Konamiâ€™s Pro Evolution Soccer series has been on top for a few years now, taking out the competition with a â€˜Zidane head buttâ€™. Now Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is here to show off how much Konami can improve on a solid series, and 'accidentally' kick the competition in the head.
Fans of the series will be pleased to hear that this installment only improves on the established formula, with a variety of enhancements including a new shooting system (for improved responsiveness), improved player AI, and more licensed teams.
There is a selection of 20 licensed teams on hand to choose from around the world. The lack of a New Zealand team is disappointing though, the closest team being Australian. Each team has player likenesses and full kits. You can pick the team colours, set the difficulty, and pick a match mode to play. Itâ€™s easy to get into as well, with a selection of difficulty levels to suit everyone from beginners to experienced players.
There are a variety of modes on hand. The one that makes the most of the new system is Master League, which allows players to manage their team, raising their stats and playing through a season. In this mode, each team has their strong and weak points - for example, Manchester United is well rounded but lacks a little in attack.
It is important to keep the team salaries balanced with their overall performance; should your club's money go into the negatives the game will be over. Donâ€™t let your team shrink to below 16 players either, as that will also cause the game to end. You play through league after league climbing the divisions, hiring and firing players to keep your team strong. There is also a standard League mode available, that lets you play through a season with your desired team, but without the money management.
For beginners who may be overwhelmed by the extensive stats and player negotiations, Match mode is the way to go for a quick game of soccer. In this exhibition mode, players can get into a game without having to go through the extensive stat screens of the league modes.
Right after kick off you can hear the fans whistling, chanting taunts and cheering. If they become annoying - and they will after a while â€“, there is an option that turns off cheering, music and 'certain sound effects' to save both power and your sanity. Konami has implemented a new shooting system that allows for better control of your shots - although this could take some getting used to for beginners.
To say this is a great soccer game for beginners and experienced players alike is an understatement; it is a great soccer game. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 retains the seriesâ€™ lead over other soccer titles, and improves over previous installments in a number of ways - and on top of that, it saves you battery power!