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Xbox 360 Game Review

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (PES 2009)


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
4 012927 033357
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 17 October 2008

The latest instalment of the Pro Evolution Soccer series has undergone a graphical update to ensure its players look and move even more like their real-life counterparts. Similarly, all-new options allow users to tailor the game to their own tastes, while new moves, innovative new control elements and key online elements will further the realism of the new game. There's also a new career mode that will see you progress through the ranks of the smaller teams to become an internationally renowned star...

Following on from PES 2008's fun, if a little disappointing, offering Konami has listened to the critics and gone back to the drawing board in order to resigned some of the poorer elements of the game. The result is PES 2009 - a much better game which irons out most of the previous bugs and adds new modes to keep fans entertained for longer. However, this isn't to say that the game doesn't have it's problems - it does, but they're nowhere near as annoying as previously.

The most notable change to the game is the new 'Become a legend' mode. Here you can choose a character (change his appearance and moves) and then play through numerous game and progress from being a rookie to a pro. The only character you control in these games is your character (the computer handles the rest) and so you need to be in the right place at all times to ensure that you get spotted by other club managers in order to progress in your career.

For the casual football fan, who wants to play an arcade style game where there's very little difference between the players styles, this game might prove to be a bit frustrating. Depending on their age, whether they are left or right footed, and if they've been injured, all players act a little more realistic then most gamers will be used to. For some this will be annoying, for others it will be a welcome step closer to realism.

The commentary on the Xbox 360 release seemed to work better than on the PS3 version we reviewed. We didn't spot any comments that were out of place or didn't describe what was happening on screen. In fact the commentary in this game seemed to be one of the best we'd heard.

The standard Exhibition and Tournament modes are present and correct and play pretty much as the previous instalments of the game.

So, a huge leap forward of the franchise, but Konami will need to bring something impressive to the table next year as the PES series is starting to feel a little old now.


Nick Smithson

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