Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: March 17, 2009
Systems: Wii (reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, PC, mobile
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Point and shoot

0:00 I got a quick, five-minute demo of this game at a New York PR office a few months ago. Seemed harmless enough back then, with controls that mimicked a classic NES game but graphics that looked more like a PS2 release.

0:01 The preview screen features a large arrow bouncing between targets amidst sounds of a soccer ball being kicked. Odd...

0:02 Zoom in from high above to a soccer pitch, which lights up as another huge arrow comes out from the center. Driving rock music plays as we pan across images of Euro teams posing against a starry void. Lots of lens flare and shiny backgrounds. If I knew who these teams/players were, I'm sure I'd be very impressed. Cut to a slow pan across all sorts of team logos, then zoom back out to a ball flying high above the pitch. Someone makes a big, curving corner kick before we cut to the title screen, with two long-haired hippies in soccer uniforms standing back-to-back. Pretty sharp as far as intro videos go.

0:03 I choose my Mii, my nationality and my favorite team. Man, there are a lot of teams to pick from, from national to club teams, even "classic" teams. I can't find Arsenal, the favorite of my former podcast co-host Ralph Cooper, so I end up sticking with the three-star U.S. team out of misplaced patriotism.



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