Review by illu52ion

"Soccer at its finest."

Undoubtedly, FIFA is the leading game for soccer but the Pro Evolution Soccer series is coming up strong and to quite a number of people, including myself, it's a much better package than FIFA. PES4 is more or less a translated version of the Japanese hit game, Winning Eleven.

The graphics have definitely improved a lot from the last PES game. Most players look just like their real life counterparts, except for the more unknown players. Little things have also been added to give players their signature look, for example Djibril Cisse with his bleached hair and beard. The players' movements are very smooth and realistic and to me, they are almost flawless.

Although the commentary is not as good as Winning Eleven, it is still a drastic improvement from PES3 where the commentary sounds poor and really awkward. However, it still lags a few seconds once in a while. The cheers from the crowd easily create the atmosphere that you're watching a live game.

The controls are one of the plus points of PES4. They are extremely sensitive and can often pass accurately in the direction that you're pointing to. However, it might be a little frustrating at times as even if you point your analog stick a little off from the intended direction as the ball will faithfully travel in the direction you pointed. The x, circle, triangle, square buttons are also very responsive. This is good at time when you need to tap the button and pass to a player who creates an opening in that split second.

Now, the gameplay is what separates Pro Evolution Soccer from any other soccer game out there. It is simply terrific. Even at 3 out of 5 stars (difficulty) the A.I can be very smart. For example, when you play league games, if you continue using the same formation, your opponents will soon know how to adapt to your formation and defend more effectively. There aren't a whole host of clubs like in FIFA but only just the main clubs from main countries like England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. Furthermore, some of the clubs, like the English and French clubs, don't seem to have their real names yet. But at least all the players do have their real names and you can just edit the names of the club later in the game. At times, the goalkeepers seem to be like superman. They can somehow save shots at point blank range and in PES4, it is also slightly harder to score one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The gameplay is always fast and I guarantee that you won't even get bored while playing matches.

Every soccer fan must own PES4 and it's probably the best soccer game that has come out in the market and you'll be missing out of a lot if you don't get it. It's better to buy the game than to rent it as you won't get enough of it by renting.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/13/04

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