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Interview: Tim Blair talks 'Pro Evolution Soccer 2013', win a copy for Xbox 360

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On Friday afternoon, we posted our full review of Konami’s “Pro Evolution Soccer 2013” – review can be found here.

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To coincide with the review of “Pro Evolution Soccer 2013”, we were given the opportunity to interview Tim Blair, “Pro Evolution Soccer” Brand Manager, about some of the new innovations “PES 2013” brings to the franchise, as well as his thoughts on the competition from EA Sports’ “FIFA” series.

In addition to the review and this interview, Konami provided us with an extra copy of “Pro Evolution Soccer 2013” for Xbox 360 to giveaway. To enter, simply leave a comment on this page telling us who your favorite soccer player is and why, along with your email address.

To increase your chances at winning, you can receive a bonus entry by making a donation to the Extra-Life Charity Drive where we’ll be playing video games on October 20 for 24 hours to raise money for Hasbro Children’s Hospital – donations can be made here.

The "Pro Evolution Soccer 2013" contest will on Sunday, October 21 at 12 A.M. Eastern. We'll randomly select a winner and email them for mailing information.

Examiner: Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 introduces a lot of new innovations and game features when compared to previous entries. Do you feel that in a certain respect PES 2013 a restart for the franchise or just a natural evolution?

Tim Blair: PES 2013 doesn’t mark a restart of the PES franchise, rather it is a continuation of the core values and vision of PES and the progress Konami has been making over the past few years. In PES 2013, ProActive AI is the continuation of Active AI introduced in PES 2012. PlayerID is the next step in recreating players complete likenesses – not just their faces. PES Full Control (Or PES FC) is the next logical layer to the 360 degree control and the power settings implemented over the past few versions of PES. So it is truly an evolution.

Examiner: One of the biggest additions made to PES 2013 is the addition of Full Control. How does this game mechanic improve ball-handling over that of PES 2012?

Tim Blair: PES FC definitely takes ball-handling to a new level of sophistication and enjoyment. First of all you’ll notice the challenge and the subsequent pay-off of Full Manual Passing and Shooting. At first it is a little tricky and all of us were launching shots into the stands. But once you hone it in, you’re making much more controlled shots on goal and passes to team mates. It really lets you use the ProActive AI to its fullest.

Another well-received improvement that comes with PES FC, is the Dynamic First Touch. Using these new controls, you can perfectly receive and cushion a pass, then turn it into a brilliant continuation of play using a flick, linking to a volley adding a feint.

On the other side of the ball on defense, you can use Response Defending to really make 1 on 1 situations more difficult for your opponent. You can hold up play by reducing the distance between you and your opponent, and timely perform tackles to play the ball in a specific direction – preferably the direction of your teammate to shift to attack.

Examiner: Pro Evolution Soccer was the primary soccer game to fans for years. However, EA Sport’s FIFA series has grown in popularity and moved in a direction different than that of the PES series. Is PES 2013 in direct competition with FIFA 13 or do you feel each is delivering a different take on the sport?

Tim Blair: While PES was created with a focus on making the most realistic soccer experience, the gap has closed and we are in direct competition. Konami is still delivering a different take on the digital format of the beautiful game, but we do compete with each other. Our fans though will echo that PES is harder and gamers play at a higher level. It’s a badge of honor.

Examiner: The Pro Evolution Soccer series has served as a great means of introducing people to soccer video games. However, PES 2013 adds a number of new game mechanics that make the experience deeper and richer. With these new additions made, will PES 2013 remain as accessible to casual fans as previous titles?

Tim Blair: Yes, no question. While the features I’ve described sound complex, this is not an exclusive game. New PES gamers can ease themselves in by using the tutorials and by adjusting the game’s level of difficulty, pace of the game, and levels of assistance. As they get better, they can really dial these up or down to get a better challenge.

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