Tag Archives: konami

Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 review

And so we reach the time of year where PES and FIFA have their annual face-off for the title of greatest football game. For many years it has been FIFA that has won the title hands down but this year there was hope that Konami had upped its game considerably and was looking for a last minute winner that would see them snatch the title away from EA Sports.

So when I was asked to review PES 2015 this year it was with anticipation rather than dread as I started the download…

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One thing that does stand out straight away is the initial presentation. Navigating the menus is very easy and PES 2015 is packed full of game modes. There’s the usual Master League with the unlicensed teams and random stadiums (I still find this endearing and annoying at the same time) and there’s the Champions League. I just love playing this mode for the presentation and Champions League theme alone. It’s just like sitting down on a Wednesday night watching it on television. Brilliantly done.

There’s also myClub. As soon as you start playing this mode you instantly think of Ultimate Team from FIFA. You control a club and build your dream team using managers and agents, ensuring the chemistry is right among your players. The use of agents is a nice touch, the better the agent you employ then the better the player he will be able to sign for you. Yes, you don’t do the scouting, your agent does. It’s a nice idea but I still prefer FIFA Ultimate Team.

Become A Legend is exactly what you would expect. You control just one player within the club and progress through his career. While playing a game in this mode I did find it annoying that even when I was in a brilliant position and clean through on goal my teammates would either look for a ridiculous pass to someone else or over hit the pass to me. I got subbed a couple of times meaning you have to watch the rest of the match, thankfully there is a fast-forward button. Once I was off the pitch then my team would instantly turn into something akin to Real Madrid and start playing teams off the park. Frustrating to see. Maybe it’s just me…

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Along with the UEFA Champions League there is also the Europa League, the Copa Libertadores (South American equivalent to the Champions League), Copa Sudamericana (I guess you could say the South American equivalent to the Europa League), the Asian Champions League and football leagues and cups from all over the world. Like I said. There is a lot to do and take part in.

Obviously online play is there. You can take part in a league or enter a cup competition. The usual fare.

There is also the obligatory training skills section. Improve your shooting, passing, crossing, tackling.

Now on to the nitty-gritty and where it matters, out on the pitch. Before leaving the changing rooms though you need to make sure your team is set up the way you want it to be. Pleasingly, choosing formations and amending your squad is an improvement and is much more easier and flexible to use than its FIFA counterpart. Right, I’ve got my team set up the way I want, there’s no way I can lose this match so let’s get out there.

Sigh.

I don’t know whether we’ve just got used to the polish and finish of FIFA but my heart sank when the players lined up in the tunnel and then out on the pitch. It’s not that the player models don’t look like their real life counterparts, it’s just that they look so flat. Stood there on the pitch you could be forgiven for thinking they were made out of cardboard, and there’s also a halo effect around some of the players as they line up before kick off. It just looks cheap and amateurish compared to what we know can be done. On current generation consoles this is unforgivable.

Kick off. What’s this? So the team I meticulously set up beforehand now lines up in a totally different formation. I set up with three at the back and a holding midfielder sat in front of them but for some reason the holding midfielder has decided to play at left-back and the left-sided centre back has gone to right-back! Very annoying.

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I’ve seen some people say that the AI is much improved, and it is. Players do make some decent runs off the ball, and not always too but that’s to be expected as players don’t make the same runs all the time in real life. It can be infuriating when you’re expecting someone to make a certain run and then they stand there but I quite like that.

One aspect that is annoying with the AI is that it’s possible to win a game by just letting the other teams defence have the ball. If you’re set up correctly they will just keep passing it along their back line for what seems like ages, even when they’re supposed to be chasing the game. They don’t even try to attack.

Also half of your team, usually the whole of the midfield and forwards, will also be knackered by about the 60-65 minute mark. All these little niggles may not sound too bad but they soon add up to be just plain annoying and take away some of the enjoyment in playing the game.

The commentary by Jon Champion and Jim Beglin is not too bad but after a few games it does become worryingly predictable. Even if you’ve played like toilet and the game has ended 0-0 with hardly any shots on target, Jim will summarise along the lines of: “That was a great game. I could’ve watched that all night.” Really Jim? Really?

Don’t get me wrong, PES 2015 is not unplayable and when it works it’s a joy to behold. Playing a lovely sweeping move that ends in a glorious diving header is brilliant. When it works it’s superb, it just doesn’t work often enough. Passes go astray for no reason. Once again you will get booked for a perfectly timed tackle, I admit this is a problem on most football games and I doubt it will ever be resolved properly.

Given its problems in the past, PES 2015 is another big step forward for Konami. Maybe next year it will hit a screamer from 25 yards to take to the title away from EA and FIFA.

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http://youtu.be/tzI700Jy7VY

PES 2015 Trailer

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PES 2015 sees a true return to core PES values of total control, super responsive controls and renowned gameplay, where the user has unrestricted control over how they play.

Stay tuned for more information heading your way very soon as new features are expected to be announced within the next week.

PES 2015 will be released on September 26th 2014 for Xbox One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YnW6HBEVKk

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – New Pricing

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Konami Digital Entertainment has today reduced the price of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which is available from the Xbox Games Marketplace for just 29.99 Euros.

Set in a modern-day open world, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 offers a shocking conclusion to the Gabriel Belmont story arc started in 2010’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. In a first, players assume the role of Dracula who has been resurrected by an old ally in exchange for help defeating a powerful threat as old as time itself: Satan. Looking to settle an old score, Satan has returned to bring about the apocalypse as an act of final revenge for his previous defeat, and Dracula must face him head on as the fight between good and evil comes to a dramatic end.

Mixing intuitive combat and stunning story-telling, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a huge game that spans time zones and concludes the story of history’s most famous Vampire. The new price point will allow a new wave of fans to embrace the darkness and become absorbed by Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’s dark story as they explore its visually stunning 3D realms.

ThisisXbox.com reviewed the title and scored it 90% after release this year:

Lord Of Shadows 2 has more positives then negatives. It is a big game and it feels like one, with a rich story that draws you in and gives you a great experience that encapsulates the previous game for new players and rewards players who are already fans of Castlevania. There is so much to learn and master that more then one playthrough will be required.

Metal Gear Solid V Confirmed 720p on Xbox One

 

MGS Resolution chart Xbox One vs Xbox 360

In preparation for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Konami recently released the following table and screenshots. We thought we would share with you, just in case you had missed the news. We’ve also been told to expect comparison videos to land very soon.

Make sure you click the images below to enlarge.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Special Edition

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 Special Edition

As we can see from the image above, a new special edition of Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 has been released including the game disc, limited edition art book and special edition Belmont box. Listed on Amazon at £59.99, this is £25 more than the standard edition.

Will you be paying the extra for an art book and box? Let us know in the comments below.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is released on the 28th February here in Europe for Xbox 360.

 

Konami Release Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Community Q&A Video

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Today at the busy Konami studios, a Q&A video filled with Q’s from the consumer community was met with A’s from the people responsible for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The Game’s Producer and Konami Studio Head, Dave Cox bring a lot to light in this informative video. Such as the game’s setting and information about the narrative.

Check out the video down below:

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 whips its way onto an Xbox 360 near you (if you’re in North America) on February 25th, and (for the European crowd) February 28th.

 

Castlevania Lord of Shadows – 2nd Developer Diary Video Released

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Featuring Dave Cox, Producer of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and Studio Head of European Production for Konami Digital Entertainment B.V and Enric Alvarez, Head of Development at MercurySteam, the video details how the events of the new game take place during the course of one night, within both a modern city setting and Dracula’s castle. Cox and Alvarez discuss how Dracula’s evil presence has impacted the many environments, with the castle’s Gothic look having a huge influence on the surrounding settings and their design, while also tying in the familiar look of past Castlevania titles.

http://youtu.be/e3ow2vo_dng

The five-minute video offers a tantalizing glimpse of the game’s many settings, and how MercurySteam’s native Madrid provided inspiration for the locations. The pair also touch on the menagerie of creatures and bosses that lurk within the city, and set the stage for the game’s climactic confrontation with Satan himself.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Stealthily Gives 12 Minute Gameplay Video

What a wonderful way to kick off the weekend. Konami have released the Tokyo Game Show build of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, finally in English for us here in the west! From what I can see, CQC is absolutely amazing in this game, and it makes me giddy with anticipation.

Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V and will be released in Spring 2014 for the Xbox 360 for £29.99/$29.99 at retail, and £19.99/$19.99 for the downloadable version. The Xbox One downloadable version is also out in spring 2014 and will cost £29.99/$29.99.

Check out the vid down below.

PES 2014 Data Pack Updates Rosters and Likenesses

Konami have announced that one of their famous data pack updates will come to PES 2014 later this month. The new data pack updates the rosters to reflect the summer transfers in the football world. As well as adding at least 800 new player likenesses along with some new boots. The likenesses come as a pleasant surprise as it was a gripe that we mentioned in our review. Data Pack 2 will be available to download for free later on this month.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 Review

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It’s one of gaming’s true rivalries. To some, it almost supersedes the classic Mario and Sonic rivalry. Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA have been battling it out for the top spot in the world of football gaming since I was a child. In the early days, when it evolved from International Superstar Soccer and into the Pro Evolution Soccer we know it as today, Konami’s brainchild had same story every year. Pro Evolution Soccer couldn’t compete with the sponsorship that FIFA had. Without real kits and team names, it was always going to be hard to compete with the stronghold that FIFA had and still has on the football world. However, Pro Evo was always a much better pure football experience. This was until 2007 when EA Sports seriously stepped up their game with a whole new engine. Since then, Konami have found it hard to compete with FIFA’s realism and ever-improving gameplay. So the question is, have they done it this year? Let’s read on and find out.

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Let’s start with the nitty gritty, the core of every football game, the gameplay. It’s such a strange situation. If FIFA never existed, I could play Pro Evo 2014 and say that this is a great game. One that I could even play a lot of the time. But sadly, this is one game that will constantly live in comparison to another. It’s just not as good. The gameplay feels rigid and uninspired. With an entirely new glossy engine, Konami have still failed to make players off the ball do any sort of work. In fact, the only way you’ll see any off-ball innovation is if you initiate the one-two pass. I will give credit where credit is due. Hand the ball over to Ronaldo or Messi and you will see yourself thinking that they run, pass, and move exactly like their real life counterparts. I also noticed this signature movement whenever Cesc Fabregas was on the ball, this is something that FIFA could truly learn from. Unfortunately, this is where the innovation dies. Any player that isn’t a superstar will run in straight lines, pass with no finesse, and cross like somebody lined it up with a  ruler. The only time you’ll see any kind of realistic ball movement is when you shoot. To be completely honest, this feels like nothing more than a 3D version of Sensible Soccer.

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One thing that I’ve believed for years is that Pro Evolution is much nicer looking than FIFA. The player’s faces and kits have looked so impressive for years. However, the switch to the new Fox Engine means that Konami have had to start from scratch. Although the players that they have made an effort to render look absolutely fantastic, and miles better than FIFA. Having to start from the beginning means that they haven’t put the work in on a number of high profile players that they have in the years before. This is a genuine disappointment, but it will get better year by year as it did before. But instead of dwelling on the ugliness of a player having a default edit face, we can focus on the positives. What they have worked on looks absolutely fantastic, adding to this and working hard on the gameplay can really put this game on top again.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Sponsorships and teams. You have to look at this objectively. This is a world where all games based on real sports and leagues should strive for realism first and foremost. With that In mind, the lack of real teams and kits in the most popular league in the world is truly an issue. An issue that it seems just cannot be fixed. As a supporter of the great North London Red, I find it hard to play as the team I support and love in this game. On the bright side, Serie A and La Liga sports full kits, real names, and stadiums. This is one saving grace for Konami. Another coup in this vein is the return of the Champions League. There is nothing like starting a match and hearing that beautiful theme blaring from the television. It genuinely adds a sense of awe and wonder. Bumping down a game’s score due to a lack of licensing does seem a tad harsh. However, this is a game where realism is the key to success. Pro Evo fails extensively in this instance.

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Where FIFA’s menus have become easy and seamless to navigate, Pro Evolution’s are archaic and rage inducing in comparison. Getting into a simple kick-off friendly match is even a task that takes time. Setting up your squad is so painful that you would just give up nine times out of ten. The menu music is despicably horrible as well. Just avoid it completely and turn on your own tunes. Word of warning, keep it on during the matches as John Motson’s horrific commentary makes an epic comeback.

Multiplayer and online returns. There’ nothing to the multiplayer as it it just a kick-off game with two people. Getting online was frustrating for me. Finding a stable connection with another player seemed to be a daunting task, but it finally happened after 45 minutes of trying. It appears that the game just won’t work at all if you don’t attempt to connect to people nearby or in surrounding countries.

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To sum up, I once loved Pro Evolution Soccer. It was an amazing series that innovated its use of the beautiful game year after year. After losing their way this generation, they never really did come back. This is a game that utilises nothing new in terms of gameplay. In fact, it appears to back track completely. Ignore the licenses for a moment, put this side by side with FIFA, it just isn’t fun and I wouldn’t recommend it to a soul. I think it’s time for some new blood to try and combat EA and FIFA, I nominate 2K Sports.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JSGPE3McGQ