Pro Evolution Soccer 2 - PlayStation

Also known as: Winning Eleven 6

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2 (PlayStation)
Also for: PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Football - Soccer
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB/GB)
Released: 26 Sept 2003 (GB)
1 Nov 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Multi Tap, Analogue JoyPad, Memory Card

Summary

The first incarnation of Pro Evolution Soccer, released in February 2002 for PlayStation 2, also got a version to play on its baby brother, the PSone. With combined sales of over a million units, a sequel was perhaps inevitable. Sure enough, come October, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2 is here, again on both Sony platforms. Despite the best attempts of Electronic Arts and SCEE (whose football titles don't grace the PSone anymore) Konami's ISS and Pro Evolution series are widely acknowledged as the definitive football game. Pro Evolution Soccer made every feint, pass and through-ball of the real game possible, and its sequel ups the ante even further, even on the tired old PlayStation.

True, the PSone version of this worthy sequel doesn't have the same graphical lushness about it as its bigger brother, but it is essentially the same game, albeit with fewer available options regarding camera angles - but hey, all you really need for a footy game is end-to-end action or a good sideline point of view, right? Both are available in the PSone version.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2 benefits from three distinct dribbling styles, while shooting, turning, close control and passing have also been fine-tuned to make them more realistic. Those passes to off-screen team-mates that used to reach their intended targets don't always get there this time around. To ensure its digital versions of the world's top stars react and play as they should, Pro Evolution Soccer 2's players have been designed with over 25 skill factors taken into account. Each is rated in areas such as attacking nature, balance, stamina, strength, and shooting and passing accuracy, each of which endow the players with differing abilities and playing styles. This is more noticeable in the likes of Brazil's Roberto Carlos and our very own Beckham - these two are designated free kick-takers by default in PES2 and it certainly shows in the animated moments before the set-pieces take place.

Whilst it's guaranteed to shift fewer units than the magnificent PS2 version, Pro Evolution Soccer 2 will find a warm welcome in the sweaty palms of PlayStation traditionalists. It's everything you would expect from a Konami football game - intuitive controls and a hefty dose of realism are staples of the brand - and for those not hip to the next (current by now, surely) generation, top of the league status isn't far away.