Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

The new Wii version includes the Master League and the UEFA Champions League

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Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
  • Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
  • Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
  • Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

Pros

  • Motion controls work well for passing and really make it feel as if you're playing a team game; addition of Master League and UEFA Championship add much-needed depth.

Cons

  • While improved, defense can be frustrating; dated visuals and uninspired commentary.

Bottom Line

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 isn't a huge step forward, but it's better than its predecessor in nearly every way. If you fell in love with last year's game, but found it lacking in depth you should be plenty happy with what Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 has to offer.

Would you buy this?

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If you fell in love with Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 but found its controls and replay value lacking, you'll be quite pleased with Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. Improved controls, the addition the Master League and the UEFA Champions League, as well as an attractive price tag make this year's Pro Evo an evolutionary step forward for the series on the Wii.

Hey, watch where you point that thing!

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009's motion controls are vastly different from other sports games on the Wii. Players are controlled with the Nunchuk, and the Wii Remote is used as an onscreen pointer. To pass the ball you point to a player and press B. You can also point and pass to an open spot on the field and hit a player in stride as they make a run. Where the passing controls really shine is when you point at a player, press B, drag the pointer to where you want them to run, and then release the button to make the pass. The ability to control more than one player really makes it feel as if you're playing a team game and drastically alters the way you play. Very rarely will you want to try and beat a defender off the dribble; it's easier and more rewarding to pass the ball. Shooting is performed by either shaking the Nunchuk, or pointing at an open area of the goal and pressing B. Neither method is perfect, but having multiple options increases the likelihood of you being comfortable with at least one.

Playing defence was a chore last year, and while the controls have improved, it's still not much fun to be the guy without the ball. The main problem is that you don't have direct control over your defender and your players often do a poor job going after loose balls. As enjoyable as the motion controls are, they're not for everyone. Konami has added a few traditional control schemes for those who fall into that camp. You can now hold the Wii Remote sideways and use it like a traditional controller, or you can plug in the Classic Controller and go to town.

More bang for your buck

A lack of game modes is not a problem this year thanks to the addition of the Master League and the UEFA Champions League. Champions Road, where you better your squad by collecting players off of vanquished opponents has been improved, and online play is once again, stellar.

It's a shame Konami spent little, if any, time on the game's lackluster presentation. Players are literally rough around the edges and the crowds (assuming the blobs in the stands are crowds), look downright pitiful. The announcers are competent, but unenthusiastic. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 isn't a huge step forward, but it's better than its predecessor in nearly every way. If you found last year's game enjoyable, but lacking in depth you should be plenty happy with what Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 has to offer.

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