Review by Jechtman

Reviewed: 08/15/04

All in all, Winning Eleven 8 dosn't add much to the series.

Konami has recently released it's new and highly anticipated soccer game: Winning Eleven 8.
Released in Japan on the 5th of August, my import version of the game arrived 3 days later. Eagerly waiting, I quickly inserted the disc into my PS2 and started to have fun !!

Welcomed by the usual save/load options screen, which was in Japanese no doubt, I started the game. The main menu contents are so typical, kind of contents we expect to see in a Winning Eleven, though Konami gave up the longitudinal look of the menu and instead, the main menu is presented horizontally.

The match choice allows you to play friendly matches between different teams as well as clubs, you can choose the stadium, difficulty, match length and the other normal options in all past Winning Eleven games. The main skeleton of the game hasn't changed a bit, still, the cup mode allows you to play different regional championships as well as a fully customizable Konami cup.

The same problem that Winning Eleven 7 had, still appears in this new installment, the copyrights for the official team kits are missing, resulting in un-official team kits for most teams, though both Japan and South Korea are presented with their official home and away kits.

The copyright problem is not much to talk about actually, because unlike WE7, this new game has the real player names for all the teams, though the names are in Japanese, but they appear correctly on the back of the team strips.

The Edit mode, allows you to edit nearly every thing in the game, from player looks and names to stadium names and team kits, though again both the Japanese and Korean teams are unavailable for customization.

In the master league mode, which is very creative actually, you take a club from the beginning till you reach to be one of the top teams, handle your player's stats., transfers and injuries throughout the season.

The game play itself deserves to be looked at, the players movements are even more realistic, the main controls are unchanged, but it seems to be some add-ons like FIFA2004's without ball movement, though not still confirmed due to language difference.

As usual, graphics of the game are amazing, the player faces are absolutely and fantastically realistic, the stadiums are even more detailed and sophisticated than ever and the rain effects are clearly seen on the pitch during the match.

All in all, Winning Eleven 8, is not much of a great addition to the series, if you are a hardcore soccer gamer, then you may consider getting the game when it's international version is released, but if you are not, and already own WE7, then don't think about getting this one, as it doesn't offer much new to be paid for.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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