Pro Evolution Soccer 6 PSP
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Pro Evolution Soccer 6 Product Details
Released on 01/12/2006
Series creator Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka has also worked to refine the shooting system of the new game, and players will be able to attempt more snap shots than in previous versions, while volleys and half-volleys have been redesigned. Other new moves include the ability to retain control of the ball when sliding in to tackle, while all-new feints and backwards dribbling are now available thanks to the improved dribbling controls, while headers have been changed to allow players more movement in the way their strikers jump and head the ball.
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 also has a number of new teams licensed for inclusion, with the International roster now featuring the official kits for Argentina, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Details on official club teams and more national squads will follow.
- Other new additions include more balanced referees, and a selection of exciting new gameplay modes. An International Challenge involves leading your home country to victory through a series of entry and tournament rounds, while a Random mode lets the player play quick games within randomly-generated match day settings.
- The much-loved Master League also returns, allowing players to experience the many highs and lows of steering a team through years of competitive games. Aging players, injuries and pressure from the board all combine to create a truly immersive game where results are everything...
- With its slick moves and realistic action, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is certain to glide past rival titles with ease and enjoys an impressive roster of new moves, licensed clubs, and gameplay modes.
Konami scores again.
My hands hurt. And that's a good thing. It's the defining trait of all good PSP games, and while it may not be doing my joints any favours (I swear I've developed a condition which, in future years, will come to be known as ‘gamer's thumb') it says a lot for the quality of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 on PSP that I'm willing to grin and bear the pain. Curse you, ill-placed analogue nub!
Last year's portable Pro Evo may not have been perfect, but it got things right where it mattered most; on the pitch. Instantly appealing, effortlessly playable and surprisingly good looking on the smaller screen, Konami's game appeared to be the footy title PSP owners had been crying out for – initially, at least.
But, like Liverpool's faltering Premiership campaign this season, that which initially seemed so set to succeed somehow went awry. Noticeable slowdown, overly long loading times, no cup competitions and a Master League mode conspicuous by its absence all combined to damage PES5's title-winning credentials, leaving it lingering just outside the top of the PSP gaming table.
But, where PES5 underperformed in unfamiliar territory, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 looks like it's finally matured to meet the big occasion. This isn't last season's squad with a few token bread-and-butter extras thrown into the mix; it's a team with top-spot aspirations finally settled on its new ground, boasting 12 month's more experience, some key new signings, and fully prepared to go the distance.
Top of the reasons why is the Master League option, which mercifully makes its debut on handheld. It's the home system's staple mode, and deftly delivers the thrill of building a squad of world beaters in exactly the same absorbing way on PSP. Unfortunately the cross-system linkup option remains for Edit data only, so while you'll be able to transfer created and altered players between the two, you'll still not be able to download and play your PS2 Master League on-the-go. It's a slight disappointment, but not unexpected, and in no way damages the addicting qualities of the portable game.
Master League aside, there's also cups and leagues, with club, international and even classic teams to choose from.
And it certainly has those in spades. Master League aside, there's also cups and Leagues, with the home system's full quota of club, international and classic teams to choose from, meaning plenty of variety to keep you engrossed on long train journeys.
Also thankfully here is the PES Shop, which was a glaring omission from the 360 version. Its mere presence adds greatly to the title's longevity, so you'll be working hard to earn those PES points and unlock all the extras; including new goal celebrations, music, and a considerable 12 pages of footy legends including the likes of, err, Bemkap (Bergkamp), Le Tecela (Le Tissier) and Benuki (George Best).
Konami's naming conventions remain as bonkers as ever, then, and the game's overall list of official licenses is sporadic as always, but luckily the Edit function goes a long way to making up for this. It's the PS2's interpretation, rather than the 360's, so you'll have access to the full function of altering names, numbers, kits and stats, changing appearance and even creating brand new players from scratch.
But, like its forebear, the real successes of PES6 come on the pitch. It's a better game than Pro Evo 5, boasting increasingly convincing animation, more forgiving refs, smoother dribbling controls and a finer balance of player abilities. Yet it's also harder to get into, due to the new shooting system which will see you balloon the ball over the bar more often than not. It takes some getting used to, but proves rewarding when you do – something which makes the ad-hoc wireless multiplayer option especially entertaining. Sadly there's still no game sharing or online play, but that might have been asking a little too much, given what Konami have already gotten out of the system.
A brilliant balancing act, fixing a great many of the problems levelled at the first PSP PES.
And that's really no small deal. Load times, while still quite long by PSP standards, have been cut considerably from PES5, while player models, stadiums and even superficial aspects such as different boot styles boast more detail than ever before. Replays are a very welcome inclusion, while removing commentary (other than the occasional few words when a goal is scored) was a sensible decision for the portable format, and the battery saving function in the menu even lets you turn off sound effects and music for maximum playtime. It's a brilliant balancing act, fixing a great many of the problems levelled at the first PSP PES.
Sadly, some do remain – namely slowdown, which happens less often now, but still makes things crawl with lots of players on screen at once – corners in particular can be a bit of a nightmare. Likewise, the PSP adaptation has lost some of the bigger system's control nuances; you'll still have to decide between superior analogue player control, or D-pad movement with skills on the nub. Why skills couldn't go on the D-pad we may never know, but it nonetheless fails to stop portable PES being anything less than fantastic fun.
And this really is superior to every other footy game on PSP; plenty on PS2 too, for that matter. Even with a few drawbacks, it simply never falls on the wrong side of peerlessly playable. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is very much the portable follow-up we all wanted, then, and comes highly recommended for all handheld owners. Just don't blame me if you end up with gamer's thumb this Christmas.
- The best footy game going, in the palm of your hand
- Master League and Cup options
- Fantastically fun and competitive ad-hoc wireless play
- Still long loading times and occasional in-game slowdown
- No option to swap Master League saves with PS2-to-PSP linkup
- Lacks online play and game sharing functions
Review by: Mark Scott
Version Tested: PSP
Review Published: 13.12.06
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 PSP Review (13/12/2006)
Konami scores again.
My hands hurt. And that's a good thing. It's the defining trait of all good PSP games, and while it may not be doing my joints any favours (I swea…
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