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I wanted to wait and play the game before I gave a proper review. Let me start by saying this game is great in the ways that are important for a videogame. The gameplay is awesome. The passing and shooting and most importantly; the AI. Konami boasted about the AI as being the most important feature worked on for this iteration and I must add, they did not lie. The AI for both your teammates and the opponent are incredible. Your players make runs when you have the ball and stay in a solid formation when on the defensive. It just makes playing the game a pure pleasure and you are no longer yelling at your virtual teammates. If you do feel the need to make your players make more varied runs, Konami have added the feature to take control of two players at the same time. It's difficult to get to grips with, but once mastered, it adds a huge dimension to your game.
Playing against the AI is in a whole other league as well. I consider myself a seasoned PES player and I always begin the game on Top Player level because in the past, I've found the AI too easy on any other level. I did the same this year but I was constantly getting beat so I have lowered the level to Professional. It's still difficult to win. They have added an unlockable "Superstar" level this year and I can only imagine how difficult that will be to win consistently. The AI is tough but not in a frustrating way, it's been done in a realistic way. Each team you play doesn't play the same way, so it's like playing against another person. Which leads me into another great feature in PES. Individuality of both players and teams. Konami always pays attention to the details of each and every player playing differently than another. But, this year it's even more pronounced, maybe due to the AI advances this year. Bottom line is that playing Barcelona on PES is like playing Barcelona in real life. They pass the ball around and maintain possession throughout and you have to beat them on the counter when you get the chance. It's very challenging.
Now onto the negatives. I think the graphics have taken a step back from last year a bit. It's not such a bad thing but you do usually expect the graphics to get a bit sharper each year rather than regress. Maybe it has something to do with the tragedy in Japan this last year, not sure. I also have to say that the atmosphere in the stadiums and the commentary are dour to say the least. This is something that has plagued PES for years so I don't know why I am even mentioning it to be honest. I hope that Konami can put forth a little focus on these issues for next year because I feel it would add so much more to the experience. It can be done too as FIFA have nailed it pretty well. I also think that the animations are still lacking and stuck in the PS2 days. They're not terrible but they are behind the competition. These are the biggest negatives I can think of at this time but maybe I need to play the game longer to find more flaws. But so far, I have played this game non stop since 9/27/2011. It's that fun.
If Konami make PES 2012 the base for their future iterations, I think that PES will take back the crown from FIFA. PES lacks all the glitz that FIFA has, but PES represents football more realistically on the virtual pitch. Most importantly, PES is fun to play and that will always make me come back. Well done Konami!
I also wanted to mention that Amazon saved me on this purchase. I initially (ignorantly) pre-ordered this game from Best Buy. I then checked on the status, the day before release, and found out that it was backordered! Backordered? How can a pre-order be backordered? So, I canceled from Best Buy and ordered it from Amazon and received it on release. Kudos to Amazon. I will always order from Amazon if I buy a game online. Thanks again Amazon!
Thanks to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I have regained my life! For many years, ulcerative colitis controlled almost every aspect of my existence - where I worked, social situations, recreation, travel, etc. Having not responded well to medications, I had even reached the point of discussing with my doctor the possibility of having my colon surgically removed. I would never have thought that something as simple as diet could solve this problem.
I've been a Quicken user for a long time and one thing I always do is obtain the official guide to see what the new Quicken edition offers and whether it is actually worth upgrading. I've put off updating since prior years didn't seem to offer that many changes (2009 edition). I am upgrading for the new edition thanks to the excellent information in this book. Bobbi Sandberg has taken over from Maria Langer as the author for the last several years. As a computer geek, I have read some of Bobbi's books before. She is a very thorough author who explains things in plain English and offers many tips, tricks and suggestions for how you can adapt the software to your needs. I have often seen many complaints about software from people who don't take the time to learn how to use it. I know people are in a time crunch and a book like this may seem overwhelming. This book is over 600 pages, don't let this put you off or scare you away. It is organized into easy to read sections that start with the basics and gradually move to more advanced topics. You can simply read what interests you and skip what doesn't. There is excellent information for everyone from beginners to advanced users. A lot of problems some may have with the software could be avoided with a quick reference from this book. While Ms. Langer used a bit more formality on the sidebars, Ms. Sandberg uses the excellent "In My Experience" to share her insight (she has used and taught Quicken since the beginning) the tips are worth the time taken to read them. What can you expect to learn? The difference between a Data File and an account (a common mistake for some Quicken users), the difference between an automatic backup and a manual one (besides the obvious, if you have saved attachments in Data file they ARE NOT SAVED in an automatic backup!), complete coverage of preferences, toolbars, menus, options and how to customize to your liking and customize to earlier editions, exploration of the new Quicken Mobile app, and solid advice for taking control of your finances. This book covers the Deluxe and Premiere editions of Quicken.
Part One covers Learning Quicken Basics (installing the software, setting up your first accounts and getting up and running including Quicken Mobile)
Part Two covers Banking (recording bank and credit card transactions, using online banking features, automating tasks, reconciling accounts)
Part Three covers Managing your Investment Accounts (including stocks, bonds, 401k, research tools, etc)
Part Four covers Tracking Your Financial Position (monitoring assets, loans and tracking net worth)
Part Five covers Forecasting Your Financial Future (financial calculators, reducing debt and saving money and planning for tax time)
Part Six covers the Appendixes (managing the Quicken files and customizing Quicken)
Ms Sandberg is a welcome change bringing her vast experience and knowledge to Quicken users. Everything is explained in plain English and there are many screen shots of graphs, charts and program shots. You will not go wrong taking some time to familiarize yourself with the program, new features and changes. While Quicken does have an extensive Help system, I still prefer a good computer book by a great author that really helps me not just use the program, but make it really work for me.