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Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Xbox 360)

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Manufacturer: Konami / Genre: Sports

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    14 Reviews
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      13.01.2010 12:04
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      A great game for the casual gamer, but get FIFA 07 if you want a real simulation.

      Well PES and FIFA have long been fighting each other for the best football title, FIFA always being slightly ahead.

      PES6 received high scoring reviews, however it got the general criticism about not containing licensed clubs ect.

      Really i think its all down to your style of play, FIFA 07 is far more in-depth than PES 6, with more complicated menus and deeper team management, but the gameplay wasnt as enjoyable as PES6's was to me. FIFA 07 does have a few advantages however, for a start the goalkeepers in PES6 are quite poor, easily missing a shot, and a few glitches are especially noticeable with keepers, such as their knees sinking slightly into the ground when they're on their knees. FIFA 07 is far more refined, keepers are smarter, AI are harder, animations are smoother, really its a better game, if you like an in-depth football simulator.

      PES6 contains the standard features that you expect from a football game, such as team transfers, formation tactic's, the game also contains 4 licensed leagues, although theres no English leagues in there.

      The licensed leagues are:

      Ligue 1 (French)
      Serie A (Italian)
      Eredivisie (Netherlands)
      Liga BBVA (Spanish)

      PES6 contains 15 licensed clubs and 27 unlicensed clubs, as well as 2 fictional clubs, making the total amount of clubs 44, a stark contrast to FIFA 07's 510 licensed clubs and 27 licensed leagues.

      Both PES6 and FIFA 07 are available for about a couple of quid, really you could buy both and see which you preferred, i feel PES6 is better in-game for the casual gamer, but FIFA 07 is far more in-depth and realistic. PES6 also has far more annoying commentary than that featured in FIFA 07.

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      17.06.2009 13:46

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      Brilliant for online play

      Albeit highly out of date by now this is the best football game I have played online before and although it shouldn't really be comedy value some of the parts of the game were brilliant, numerous times me and a few mates have plsyed together and had brilliant laughs playing this game that we never had playing Pro evilution soccer 2008.

      The games licensing issues are here for all to see, the number of teams without licenses is far exceeds those with licenses and when playing as international teams it's difficult to take the games seriously playing as Benbatov upfront for Bulgaria. The kits are horrible and completley dissimilar to any life like kits.

      It would be difficult to update this game, and since I only use this game online which takes the edits out anyway it probably not a worthwhile game to get at the moment but that doesn't take away my enjoyment of playing this game online, I haven't played single player on this game for many a year now, I play PES2008 for single player but this is a brilliant online game, full of laughs and brilliant games of football.

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      26.10.2008 20:24
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      a must own 360 game

      having always been a fan of the fifa series i decided to give PES a try as i was told i was missing out.
      Having come from the fifa series i found the gameplay quite tricky to begin with,the movement of the players and such is much more realistic which results in the game being far harder.
      The game itself is ultra realistic and its not the normal sort of football game you can just sit and play,you really have to think about each and every move you make,it forces you to think like a footballer,timing your runs,making the correct pass,simple things that PES makes hard to mirror real life.

      The menus in this game are visually very nice,quite simple and easy to navigate,and the soundtrack is class,some really great tunes on here and a wide range of styles.

      The best thing about this game is the realism,the makers really have pushed the boat out to make a game as close to life as possible,and they succeeded!! every aspect reflects real life actions,tackles,passes and goals all look super realistic,even the crowd and stadiums are spot on.

      The one downside to PES is the licensing,they dont have the proper ones so although all the players have the correct names and such some of the team names are fictional ie man red is manchester united This is annoying while picking a team but once your playin,you dont notice.

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      10.09.2008 23:57
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      A game i would reccommend to people who do not play fifa football games.

      Pro evolution soccer 6 (PES6) is a great football game for the xbox 360. It has lots of teams form all over the world. The game has many modes. such as :- match mode where you can play a football match in multiplayer or singleplayer. League mode where you can start up your own league with teams of your choice. Cup mode where you can play all the cups and customize the settings to your choise (very easy to get the achievements). Training mode, where you can train the teams or even a single player, so you can get used to there skills and tricks. PES6 also has online play where you can play a football match against another player from across the globe. You can play an ranked or unranked match. The online play does lag atall, not like PES8. Most peopla stayed with PES6 because PES8 has a very bad connection on the online play.

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      27.08.2008 21:47
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      A great game taht has converted me from fifa to pro!

      This game is brilliant. Way better than the new one!
      The new pro evo lags very badly online so most pro evo users have stuck with pro 6.
      I picked this game up for just £4 from gamestation - i was a bit wary whether anyone would actually still be playing it! But when i logged on i was shocked to see loads of people online. It was quickly explained to me that everyone preferes this as it just plays so smoothly!
      The graphics are a marked improvement on pervious versions, it actually looks as if players are running and not gliding hovercraft style' across the pitch!
      The team names are a little bit dodgy as konami dont own any of the licences fifa do! You will find your self playing with teams such as Mersyside Red ( Liverpool ) , but at least the player names are right.
      The only downside i can see is that you cant play as a championship teams or any lower league!

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      12.07.2008 00:47
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      Fun football game that anyone can play

      There is always this constant battle between fifa and Pro Evo, and i only bought this game as it came as a bundle with my 360. However, it was certainly this game that turned me into a pro evo lover and away from the safety of Fifa.

      Of course Fifa has all the licences of teams, players and stadiums and therefore has any team you can want from Manchester United to Luton. Yet, in my opinion it is not up to the level of gameplay and enjoyment you can get from Pro Evo soccer 6.
      Th intelligence of the game is very high with players not in possession of the ball still having a big influence on the game by running into space and pointing to where they want the ball. Attackers can also perform more tricks and outwit defenders, but are faced with increased intelligence from these defenders who will hold back more and try not to fall for tricks. Shooting has also improved with an imrpovement in quick shots and a redefinition of volleys and headers.
      There are also licences for some international teams and kits which make the game that bit more realistic. Referees are much more balanced.

      There are a variety of different modes available to play from the basic random mode in which a quick game can be started with random settings.
      The Master League option is also available which is a great feature where you start as a team and progress through the leagues buying new players, having old players become more aged and suffering injuries. Your players will also gain or lose experience and skill attributes as you progress.
      You can also participate in just a normal league mode and attempt to acheive victory in any of the major leagues in Europe such as the premiership. Or you can partake in a tournament and play in the World cup or European cup. There are so many great modes where you can also adjust settings to increase or reduce the teams, for example.

      This game is quite fast paced and you can have great matches not only against the AI, but also against your friends on the same console or over xbox live - where you can challenge the world and show off your skills as a great footballer!
      I love this game because of its great graphics and find it so fun to play against friends - particularly when myself and a friend had many matches and some were 5-5 draws whilst others were total annihilations by one of us. Each game was unique and really enjoyable (my favourite team is Inter Milan with Adriano who can score some amazing goals).

      This game is quite old now and there is already Pro Evo 7 out, but i would advise buying this because it is not only a great game and there is not much improvement up to the next in the series, but it is also very cheap and can be bought for about £4 from Game - an absolute bargain!

      Summary of features:

      * More than 150 moves, techniques and tricks with breath-taking animations
      * Thousands of licensed players
      * Fully licensed leagues and teams from the French Lique 1 Orange, the Italian Series A, the Spanish Liga Espanola & the Dutch Eredivisie
      * 64 National teams including England, Argentina, Australia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain & Sweden
      * More than 120 club teams including licensed Clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester Utd, Glasgow Rangers, Celtic, Juventus, & more
      * Experience stunning online matches with friends from around the world with Xbox Live
      * Master League Mode mode lets you play real-life football seasons including cup competitions, relegation battles, player transfers and possibly even bankruptcy

      Thanks for reading

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      15.06.2008 20:45
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      still the best footy game play game out

      I used to hate the Pro Evo series of football games, mainly due to the lack of licences, but this was the game to win me round. I finally saw that i had been missing the point of football games, it is not all about the correct kits and making sure Wayne Rooney looks exactly like his ugly self, it is about playing a really fun game that rewards skillful play and is challenging yet still fun. I mainly liked playing this game online as you can test your skills against people from all over the world and try and out play them. There are some down sides to this game however. If you pick any side with Adriano in you can virtually walk the ball in to the goal due to his ridiculous strength, and that is not a one off occurrence. However overall this is proper good fun, even with the newer version that has been released.

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        29.01.2008 23:47
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        Overall an excellent title for gamers of all abilities.

        Pro Evolution Soccer is one of the most recognisable footballing video game series, next of course to the most famous 'Fifa' series of games. Pro Evolution 6 is an excellent addition to the series, and promises lots of enjoyment for both football and gaming enthusiasts alike.

        Perhaps the most detrimental and well known problem with Pro Evo is that, because it is not an official FA endorsed title, it is unable to use many of the true team names, or the names of leagues and titles (Chelsea FC are named London FC etc.). To football purists and those wishing to enjoy a sense of realism this may come as a disappointment. Certain teams have retained their genuine names and logos (Arsenal and Manchester Utd, for example). Despite this, however, the players and their likenesses are used in the game, and so on the pitch this has little relevance overall.

        Look past the cosmetic disappointment, however, and Pro Evo 6 is an excellent football game, blending well elements of arcade style action and footballing simulation to create an exciting, well paced game with depth. The basic controls are simple to grasp whilst the more complex and advanced aspects of the game means that it continues to challenge and push your playing to the limit. Generally the AI (Artificial Intelligence) by the console is good, and can give even the most ardent player a run for their money. Factor in good customisation when it comes to Team Formation and playing style, and Pro Evo 6 is a game with enough nuance to keep an advanced gamer happy, whilst still retaining a basic setup that even the most casual gamer can grasp.

        The game itself offers several playing modes, including the chance to play one-off matches, in a tournament or as part of a league (known as the Master League). The Master League is a little more detailed than other gaming scenarios, offering a more in-depth gaming experience including player transfers. This allows you the satisfaction of building up a solid team from nothing, and fighting hard to claim the title.

        The X-Box 360 version of Pro Evo 6 does have some basic drawbacks. You are unable to save replays, which is particularly frustrating when you want to show your friends how great your last goal was! I have not had any experience of playing the PS3 version of the game, but I have been informed that generally the handling is slightly more sluggish and less expressive. That having been said, I have found Pro Evo 6 to handle well and have gained much enjoyment from it.

        The X-Box Live option allows you to play games against online opponents. This is an excellent function, allowing you to pit your wits against much smarter and more intuitive opponents than the AI could hope to offer. There is also a ranking system for the online mode, meaning that the better and more successful you become the more you will rise up the list of gamers playing online This provides great satisfaction, and yet another challenge for you to try your hand at.

        Overall Pro Evo 6 is a solid and enjoyable game that easily rivals, and in some cases surpasses, it's far more famous Fifa rival. The balance between basic and advanced controls and gaming is excellent, meaning that the game can be quickly picked up, but has depths for week and months to come once you have mastered the basics. I would heartily recommend this title, and ask players to overlook the cosmetic details in favour of an absorbing and rewarding gaming system that will satisfy for a long time.

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          09.04.2007 20:34
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          A great football game, however it does have a lot of missing features.

          :::::::::::: Overview ::::::::::::

          Pro evolution soccer 6 is the sixth game of the series (I would not of guessed that). It is the first version released onto a next generation console, but has it evolved into a better game? Or has it just had a face-lift to look better, lets find out!



          :::::::::::: Game Features ::::::::::::

          Before we get into all the technical stuff, I guess the best thing to do is to get all the features out of the way. So here goes:

          Leagues included:
          · English Premiership
          · Serie A (Italy)
          · La Liga (Spain)
          · Ligue 1 (France)
          · Random European 1
          · Random European 2
          · Lots of National Teams

          As you can see, there are not that many leagues to choose from. If we were to compare this list to the list that comes with the Playstation 2 version of the game, we will find that there is a huge difference. The Xbox 360 version of the game has had a lot of leagues removed from the game, which no one has any idea why, as the developers will not comment about it. This is one of the biggest disappointments about the game for me, and most other people that I have asked about it.


          Stadiums:
          · Not many, only around ten

          Unfortunately I am unable to find a list of the stadiums on the internet, and my Xbox 360 is currently two hundred miles away from me, so I cannot look them up. However, I can tell you that it is a very similar story as above. The number of stadiums has been dramatically reduced compared to other versions of the game on other platforms. This is another great disappointment for me.


          Now here is the worst part of all, all the features that are available in the Playstation 2 version of the game, but are not available on the next generation version of the game:
          · Ability to edit team names
          · Ability to edit kits
          · Ability to edit player appearances
          · Ability to edit boots
          · Ability to create players
          · Ability to rename leagues
          · Ability to move club players
          · Ability to assign national team players
          · Random Selection Match
          · International Challenge Mode
          · Reduced Number of Stadiums
          · Reduced number of teams
          · Other training modes removed
          · PES Shop
          · Save replay feature
          · Online co-operative play
          · Snow and rain weather conditions removed
          · Match Analysis removed

          Now, I don't know about you, but that is a huge list of missing features. This is the Xbox 360 version's greatest downfall, which in turn prevents it from getting a good score in my books.

          Some of these features such as the edit modes are needed as most people who buy pro evo will want to change the teams that have been spelt wrong, as not all teams are fully licensed which causes a bit of confusion when trying to select the team that you want to be.

          Another major disappointment is the lack of the PES Shop, this was a great feature in the other versions of the game, and it allowed you to purchase new footballs and new stadiums to play with and in. With this missing, there is not really that much for you to aim for, you are just playing the game mindlessly instead of setting yourself a target such as aiming to unlock a certain stadium.


          Footballs, there are a number of different footballs for you to play with but this is such a small part of the game that it is only worth a small mention, so here is that little mention.


          Now I spoke about not having anything to aim for earlier on, but that is not completely true, with the Xbox 360 version there are certain achievements that you can unlock, as with all Xbox 360 games. These give you things to aim for, such as winning the league or beating a certain number of people online, which leads me to my final feature.


          The online play is pro evo 6 is probably its best feature. Most games that you play online are relatively smooth and have little hick ups. There is a match making system where you search for opponents and then select one from the list. The ranking system is pretty straightforward, you win a game you gain points, you loose a game you loose points. The bigger the difference in ranking of the two players the more or less points you win or loose. There is a league system, depending on your rank in the world, you are put into a different league, so people can see how good you are instantly and so they know whether to face you or not, which is a pretty good feature as it helps prevent the number one player from going up against the number ten thousandth player.


          Now with all of that out of the way, here is the more technical part of the game.



          :::::::::::: Graphics ::::::::::::

          I will talk about the graphics first as it is the most obvious thing about this game. The overall graphics of pro evo 6 (what the game will be referred to from now on) are pretty impressive. Never before in a football game, have you been able to see individual blades of grass and each individual stud on the player's boots while still running around the field. You could see them in the cut scenes in FIFA but we are talking about in game play. While running round you can still recognise who you are controlling as the players do look a bit like their real life counterparts.

          The stadiums, while there are not a lot of them in this version, do look amazing. Sometimes when playing the game you will want to watch the opening sequences of the matches just so that you can have a look at the stadium that you will be playing in.

          The player models, while good could do with a bit of improvement. They do look similar to their real life counterparts, but when comparing them to the FIFA models, you can see that there is room for a lot of improvement, however this is only a minor issue, and has not impact on the overall gameplay of the game.



          :::::::::::: Sound ::::::::::::

          Well, there is not much to talk about in sound, after all it's a football game, now unless there is a feature where there are pitch invasions which I have never seen, then not much goes on in football, not many people shooting or explosions going off to comment about.

          The commentators however is something to talk about, they are bland. Now this is nothing special in football games, I am still yet to play a football game that has decent commentators. They repeat themselves every two minutes and sometimes they are still talking about something that happened ten minutes ago even though we have just scored. Al though they lack some qualities that are needed, they are not the worst I have ever heard and they have improved the commentary over the last version of the game's which is always a good thing.

          The crowds around the stadium are a disappointment. They are quiet and pretty boring. Every now and then they will shout a chant at the teams, but they are generic chants so it has not real effect n you while playing the game. They cheer when you shoot and when you score but that is about it, the crowd unlike in real life is a real let down.



          :::::::::::: Gameplay ::::::::::::

          Now down to business. The gameplay in pro evo 6 has been completely revamped from previous versions. There are a lot of things that have changed.

          Firstly the way that the player's move has been dramatically slowed down and they can no longer perform a perfect 180-degree turn in under a second. This is a great new feature as the players were way too fast in previous versions of the game, being slower has greatly increased the realism of the game.

          Shooting and passing has had its difficult increased. No longer can you simply press A or Y and the ball will automatically find the feet of you fellow players. You need to time the ass right so a defending player can not intercept the ball, you need to be facing the right way and point the analogue stick towards the player you want to pass it to, otherwise the ball will go straight to an opposing player, this is another good improvement as it makes you think about the game more.

          There are a number of game modes in the game for you to play with. The legendary masters mode is still here where you take a team with poor players and build them up or purchase new players to eventually get promoted and win the top division. There are a number of tournaments for you to play with and leagues too, which does give the game a bit of life and keeps you occupied for a while.



          :::::::::::: Will it last? ::::::::::::

          The offline mode will not keep you going for months, unless you have a few friends that are always around to play against.

          However the online mode will keep you going for a long time. There are enough people online to keep you playing and the ranking system gives you and incentive to keep playing and trying to improve you world ranking.

          The game will only last if you have xbox live so keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this game.



          :::::::::::: Conclusion ::::::::::::

          Pro evo 6 is a step up from the previous versions in terms of gameplay and graphics, however with the lack of features that are available in older versions and versions on the other consoles, it cannot come out with a great rating.

          It is a decent game and does deserver a decent score.

          You can pick this game up from you local store (as long as the store sells games) for around 25 pounds.

          Enjoy!

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            04.04.2007 17:09
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            a dream of a game for all the family

            It's now arrived the PES 6 for the Xbox 360 and it's better than PES 5

            here's the Introduction
            ----------------

            Football is coming home, except without the chanting, you will find this game very addictive, sadly meals maybe forgotton as you wind through yet another round robin master league 4th season. yes, I'm talking about the PES 6. Welcome to the driving force and the front runner in football video game for the Xbox 360. Try to remember to get some sleep, otherwise you will not perform as well tomorrow.

            Gameplay
            ---------------

            This time it has got better than the PES 5. You now have player movement and timing combinations. The use of open space play is more evident, players move better off the ball. Power shielding is another new tactic for players to use while in possession. Players form now plays a role in their performance ratings, so it is not just injury ridden players who appear off colour. The speed of a Aaren Robben is not so apparent, and this is a more realistic gameplay than PES 5. Having a quick winger is not good enough now. You now need a little invention, to shred the defence.

            Trying to score...sensitivity is at is peak on the Xbox 360 when the goal is laughing at you, relax and then strike the ball with simplesity, otherwise loose shots tend to end up in commentary boxes.

            All the European divisions are all available including a master league this
            includes the usual problem of unregistered players from previous versions. Commentary is repetitive, as I always turn it off with the crowd blaring out creating a vibrating atmosphere. I like to hear the player names being called out. The infamous "he looks as if he's just swallowed a wasp" is no longer on the commentary audio.

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              07.03.2007 21:51
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              A totally absorbing and realistic game.

              Konami's grip on the gaming market has undoubtedly taken a big step forward with the Pro Evo series of games. However although there is much more to praise in this version, it does have a few drawbacks which I certainly hope will be rectified in the next edition.

              All the usual game features are there, the WEFA Championship, The League, and of course The Cup and they are just as good if not better than they were in the processor. The incentives are there all the big name teams and players are there, but a big disappointment is the feature which made the game that little bit better. This feature let you create players which then would go onto the transfer market and hopefully play for your team. In Pro Evo 5 my son and I created ourselves El Marco ( my son ) and Donzaldo ( me ), we were so looking forward to playing the better game with us in our own created team. NOT going to happen, the create a team option has been removed to, this means the only options are to play with one of the teams available, and then change one of it’s players who might slightly resemble us. Not very good but it would have to do.

              We chose Man Utd as our team and rapidly proceeded to get us in some form on the team. I managed to get into the team but we were going to have to wait 2 seasons before we had enough money to purchase the other look-alike.

              After having reached some dizzy heights on the previous game we were to find out pretty quickly that it was going to be almost a complete rethink. Most of the controls for moves a touches had changed making it a learning curve to get anywhere in any game. This was to cause us to be a bit miffed at not finishing in the top 2 in our first season in the WEFA league. As the old saying goes though practice was to make perfect……………..well maybe not perfect but we were improving at a rapid rate.

              The game play had changed to and we found that free kicks were being awarded whereas in the previous version they would not have been, this had the adverse effect of stopping game play and spoiling the overall appeal. Shooting options had changed and it was ages before Donzaldo got his first goal in real competition. In practice mode I was knocking them in for fun , but under pressure from computer aided opponents, I found I was shooting way into the stands. This had improved with time, and I now rattle in a few crackers regularly.

              The initial idea that the game was harder and not quite as good as Pro Evo 5 has faded somewhat over the time period, and we now after some considerable practice do quite well in all competitions available to us.

              These competitions are laid out and executed as they would be in the real football world, this does mean that once you do get the hang of the controls and the differences in game play you will find that during the course of a season where you are fortunate enough to be winning more than losing you will end up playing a few games in a week. This has the undesired effect of obviously tiring your s team, so the purchase of new quality players becomes a major part of the game. At various points through out the game there are negotiation periods where the wheeling and dealing is done. You must be shrewd here or you’ll end up with not enough money to pay your players and hence out of the game. It does make good sense however to buy quality rather than quantity. Once a player reaches retirement age he is eliminated from all play but is reincarnated 2 seasons later as a younger version of the same. In this way there is always a good selection of players to choose from.

              The competitions available are :

              The WEFA Championship

              The WEFA Championship which is the same as the champions league, you must finish first or second in the league to automatically qualify for this competition. As in the real world good money can be earned here if you progress far enough. In this you play higher quality of teams so it is much more of a challenge.

              The League

              The League is the basic standard competition where you start in the lower leagues and have to work your way up through the ranks getting 3 points for a win 1 for a draw. The top two teams in each league are promoted whilst the bottom 2 are relegated. You must reach the top division before you are eligible to qualify for The WEFA championship.

              The WEFA Cup

              Again this is a standard knock out competition, but you can be playing higher or lower level teams with the object being to get to the final and win the cup.

              During all of the competitions you earn points which can be used to purchase players. These points are also used to fund the running of your teams so you have to find a balance whereby you always have enough to pay the players wages. If you do not win enough games you will not earn enough points and end up skint and out of the game.

              The game play in this game is amazing in itself but when it is combined with such superb graphics it makes it a pleasure to play. The realistic looking players are in most cases easy to identify if you are in any way interested in football. All the big stars are there and recognisable. Unfortunately licensing is a problem and some teams have not yet endorsed the use of their name so there are some obscure names in the teams which in some cases are easy to decipher and in others not quite so easy, luckily a process of elimination will usually arrive you at the correct team. North East London, Manchester Blue, Merseyside Red to mention just a few. This however is of little real significance since the game itself is so brilliant these little idiosyncrasies can be forgotten.

              We have played Pro Evo since its inception all those years ago and I for one am prepared to go through the learning curves all over again, there is so much more to the game than simple game play and graphics, its absorbing and totally gets you hooked on THAT FUNNY OLD GAME. At £34.99 from any decent game store it is an absolute must for any serious football gamer.

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                29.11.2006 09:02
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                great footy game

                In my opinion Pro Evolution 6 is the best footballing game around and totally outstrips Fifa in many different aspects of the game (apart from maybe graphics and licensed teams.) The game is a lot like Pro Evolution 5 except it has been vastly upgraded, the gameplay which was already excellent has been improved even more with you being able to turn and shoot very quickly, although it hardly ever goes in. You can slide in and actually keep the ball at your feet and theres a whole load of new skills and feints to try out. They have also made many other little tweaks and adjustments, the graphics has improved a bit and even more kits and teams have become licensed.

                Right this is now the bit i hate,trying to find some faults to help you lot decide. Well the one main issue is the graphics and the licensed teams aren't as good a fifa but, if they had the same licensing rules all would be different. Maybe one other thing i could critercise is the play off the pitch there isn't as much to do as fifa. Apart fom those points there isn't anything else i could fault.

                Pro evo is a game me and my mates enjoy i hope you like it too.

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                  18.11.2006 19:11
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                  Konami have made too many changes to a winning formula

                  Acclimatising to the subtle tweaks and refinements to Pro Evo each year is usually a simple process. It's like getting used to driving a new car; at first it feels foreign and uncomfortable but within minutes your muscle memory aligns itself to the new norm. This year, Konami has ripped the metaphorical gear stick out of Pro Evo's cockpit and bolted it to the roof. I'll drop the bombshell in the first paragraph and get it out of the way - they've nearly ruined it. Nearly.

                  Despite much of the classic 'feel' remaining intact, fundamental changes have been made to the mechanics of the game. Mindful that I accuse Konami of 'breaking' Pro Evo every year until I finally concede they know better (such as killing off the all-conquering through-ball), I invested a lot of playing time to arrive at the conclusion that these changes were indeed a step too far. Worse still, this hasn't been countered by introducing much needed and long overdue improvements in other key areas.

                  Balance and reward are the cornerstones upon which the series is built. On any given day, seasoned pros could quite feasibly be held or beaten by a novice using little more than instincts and a bit of luck. That said, played over a series of five or ten games, the experienced player would invariably win out. The game responded to possession retention and patience by allowing just enough room to carve out opportunities - a triangulation of skill, endeavour and reward that mirrored the principles of the real life game.

                  So what's changed? Most importantly the equilibrium between attack and defence has been disrupted in favour of the latter. Time on the ball is the rarest of commodities, and it's worryingly easy to wrestle possession from an attacker before he has settled on the ball. Unless offloaded immediately via a first time pass, the defender can muscle through and steal the ball before the controlling/trapping animation has been completed. This is perhaps the most alienating feature, as not only is it almost impossible to turn with the ball at your feet, a human opponent can turn this to their advantage over and over. It encourages a rope-a-dope strategy of sorts: draw attackers in, steal ball, launch quick counter.

                  If you are lucky enough to find yourself facing goal within shooting range, you'll find the system which handles this has also been given a steep hike in difficulty. It's incredibly sensitive and precise, to the point where I checked my players were wearing regular football boots and not ones shaped like the face of a nine iron. You will curse, you will scream, you will hit the guys in the cheap seats when it would have been easier to score. Mercifully this is something that can be adapted to given time, however so exciting are these rare scoring opportunities it's too easy to lose all composure and snatch at them.

                  Now it's pretty obvious where this review is going, and it feels rather unkind pointing to Pro Evo's presentation and laughing. Like an ugly duckling playing wallflower at a party, it can't help it's shortcomings. Of course, the much maligned absence of full player rosters, accurate team kits, names, crests and stadia still mar the experience; likewise the ever-awful commentary, which seems to enthusiastically remind you that you are just playing a soulless video game after all.

                  Given that EA has systematically bought every licence in football for its FIFA series you can forgive the lack of official content to a degree. The familiar clutch of compensatory tournaments (e.g. Master League & Konami Cup) fill the breach here and deputise capably. It's still overtly Japanese from top to bottom, with that endearing but skewed grasp of the Western subject matter.

                  Graphically, the game is solid, but next-gen it certainly ain't. The 360 owner will have been expecting more than has been delivered here, which is essentially the Xbox version with a lick of paint. And what is it with crowds and the abundance of furious flag wavers? Have you ever seen a sea of flares and thousands of flags for Bolton v Middlesborough on a wet December midweek game? OK now I am bitching, I'm sorry.

                  Bottom line: presentation was never Pro Evo's tour de force, and it isn't any better here.

                  One thing I was looking forward to was an enhanced online mode. Surely Konami weren't going to let us down on all fronts? I'm afraid to report the pattern remains depressingly consistent. There are known issues with the online matchmaking system, but really this should be bread and butter stuff by now for an experienced developer. It can take upwards of 30 minutes to find a match, which is totally absurd. Worse still, the limited functionality that is provided (only 1 v 1 capability on the 360) is serviced by a confusing menu system which does nothing to welcome you into online play. Lag is also a frequent intruder, rendering many games a battle to see who can avoid fitting the longest before the other one quits.

                  Now you're probably thinking I hate Pro Evo 6. I don't. It's just I'm horrifically disappointed. I expected something special and got a game that, for the first time in the series, manages to adhere to the law of diminishing returns and be less fun than its predecessor. Maybe Konami wants us to play football according to their vision, maybe they think the purists will get the point straight away and the casual players will one day see the light and congratulate them for making it so damn hard-nosed and technical. Maybe.

                  Whilst performing seventeen one-touch passes in succession before volleying home past Buffon (or Buffin) may not have been entirely faithful to reality, it required genuine skill and was incredibly gratifying, prompting a million saved goals and replays (I should mention now that if you're a 360 owner, even that simple pleasure has been denied). Changing this winning formula was a questionable tactic but hey - maybe turgid battles of attrition are the future for digital football. It might be more realistic, more challenging, but is it more fun?

                  As the gameplay falls away suddenly all its quirks begin to grate, like when you realise you have to split with your girlfriend because the little traits you once found cute have mutated into motifs for your mutual loathing. OK, that was a bit dramatic but you don't know how much I loved this game.

                  Perhaps Konami has taken the series as far as it can go without those perpetually elusive official licenses - which is all it ever lacked but the only thing it can't have - hence the excessive meddling with the gameplay. I would much rather have seen the same engine used for Pro Evo 5 ported into a true next gen skin, with better commentary, presentation and an enhanced online mode that actually worked. That would have made me very happy. As it stands, I'm now looking long and hard at FIFA '07, which has quietly inched its way toward the heights hit by this standard bearing series in the past. I've played it and trust me EA nearly have it cracked.

                  This could be the end of a beautiful friendship.

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                  • More +
                    07.11.2006 18:32
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                    Plays like an incomplete beta version. Buy the sequel next year with all the faults ironed out.

                    When Konami released the first International Super Star Soccer game for the Super Nintendo, finally gamers were able to play a solid football game they deserved. Over the years Konami has consistently delivered well rounded football games which focus on game play and depth rather than endorsements and licences. With the XBOX 360 having been out for 12 months, Konami have now just released their first next generation football game. Not being a fan of the Fifa Soccer series, I was looking forward to this game. However, weeks before the release Konami were rather quiet about the game, with barely any preview and few details passed on to the press, suspicions were beginning to arise. Why are Konami being so quiet about the game and why no demo announced for XBOX Live?

                    With Konami's reputation of delivering quality titles in mind, I put these thoughts to rest and on release purchased a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 6.

                    Upon loading up the game, you get the dazzling intro that one has come to expect from Konami. The intro appears well presented with a smart design and layout and easy to navigate menu. The use of bright colours and gold is eye catching. Unfortunately, things soon start taking a turn for the worse as soon as one starts a match.

                    The game play is different from the previous PES games, aiming shots on goal is more difficult and the players aren't so easy to control. Konami have gone for more realism by attempting to make the game play closer to real life. It isn't so easy to keep possession of the ball. Also note that PES on the PS2 and PC play similarly to the PES 5, whereas the 360 version has had its engine completely retuned. Some may quite enjoy the new experience, but if you have become so used to the previous incarnations of Pro Evolution, as I have you may find it very difficult to get used to the game. Overall I found the game somewhat disappointing, losing the spark it once had.

                    There have been complaints with regards to lack of options, few stadiums and no edit mode. The lack of such options does make the game feel less than complete especially considering that they exist in the PS2 and PC versions. Unfortunately, there also exist certain flaws that make Pro Evolution 6 on the 360 almost unplayable. Every time you take a corner kick or free kick, the frame rate stutters to unacceptably low levels. This soon becomes an extremely frustrating experience especially when playing an intensive match against friends or online.

                    Pro Evolution 6 is not a terrible game; however, one would have expected a much better effort than this from Konami. It would appear that Konami are simply using the PES franchise to cash in on the Xbox 360 user base by releasing an unfinished product. No doubt by this time next year, a sequel will be released with all the faults ironed out with improved graphics and superior game play mechanics.

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                  • Product Details

                    This latest sequel sees one of the biggest overhauls in the game’s history with the new improvements to the already impressive animation directly affecting the way you play. Dribbling with the ball is now easier but the quality of your passing and shooting now depends on the position of a player’s body in terms of both accuracy and power. Make a shot straight after a sharp turn, for example, and your chances of hitting the target are slim. Opponent and team artificial intelligence has also been greatly increased, to the point where every man on the pitch is thinking independently. Apart from the animation, the graphics in general have also been upgraded with much better player likenesses.