turf. The cleats are pretty important when they are to be worn on the grounds with natural grass.

Types

There are different types of cleats you need to know about when you are going to play on different ground conditions. The firm ground cleats (FG) are used on the grounds with dry and natural grass surfaces. As nowadays artificial turfs are used so the companies are producing the cleats which are artificial grass friendly. The soft ground cleats (SG) should be worn on the grounds where the studs penetrate the ground which will give you a good grip. The hard ground cleats (HG) are used on the hard surfaces. The AT- Turf shoes are the priority of the players playing on the artificial turf due to its conical studs. If you are playing soccer indoors then the IN-indoor cleats are perfect for you as they are hard as the rock.

Material

Players like to choose the materials of the cleats in which they are comfortable. The K-leather is a material which molds to the comfort of your foot and it is durable for a long time. The material of this type of leather is soft. There is an option for natural leather as well. The upper area of the cleats is made from leather or goat or calf skin. The synthetic leather cleats are widely in use nowadays with the improved quality of being waterproof. The mesh is used in the cleats which gives a lightweight body.

Categories

The cleats are provided with specific materials in the areas which are used to pass and control the ball are categorized as control cleats. The power cleats have some kind of technology in the zone, which is used to hit the ball. The speed is introduced to the cleat by keeping it lightweight. The heritage cleats contain materials which are used to keep them durable.

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Chicago "Blackhawks" – Another "Miracle" on the Ice

This team is based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the oldest teams of NHL. It was founded in the year 1926, while National Hockey League was founded in 1917. It belonged to the Western Conference, Central Division. Definitely, a team from such a huge city has millions of fans in the USA and in the rest of the world. All of them have great hopes for such team. Neverheless, the previous story of "Blackhawks" does not have too many Stanley Cup wins. The team won the main title 3 times. The last was dated in the season 1960-1961. Afterwards, Chicago did not know the pleasure of such victory.

Neverheless, everything has changed since the year 2008, when Joel Quenneville was appointed as a new head coach of the team. He in collaboration with general manager Stan Bowmen and other coaches led the Blackhawks to an amazing record for the modern hockey. The team won 3 more Cups in the course of some 6 years!

Such achievement was not a surprise in far past. Nonetheless, in comparison to previous times now we have many teams that are quite equal. Therefore, even one title in 10 years may be referred to a real success.

When talking about Chicago before the era of Bowmen and Quenneville, the results were awful. The last time the team reached the stage of play-offs was in the season 2001-2002. However, after changes in coaching stuff, the team lived through a real rebirth.

The coach factor did a great deal. The innovations of Quenneville brought splendid results. Thanks to excellent selective work of Bowmen, the team obtained young and perspective players, as well as experienced ones. The rookies Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews turned into real world-class leaders, who lead their national teams. Neverheless, they became real stars in Chicago.

In strong collaboration of coaching stuff and players, the team from Illinois set a novice record of the modern hockey and it can be called a real "miracle on the ice". It can be compared with that amazing US Olympic hockey team that won golden medals in the year 1980. That was a real miracle, because a team of teenagers from different universities and colleges conquered the experienced monsters of world hockey.

Something similar was done by the Blackhawks. The first success of their "hat-trick" came in the season 2009-2010. Quenneville needed only 3 seasons to reach his first trophy. Afterwards, the team from the United Center (the main arena of the team) was taken seriously by the opponents. Notwithstanding, the opponents were not able to stop Hawks in seasons 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.

In respect of modern tendencies of North American hockey, such success is almost impossible. However, the guys from Chicago made it quite possible. How could it happen? Some would say that this is a long and hard labor of each member of the team. The others would say that this is pure luck. However, the case of "luck" would hardly work for three times in six years. Probably, both thoughts should be united.

It is fair enough that the Blackhawks reached such success. Many players of the team have already won multiple personal awards for the regular seasons and play-offs games. Stan Bowmen is probably the best general manager of the last decade. The genius of Joel Quenneville speaks for himself. Chicago regularly reaches the stage of play-offs, has already won 3 Stanley Cups and shows impressive hockey each season. It is not surprising that the he was included to the coach team for the upcoming Cup of Canada, which is the most prestigious hockey tournament of all times.

During the last season, the Blackhawks could not win the Cup. However, on the average, they win this trophy once per two years. Consequently, the new 2016-2017 season is probably another successful year for them. So, we may talk about new record of 4 wins in 8 years.

The Humility of Soccer Player Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is arguably the best soccer player in the world. He has won the B’lon Dor three times in 2009, 2010, 2011 and has played with the club FC Barcelona for years winning La Liga five times and Champions League three times while he was there.

His honors and success are substantial and have a lot to say about him as a player but today we’re going to dive deeper into Messi’s life to talk about his behavior open up a more intimate conversation about the young man.

He’s not very outspoken, neither is he very loud or overbearing when he is interviewed. He seems more withdrawn when he’s in public and he’s very soft spoken. To understand why he is this way you have to go back and look at the history and his beginnings at his training ground at La Masia in Spain.

The Argentinian caught the attention of scouts at a very early age. He was a young boy then. He was recruited and sent over from Argentina leaving his family and friends behind. When he first came to La Masia to train he was described as very quiet and shy, often indicating the longing of his parents. The first few years at La Masia were very hard for him as he wasn’t in the same boat as the other players because his family wasn’t very close to him distance-wise. Most of the other children were from Spain but they were very supportive of him and tried their very best to cultivate and nurture the growing Argentinian.

He grew up playing soccer and it’s his relaxation and also his job. Soccer is not a job to him as it is simply what he does at play. As he grew older he continues playing.

The environment at La Masia encourages humbleness. They never try to make money or fame an important aspect of life, instead they try very hard to create an environment that provides for a player to grow up well rounded. The go to school together and learn together. Part of the reason is because at La Masia you earn respect through humbleness. Academy Director Carles Folguera said, «… you can be humble if your surroundings are but it’s tough.» At La Masia they encourage a lot of camaraderie. Folguera also stated, «..the most important qualities for the boys is comradeship and humbleness.» Seems like this has been drilled into them at La Masia as part of their player creation process.

Coming from a poor background of a father who was a steelworker and a mother who was a cleaner, the Argentinian had a lot to thank for at La Masia. His former coach Guardiola was very happy to be at La Masia at the age of 13 because they were a very organized establishment that they «helped me grow up» and had «very good food.» From this you can see that there were fond memories to be had at La Masia, it’s a place where you needs are taken care of and coming from a poor family you have a lot to be thankful for such as having a good place to learn, play and train and also have good food to eat. Aside from that at La Masia there is 75 staff members including doctors and trainers to help with the needs of the players as they grow older. These all inclusive associates help develop a more balanced personality that does not need to feed on fame or fortune to feel appreciated and respected as the «family» has already ascertain and taken care of all your needs. All you have to do is play.

Messi still idolizes other players. His favorite soccer player he followed as he grew up was Pablo Aimar, someone he used to watch videos of and try to mimic his skills. To this day he still idolizes this man, someone who Messi has beaten in terms of records of achievement. At the age of 23 a TV show interviewed Pablo Aimar on his thoughts of Lionel Messi and had the interview recording replayed to Lionel Messi as he watched in awe and silent joy. This shows that he’s still a young person inside, someone who is very much still adhering to those feelings and emotions he had as a child.

So as you can see, La Masia never turned off the need for a person to hide their individuality and childishness. There are other things that are more important to La Masia such as respect through humbleness that bring out a different and very docile, humble and respectful person upon graduation of the program. Lionel Messi simply happens to be one of many very well rounded and nice players that graduated to play for Barcelona and other teams.

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Does Mo Salah Have a Shot at Winning the Ballon D’Or?

This question has been on the minds of many football fans as they witnessed the performance of the 25-year old Egyptian forward over the course of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson had once told that Inside Forwards are more dangerous than traditional forwards. The Egyptian seems to be trying to prove Ferguson’s remarks true. He has shown explosive bouts of pace, exceptional fitness levels, extraordinary shooting accuracy and the form of his life.

So, once again, does Mo Salah have a shot at winning the Ballon d’Or? Not Quite Yet!

The reason is rather simple- Liverpool as a team have not won any silverware this season as of yet. So does this count? Yes, it does. Despite all his exploits, the team has not been successful in any major competition apart from the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool just won the first-leg of their semi-finals against AS Roma 5-2. Salah proved to be instrumental in this trashing of his old club yet again as he ended the match with 2 goals and 2 assists. He had managed to score seven goals in his 7 outings in the Champions League during the leadup to the Semi-finals. He has shown out of the ordinary striking form through-out the Premier League season. But unless Liverpool win the Champions League, his dream of winning the Ballon d’Or will remain just that, a dream.

But things have not always gone according to script for the Egyptian. His initial entry into the Premier League was with Chelsea, who bought him from FC Basel. But he could only make 13 appearances and score 2 goals before being loaned-off to Italian side, Fiorentina. He was then loaned to AS Roma who bought him from Chelsea for a complete transfer. He enjoyed considerable success at the club. Liverpool then bought from Roma before the start of the 2017-18 season. Many of the experts voiced their doubts about Salah’s ability to adopt to the Premier League. But all of them have been silenced now, given his performance and sheer attacking prowess he has shown.

Salah also helped Egypt qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018, their first appearance since the 1990 World Cup. He emerged as Egypt’s top scorer during the qualifying tournament and scored both the goals in the all important match against Congo. He has so far scored 43 times for Liverpool during this season and is only behind Ian Rush in the all time top goal scorer’s for the club in a single season.

Mo Salah has already been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the year. So let us hope Liverpool will maintain their momentum and take their current form into the second leg against AS Roma.

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