So PES 2012 is better than FIFA 12? Not exactly. While the overall single player experience is far more rewarding and your AI chums will make the runs you'd expect, PES 2012 isn't without it's faults. Yes, the animations have been oiled to make them move more freely than before, but it still feels stiff, making for a real hit and miss dribbling game.
Speaking of dribbling, one of the reasons I used to love PES was the ease in which you could jink around players on route to goal, but Konami have gone down the EA trick-stick path that needs to be tamed to really make progress. It's not impossible, but it's not easy to master either. Goalies are still pan-handed rascals, often dropping the ball in front of attackers when a simple catch would do the job.
The commentary from Jim Beglin and John Champion adds almost nothing to the match atmosphere. Oh, and though it's no fault of Konami, you'll still be going up against PES playing robots when you play online. It's less a game of football as a race to see who can run down the line and hit X to square it for an easy tap-in.
But for instant pleasure, a deep and meaningful career mode and constant fan-pleasing cosmetics, such as the little camera men turning where the action is, PES 2012 is back on song. Looks like there is room for two top football games this season after all.