Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

Greg Tito | 27 Oct 2010 09:00
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If you can wade through the lame menus, the level of customization available to you is just crazy. Not only can you fiddle with your team's strategy and personnel makeup but you can also mix up the national teams and design your own stadium. The really fun stuff, such as fancy hairstyles and stadium parts like pink fences, is all purchased with "GP" which I guess translates to "Game Points." You earn 10 points for every match that you win, and most of the purchasable items cost 300 GP or above. So you better get winning some matches! I think it makes sense for weird beanbags instead of balls to cost a lot of GP, but I really wanted to give my player a nice afro. I had to play over 30 matches before I could earn the honor of playing a footballer that's 6 foot 3 (6 foot 9 with the afro).

The Become a Legend mode is just as robust and customizable as the rest of PES. You can create player that fills one of six set profiles or tweak your professional to make him play exactly like you want. When you start your career, your agent offers you a few contracts and you begin playing in practice and then league matches. Depending on your nationality, you also have the chance of being chosen for your national team to compete in international play. Of course, because some of the licenses are exclusive to EA's franchise, these teams might not look or act like their real world counterparts. If you can put up with fictional team names like The Potteries instead of Stoke City, PES allows you to tweak the rosters to your liking without messing with the perceived "realism" and that may be a draw for some players.

The biggest problem that I had with the Become a Legend mode is that you can only control your player in the matches. On offense, it's tolerable because you can call for the ball to be passed to you but on defense it is just boring. I made a center forward, so when the opposing team had the ball I would be relegated to standing around and waiting for a goal kick. That is, unless I ignored my assignment and helped out on defense as much as I could. This, of course, left me out of position when it was my team's turn to attack. Like playing real soccer when I was a kid, I didn't like the downtime and often found myself just chasing the ball. Konami should at least give you the option of controlling the whole team in Become a Legend mode to placate the more ADHD players like me.

Bottom Line: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is much better to play on the pitch itself than its chief competitor, while the lack of important football licenses and a unimpressive menu interface keep it from being a full package.

Reccomendation: If you haven't yet bought a football game, I'd pick PES 2011 over FIFA, but, even if you've already got FIFA, it might be worth giving Konami's offering a rent to see what you're missing.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Game: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
Genre: Sports
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Platform: Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, PC
Available from: Xbox Live, PS3, Wii

Me and my cousins, and you and your cousins, it's a line that is always running. Get out of my head!

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