At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players
Matt Bailey Other Format Piggyback Interactive Matthias Loges (Editor) 1
Requirements Buy from Amazon.co.uk
None Click here to buy Pro Evolution Soccer 6: The Expert Guide.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6: The Expert Guide review

And so cometh our next review of a guide. Again it's for another genre completely, so there's a different style of guide to look at once more. With no definitive structure beyond the Master League and cups, and certainly no official end to the game, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 of course deserves something different from a walkthrough. So, Piggyback's latest is actually dubbed "The Expert Guide"; a double meaning to show that the guide is not only providing you with plenty of advice from the experts, but also aiming to make you one of them.

Like the previous guide, I'm also working on a review of the game at the same time (the Xbox 360 version, while Neil, who handled our PES5 review, takes on the PS2 version), so I've been able to see first-hand how the guide can benefit your performance. While I still pale in comparison to experts such as Neil, I have certainly seen an improvement in my performance through the techniques I've picked up in the guide, and I'm quite pleased that even in defeat my actions now look more competent than mere button-bashing.

This guide is not particularly colourful, and comes across as far more clinical than the previous two, with black section markers, pale box colours, and white pages. However, some hand-drawn artwork has been added to the background to give the guide some character, and it is, of course, interspersed with a variety of green grass-filled screenshots. However, while screenshots can basically get across the ideas explained in the detailed text, they don't help the reader to fully understand what's going on, which is why Piggyback have made an important addition this year by including a DVD with the guide.

The DVD proves an invaluable tool, and accompanies the guide well. Its first section - Coaching Manual - matches that of the guide itself; it is split into sections for the different types of play, from shooting to penalties. Each tip in the guide not only features a picture, a difficulty guide, the buttons to press on PS2, Xbox 360 or PC versions, as well as plenty of advice on how to pull it off, but also a reference to the right section on the DVD. Playing this section then gives you twice over a visual demonstration of the move, accompanied by images of the PS2 and Xbox 360 gamepads (PC players should probably use one of these two) so you know exactly when you need to be hitting those buttons. It's a very effective method of teaching you how to play Pro Evo 6 well, and is a key factor in putting the guide well above anything you'll find online for free.

The Secret Moves section is up next, and is accompanied by DVD action in the same way as in Coaching Manual. Here you'll find a range of actions that may not always make you play better, but they'll certainly make things look a bit more spectacular. The guide then deviates from the disc and covers a range of strategies you can undertake, takes an in-depth look at Pro Evo 6's main mode - Master League - and details a range of the most important players and teams in the game. This is rounded off by a look at what you can unlock in the PES Shop, as well as the Achievements you can earn on the Xbox 360 version, before mentioning how the 360 version has been cut down (more about that in the game's review). The DVD meanwhile provides a rather handy situation guide, which demonstrates how to deal with some of the more tricky situations you're like to come across, as well as providing a collection of what Piggyback are calling "beautiful goals" to see what Pro Evo 6 is like when played well. Finishing off the DVD is a rather good - and surprisingly long - interview with the creator himself, Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka. All in all, a more than competent package.

Ratings

Graphics N/A 0/10
Gameplay N/A 0/10
Value The DVD more than justifies the cost, and the quality of the publication sets it apart from online freebies. 9/10
Lifespan N/A 0/10
Audio N/A 0/10
Overall The Piggyback guides are often worth buying if you want to get more out of the game than the free guides you'll find all over the internet. However, the decision to include the DVD for a game which you learn mainly through visual demonstration, makes it more than a worthy package for anyone looking to improve their Pro Evolution Soccer 6 skills. 9/10

Click here to buy Pro Evolution Soccer 6: The Expert Guide from Amazon.co.uk.

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