Friday, October 21st 2005/... As Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM - the latest and greatest iteration of the best football game ever created - hits PlayStation 2 and Xbox today and PC on October 28th, the authors of the series' first ever official guide have revealed their essential top 10 tips for getting off to a winning start.
The Official Pro Evolution Guide is published by Konami of Europe today, and offers the editorial and production values of Piggyback's stunning range of official guide books.
With unlimited support from Konami, the Piggyback team gained unprecedented access to the development studios in Japan, resulting in a 222-page guide, which is published today for £10.99, offering a unique and comprehensive guide to all things Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM.
To celebrate the launch of this astonishing publication, the authors have hand-picked 10 top tips for scoring in the lounge or your bedroom - wherever your console or computer resides.
If a player has his back to his opponent's goal, the precision and pace of shots is vastly reduced. As in real life, the difficulty of twisting to shoot from oblique angles - even at close range - means that the quality of contact will be lower, with the ball more likely to be scuffed harmlessly into a grateful keeper's hands. Players with the Scoring special ability star are much, much better at turning to drill the ball into either corner, but only inside the penalty area. Unless you're deep inside your opponent's 18-yard box, a shot made while facing away from goal will be a waste of possession.
For shots on goal, Free Kick Accuracy, Shot Power and Curling are essential abilities. For those that assume that Curling is more of a luxury attribute that is good to have but not exactly vital, series producer Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka has what may be a surprising revelation for some. "Unless a player can curve the ball, he cannot make the ball drop," he explains. "Right footers can usually curve the ball to the left side, counter clockwise. Left footers do the opposite. An exception is, for example, Roberto Carlos - he can kick and curve both ways. This applies not only to Roberto Carlos, but also to other players who have the Roberto Carlos free kick type. Right footers and left footers can also shoot in the other direction, of course, albeit without or with very little curling. But the players with high Curling ability are the only ones who can drop the ball after it has passed the wall."
Corners are a ready source of goals, especially if you have centre-forwards that are good in the air. Your kicker should be the player in your team with the highest Free Kick Accuracy, Long Pass Accuracy, Long Pass Speed and Curling stats, and will always kick with his dominant foot. This, naturally, has a bearing on the degree of curl you can apply to the ball. Right-footed players are generally better at curling the ball to the left; the opposite applies for left-footed players. You should bear this in mind before attempting an inswinging or outswinging corner.
We suggest that you try to get into the habit of always crossing with L1 Button held and switch to the Type 4 Long Pass Mode (or Type 5 if you prefer) as soon as possible. Sometimes, a long pass is a much better method of reaching a player in the penalty area, but it's a move that you won't be able to perform deep in your opponent's half with Circle Button unless you deactivate automatic crossing. It's not an issue you should worry about if you are new to PES5, but it's definitely something you should consider as your skills improve.
While we grudgingly acknowledge that it might still be useful for beginners during their first games, holding X Button to automatically pressure and tackle opponents is now very much a bad habit. It's far less effective for a variety of reasons. Its principle weakness in PES5 is that it will lead you to concede far too many fouls. The dogged AI "homing" code that once reliably harried and harassed opposing players is now ill-suited to PES5's overhauled tackling system.
When you perform a slide tackle, you commit a player not just to the actual challenge, but the variable delay that follows as he returns to a standing position (and, therefore, active control). The higher a player's Defence ability is, the shorter this delay will be. An additional advantage conferred by a high Defence rating is that the actual tackle will be faster, which reduces the possibility of a player moving before your man connects with the ball.
The most profoundly beneficial attribute that a player can have while performing such challenges, though, is the Sliding Tackle special ability. With this star to his name, a player will be far more precise when sliding, hitting the ball on a higher number of occasions. This increased accuracy also reduces the likelihood of bookings and dismissals: although the referee may blow his whistle, the better technique of your player will often work in his favour, with the match official being less likely to reach for a card. A player with the Sliding Tackle ability will even be able to make precise sliding challenges from behind an opponent, which is something that most other players simply cannot do.
When your defensive line is in an advanced position - either as a strategic choice, or when the opposing team makes a quick counter-attack - your goal custodian isn't merely a goalkeeper, as he can also act as a makeshift sweeper when the situation demands it. Knowing when to send him forward to intercept through-balls (especially those outside the 18-yard box) is a talent that can't be coached. It's a visceral reaction, a split-second reading of a situation that can only be improved through extensive play. It helps to know how fast your goalkeeper is, of course: the better his Top Speed and Acceleration stats, the more likely he is to reach the ball before an opponent does.
When an opposing player runs clear of your back line, instructing your keeper to rush out to meet him is a calculated gamble. There are many circumstances when, no matter the relative skill of your man between the posts, not using Triangle Button would be positively foolish. In more risky circumstances, you need to take your goalkeeper's abilities into account: his speed, Goalkeeping Ability, Response and, if late in the match, his current stamina level. The most beneficial attribute a keeper can have in such situations, though, is the 1-On-1 Stopper special ability. This greatly increases his chances of getting a part of his body to shots made at close range.
To get the most out of your team, it's critical that you learn each player's strengths and weaknesses. If you only have a very cursory appreciation of each team member's attributes - say, that player X is fast, player Y is good in the air, and player Z can dribble the ball well - you put yourself at a huge disadvantage. Player abilities and the special ability stars play a massive part in every match - as the following explanation [one of dozens in the full guide] illustrates.
"If a normal player takes about ten animation phases, players with high Agility might only take eight or six in order to cover the same move," reveals Seabass. "It's a matter of what he can do in a smaller amount of time. If the Agility is higher, a player will be able to kick the ball faster than a normal player, who must take a step and then kick. The higher Agility player can just kick the ball immediately. If a player's Agility is very high but his Dribble Accuracy is very low, that player would not be good at dribbling, but he would be very good in performing quick kicks. So: when he dribbles, both abilities really matter."
Master League: Team Management
In the Master League, PES5's stamina and fatigue systems will soon become a constant source of irritation unless you learn to appreciate the benefits of a sensible squad rotation policy. High stamina loss during matches leads to the growth of a "fatigue bar". The higher this becomes, the lower a player's initial stamina will be at the start of a match - and, therefore, the more likely that player is to be even more tired at the end of the next game. Injuries are an additional complication: greater fatigue levels make players more susceptible to various cuts, sprains, twists and breakages.
The only solution is full rest, giving the affected player an entire week off to recuperate. Depending on how tired a player is, his recovery may even take two weeks and, in extreme circumstances, even three. However, it's important that you remember that while fatigue is accumulated on a match-by-match basis, it is only reduced by the week. When there are more than two matches in a week, you will need to leave a player out of your squad for both fixtures to rest him - not simply the first.
Master League: Transfers
On difficulty levels between one and four stars, you can view a Negotiation Difficulty rating by pressing right on the Directional Pad while examining transfer targets in the Search menus. This indicates how interested a player will be in moving to your club, as Master League producer Toshiyuki Terada explains. "If you have two stars, you should consider that you have a 50 per cent chance. If you have three stars, you are likely to get that player 90 per cent of the time, but there's a 10 per cent chance you might fail. If you have one star, this is not 0 per cent, but maybe 15-20 per cent, very low. And if you have no stars, it means it's under 15-20 per cent. However, it's never 0 per cent."
+++ Note To Editors +++
These Top 10 Tips are for general use and can be reprinted, provided the text is credited as from the Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM Official Guide.
Key Guide Facts Exclusive, first-ever insights from the game's creators
Massive Coaching Manual section explains how to improve your passing, shooting, tackling, crossing, heading, goalkeeping, free kicks, and so much more. With many undocumented tricks and techniques, we show you how to perform over 100 individual moves
Full Master League analysis including the best bargain transfers
Everything you need to know about PES5's many play modes
PES Points: how to acquire them, and what they can buy for you
The world's best teams presented in a massive dedicated team and player chapter
Which sides you should choose to play as - and why
Free Demos Visitors to www.piggybackinteractive.com can download 12 sample pages of the Official Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM Guide free of charge.
Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM Official Guide Details
RRP:£10.99 - Available in all good videogame retail outlets and bookstores.
ISBN (UK): 1-903511-77-1
EAN (UK): 978-1-903511-77-0
Launch Date: 21st October 2005
For further information:
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Louie Beatty - Piggyback Interactive Limited
T: +44 (20) 7313 9232
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The Pro Evolution Soccer 5TM Official Guide is published by Konami of Europe GmbH