What if...Pro Evolution + FIFA? - 22/02/2008

For a multitude of years now the world of gaming has been witness to a battle of two titans as every year one tries to gain supremacy and outdo the other. I am of course talking about the rivalry between EA's FIFA franchise and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer.

Early on in the life span of this rivalry there were other games that contested for the "Best Football Game" title, including the likes of International Superstar Soccer (ISS), World Tour Soccer, and a few others. However after a few instalments it became obvious that it would forever be a two horse race as FIFA and Pro Evo heavily outsold their rivals, leaving them in their wake, and gaining their respective fan base. From then on it was a constant contest year in, year out, as one tried to outdo the other and millions of gamers worldwide sided with each depending on taste.

To a neutral, someone just seeking the better football game, it was difficult to choose which game to buy each year as asking different people would yield different answers. Both games had their advantages over the other yet both had their problems.

EA got a head start over the Pro Evo series with their earlier FIFA games.

Starting with the obvious, the main problem football fans had with Konami's giant was that Pro Evo lacked most of the league licences, all of which were lapped up by FIFA, the "official football game" (EA also having a larger revenue than Konami). Playing in leagues like "The England League", with teams like "Man Red" was kind of demoralising as it destroyed the sense of realism that football fans crave in their videogames. However, it was widely accepted that Pro Evo offered the better and more realistic gameplay to FIFA, the game moving at a faster, more realistic pace; the AI being slightly more intelligent and difficult to beat; and the general gameplay mechanics being finer tuned.

While Konami relied on gameplay to get them through, EA used their massive financial bulk to secure all the licensed Leagues they could and filled the disk up with bells and whistles. Mind you, the gameplay wasn't bad, it was just not as crisp as Pro Evo, and a tad slower. But, FIFA 's presentation aspect was flawless, stadia almost perfectly rendered and normally having spot on player likenesses.

PES had the pace, but FIFA had the licences, and it's continued much in the same way for years.

As the years progressed and technology developed, each iteration of both games just got better in fans eyes. However, Pro Evo's improvement had a steeper curve than that of FIFA as the gameplay seemed to improve until it was almost untouchable. On top of that, Konami started acquiring numerous licences, and the availability of one of the most in depth kit creation systems allowed for near perfect team kits and the editing of league names became possible. FIFA on the other hand remained flawless in presentation and slightly adjusted its gameplay to the better, moving slowly towards mimicking its rival's mechanics (and even offering Pro Evo button schemes in later versions).

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