(written by Nrgould) Added on: 4 May 2012
The battle between the two dominant titles in the world of football simulations has been long and arduous, with multiple versions of both games appearing over the years. However, with this title, Pro Evolution Soccer, there was a big step forward for Playstation users.
The shift from the original ‘International Superstar Soccer’ title to the now familiar ‘P.E.S.’ was another step towards a more realistic gameplay. Although in some ways disappointing, that it was no longer possible for players to sprint in a straight line towards goal and score was overall an improvement! Advances in player intelligence are made with each version of a new game and this one was no different, especially with the ability of the mostly computer controlled goalkeepers. I always believed that the P.E.S. series enjoyed an advantage over its near rival in its sense of fun in play. The tricks are available to all players and come off with a certain style that makes the game thoroughly entertaining to play, especially as with this version you could play with up to eight others.
There really is nothing quite like charging around the field trying to work out which player you are in control of whilst screaming at your friends to pass you the ball! Visually the game was an improvement on previous editions, with players celebrating in new ways even if the faces were still largely unrecognizable. There were additions to the crowd animations and different appearances for stadiums to make the settings more varied. A similar number of game modes were available as on other versions of Pro Evo, as it is commonly known.
Either building a team from scratch to win the league or running through a quick cup competition with a friend the game was pretty easy to set up and there was a wide selection of teams to choose from. Which leads us to the classic ‘problem’ with the Pro Evolution Soccer series. Whilst Electronic Arts’ rival series always has the official license from FIFA to make its game and use its product the Pro Evolution series has sometimes had to, quite literally, make it up as it went along. Some saw this as a disadvantage, others as another quirk to enjoy.
Personally, I liked laughing along as Mitchell Bannoz (or something) rather than Michael Ballack scored. Overall, this wasn’t all that different from its predecessors, successors or rivals. Unless, that is, you happened to spend many happy hours with a few friends running your men around the beautifully green grass hoping finally to work out how to scream a free kick in from 40 yards.