Is it really the Thierry Henry of football gaming?
The silky gameplay and the smoothness of the game itself explains why many people see this series of games as the best ever created .
however, the game is not perfect quite yet . The players are not as detailed as they are on FIFA, and the lack of all the correct licenses for player names and team names (though improved on the last game) can get annoying .
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Difficulty & Complexity
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Long ago when bumbags were seen as cool and boyzone were topping the charts, there was only one real contender in the market of football games, and that was FIFA. However, things have changed (you might just say things have evolved), and pro evolution soccer from konami has not only stepped up to the plate to compete, but is also seeming to be the winning product. How have they done it? what makes this game so much better than FIFA? and, the question you all want the answer to, is it worth the £35 i've been saving up since I got that one-off job at a strip bar for a night? All these answer, and more i hope, will be answered in good time my friends.
I felt that this would be a good place to start, as this is where the game really excels. Although you may not see the improvement compared to PES3 immediately, after playing PES4 for a couple of minutes, you really begin to realise how smooth the game actually is. To me, this is a huge plus for the game. The whole series has been reliant on gameplay, and PES4 is no exception. unlike the FIFA series of games, the game is extremely responsive. When playing, you really feel like you are truly in control of the team. There are many areas in which the gameplay has been revamped, following its predecessors. For example, the runs which strikers make are now much more intelligent. Rather than just running in a straight line when the holding player has the ball, strikers now make intelligent horizontal through runs, or weaving runs through the defence when off the ball.
This adds a huge amount to the through ball feature of the game, as you can pull off some really beautiful passes, and when they end up in a goal you finally realise why many men, and women for that matter, pass-up the opportunity for relations with their partner on a regular basis in the weeks and months after purchasing this game.
Furthermore, the shooting, although it may not seem so at first, has been very much refined. it takes a lot more skill to get the ball into the net than in the previous games. Rather than simply having to press up and shoot to score a screamer from outside the box, you now actually have to apply the right pressure to the shoot button to score those real crackers. Although some say this feature makes the game "too realistic to be fun," they revise their opinion after they score there first cracker as the satisfaction of getting the shooting pressure right is truly amazing. The game's buttons are identical to the previous versions of the game, and are therefore very easy for PES enthusiasts to get used to, as they are for anyone who decides to give the game ago.
However, the much revamped master league mode of the game is far from easy. Unlike previous versions, where u could take over real madrid and then buy their whole team on free transfers, things are much more difficult this time round. Most importantly, it is much more difficult to get your hands on enough money to really improve your team, and therefore this feature really separates the good from the bad as the players that manage to finally revamp their team from the mediocrity they are made to start with are the ones who tend to be the best at the game. Also, the new "conditioning" feature of the game means that you cannot play with a tired player for games on end, as the longer he is forced to play the more susceptible he comes to long term injury. The master league is setup as as 2 divisions, each with its own cup. However, if you come in the top four of the top division, you are entered into the WEFA championhip. this is PES4's equicalent of the champions league. Just as in real life, this is where the money lies. This makes the game very addicitve.
The other modes are also very enjoyable, in particular the training challenge. This is a perfect way to home-in on your particular skills and become the master of the free-kick (although I do belive that I have already taken that post!!!!!). The PES shop is also a nice feature, this has been expanded from the shop in PES3. through the accumulation of PES points, by competing in competitions etc., players can buy classic teams, new stadiums and new player faces. In my game, thierry henry has a shark's head which is fairly amusing to say the least when he celebrates.
However, the game does have an air of Alan Smith about it. Although it does seem destined for greatness, there are just a few glitches in the game which mean that it doesn't quite reach the promise land of football gaming quite yet. Firstly, and no doubt the first thing that you will notice, is the ever-apparent lack of licenses. although many players now have their real names, teams continue to lack. Bolton, for example, are referred to as middlebrook, extremely confusing when you feel like being middlesbrough. Furthermore, although some European kits have been featured with sponsors and true kits, the majority of kits are simply designed rather than the truly detaled attire you are used to seeing in the FIFA series. Furthermore, shock horror, there are also some technical glitches. The most annoying being the game seemingly "slowing down" when players enter the box or crosses come into the box. This, also not too apparent at first, does take away the air of perfection from the game.
Despite the faults mentioned, it is very difficult to pick a sports game that is any better in the market today. players who really appreciate games like this will quickly get over the lack of real player names, and will really enjoy this title for what it is, the best football game ever created. I, given my high standards, that i cannot give this game a 5-star rating as i fell that this rating is destined for the day that Konami finally manage to reach that level of complete perfection. However, it has to be recognised that this time Konami have come closer than ever before and perfection, i hope, will be rearing its beautiful head around the corner next november with the release of pro evolution soccer 5. I, for one, cannot wait.
Although most places sell it for around the £40 mark, do shop around as some are selling it for as little as £26.
Excellant review, top game, better than the Fifa's in my opinion. Cant wait for PES 5
woodywoodpecker 14.09.2005 12:53
Splendid review. It deserves all the plaudits you gave it, and yes, there are sa few glitches, but nothing that really bothers me personally. I did initially find it confusing where Bolton were called Middlebrook, and when I had to look again through the london teams to find out which one was which :P, but the gameplay is something that would seriously make me recommend it to others. I also like the way you compared it with Alan Smith - destined for great things, but not quite there, so in answer to your initial headline question, no, its not the Thierry Henry of football gaming.
craig6148 22.05.2005 22:26
Good review. Very detailed and informative. Gives info evertyhing necassary
The finest football simulation series receives further refinements in Pro Evolution Soccer ... more
4. The presence of an on-screen referee is perhaps the game's most obvious new feature. What's more, this twenty-third being on the pitch is more intelligent than his invisible predecessors: advantages are played more frequently and the fairness of decisions is improved. Another welcome new feature is that of player-specific special moves, whereby only certain gifted footballers will have outlandish tricks in their repertoire--very much in keeping with real life. Although there was little room for improvement over Pro Evolution Soccer 3's supreme gameplay, Konami has seemingly found it. Dribbling has been given especial attention; the result is tighter control. Crosses, too, are now easier to perform exactly as desired. Also, penalty kicks and free kicks offer increased accuracy with their adoption of a new control system. Some 136 club sides, including all 56 teams of the Spanish, Italian and Dutch leagues (these are officially licensed) are on offer in Pro Evolution Soccer 4, as well as 50-odd national teams. Typically, this new version of Pro Evolution is the most comprehensive to date--the new season in videogame football kicks off in spectacular fashion.