Excerpt: We don’t do “multi-format” reviews, generally. Why’ Well, because they take up too much space mainly and generally, one format is pretty much identical to another when it comes to the major “franchise” releases, so why rewrite what we’ve already written about a title, just so we can triple our review count and add the word “Xbox” a few times’ But, we’re making an exception here.
Excerpt: Let's get this straight from the start. Konami make the best football games. Some of the club names may be a bit dodgy, the games' menus have been a bit of an ordeal to navigate in the past, and the referees offer more cards than Clinton at Xmas. EA may sell more of their FIFA games (across more platforms, remember...) and let's just not mention This is Appalling or Clubfoot Ball.
Excerpt: Anyone not familiar with the Pro Evolution Soccer series has either been living under a rock or has never played a football (soccer for our American visitors) game before. Ever since its ISS days on the Playstation it has been regarded as the best footy game available. That remains true today, even with numerous competitors trying to go one better. So, while PES4 still rules the roost, are these yearly updates really worth it?
Excerpt: Better late than never, eh? Pro Evolution Soccer 4 came out way back in October, almost six weeks after this reviewer lost 3-2 to a guy from pesfan.com (Ahmed, if you’re out there, I’ve been training for a re-match!), and to be honest it’s only been since January that I’ve actually ‘cracked’ the game and begun to love it like a son.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Football games have been a mainstay arena for videogames almost since their inception and it's been thrilling to see the virtualisation of the sport come of age in such a magnificent manner. If you're a football fan, you simply can't go wrong with Pro Evolution Soccer 4. Yes, the learning curve is a little too perpendicular for our liking at times, and Xbox Live misses the jackpot, but it's well worth it once you start to find your rhythm.
Conclusion: I have a few other gripes too, the first being the set pieces - free kicks are definitely easier to score, but it doesn't feel like I've had enough input into how well they are hit. For non-shooting free kicks, corners and even throw-ins, there is no way to control what is going on away from the free kick taker - players are a bit static when you'd want them to make a timed run - set pieces have been made a lot more interesting in FIFA 2005.
Pros: Plays and moves like a real football match., It’s going to keep the solo player going for a long time., Will keep gamers with friends to play going almost indefinitely., It’s as simple or complex, deep or as quickfire as you want it to be., Pro Evolution online, – there is nothing like a tight game with some guy you've never met before.
Cons: The set piece systems need work., Online play feels rushed and needs improvement., Still some missing licensing.
Summary: Without a doubt the greatest football game just got better. Konami's title isn't about flash and flare, but rather the subtle nuances which make the game so great. We can only hope that the next game includes online gameplay.