Review by Eddo89
"A pro at work, but not a master's job"
Pro Evolution Soccer 4(PES4) is fourth in line in the best soccer series available today. It provide unparalleled realism along with some reasonably good graphics. Certainly, is a work from people who is a pro in this, but yet it do not come close to perfection. It's gameplay is the best in terms of soccer without a doubt, but is not without it flaws that really plagued the game.
Perhaps the strongest point of the game, as said before, this game provide realistic gameplay that provides die hard soccer fans to play(and watch) as they would watch a real match. The game makes you pass alot making you sometimes need to think strategically. There is no one player can dribble past the whole team nonsense, is as you were in real life but is not really exact replica, there is some differences and is not a completely polished gameplay either.
Although you playing in the game as a whole feels realistic, sometimes goal scoring could really get you. First of all, the goal keeper. They are excellent at short range, there is 1 in 10 chance that when keeper is close to that you can still possibly score. Is amazing how well they can save. While at a distance they are somewhat the reverse as short in terms of skills. A well placed shot can always beat a keeper, in real life , true. But a well placed shot travelling at a snails pace can beat the keeper with ease. Despite all that, I had to give credit to Konami in the making of the Keeper's skills in catching/punching of crosses and long passes. It punches under pressure while catching with no pressure.
In terms of shooting and kicking aspects of the game, is fairly well done. Passing is made perfectly, nice strong ones happens when player is free, while weak inaccurate pass made when under pressure. Shooting is not that bad if not overshadowed by the weakness in the programming of the goalkeepers. Different players shoot better than others, is not much you can ask from it. Freekicking has 3 options, normal and decoy over the ball. Normal is as you were in the past, shooting, passing or long passes. The new decoy options gives the choice of normal shoot, decoy shoot, or tap the ball for a non-dead ball type shooting. Despite all this, many complains about the difficulty in scoring freekicks.
Another point that have to be raised is the referee in this game. Some say is biased against the player. Others (like me) thinks is inconsistency. That is for the bad or worse, you judge for yourself. Makes it more real true, but gets frustrating.
Graphics: Above Average
It may not be the prettiest game but still is quite reasonably good in terms of detail. Players you could instantly recognise when you see them. Players gets dirty as they get tackled down or do the tackling. Stadium is modelled like the real counter parts(not that you see them often) with pitches look different from stadium to stadium. You get an on-pitch referee but no assistants anywhere. Overall is nice to look at but not the type where you go "wow" at. Don't expect Gran Turismo 4 graphics, but much much better than it's past games in series I could safely say.
Sounds: bad, no actually. Horrible
Remember the commentating if you have past PES game? Guess what? It just went even worse. The old pairing of Peter Brackley and Trevor Brooking is back and badda than ever. They mix up lines, say useless comments and worse of all, say things completely wrong. In fact, their mistakes has actually come to a point where people bored would have fun and list them as a type of amusement. One of the classic is "Both teams must win this match or face relegation" when you are top of league. Expect much of this. Music is not what you call, great. Just some normal music with no lyrics much the same as past PES games.
Is a sport game, so this is it's strength. You play over and over with mates or the huge Master League which would be explained later. Is the same stuff over, but don't get boring fast unlike other games. It would get you hooked for long periods.
Other bits and Pieces :
The Master League would probably be 90%+ of the time you play in the game. This is the most famous aspect of the PES series where you play as a team and so sign new players and gain promotion. New things to this mode is ageing, player gets older after each seasons and eventually retire then reborn as youngsters. Along with age, comes the increasing or decreasing of stats which is generally reflected by age. Is a great mode, but i won't go to much detail, I will let you see it for yourself.
Names ,like past PES games, is not correct. Though is not numerous as license for certain leagues is obtained, but wrong names is there still there.
Rent or buy?
Buy if you like soccer naturally. But rent first if you are not much of a fan of sport games. But is not a game you would "beat" in a couple of days, so I urge you to buy.
Final Rating: 8
The game is strongly rated in gameplay, but bad commentating would always bring it down. Flaws in the game such as goalkeeping and not superior graphics meant is not possible for a perfect 10. Despite this, the game is very good and certainly deserves a place in your games collection.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 01/18/05
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