Streamlined VS matches
When you go into a game and choose VS. Player (i.e. two-player), you no longer need to move the pads either side of the screen like in PES 2009 - the game assumes you want a two-player match and goes straight to the 'Kick Off' menu. Don't worry - you can still manually adjust the pads for two-player co-op matches in the Pause menu. It's simply a more intuitive way to enter a quick two-player VS match.
There's a VS.Com option for going straight into Human vs CPU games.
There's a Custom option for multi-player matches, with two or more human players.
The Exhibition menu
Has six options:
Game Plan (i.e. where you adjust tactics, players etc)
Are the same as ever. Five arrows, from Excellent (Red), to Normal (Green) and Terrible (a dull purple/grey colour).
The Game Plan menu
It's the equivalent of the old formations/tactics menu, with the following options:
We'll go through the new menus, and changes, one by one:
Contains simple sliders where you can adjust broad brush issues, such as
Change Player (0, 1, 2, 3) - which allows you to automatically choose your formation based on Ability/Balanced/Condition, or None (0). It's like the old auto-select feature, but easier to understand. The option to 'Balance' your team is new, and the computer will pick the best team allowing for player ability *and* condition e.g. it might still pick Gerrard, even if he's on a slightly downward sloping condition arrow, since he is still a key player, but would not pick a less important player, like Kuyt, if his condition was poor - as it says, it's all about balance.
Change Formation (0, 1, 2, 3) - Set your team to play broadly Centre Attack, Side Attack or None.
Auto-form change (On/Off)
Change Game Plan (0, 1, 2, 3) - None (0), Normal type (1), Balanced (2) or (3) Special type. This affects the way you change tactics 'on the fly' in-game, but we didn't experiment with it. You can still assign mid-match strategy changes to L2 and combinations of square, circle etc etc
Auto Tactics (0, 1, 2, 3)
Players are colour coded...
Brown - GK
Blue - Defence
Green - Midfield
Red - Attack
You can see a player's preferred foot via an on-screen outline of their feet, plus there's a little visual representation of their height - a generic body outline next to a 'ruler' e.g. 188cm
Players have an overall 'top line' rating to reflect their ability, just like FIFA - which makes it easier when comparing players head-to-head. Don't worry - the normal individual stats still exist, but the 'top line' score is just a quick visual indicator.
Here are some example scores from the Liverpool team in early PES 2010 code:
It's worth noting that this 'top line' score changes if you play someone out of position, for example Hypia's score of 81 plummets if you play him as CF.
How is the 'top line' score worked out?
There's no official word from Japan, but we'll perform an experiment by taking Gerrard's individual stats, and taking an average.