- Pro Evolution Soccer (series)
"Pro Evolution Soccer" (known in
Japan, Korea, and formerly in the Americas as Winning Eleven and known colloquially in Europeas "Pro Evo" or "PES") is a football (soccer) video gameseries developed by Konami(KCET). It is very popular in Europe [http://gameinfowire.com/news.asp?nid=9661] . Partially as a result of EA Sports' affinity to purchasing exclusive rights for their FIFA series, "Pro Evolution Soccer" games have historically lacked the sheer volume of licenses present in EA's offerings, with the most notable absences being the English Premier League, and more recently, the German Bundesliga.
Pro Evolution Soccer
The first "true" "Pro Evolution Soccer" ("Winning Eleven 5") game was released in October 2001 for both PlayStation and PlayStation 2.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2
"Pro Evolution Soccer 2" ("Winning Eleven 6" in Japan and "World Soccer Winning Eleven 6" in the US) was released in October 2002 and some felt that it was a slight backwards step from the original "Pro Evolution Soccer". Others argued that it had improved. The pace of gameplay was much faster than in the game's older sibling, with sharper turns and quicker reactions to tackles. It also included a training session mode. Extra clubs were added, with an extra Master League division. There were two new commentators,
Peter Brackleyand Trevor Brooking, but this aspect of the game was criticised for the commentators' inaccuracies and tendency to speak over each other. The licensing was much the same, but infamously all Dutch players were called ‘Oranges’, because Konami did not hold the rights from the Royal Netherlands Football Association, for use from Dutch players. Also, unlike in the original game, the "unofficial" club names stopped using obvious city names (eg. Manchester Unitedwas Manchester in PES1, Real Madridwas Madrid etc.), and instead used very ambiguous names (e.g. Manchester United were now Aragon, Liverpool became Europort and West Ham became Lake District). The edit mode included a club editor which offset this problem to some extent, with editable kits and logos as well as club and player names. The game notably included tracks from Queen: “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions”. A PlayStationversion was also released, which was again a minor update of its predecessor, and was the last "Pro Evolution Soccer" release for the original PlayStation.
Pro Evolution Soccer 3
"Pro Evolution Soccer 3" ("Winning Eleven 7" in Japan and "World Soccer Winning Eleven 7" in the US) was released in 2003, and featured the Italian referee
Pierluigi Collinaon the cover (although bizarrely he is not present as an in-game referee). The most significant update was the overhaul in the graphics engine, with more life like players and much improved likeness. The gameplay was changed to accompany this, with more fast-paced action than that of "PES2", a much better physics engine, additions such as the advantage rule improved passing and long-ball functions, while as per usual, more licenses (with the infamous Dutch Oranges removed, replaced with pseudonyms such as "Froibaad" in the place of Kluivert), more club teams and the Master League is now split into regional divisions, with competitions equivalent to the Champions League and the UEFA Cupand as Umbrowas no longer revived, the company has been replaced by Adidas.
"Pro Evolution Soccer 3" was the first in the series to be released for
Microsoft Windowsand was well received by the PC games magazines but criticized by fans for its lack of online mode and bloated system requirements at its time, particularly not supporting the common Geforce MX series. It's rival, FIFA 2004, had online functions and had more modest system requirements in comparison. The game was essentially a direct conversion of the PlayStation 2 code, albeit with sharper graphics and is easier to download fan made mods for the game.
Pro Evolution Soccer 4
"Pro Evolution Soccer 4" ("Winning Eleven 8" in Japan and "World Soccer Winning Eleven 8" in the US) was released in 2004; featuring referee
Pierluigi Collina, Thierry Henryand Francesco Tottion the cover. This is the first Pro Evolution Soccer game to feature full leagues, namely the English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch top divisions, though with full league licenses only for the latter three. As a result, clubs in, for example, the English League, an unlicensed league, have ambiguous names like "West London Blue" and "Man Red" for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, and their home grounds Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford are respectively named "Blue Bridge" and "Trad Brick Stadium".
The gameplay has improved from "Pro Evolution Soccer 3", (though not as much of a significant leap as its predecessor) with improved AI, tweaked play-on advantages and better throughballs. Dribbling is tighter with the players (though at one-star difficulty, a player receiving the ball on either wing can dribble the ball down the length of the pitch relatively uncontested), plus free-kicks have been changed to allow lay-offs. The gameplay was criticized for its relatively easy scoring opportunities, as players can pass their way through opposing defenses, or hold on to the ball at the edge of the penalty area and simply wait for the opposing defenders to move away and thus give him space to shoot. A new 6-star difficulty was added as an unlockable in the shop, as well as the previous items, while the Master League included enhancements such as player development, so many players over 30 would see certain attributes decline as the game progresses. Conversely, players could improve upon their attributes up to the age of 24-25, though the improvement is most rapid and obvious in players aged 22 and under.
The edit mode has been enhanced rapidly, with the options to add text and logos to shirts (essentially sponsors) and pixel logo editing as well as the traditional preset shapes, thus making it easier to replicate a team. The game also includes an "International Cup" and four regional Cups:
*The "European Cup" is remarkably inclusive, including almost every major European country, as well as smaller countries like
Slovenia, Hungary, and Slovakia. However, countries like Israeland Icelandare not included. It also includes a Yugoslaviateam; in real life, Yugoslavia no longer exists, having been dissolved and replaced by two new independent states, Serbiaand Montenegro. The Czech Republicteam is simply called "Czech".
*The "American Championship" is a merger of the
CONCACAF Gold Cupand the Copa América. It includes most North, Central and South American countries.
*The "Asia-Oceania Cup" includes only five Asian countries,
Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, and South Korea, plus Australia. Ironically, in real life, Australia has joined the Asian Football Confederation, and now competes in the AFC Asian Cup. South Korea is simply called "Korea".
Pro Evolution Soccer 5
"Pro Evolution Soccer 5" ("Winning Eleven 9" in Japan and "World Soccer Winning Eleven 9" in the US) was released in October 2005 and featured
John Terryand Thierry Henryon the cover. The improvements are mainly tweaks to the gameplay engine, while online play finally made it to the PlayStation 2 version. The game was perceived as much harder by fans, with a very punishing defense AI making it harder to score. Some players have pointed out inconsistencies in the star difficulty rating, such as 3 star mode being harder to beat than 6 star due to its more defensive nature, but in general scoring is harder. Referees are very fussy over decisions, awarding free kicks for very negligible challenges. There are various new club licenses present, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic, Rangers and a few other European clubs, as well as the full Dutch, Spanish and Italian Leagues. Pro Evolution Soccer 5 was victim of the infamous empty stadium glitch, in which when playing a game, no crowds are present in the stands although they are present during cut-scenes. There are fan-made mods which address this in the PC version, although no official patch was released. "Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK" gave it a perfect 10/10 score.
"Pro Evolution Soccer 5" was released for Xbox, Windows and PS2, all online enabled. A PSP version was released, but with stripped down features, such as no Master League, no commentary, only one stadium and limitations in the editor, and that's also because of the limitations to the UMD. The PSP version featured Wi-fi play, and the gameplay was faster and more “pin-ball like” in comparison to its console siblings, but it did not receive the same acclaim as the mainstream console/PC versions.
Pro Evolution Soccer 6
"Pro Evolution Soccer 6" ("Winning Eleven 10" in
Japanand "Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007" in the US) was officially released in the UK on October 27, 2006for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360and PC platforms and on February 9, 2007for the Nintendo DS. The PC version does not utilize the Xbox 360 engine but is a conversion of the PS2 edition. The PSP version is similar in many ways to its PS2 brother, while the DS version has graphics and gameplay reminiscent of the older PES series on the Playstation.
A criticism of the previous version was that the game was too unforgiving and so suppressed fluid attacking football. "Pro Evolution Soccer 6" was issued with more tricks and an overall more attacking mentality, but whether it does make it easier to take on defenders and get forward is debatable.
More licenses were added, including fully licensed international kits including the nations
England, Spainand Italyto name a few (as well as the ever present Japan license). The French Ligue 1 is now included as fully licensed league, as well as the Spanish, Italian and Dutch leagues, plus several other individual clubs. However, the Chelsea F.C.license from PES5 was removed and, due to a lawsuit, Konami were forced to drop the Bundesliga license. The only Bundesliga team to appear in the game is FC Bayern München. The game had not updated Arsenal's venue to the Emirates stadium; the defunct Highbury is still present. The same applies for Bayern München, who, despite having moved to the Allianz Arena, are still represented in the game as playing at Munich's Olympic Stadium. Also, the recent extensions to Old Traffordare not included, while Serbiaand Montenegroare still present despite the dissolution of the country in May 2006.
Xbox 360version features next-generation, Hi-Definition graphics and more animations, but gameplay similar to the other console versions, according to a recent interview with Seabass. The Xbox 360 version also finally introduces the Pro Evolution series to widescreen gaming, a feature that was sorely missing from its PS2 and Xboxversions of the game. Much of the gameplay and editing options have been severely stripped down for the 360 release.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
The most recent title in the series is "
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008". [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/a61845/pro-evolution-soccer-2008-revealed.html Gaming - News - 'Pro Evolution Soccer 2008' revealed - Digital Spy ] ] The game cover features Cristiano Ronaldoand a local player ( Michael Owenin the UK, Didier Drogbain France, Jan Schlaudraffin Germany, Gianluigi Buffonin Italy, Lucas Neillin Australia). A new adaptive AI system entitled 'Teamvision' was implemented into the game, Teamvision is a sophisticated AI programming that learns and adapts according to an individual's style of play. As such, it will learn new ways to build attacks and to counter specific movements and previous attacking or defensive errors, ensuring games are more in line with the tactical but flowing nature of the real thing. [http://uk.gs.konami-europe.com/news.do?idNews=251 News "The Evolution of the ‘Beautiful Game’" - Konami ] ] The game was released for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2on October 26, 2007 in Europe, November 2, 2007 in Australia, and December 31, 2007 in Japan. The PlayStation Portableand Nintendo DSversion were released in November, and the rather different Wiiversion. Pro Evo Wiiwas released in March 2008. [http://uk.gs.konami-europe.com/news.do?idNews=251 News "The Evolution of the ‘Beautiful Game’" - Konami ] ] . It was the first game in the series to drop the Winning Eleven name from its title in the US.
20 teams are also in the D1 and D2 Leagues, four more than in past editions.
The game's 'in-game editor' however was a large downgrade from previous versions, with players unable to add text to unlicensed team shirts or base copy specific players.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
"Pro Evolution Soccer 2009" has been confirmed for release in Autumn 2008. Messi will be the cover star for "PES 2009". The game will be released in Europe on the
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
Not much is known about next years version but it has been heavily rumoured that PES 2010 will incorporate a brand new game engine which utilises the power of next-generation consoles. Features such as 360 degree movement as well as manual controls have been mentioned by industry experts. It is believed that the new engine has been in development since 2007 and further evidence of this is the increase in the developer Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka's team from a handful of members to around 200. In addition the game has been nicknamed by enthusiasts as Pro 'Revolution' Soccer.
Patches & Option Files
Fans of the series often make "option files" and "patches" which modify all player names into those of their real life counterparts, as well as including transfers from the latest transfer window and, occasionally, altered stats of more obscure players whose in-game attributes do not precisely replicate their real life skills. These are distributed via the internet in digital format, then transferred to the Playstation 2 memory card using hardware such as the Max Drive. More experienced gamers often use "patches", editing the actual game code and modifying the graphical content to include accurate kits for unlicensed teams, new stadiums, and footballs from
Nike, Inc., Puma, Umbroand Mitre, as well as more Adidasballs. Most patches also contain licensed referee kits from FIFAand the official logos of the various European leagues. Since these patches are technically a breach of copyright, and are often sold illegally in territories in the Middle Eastand Asia, Konami have become less tolerant of this kind of fan editing in recent years, and now encrypt the data pertaining to kits and player statistics in each new release. However, fan communities invariably find ways to crack this encryption, and patches still appear once this has been achieved.
* [http://www.pasionwe.tk Modify Winning Eleven]
* [http://www.issonline.pl Polish Patches for WE2002 and PES]
* [http://www.purplehaze.eclipse.co.uk/index.html "Option File" editor] , applicable to both
Pro Evolution Soccerand Winning Eleven.
* [http://www.feex.net Pro Evolution Soccer option file]
* [http://www.pesgaming.com/forumdisplay.php?f=75 Pro Evolution Soccer option files at pesgaming]
* [http://www.pesrepublic.com/ Un-Official "Pro Evolution Soccer Fans Website" website]
* [http://www.pes-3.de/ Official "Pro Evolution Soccer 3" website]
* [http://www.pes4.net/ Official "Pro Evolution Soccer 4" website]
* [http://www.pes5.net/ Official "Pro Evolution Soccer 5" website]
* [http://www.konami-pes2008.com/ Official "Pro Evolution Soccer 2008" website]
* [http://www.timerime.com/timeline/17385/ History of Pro Evolution Soccer]
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