Soccer’s newest video games hit shelves Tuesday

FIFA 12 PS3PES 2012 Xbox360


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.

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81 Responses to Soccer’s newest video games hit shelves Tuesday

  1. montana matt says:

    So basically PES is better?

  2. Raul says:

    I’m getting FIFA but i was really disappointed with its’ career mode last year and thats one area where PES shines.

  3. jim in Atlanta says:

    Hell no! FIFA all day everyday.

  4. jim in Atlanta says:

    Career mode? Wtf, that’s what you for forward to in FIFA lol. Mybe you should get pes lol.

  5. hogatroge says:

    They feel different. Play both demos and see which you like better. The controls for PES are less intuitive, but ball movement is faster (which I like).

    That said, I prefer FIFA, having first been exposed to PES.

  6. MicahK says:

    PES is whack Fifa all day. PES need to get licensing then they will dominate Fifa. I cannot wait to get Fifa 2012 and transfer Neymar to Arsenal. 😀

  7. JPon87 says:

    Gotta go for FIFA. I can’t get over the lack of license in PES. The FIFA 12 demo was fantastic, more challenging and more realistic in a lot of ways. Excited to waste countless hours of my life haha

  8. montana matt says:

    The gameplay is a bit more realistic in PES, but I always end up buying FIFA somehow.

  9. abc says:

    PES has more realistic gameplay, but FIFA is better in every other way (granted except for the most important way, gameplay). PES looks and feels like an Xbox (as in, the original Xbox) game from 2004 other than that…

  10. Ian says:

    I swear, how many times can they try and pass off “precision dribbling” as something new? I hate when they try and pass off lame gimmicks as great new features. How about more recorded names, or better modeled players, or tifo displays, or more team-specific chants, or little things that would make way more of an impact than “tactical defending?”

  11. Topher says:

    If anyone wants a game on FIFA12 (PS3), add me up topher_himself. Won’t be able to play til Thursday but I’ll probably be on all weekend.

  12. mikey says:

    Bought both last year, prefer FIFA.

    Having the licensing all but locks it up as far as I’m concerned

  13. Dan says:

    If you want a challenge try PES. If you want to have fun try FIFA.

  14. sean says:

    FIFA hands-down. PES is league 2 while FIFA is the Premiership. Oh, I guess PES can’t be league two even because only FIFA actually has league two teams on it.

  15. Zeke in el paso says:


  16. duhboy says:

    haha who the fuh plays PES? I don’t know anyone who prefers PES over FIFA, let alone anyone who actually plays PES.

  17. wilbur06 says:

    nothing like the classic derby of manchester red vs manchester blue.

  18. PMP says:

    PES all the way. Way better gameplay. Fifa is crap.

  19. Mark F says:

    Having played these games in one form or another for 15 yrs I can tell you that while PES used to be the gameplay choice and FIFA was graphics and licensing, FIFA is no longer inferior in gameplay and is the better all around choice. FIFA11 was a game changer in terms of gameplay and they seemed to really tuned it up for 12. I like what I see from the new defense controls in the demo. This is the game to get unless you’re a PES lifer and are used to it.

  20. Mark F says:

    Not even close…the graphics and aesthetics of PES have fallen to far behind. The players can make passes and shots that unrealistic. If you have fun playing ping pong on a pitch then fine, but it FIFA is the better game.

  21. Danny says:

    I have never, nor will I ever, have the inclination to buy PES. FIFA has been the best sports game PERIOD for the past 2 years, and it looks like it will be a third. FIFA all day err-day!

  22. Pes2012 says:

    PES all night long. Not even close.

  23. Brian says:

    Effing hipsters and your PES.

  24. Michael says:

    I got turned onto soccer playing PES first on the old xbox, and then on PES on the 360 as well. Then I ran into someone who introduced me to FIFA 09, and I couldn’t stop playing it. I’ve been with FIFA ever since although I continue to check out the demo for PES year-after-year hoping they will really challenge FIFA but I’ve always been disappointed. I’ve played the FIFA 12 demo, and I don’t think the tactical defending is such a great addition, but maybe it will grow on me. I’d rather that they took care of other annoyances such as the AI moving computer controlled players back into defense when there is still a clear scoring opportunity.

  25. MJC-DC says:

    Just wanna say tactical defending completely changes the game. No more defenders smashing through midfield breaking up plays by simply holding A. Tactical defending requires patience and a balance of pressure vs. keeping shape. That and tacking require much more skill and timing.

  26. Rick says:

    effing eurosnob poseurs

  27. Javier says:

    Fifa if they finally give MLS its props.

  28. Joamiq says:

    Only the clueless make comments like these. Lots of people prefer Pro Evo.

  29. SBI Troll says:

    Franco, is there an SBI online league for the 360 in the works?

  30. Simple but Effective says:

    Ah the occam’s razor description. Sums it up perfectly in my opinion

  31. SBI Troll says:

    And if anyone here plays FIFA online, please pick a team other than Barca, Manc U, or Real Madrid. You just might have some fun.

  32. Rod says:

    More of an impact than “tactical defending?” You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Tactical defending changes EVERYTHING; the whole dynamic and pace of the game. It adds a completely new dimension, where the game is now about skilled and precise attacking and defending (like the real thing) not just about scoring goals. PES is yet again one step behind with their still simplistic approach to the art of defending in football.

  33. Paul says:

    Wow, surprised this debate is still going on. Wonder how many PES supporters played FIFA 11. It was probably the first edition that surpassed PES in terms of gameplay. We’ll see with these two but I wouldn’t bet against EA.

    I also love career mode and am looking forward to seeing how the tweaks turned out. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  34. Paul says:

    Not many better feelings than being up 3-0 on Real Madrid with the Galaxy and watching your opponent “lose” his connection.

  35. gas huffer says:


  36. duhboy7 says:

    sounds like something a PES lover would say…..

  37. A-Lott says:

    I can see why EA pays you the big bucks, Rod.

  38. Joamiq says:

    For that to be the case, you would have to acknowledge their existence.

  39. abc says:

    That was a funny back and forth, you win.

  40. A-Lott says:

    Tha winnah: Joamiq!

  41. Ed dog says:

    +1000 – I couldn’t agree more with this comment. What Fifa 12 should do is automatically count the win with a disconnection when your team is winning. Just saying…

  42. duhboy7 says:

    joke man. just a joke

  43. ede says:

    pes is better..funny how people are so tricked into believing eas gimmicks to get cahs..whats mor e important gameplay–pes or licensed teams–fifa

    think about it

  44. duhboy says:


  45. Brian says:

    Seriously. Hate that crap. I usually only play with the USMNT, LA Galaxy, and Fulham (if the opponent is pretty good).

  46. Brian says:

    I’m pretty sure they do that. That was changed (improved) from FIFA10 to FIFA11.

  47. OmarVizquel says:

    Is this an advertisement?

  48. Stog37 says:

    PES all the way.

  49. Oranje Mike says:

    I had one of the older PES editions (back when it was Winning Eleven). Trying to edit the rosters w/o a patch was tedious and mindnumbing. The game was fun but lack of license torpedos the game to some degree.

  50. Billy says:

    -1 comeback

  51. Steve C says:

    If you want a challenge, get a girlfriend. If you want fun, play video games.

    I work 40+ hours a week, come home and don’t want a challenge. I want to have a lil fun. Video games are that outlet.

  52. John says:

    I’ve been playing Winning Eleven since it’s early days in PS1.

  53. Isaac says:

    I feel dumb saying this, but everybody here should probably play both games before really making any damning statements… Again, just my opinion. Moreover, everybody has different tastes, so PES might suit certain people, while FIFA might suit others.

  54. Sugand says:

    No way, Fifa is the one with ping pong gameplay for every single team and arcade game style. Who cares about graphics? PES has better gameplay hands down, the only important thing that matters. Licensing doesn’t matter as you can just download an option file for all the ream team names and players.

  55. jim in Atlanta says:

    Pay attention. They did fix this in 12, if you played then demo or early release I dont know how you missed this.

  56. HoboMike says:

    Oh Isaac, you’re such a silly boy. How dare you bring common sense and reason to this board?

  57. HoboMike says:

    Can we get a league or whatnot on the xbox360 for Fifa? I’m malex930. It would come with the no Barca/Real caveat.

    I had a gaming marathon with 2 English third division teams. The players suck…but it was much more fun than powerhouses.

  58. away goals says:

    Sweeping generalizations or gtfo.

  59. ChrisB says:

    I only got to play the demo for about 5 to 10 minutes but I didn’t care for the tactical defending either, I like the concept but there still needs to be a way for the AI defender to actually press the ball, they just continued giving them a 5 yeard cushion all the way to the front of the net. I’m sure there will be tricks to it once we get some minutes logged though

  60. ChrisB says:

    I quit playing online for this very reason.

  61. Rory says:

    If you pre-ordered FIFA from Amazon they gave you a link to get a free mini Fathead. The cool part is their webpage has a thing that shows you where their most recent orders are headed… fun to see a bunch of Sounders and Galaxy fatheads headed to the East and Southeast. neat to see where the fans actually live. You can click on my name above this post to get a direct link.

  62. Rory says:

    It cracks me up what a big deal PES makes of having the rights to the Champions League and Europa League names. Both games have European tournaments set up just like the real ones, only PES gets to call it the Champions League while FIFA has to call it the ECC (European Champions Cup?). But the pro-PES players make a huge deal out of that and yet are playing with a team called Manchester Red or North London. I know which liscense I’d rather have.

  63. rory says:

    What do you mean by that? FIFA has had the MLS in the game forever, even carefully making sure they got the playoffs right each edition (home and way for first round, single conference final and MLS cup).

  64. Colin says:

    Panizo’s assessment of these two games is pretty much the opposite of the major gaming publications. Check out GI and IGN. For the critics, FIFA is the outright winner this year. I have yet to make a side-by-side comparison, but I don’t know if I’m dropping the extra $60 to do that when I know I’ll enjoy FIFA and it’s what all my friends will buy. (Granted, I could get the PES demo)

  65. Rory says:

    Ah the Occam’s lady razor.

  66. Rory says:

    Maybe PES is the German Bundisliga? Oh, no wait, they don’t have that league either.

  67. Rory says:

    PES features a total of SIX, yes, SIX leagues. Five of which have the actual name of the league in the game. Three have the actual team names, three have a couple of the team names.

    Meanwhile FIFA has like 30 leagues including the top four in England and MLS. That means a heck of a lot bigger player database.

  68. aaronsinger says:

    Supposedly it’s much better than last year. Let’s hope so.

  69. Ian says:

    When I say “impact,” I mean selling points. These features don’t make me want to go out and get it today. I just can’t imagine that most of the suggestions they got from customers was “we want more lifelike defending.”

  70. Math is hard says:

    +1 calling out -1 comback… d’oh, that equals 0.

  71. NedMorgan says:

    Can you create your own team and stock it with your own created players in FIFA this year? It didn’t work in FIFA 11, which stunk. Maybe I’m a dork but I like to create my own team and players.

    Anyone know?

  72. junior says:

    well i rather buy j. coles new album which is 1000x better than waynes cd… random

  73. gigi says:

    Fifa has come alongggggggggggggggg way since fifa 94 on sega genesis.

  74. gigi says:

    +1 calling out -1 comeback = 0 + comment times 2 still equals 0??

  75. Adam M. says:

    Still waiting for the Tecmo Bowl version of a soccer game. Don’t get me wrong, all of the “realistic” stuff is tremedous and worthwhile and necessary and morally pristine, but every now and then I’d really like to see Neymar in Bo Jackson mode, be able to run Messi up and around the field three times before scoring (or, alternatively, try to stop him from doing that) and have Beckham score on some bombs from the midfield.

  76. Real Cold says:

    I’m a career mode fan too, and the new features within it sound pretty cool. They brought back youth scouting (sorely missed last year), and added more realistic transfers (whatever that means). Biggest thing I’m looking forward to, though, is they’re including a deadline day.

  77. Mo says:

    Do you guys know if additional commentary packs will be available for download? I was really psyched about the Arabic commentary on FIFA 12 but I now realize that it is only available for Middle Eastern countries.

  78. San says:

    US ratings and updates have always been substandard. EA has not kept up with the times. Embarrassing considering the game is made in an MLS town.

  79. Rez says:

    Finally, MLS teams get some decent ratings…Stadiums are still missing tho

  80. Mo says:

    I don’t see BC Place…