Certain things in football are forever guaranteed. Billionaire sugar daddies splashing cash on clubs they’ve never heard of – <cough> Manchester City <cough>. More dissent on pitches than an Argentinian palace coup. And, without fail, FIFA and PES gamers arguing across the globe over which footie title rules the digital dugout. Quite frankly, we’re sick of it. And while we could add fuel to the yearly consuming fiery debate over which game is best, we thought we’d instead douse those flames with the soothing streams of utter, unabridged nonsense.
That’s right, instead of comparing the two football fests in the usual type of predictable, dull head-to-head contest, where FIFA invariably wins on presentation and PES gets the gameplay nod, we thought we’d take a slightly different approach. So if you’ve ever sat and pondered what game has the campest celebrations, wondered which one has the most shameful stadium or simply want to know which title features the most goal-post shattering strikes from a second choice keeper; then boy do we have the face-off for you. So sit back, put those fan boy-flaming opinions to one side and enjoy a football farce of the highest calibre.
In FIFA’s corner we have the world’s most excitable, and gravel-voiced, Scotsman, Andy Gray, partnered with Martin Tyler, whose shrieks could shatter glass. And in the PES corner we’ve got the Beeb’s most annoying pundit, Mark Lawrenson, backed up by the dreadfully dreary tones of John Champion.
While you get the distinct impression that Misters Gray and Tyler are most likely lovingly caressing each others mics during throw ins, such is their matey, married couple-esque banter, at least they’re backed up by a decent script. As for PES… well, the following nuggets of compelling crap commentary should sum up the quality of Konami’s in-game punditry. And, the less said about a certain type of Midlands cuisine, the better. When it comes to the cringe factor PES is in a league of its own.
The winner is…
FIFA’s menus are an absolute treat. Getting to run around various exotic locales with little virtual Ronnie is ace. And just testing out his menagerie of twinkle toed tricks and taking shots at the keeper will keep you engaged for ages. Far be it from us to suggest you can’t really replicate any of these actions in the actual game – (whisper it) you can’t, at least not without great difficulty. Regardless of that, the menu kickabout represents a desire on EA’s part to constantly shield our short, reality TV-addled attention spans from the precarious pit of actual human thought. Phew.
If FIFA is an elegant menu for an exquisite restaurant, a veritable banquet for the senses and those primal football instincts of wanting to blast bicycle kicks past keepers, then PES is a no nonsense bit of paper advertising a cheap carry out. Filled with a grubby pastiche of gaudy 80s pastels, the clunky, dated menus and mind-numbing music make navigating through PES as pleasant as getting stabbed in the iris. With a hot poker. A hot poker that's smeared in sheep faeces.
The winner is…
With both games having to recreate thousands of players, it’s understandable when the developers take some artistic license with likenesses to save time. But there’s a difference between getting a Hull player’s hair colour wrong and making prolific players, like David Bentley and Daniel Alves, look like generic extras from a 1970s skin flick.
FIFA is particularly bad for making established stars look like glistening, zombie-esque waxworks. And, if you’re not playing with a Champions League team, there’s every chance most of your squad will resemble pub team plodders rather than Premiership players. PES, generally, fairs better on the likenesses front, but both games share one terrible abomination. And that abomination begins with ‘Dirk’ and ends in ‘Kuyt’.
Above: Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest Liverpool winger of them all? What do you mean Yossi Benayoun?
Yep, the facially-challenged former Feyenoord hitman is truly terrifying in both games. And really, who wants 32 inches of the Kop-worshipping Kuyt’s mangled mug plastered over their plasma screen? So, as both games have seen fit to inflict this pile of disfigured Dutch pixels on us, neither gets a point.
The winner is…
For creating Quasimodo and then sticking him on the wing for Liverpool.