Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (PS2)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Friday, April 4, 2008

Graphics: 8.50
Sound: 7.00
Gameplay: 10.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 10.00

“Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007” is here, it’s fun and it was released with the intention of kicking your ass.

Konami continues the tradition of fantasy league soccer with the latest of the “Winning Eleven” series. This is no surprise, as this series has been running for quite some time and doesn’t seem to be leaving the competition any time soon. Is it worth the wait? Did Konami make any awesome changes? The short answer is “Yes”. If you want to find out more, read on.

The graphics are pretty good here, but that’s no surprise at this point. There’s only a handful of small improvements, though and they tend to be easily overlooked by more casual players. The player animations have been altered to be a bit more realistic in every way. It’s pretty neat, but again, easily overlooked. Otherwise, this game still looks great and shows that you don’t need crazy special effects to make a game look nice.

Nothing on the sound end of things has really changed, but it’s still all pretty good. The crowd is a little generic this time around, but otherwise everything sounds fine. This area could use some improvement, but it’s not a big deal.

For the most part, this game remains unchanged in terms of what’s offered. A few less official licenses, a mildly enhanced editor mode and the extremely ugly user interface are the only things you may notice immediately. Konami actually lost some licenses this time, which is quite surprising. There’s not much else that’s been altered. However, the engine has been tweaked a lot and because of this, the game feels like something entirely different. Everything has been enhanced to be more realistic and as such, much more difficult. Some players of various licensed teams live up to their legend this time around, making the game feel almost unfair at points if you don’t have some serious skill. Not only that, but the vast majority of the defensive positions have been enhanced to godlike proportions. Many players will have to rework their entire strategies this time around. Either way, the game still includes the “Master League Career” mode and the previous addition of online play. Online play now includes support for up to 8 players, which is a huge step forward from the last title in the series. The experience system is still in place as well, but otherwise nothing new has really been added. In short, this game feels almost identical to “Winning Eleven 9”, but with an overhauled sense of realism and difficulty. The experience system has players both gaining and losing stats over time, the team edit mode is very extensive and the career mode remains an unchanged generic career mode. Still, this is an awesome game and will keep most players entertained for quite some time, especially being one of, if not the last title(s) in the series on the PlayStation 2 console.

Overall, while some things feel like a step back, the game is basically a mildly enhanced “Winning Eleven 9”. That’s not a bad thing, but Konami better try harder next time or FIFA is going to win the war.

Pros:
-Good graphics with enhanced animations.
-Extensive team editing.
-Multiplayer supports up to 8 players.
-More realistic, but also more difficult.

Cons:
-A few team licenses have been lost and excluded.
-Can be too difficult at times.
-Ugly user interface.
-Largely unchanged feature set.

Bottom Line:
If you liked “Winning Eleven 9”, this is a no brainer. However, if you prefer more realistic soccer with official licenses, stick to the “FIFA” series. Either way, any soccer fan may want to check this out as a rental at least.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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