At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Neil Chittenden PlayStation 2 Konami of Europe KCE Tokyo 1-8 (Share screen), 1-2 (Online) Here
Requirements Also on... Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Memory card, MultiTap for 3-5 players or 2 MultiTaps for 6-8 players, Network Adapter or Ethernet port for online play X360, DS, PSP Click here to buy Pro Evolution Soccer 6.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 review

So, here we are at the next instalment of the Pro Evolution Soccer series, the first one available on a next-gen console, i.e. the Xbox 360. However, this review is of the PS2 version; the console a PES game is meant to be played on!

There are several noticeable aspects of the game that have been altered, but do they warrant a new release? If you are familiar to the already popular and superior (to all other football games) series then, initially, the difference in general movement of players and their touch is apparent. This shows that Konami have actually made PES6 a different game; in my opinion, a larger difference than the change from PES4 to PES5. The other most obvious changes are the improvements to the crossing and shooting from tight angles. Crossing now regularly pays off in a good chance on goal and the developers have also made it so that you can actually shoot from a tight angle without the player blasting it at the back of the side netting every time - a great addition. There are also several small improvements such as less 'shinning' of the ball that, in general, you would expect from the sixth game of a series.

The new general gameplay of PES6 also has some drawbacks that make it hard for fans of the previous games to adapt. I have found free kicks to be a lot more erratic than previous games in the series, so that when you score them you feel it’s more down to luck than your perfectly honed skills formerly used. Shooting normally at goal has also been made more difficult because it is now very hard to find space on the edge of the box against a well-drilled CPU defence. The above changes may just need getting used to, but there is one annoyance that has made this game tougher; the passing difference and general quality in play difference of bad teams against better teams. In previous games, there was always a notion of giant killing when you found yourself as the much worse team in a match because you knew you could build up play slowly for an attack. The poor quality of passing with a crap team in PES6 makes this task 50 times more difficult.

On a side note: they still haven’t fixed it so that you can watch a replay after the ball goes out of play. Come on guys, fix something that needs fixing!

The other modes of play, such as the Master League and tournaments, have been improved; the way you can choose from any player of a certain nationality in the (unlicensed) World Cup is a superb advancement from having to register players in and out of the team. Also, there are still plenty of classic players and items to unlock in the PES shop. (Wait ‘til you buy the ostrich kit!).

I like the PES series of games (was that not obvious from my review of the previous game?) and find myself, despite its differences, still addicted to PES6. The great gameplay we've come to expect from a PES game is still there and it has been changed here to make it more of a challenge for existing fans. The realism of events, such as shooting, passing and control, have been improved further. This series of games is still great to play and I would recommend anyone that wanted a football game to get this. However, I find it very difficult to say whether this is a worthwhile upgrade from the previous two titles since those games were of similar quality. That choice is up to you.

Ratings

Graphics The graphics have improved, leading to better play likeness, while animation is also smoother and more realistic. 8/10
Gameplay Still the same classic we all know and love, with some changes which will both please and frustrate. 9/10
Value It's value depends on whether you own either of the predecessors. If you haven't got a PES title since 3, then there's a lot here for you to enjoy. But if you have PES5 not a couple of marks off, as you have a lot of what is here, even if the changes will be welcomed by most of the faithful. 9/10
Lifespan The Master League continues to keep the game in PS2s for months, along with the multiplayer which is also great fun. Online modes have improved too, and should provide a few challenges between the European elite. 10/10
Audio The commentary continues to remain awful. Will they ever get this right? Music in the game is still annoying, and though neither elements are worse then before, their lack of improvement deserve a mark less than last year. 6/10
Overall PES6 continues to be the best in the field, despite the improvements made in FIFA 07. While that title may still hold all the key licenses, PES is catching up in that regard, but needs to make more changes than we see here in next year's edition if it wants to stay ahead. 9/10

Click here to buy Pro Evolution Soccer 6 from Amazon.co.uk.

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