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November 24, 2006
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
2/11/2005AtariKonami1-8, 8 Gvariable
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Slides in for the tackle.
Every year Konami continue to improve their Pro Evolution Soccer titles. It's not like they really need to - they're the best on the market. While it's a bit behind in the audio visual stakes Konami's series is vastly superior to EA's FIFA titles in terms of gameplay. While it would be easy to sit back and milk gamers for all their money Konami's have never done that, and won't be starting with Pro Evolution Soccer 6 with many enhancements and upgrades across all aspects of the title.

In terms of game modes the key component, The Master League, has returned for this years game and yet again allows you to take a team from the local leagues all the way to the top. Sure there are single matches and tournaments to compete in however the Master League encompasses so much more and really is the meat of Pro Evolution Soccer 6. The Playstation 2 version includes an impressive 33 stadiums to play in (which compares to only 8 for the XBox 360 version!), as well as many of the biggest teams, both domestic and international from around the globe.

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Can the goalie save it!
One of the key changes to the gameplay seems to be the reduction in sprinting speed - even when you are sprinting it's not uncommon to see the opposition keeping right up with you. This forces gamers to do a bit more strategic thinking during matches as passing becomes much more critical to success. Shooting for goal has also been refined with much more control on your shots while the defense is quite a bit more solid making quick one-two passes inside the box a lot harder. Fortunately the referees are quite a bit more lenient and will allow players a bit more leeway when battling in close for the ball.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 has seen a number of newly licensed teams with official kits for Argentina, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Australia is also included in the game with all the official players and kits. I guess that one of the key selling points to owning Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is that the game still includes all the Australian players that have just retired from International Football following the World Cup in Germany this year.

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OK boys, time for line dancing!
One big positive to this game is the online gameplay - with support for up to 8 players in online matches (the same number as offline players). This is pretty impressive considering that EA's FIFA 07 still only supports matches for 2-players and that's it. We did manage to play a couple of games and while there is no option for voice communication we have to say the experience was pretty good overall with only small amounts of lag. Impressively the PS2 game even trounces the XBox 360 in this area as Microsoft's system only supports 4-players in offline gameplay and only 2-players online!

There really is so little to complain about with Pro Evolution Soccer 6. It really is the best way to farewell the current generation of games before we move on. If there is one complaint it has to be that while the game is an even more accurate simulation of the sport then ever before the increased defensive abilities means it's quite a bit harder to score goals - and certainly to pull of those 'over the top' styled highlight goals. I guess the other slight disappointment is that Konami, through distributors Atari, are still charging the full $AU99.95 for this title - EA's FIFA 07 is a tenner cheaper.

Previous versions of Pro Evolution Soccer have always been impressive graphically and there's no exception with this game. The detail on the players and stadiums is impressive however it's the lifelike animation that really sets the benchmarks. Everything is silky smooth and the little touches make this game so realistic be it the way a player reacts to a rough tackle, the replays of a goal, or even the presentation of the game stats.

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Players look pretty good.
Audio in the game is, as with previous years very solid but never reaches the same atmospheric climax as Electronic Arts' title. In fact the crowds are too much on the silent side. It's almost like you're playing in an empty stadium at times with only a big shot at goal or big tackle bringing them to life. Yet again Konami - more work needs to be done in this area. Having said that this isn't a disaster either. Commentary could be improved but overall the game is equal to previous titles in the series.

What more can we say (actually, we could go on for hours and hours) except this is yet another improved game in a stunning series. I'm desperate to get my hands on the eventual Playstation 3 version - the thought of this gameplay combined with HD graphics and surround sound is simply drool-worthy. At the moment the XBox 360 title is - while technically superior - vastly inferior in terms of stadiums, game modes and multi-player. If you like soccer, and after this years World Cup you're probably still suffering withdrawal symptoms, then Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (on PS2) is the game for you. Sensational.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSIt's the wonderful animation and small touches that make this shine.
SOUNDKonami need to work here. Commentary and effects could improve.
GAMEPLAYNot just a couple of new moves PES6 'feels' like a different game.
VALUEEven more then last years title - slightly higher price then FIFA though.
OVERALLKonami simply keep coming up with the goods. Not just a couple of new teams or game modes, but also the gameplay as well. Every soccer fan should add this to their collection.

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