Conclusion: Concept: PES 2009 boasts impressive improvements, including the new Become A Legend mode and adding the official UEFA Championship (with a slew of real teams and players)
Graphics: Slightly improvement from years past, but not enough to represent real progress
Sound: Unlike most of the game, this area doesn't show much improvement
Playability: I'm disappointed that the right analog passing lacks the touch of the d-pad especially since the analog stick is so easy to use...
Summary: Konami has done a great job of moving forward in all the exterior elements of Pro Evo. The menus look great, several new modes come as welcome additions, and the four-player online mode is a great step up. Unfortunately, the core game feels increasingly lackluster as the years pass. Overall visuals aren't up to snuff with the competition; animation in particular looks far too stiff. Player control is precise as always, but also feels overly mechanical.
Excerpt: From clunky cartridges to compact discs, wired controllers to Bluetooth sticks, Goldeneye battles at your mate’s house to online Call of Duty wars -- through the years I have welcomed all sorts of changes in my gaming life. But the one thing that remained constant was Pro Evolution Soccer. It was always my preferred choice when the new footy season came around -- that is until last year of course.
Excerpt: Football. It's the world's game. No, not the game played with a pigskin -- the real football, otherwise known as soccer. Konami's been producing videogames based on this most popular sport in the world for three console generations, and they've often been the very best. But in early 2008, Pro Evolution Soccer fell behind the rival FIFA series from Electronic Arts on high-definition home consoles.
Conclusion: From an aesthetic standpoint, Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is much improved over Konami’s recent football offerings. Some design work clearly went in to the menu systems and there’s a sense of broadcast ambience this time around. The replay system is quite competent, as are the facial-mapping and wireframe-skinning systems used throughout the matches.
Excerpt: It never changes. Another year, another debate about which game offers the defining football simulation. On one hand, you’ve got a resurgent EA Sports, effortlessly reworking and refining their ideas until the praise inevitably rolls in. On the other, you have the once great, faltering production team that are in desperate need of a facelift. With a defiant set of supporters on each side, both PES 2009 and FIFA 09 are sure to be successful, right?
Conclusion: For all its problems off the pitch, there’s no doubting that PES 2009 is the most fun football game on the market. There’s a nagging feeling that this is merely the game that the past iterations should have been, but there’s no denying that it plays as good a game as ever – which means for the neutral, the choice of which game to pledge their allegiance to is as hard as ever.
Conclusion: As an avid FIFA fan it’s hard to comprehend that there is another game available that represents the beautiful game which has been touted to triumph over FIFA numerous times over the past couple of years. Konamis Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is the next game in the series that have been heralded as the premiere football games since the days of the Playstation 2.