The first PES 2010 review is in via the pages of PSM3 Magazine, which crowns FIFA 10 (very marginally) this year's winner.
"After the arcade excesses of PES 09, [PES 2010 is] a welcome return to simulation roots," says the mag, which awards PES 2010 a respectable 89% - 1% less than FIFA 2010.
"If you were disappointed by PES 09, and converted to FIFA in exasperation, this is a welcome return to form," it says.
However, PES 2010's positives are riddled with 'buts' and minor gripes, says the mag: "The Champions League is a major coup but its barely evolved since 09, and the poor licensing means that only about 80% of the teams are accurate.
"The Europa League is another key addition but its only playable in Master League and not standalone. The licensed soundtrack includes classic tracks from DJ Shadow, Stereophonics and Black Kids but it feels a bit two years ago in contrast to FIFA 10s edgy, if slightly incongruous, line-up."
PES 2010's new 360 dribbling is called "misleading" ("its more 16-way movement, but way more subtle than PES 09") but PSM3 compliments the game's general slower pace of play, which it says liberates slower, physical players like Berbatov while still allowing you to dribble past a man with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
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Player likenesses are another unqualified success pointed out in the review. Ironically, Wayne Rooney looks better in PES 2010 than in the game he officially endorses, says PSM3, with details going right down to freckles and blemishes on his Shrek-like face.
"To be clear, [PES is] still arguably the finest multiplayer game in the world," reads the review. "The killer twist is that FIFA 10 now treads similar turf, but with a more organic feel, superior animation and more next-gen touches".
PSM3 said it's yet to test the two games' online modes, so the verdict is still out on that front.
PES 2010 is out on October 23. For the full review pick up PSM3, or buy it online right now and have it delivered to your door.
For the rival's verdict, checkout the FIFA 10 review.