Genre: Sport Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami Classification: G Release Date: 2nd Nov 2006 Platforms:PCPS2XBOX360
Average of 5 Ratings
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The Good bits
Xbox 360 version plays sublimely - widescreen is a boon
On all formats this is the most playable and fun football game ever
The Bad stuff
Xbox 360 version missing pieces
Once again a halfhearted approach to licensed content
Review note: there are differences between the PC/PS2 PES6 and the Xbox 360 PES6. This review assesses the pros and cons of both versions (PC and PS2 being essentially the same game).
A scary thing occurred a few weeks ago. No, my beloved thong collection didn't go missing, something far worse. I had a crisis of faith. Not Koran/Bible related - rather the very foundation of my game world was shaken.
It all started with Atari pumping up a game-writer Pro Evo preview/challenge. Because there's no shortage of game types who fancy themselves as Pro Evo champs, the turnout was good, with a reasonable array of talent. The Xbox 360 version of the game was played, and this was when the alarm bells started ringing. The action seemed floaty. The action seemed slow. This action seemed spookily reminiscent of FIFA - to a Pro Evo punter that's akin to telling someone Tom Cruise would make a good James Bond. You just don't do that.
But that was just the beginning - the pain train was merely pulling out of the station. Patient buildup seemed to go for naught as deft goalies and fleet footed defenders would shut you down, block your shot and generally be un-fun. Compared to past Pro Evos, the ratio of shots taken on goal vs scoreline seemed very stark - something some of our results bore out. One poor soul I watched dominated the game, pounding 16 shots on goal - nine on target - only to lose 1-nil, courtesy of a counterattack goal arising from the solitary shot the opposition took. Things seemed very grim. Long time fans exchanged looks of disappointment. Was this the beginning of the end? Had Xbox 360 killed Pro Evo?
Meanwhile, the PC and PS2 versions of the game never wavered from looking like the next step in the storied franchise. We'll discuss what works and what doesn't shortly, but unlike Xbox 360, which has essentially been rebuilt for the platform, Pro Evolution 6 on PC and PS2 is very similar in look to PES5, with some key play enhancements and changes. So really, it's just refinement.
But before we go any further, let's look at a situation that affects all Pro Evo 6 versions. Licensed players and clubs. You know, it's about time some quarters stopped with the whole "underdog Konami" thing when it comes to matching it up against FIFA for Best Football Game Of The Known Universe. Look at it this way - even if you aren't selling as much as the top dog, when you're putting out the consensus pick as best or second best (only the delusional and cruel would put Pro Evo below second spot) videogame devoted to the World Game - you aren't going to be raking in chump change. No doubt EA has a lot more money to throw around than Konami, but at the end of the day, both are not doing bad at all from the sport. Bottom line - the time has come for Konami to suck it up and start offering much more licensed content in Pro Evo. For every goose like me who doesn't care about the names of the player I'm controlling, there's a team of fanatics who demand accuracy - and its an argument I can completely appreciate. Sell some stock, bribe someone at EA, do whatever it takes Konami, but don't let Pro Evo 7 roll around with weirdo team names. Your game deserves better.
Now, note that I didn't specify "PC" or "PS2" only when I said the game deserves better? That's because I don't know what happened in between preview code and final retail product on Xbox 360, but I could swear that this is almost a different game. It plays properly. The pace is perfect (more on this later) and if you're strictly considering the action that unravels on the football field, you could argue the Xbox 360 version is the best Pro Evolution version of all.
For starters, you have widescreen support. It's so hard to go back to 4:3 when you have experienced that little bit of extra pitch on offer either side. Long passes become more meaningful, tactical play makes more sense, and cruelly underused functions like 1-2 passes are so much more likely to be called upon. You really get a sense of the strategic with widescreen.
Then there's the graphics. They look good - but not great on Xbox 360. But most importantly, they run smooth. The only slowdown I've witnessed so far is a couple of moments at the start of the corner kick - which aren't gameplay critical anyway. Everywhere else is pure silk. The detail level is reasonable, but you won't be dropping your jaw in wonder unless you're an experienced PES purist.
One exception is the graphic modeling of the ball. Something about this year looks slicker and more detailed. You're given overkill with Reebok balls, but using the Adidas +Teamgeist red and white number is simply superb. Further, many of your strikes on goal seem to accurately reflect spin - or lack thereof on the true flat, bullet hard rockets that the best players will unleash. A small note, but something I can't confess to having noticed before.
These factors enhance what is a terrific game even more. And between versions PS2, PC, and Xbox 360 - the basic way the game plays is roughly the same. I could be mistaken, or maybe its widescreen, but the Xbox 360 version's tempo seems a little faster, believe it or not - not slower, as many naughty folks who may have based their review on preview code have suggested. Also, it seems like the Xbox 360 version may be a smidgen less demanding on the strength meter for the game. With certain players you can certainly fill the power bar up to (what would have been in past years) excessive proportions from reasonably close range and still be on target.