Name: Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
Platform: Review Based on XBOX 360
No. Of Players: 1-4 / Online 1-2
Lets begin by going back to last years release of a rather disappointing Pro Evolution 6. Since jumping to next-gen, Pro 6 was a huge let down to loyal fans of the franchise. Alot of features where missing, most notably the 'Edit' menu whereas this and more were included in the PS2 and yet the 360 Version was more expensive.
Moving on to this years new release, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. After early release screenshots and teaser videos, the sports gaming community was buzzing and anticipation grew for Pro 2008. The release of Pro 2008 couldnt have been any better after their bitter rivals, Fifa 2008 got very stale reviews.
Pro 2008 introduced a new, smoother gameplay which allowed gamers to play more free flowing football. 'TEAMVISION' though, an implemented new system forced gamers to change their approach to playing the game as opposition teams will adapt to your style of play, e.g If you play down the wings often, the opposition will start bulking up pressure on your wingmen, forcing you to play the ball elsewhere.
The licensing this year, is once again, reduced to two premiership teams, this year round is Tottenham and Newcastle. Some gamers are unhappy at this decision but I'm not really that fussed, I dont play the game for looking at replica jerseys on the screen, although I do admit it would make the game alittle bit more enjoyable. Other official licensing has gone to the French League, La Liga, Serie A and the Eredivision. Official international licensing can be found here
Two brand new gameplay elements have been forged into the next gen consoles, Diving and Shirt Pulling. These two elements can be either make or break for your team. Shirt pulling can give you a defensive edge to try and slow down your opposition and could prove vital if performed at the correct time. Diving is fun.. if you can pull it off. Very often the ref will book you for diving or 'simulation' if it doesnt look authentic. Beware though, diving his extremely hard to pull off so becareful!
New this year is commentators Jon Champion and Mark Lawrenson. I felt that Brooking and Brackley were becomming stale and they bored the heck out of me on the previous versions. This years commentary isnt that bad, Champion does decent enough commentary and Lawrenson keeps his mouth shut when he needs to! Happy days because he does talk some useless crap!
Master League! Yes it's Pro's main feature and its a hell of alot better than the previous versions. Buying players is alittle easier, you have a new popularity meter in which, you win a game your popularity will rise. This also works with the players, the better performances they display, they will get better popularity such as A's or B's. I havnt gotten too far into the master league yet but at the moment, its very impressive.
The EDIT mode is back!!! Yes we can now give our favourite players better stats, funny hair do's and weird facial features. Editing kits is also included and its a very impressive system. You can now take a snapshot of either yourself, or your teams kit and import it into the game via XBOX Live Vision and your face/kit will be generated into the game.
Online issues for Pro Evolution are currently being evaluated by Konami. At the moment, online play is severly laggy and unplayable. Hopefully a patch is on its way.
If your a football fan, you are going to love this game. This is the beautiful game on a console, free flowing football and fantastic goals will give you that extra kick in playing Pro Evolution 2008. Who cares for unofficial Premiership teams? Its about the football, and this game delivers! If anyone wants to have a match on XBox Live, my gamertag is Daz7x and I should be on at the weekend.
Gameplay: 9 - Its Near Perfect
Graphics 7 - Still not the best, but still quite good
Sound: 6 - TURN OFF MENU MUSIC!! Trust me. The commentary and fans is what brings the mark up.
Overall: 9 - The Difinitive Footballing Game