Review by milanfan83

"An in depth review"

I have been playing PES4 since it came out on 15/10/04. I have completed Master League mode many times even on the highest difficulty. I don't think this is a perfect game but I believe it is the best one available today especially since it has gone platinum.

The graphics are better than PES3, as they should be, but not as good as FIFA 2005. This time round players will get dirty if they fall down too much. Players are instantly recognizable as are the stadia. However, the players seem to me to be too "shiny".

I think the menu music is ok but the commentary is totally crap. It is too repetitive and just wrong at times or even late. FIFA 2005 does commentary better but only just.

There are 136 club teams based on real life and 2 made up ones. This is less than a third of FIFA 2005's, but since the latter game contains many many teams from lower divisions that no one will want to play as, it is not so much of a problem. There are 57 national teams compared to FIFA 2005's 38. Latvia are present so you can play Euro 2004 properly. The club teams present are all those from the top divisions in England, France, Holland, Germany, Spain and Italy. There are a further 20 from across the world. A major issue is the lack of licenses. Only teams from Italy, Spain and Holland are fully licensed. Also it is not fully updated from the August 2004 transfer window. FIFA 2005 contains full licenses and is fully updated.

Master league mode is PES4's main game mode. In it you take a team from being rubbish to being the best. As you win more matches you will progress further up WEFA rankings. Your aim is to be at number one. You start off in division 2, move up to dision 1 and try to win the WEFA masters cup. In FIFA 2005 you start off with a rubbish team and if you are in Europe you ultimate aim is to win the Champion's League. If you start off in England you have to start with a Football League 2 team. I think this is rubbish because it takes ages to play as the better teams eg Man Utd, Arsenal, Milan etc. In PES4 you can pick any of these teams right from the start.

In terms of gameplay PES4 is infinitely better than FIFA 2005 but still has some flaws. In FIFA there is too much uninspiring attacking football. Every match feels the same as the last. In PES4 each match plays differently. Both games have responsive controls but I believe PES4's are more intuitive. FIFA 2005 has a first touch feature that's useless. PES4 has many tricks you can pull off that work well. However, theses can be abused to gain free kicks or penalties.

I think FIFA 2005's free kick and penalties system is better, PES4's is too hard. But if you do score from a free kick it feels great. When taking throw ins players are usually too far away and you have to wait a few seconds for them to come nearer.

Passing is flawless. Unless you are losing- then your players start acting like chumps and give the ball away. Another annoying thing is tackling. Holding down X will put pressure on the opposing teams player with the ball. However, more often than not your player will trip him up and give away a free kick and possibly get a yellow card. Slide tackles are good when you execute them properly. The other team can also trip you up while tackling. This can happen a lot and so hampers gameplay. Slide tackling from behind usually results in a foul and a card, this is good since it is realistic.

Goalkeepers, regardless of their skill, are awesome one-on-one. They perform miracle saves as a matter of routine so you think it is second nature to them. This means if you score you feel that you have accomplished something. From a distance they are not so good.

Defences work brilliantly and it requires strategy to break them down. You can have attackers agressively challenge for the ball or just play defensively. The CPU is not averse to changing formations or subbing players off to come up with a new game plan. This can happen at any time.

Overall I think this is the best football game out there. UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 has better gameplay but it's career (mission) mode is completely awful and makes the game rubbish. FIFA 2005 is too boring since you do the same thing from match to match. PES4 has tackling, goalkeeper and licensing issues. But these are not enough to completely dampen the gameplay because when it works (as it does most of the time) it works perfectly.

I have given this game a 7. To me this score means a good game (5 is average and 10 is a game that you MUST have). I would recommend this game to football fans who are looking for a game that requires thought. Also it is now only £20.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/09/05

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