I’ve been playing the Pro Evolution PES Soccer series ever since the original format game on the Super Nintendo (SNES) when it was called Superstar Soccer.
Since then I have always bought the game on whatever console I have owned – with my favourite release in the series being Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 on the Playstation 3.
I now own a Nintendo Wii and have been playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 on it for the last six months – so though it was time I put my short review online and shared my thoughts on it with you all.
First Impressions of PES 2010
First impressions are that it’s not as intuitive when you first pick the controls up as the game was on PS3. However, I soon found that after a week I was playing it with the same control and feeling as I used to do. It’s fair to say that the Wii version isn’t as impressive as the Playstation one but it’s still a great game.
Realistic Looking Players
The football players look extremely realistic, so for example when Rio Ferdinand gets a booking and turns to the referee to complain it really does look like him, including his facial mannerisms. At the moment I am playing in Master League mode as Manchester United on the most difficult professional level using the real life player names.
This is basically like playing in the Premier League, and the Wii version actually places the Champions League into the Master League calendar which is a great advance on the PS3 version I was playing in 2008. Not only that but the FA Cup is also playable during the season so you can play in upwards of nearly 60 games if you play a whole season – which is pretty much just like the real Manchester United would do in the real English Premier League.
Slick Game Play with Responsive Controls
Now to the actual game play. If you are used to playing on PS3 then make sure you purchase a classic style Nintendo Wii controller and don’t even attempt to use the standard wireless Wii stick – it’s not easy to play that way – computer console football and soccer games are designed to be played using a classic style console controller – it’s so much easier that way.
The players are smooth and responsive, and as I mentioned really do look like their real life counterparts. Great attention to detail has been given to the player’s physical attributes and history. For example, when Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen – two of England’s most injury prone players – suffer from a heavy tackle they tend to fall to the floor clutching their knee and end up being carted off on a stretcher and injured for weeks!
Scoring Goals with PES 2008 on Wii
Goals are initially hard to come by but it won’t take you long to master the art of smashing a volley in, or even a looping header into the top corner. The goal celebrations can be amusing, with players like Wayne Rooney running to the corner flag and waiting for team mates to come and join in with the action.
If I had a one complaint about the game play it would be penalties. Outside of the box a player will go down at the slightest touch and the referee will award a free kick. However, the same challenge in the penalty area never seems to result in a spot kick. This can be very frustrating, and I’ve been put out of the FA Cup semi final due to my lack of begin given what I thought was a clear penalty.
Hard to Transfer Players is a Shame
In season transfers can also be tricky. In one game I was Chelsea – who in real life terms is an attractive team that a lot of players would love to join. However, on the most difficult professional level I found it almost impossible to buy players. This was despite being 5 seasons in, having loads of cash in the bank, and being a trophy winning Super Star rated team. I think in my last season I ended up with aging players and no real hope of transferring any new blood in so I ended up starting off a new game.
The in-game audio is great. When you play at Anfield the chanting actually sounds like songs coming off the Kop, and if at Old Trafford you can hear the cries of “United”. It’s little details like this that make Pro Evolution Soccer on the Nintento Wii a very polished game.
Playing PES 2008 in World Cup Mode
Another great aspect to the game is the World Cup mode. I played as England and after a couple of attempts managed to win the competition – with Emile Heskey being Golden Boot winner with 7 goals – so not entirely realistic I am sure you’ll agree! If you do win a cup you will see some great end sequences with ticker tape flying, fireworks, and the team holding the cup up on the trophy stage that gets wheeled out onto the pitch.
The game itself has a decent soundtrack with tunes from the Kaiser Chiefs and Babyshambles featuring – in truth though these can get a little annoying and I don’t think I will ever want to hear these tunes ever again.
There are many other different aspects to the game you can access such as a strange arcade mode which shows players with massive cartoon style heads – but quite frankly that just looked odd so I’ve not gone near it. You also have the obligatory training mode which lets you hone your skills. Taking free kicks is definitely something you should practice as I have found them almost impossible to perfect during actual game play.
Overall Game Rating for PES 2008 on Wii
So overall I would give the game 7.5 out of 10. I think if you are used to playing on PS3 then initially it will take some getting used to, but after a couple of days the controls feel entirely natural. If I am honest I would rather be playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 on the Playstation so might invest in that some time in the future – and when I do please visit back for my review of that game as well.
If you are a soccer and football fan though, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 is the best football game on the Wii, but given the lack of competition it doesn’t have much to compare to – however it does do a reasonably good job none the less.
About the Author: Jonny Gittens is a computer games reviewer who regularly writes for some of the leading computer games websites and blogs. For weekly news and reviews of the latest console releases check out the WSJ Weekend – the weekend version of the Wall Street Journal includes up to date news on the latest games that are making waves in the industry.
Pro Evolution Soccer Video Preview – Wii
Image courtesy of Wikipedia