PES 2009

GC 2008: PES 2009 Preview

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It’s difficult to start ripping in to Pro Evo... I mean, there are millions of people worldwide that are Pro Evo fans, myself included, but there are times when brutal disappointment has to settle in. Not brutal disappointment that Pro Evo is a bad game, it’s the exact opposite to be fair, it’s great as usual. But it’s just Pro Evo and you’d be hard pressed to point out more than a handful of differences over last year’s title.
By that sort of intro, you would have thought that I was disappointed by my hands on with the title at the Games Convention... let me first clear something up and say that that is most definitely not the case. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I tend to with every Pro Evo title, but after this one, I was left feeling a little empty that the game didn’t bear any major differences from its previous incarnations and that isn’t what I want from a yearly updated title. I expect change dammit!
Pro Evo 2009 welcomes in a new dribbling engine that unlike previous instalments does not require you to use a set of fancy elaborate button presses to unlock the inner beast from within. Instead, players will do that naturally depending on their natural ability. So don’t expect Carrick to be turning like Cristiano Ronaldo on the ball. It’s a feature that allows players to really get the most of the world’s talent without having to be a PES veteran on the pad.

A welcome addition this year is saying goodbye to the invincible players, so no more of running through an entire team using Adriano as your battering ram or using Ronaldo or Messi’s dribbling skills to literally take the team on three times before rounding the keeper to score a back heel (slight exaggeration, but it felt that easy at times). Konami seemed to have levelled the playing field somewhat. Players like Ronaldo, Messi, Gerrard can still influence a game heavily but don’t expect them to do it every game and against every opposition, which was possible in PES 2008.
The 2009 edition also says goodbye to the terrible keepers we are told. No longer should you see them flapping at a shot with a little venom. Although it was amusing when you scored this way last year, it wasn’t amusing for it to happen to you and by no means was it realistic.
There were a few other things that stood out in our hands on with the game. It seems as if the animations are more streamlined this year as Konami have added to and tweaked the already substantial back catalogue of tricks, movements and feints. The character models even look to have an extra layer of polish, as do the crowd who are said to have more life this year.

For PES 2008, a lot of players felt left down by the poor online servers so when we directed that question towards them, we were informed that they would be fixed for this year’s version. But after hearing that so many times from so many different publishers over the years, one can only hope that it’s an actuality and not PR speak.
Perhaps Konami’s intention this year was to change the substance of the game, you know, the features, the options, the master league, the general make-up of the game. If so then, Pro Evo 2009 will be saved, because unless it offers something new in terms of an experience other than the actual same old gameplay, I see no real reason to purchase it... Well, unless you’re a Liverpool, Man Utd or Champions League fan because those are the new licenses this year. It’s not that PES 2009 is a bad game, it’s just it seems to be the same, familiar game that we are so used to. Check back next month for the PES 2009 review.

PES 2009 will be available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 17th (Europe) and November 12th (North America).


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Europe October 12, 2008

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