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PSP Game Review

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (PES 2009)


Format: PSP
RRP: £29.99
4 012927 063323
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 07 November 2008

The handheld version of PES 2009 has been reworked from the ground up. New player models, AI elements and physics routines all combine to create the most advanced and realistic football game ever, but at the heart of PES 2009 are two new modes designed to make players rethink the way they approach the game...

Following on from PES 2008's fun, if a little disappointing portable offering (the AI didn't quite work as advertised), 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.

Out of all the versions we reviewed, the PSP was actually the most fun. This is the sort of game that works best in a portable format. The action is pretty engaging and easier to play than the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions - it also seems to have a lot less bugs.

So, a huge leap forward for 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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