A Feisty Underdog
If you take a trip down memory lane to at least 4 or so years ago, the whole tiresome FIFA vs. Pro Evolution Soccer battle didn't used to be as neck-and-neck as it is right now in the 13th year of this 21st century. In fact, FIFA was quite clearly the runaway victor by quite a distance in times past, taking the crown year after year of the game that every self-respecting football fan was playing; Pro Evolution Soccer fans were simply jokers holding on to a twisted and unfamiliar representation of football that didn't fit with EA's unbeatably brilliant take on the game. Flash forward to 2013, however, and what was once a mile between leader FIFA and follower Pro Evolution Soccer has diminished to mere metres, with Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 being the culmination of all of the series' innovations and achievements in the previous years. It stands to reason that Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 is therefore going to be yet another blinder of a game that closes this gap even further. Well, it would make sense to look at just a few ways that Konami's PES 2014 would be a greatly improved game by writing about some improvements that need to be made and features that we would like to see.
Right in the Feels
Time and time again I read reviews that draw the same conclusions about Pro Evolution Soccer that seem to always go on about the fact that even though it is quite obviously got the technical edge due to the unbelievably detailed level of control that the player has over the game, FIFA always has the edge because it simply feels better. I usually equate success in a game with its ability to properly simulate the genre/sport/activity that it is concerned with in as much detail as possible, but this may not be the case for football games. In spite of Pro Evolution Soccer 2013's high level of detail, it lacks the fluidity, authenticity, and general flash of its FIFA rival. Pro Evolution 2013 feels a little like a slightly slowed-down version of a football-based arcade game instead of the well-balanced masterpiece that FIFA is, so a mix between realism and player satisfaction needs to be reached in this soon-to-be sequel.
Cup Runneth Dry
Not really an improvement to be made, but every year it seems that Konami likes to show us just where they think they went wrong by removing previous features entirely (the offline community being just one of these features). Fifa World Club Cup is another erstwhile feature that should make a comeback, and new features like national super-cups, league cups, and even a confederations cup would go down like a tangy sorbet on a hot summer's day (read: well).
The Fox engine that pro Evolution Soccer is going to run on is definitely going to improve the graphics and general realism within the game, allowing for a ridiculously realistic look and physics that are responsive to each player's individual characteristics and physical attributes; this is going to be quite a improvement for the game before you even begin to look at the variables and features of the gameplay. However, the Pro Evolution Soccer look has always lacked the refinement that FIFA always seems to have as standard, so Pro Evolution 2014 needs to pull its football socks up a fair bit when considering the physical design of things that a new game engine simply won't make up for. The menu designs need to be looked at, and the general realism factors such as the crowd's cheering, the way a player and his clothes move as you run, and even down to the tiny detail of the way the nets move all need to be given considerable attention for players to take Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 seriously.