Advantages It's Pro Evolution Soccer, in handheld format for crying out loud...
Disadvantages Some long loading times and a lack of a Master League likely to put some fans off...
So, the second best football game ever made gets a release on the PSP. For shame that few remember the gloriously addictive Sensible Soccer (from the halcyon days of the Amiga) as the title would be perfect for Sony's venture into the arena of handheld and portable gaming. Small, compact and simple, the endeavour would surely make the most out of the platform given the power of the PSP. Instead we have Pro Evolution Soccer, Konami's yearly updated monster for the Playstation 2, which in many ways is akin to playing virtual football. A fantastic game by all accounts, but, given the range and depth of the football on show - including numerous cup competitions, individual player data, the much loved Master League and barnstorming realism in the graphics department - its conversion to the PSP would seem as tricky as a FA Cup third round away tie to non-league Nuneaton Borough.Luckily, you just can't keep the second best football game ever made down. Before you know it, that difficult away tie has become a simple 5-0 thrashing. Konami have done the sensible (pun intended) thing and have converted Pro Evolution Soccer to the PSP with the framework of the machine in mind, along with how gamers are likely to utilise the PSP in its portable capacity. Thus, the game is leaner and more compact, removing many decent yet irrelevant elements of the more powerful PS2 version, whilst maintaining the most important aspect of all previous versions of Pro Evolution Soccer - the actual football engine that provides the realistic gameplay.
Indeed, it's the football that you pay for and it's the football that you get. The main game engine looks as realistic and as gorgeous as it ever did on the PS2, The small player details have been maintained and the player movements are as fluid as ever, ensuring that you can play the beautiful game in a beautiful looking way. The passing looks good, the player's chest and head the ball as if you were watching the real thing - for realism Pro Evolution still can't be beaten. This is aided by the instinctive control system (well, instinctive if you've played the PS2 version) that, thankfully, hasn't been messed about with too much - the only real changes are required due to the lack of an L2 and R2 button on a PSP - allowing you to play instinctive and realistic football. Pro Evolution remains far more fluid, tactical, intelligent and rewarding than the relative codswallop Electronic Arts keep churning out with the FIFA franchise.In fact, Pro Evolution has been refined for so long now, that it's cleverly geared to encourage you to learn more about how it works, making any victory a well deserved one. Sprinting may be the obvious initial tactic, but after a decent AI defence blocks your Thierry Henry's and Djibril Cisse's out of the game, it quickly becomes apparent that the employment of alternative tactics will benefit your team. Thinking and passing, putting one-twos together, long through balls over the defence and learning how to cross effectively are all skills that need to be learned to become a master of the game.
|Difficulty & Complexity|
|Longevity||Very good longevity|
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