Pro Evolution Soccer 2
Review of Pro Evolution Soccer 2
Without doubt the best one player soccer game is back with a host of new features including terrific news is that it is now set to challenge Sony’s This Is Football as the finest experience in multi-playing. It all begins with a tasty CG video backed by the ultimate foot-stamping anthem by Queen, “We Will, We Will Rock You!” If that doesn’t tug your shirt tail… then nothing will.
I guess I best start with the usual bumph that seems to introduce almost every Konami soccer review these days. This title has been produced by Konami Tokyo (the team responsible for those brilliant ISS games on PS1), and not Konami Osaka (developers of the inferior brace of ISS arcade games on PS2).
A few years ago we all marveled at accurate motion-captured movement and photo-realistic replays, but within a week or so the game was usually back in the box gathering dust on the top shelf. It seems we have finally passed through the phase where pretty graphics mean everything. So with almost all soccer series presently hitting the eye candy mark, players are now demanding that little bit extra in terms of gameplay. This time around Pro Evolution Soccer 2 seems to have just about got the balance right.
Graphically, this isn’t a title that will blow you away in terms of TV quality images. However the result is a slight improvement over Konami Tokyo’s last effort and a general appearance that is more functional than window dressing. Fine by me! Packed stadiums still wave those enormous flags, while supporters jump up and down and insist on following that quaint Japanese tradition of taking thousands of flash photographs during each game. The stadiums again look impressive, with the playing surface appearing more realistic due to the occasional worn patch of grass around the goalmouth and center circle.
The player models have also been slightly improved and no longer lean over at an angle that defies gravity when sprinting. Quite a few characters are instantly recognizable during the pre-match line-up, as are those with distinguishable hair features during a game. Theres also a wide selection of camera angles that should compliment most tastes, with the wide screen option one again proving my favorite.
Unfortunately Konami have a long way to go when it comes down to the sound department. They cannot be listening to the constant criticism (I have yet to read a review that compliments the commentary in any of their soccer games). This time around a slight effort has been made with Peter Brackley and Trevor Brooking describing the action, but sadly those lame scriptwriters once again make an arse of it with repetitive dribble such as “With the sun shining down, this match will be a sight for sore eyes.” What’s that all about?
Thankfully the awful commentary effects can be switched off in the options allowing the brilliant gameplay to shine through. No longer are we bored rigid with a long, drawn out league season and a couple of meaningless cup competitions that only a single gamer can take part in. Pro Evolution Soccer 2 offers single and multiplayer games in abundance. League and Cup competitions can be customized for up to 32 players, while even ‘Little Billy No-Mates” can have up to seven CPU controlled teammates (playing alongside him) to blame when his tactical strategy doesn’t go quite to plan. Even the tutorial mode incorporates a fun UMBRO competition that takes the boredom out of practicing some of the more difficult tricks and traps.
The main crux of Pro Evolution Soccer 2 is the vastly improved Master League mode. It is now a semi-management game as the player has control over training sessions, selection, tactics, transfer market and of course control of the team on the field. The inclusion of a 3rd Division expands the length of the Master mode, especially with the transferring of players from a higher league almost impossible. This certainly proves a worthwhile challenge, especially on the higher difficulty levels.
The custom option will probably be your first port of call as once again many of the player’s names are incorrect. Even the club teams are way off the mark with Europort being Liverpool, Highland being Newcastle and, get this… Lake District is West Ham Utd. The developers have obviously never been north of Watford.
I did notice a couple of slight bugs while playing. When the keeper picks the ball up right on the edge of his box he doesn’t seem controllable and waits for his six seconds or so before automatically booting the ball up the field. Also, the half, and full time whistle often blows when the ball is out of play, which I’m sure is against the rules. Maybe this is nit-picking as neither really spoil an otherwise excellent game.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Pro Evolution Soccer 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 15 Pro Evolution Soccer 2 in-game screenshot slideshow
Have You Played Pro Evolution Soccer 2 ?
If you have owned 'Pro Evolution Soccer 2' long enough to have formed a solid opinion on it, then click here to write your own mini review of Pro Evolution Soccer 2.
Alternatively, if you would like to read what other gamers who already own Pro Evolution Soccer 2 think of it, click here to view all of our reader comments and mini reviews of Pro Evolution Soccer 2.
Want To Know More About Pro Evolution Soccer 2 ?