Pro Evolution Soccer Management

Pro Evolution Soccer Management Review for PS2

On: PS2

Pro Evolution Soccer Management invites users to experience the dizzying highs and dreadful lows of managing a top-flight club.

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5Out of 10
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Even if you only play console games, there are better management sims out there
Even if you only play console games, there are better management sims out there

Even if you only play console games, there are better management sims out there

Despite what they say, for most of us football isn't a funny old game at all. As the fanatical supporters of each and every club throughout the world will tell you, a victory or defeat one weekend can affect their mood for weeks, even months into the future. The same could very well be said in terms of the various football titles available on our home consoles, particularly the ever frustrating, but ultimately rewarding Pro Evolution Soccer series. Despite the adoration each iteration regularly receives by the great gaming majority, it's a fact of life that it serves as one of the most exasperating brands of gaming ever witnessed.

Therefore, a spin-off title, venturing into that other slice of the football video gaming pie, the management sim, seems to err towards the side of 'ridiculous'. Surely a title that proves to be frustrating with you personally in control of the on-screen action would only be made more maddening when your on-screen avatars aren't performing as you command them. Nevertheless, Pro Evolution Soccer Management is here, and ready to be inflicted upon an unsuspecting public.

It's initially very obvious that this is a management sim aimed at the console gamer, rather than the PC gamer who'd laugh at any such title that didn't offer ridiculous amounts of depth. Upon initially starting and entering your chosen manager's name, you're then prompted to tweak their appearance, and clothing - certainly the kind of un-needed additional choices that most football management fans wouldn't be too eager to make. It only gets worse, however, as you're then forced to choose a personal assistant. These three females all come with a (very) short back-story, and you're free to spin them around and zoom in as you see fit. Thankfully, the zooming is restricted to the shoulders-and-above region of the body. Konami obviously didn't want to serve the pubescent teenage boys too well.

'Chelsea, for example, has a huge squad filled with international stars, and millions in the bank, but anything less than first place will be a sackable offence.'

For fans of lower league teams, and by lower league, I mean anything lower than the top leagues for each of the major European countries, you're going to have to forfeit your management desires, and take on the reigns of one of the 'big clubs'. Each team is given an overall rating in terms of team strength, the funds that would be made available to the future manager, and what the board expects of the team for the coming season. Obviously each club comes with its unique strengths and drawbacks too: Chelsea, for example, has a huge squad filled with international stars, and millions in the bank, but anything less than first place will be a sackable offence. At the other end of the scale, the West Brom board don't expect anything more than avoiding relegation, due to the relatively sub-par players you'd be in charge of and limited financial opportunities. It's best to stick to a happy medium - Fulham being a particularly attractive starting option.

Making use of the cash you're given is fairly straightforward. After selecting the scouts you merely have to prompt them to 'scout' a particular area for a particular style of player. They'll come back a few days later with a list of possible players, and you can then proceed to make an offer or assign your scout to perform this task on your behalf. If you happen to make this second choice, you've the ability to set them to be a tough negotiator ("We'll give you 3 rupees and half a chocolate orange. No more than that!") or crumble to the player's every whim ("Oh yes, of course we'll allow you to slice off our legs and use them as comical umbrella stands"). In either case, it's a rather unfulfilling task, as the club you're purchasing from seems to lack any kind of personality whatsoever. It only takes a few hours to learn that offering a certain amount above the original price will get an immediate acceptance, and from then on it all seems rather too clean cut for my liking. It's certainly not helped by a lack of any real depth in this area, with no ability to set staggered payments, or future fees once a certain number of goals is achieved - something all other relevant management sims have offered for years.

One feature that will obviously draw in the Pro Evo loving gamers is the in-game match engine. The Pro Evolution Soccer 5 match engine is used here, with no cuts or graphical effects missing. As exciting as that sounds, let me ask you one question: Have you ever managed to watch more than thirty seconds of a CPU vs. CPU game on PES5? If the answer to that (which will amount to roughly 95% of you) is no, then just imagine being forced to watch five to ten minutes of that action for every single game you're in charge of. Still sound appealing? In its defence, you do have the option to speed up and slow down the action on the fly, allowing you to skip through the boring midfield battle and concentrate on the goalmouth action, but it's still incredibly tedious.

The match engine is good, but games soon become dull

The match engine is good, but games soon become dull

But even that could be overlooked if the tactical choices you make truly affect the game. Initial signs are good, with some depth to your tactical options, letting you set up your team as you wish. The flaw in all this, however, is the fact that no matter what wild changes you make to your team's tactics, you'd be hard pressed to notice any reasonable difference to your team's style of play during a game. You can set Luis Boa Morte to hold the ball up, or take players on down the wing, and he'll still perform much the same and to the same level. It's certainly not helped by your assistant manager pushing you towards the 'best tactical option' to undertake for each game, meaning you merely have to press a button a handful of times, rather than make those tactical decisions all for yourself.

In order for any management title to make a good enough impression and remain a game that's worth playing for a long period of time, it needs to at least give the illusion that your in-game choices matter. And this is ultimately where Pro Evolution Soccer Management stumbles and falls. The much un-needed 'fluff' grates far too quickly and the matches themselves are a bore to watch. Stick to Sports Interactive's Football Manager series if emulating Jose Mourinho is your dream, or give LMA Manager a try if you're limited to consoles. It's not a complete disaster, but certainly one of the poorer examples out there in today's hectic football management market.

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Posted 22:24 on 19 October 2008
ostr's Avatar
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i need real names team in game please
Posted 20:18 on 22 September 2008
Jonathan's Avatar
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Personally it's the best football management game there is up till now. In my opinion, the match mode, and the aquisition of classic players could be removed, and instead there would be a better edit mode, where you could edit and change all the players' skills, age, change their nationality and you could create new players and sign them to teams.This makes sense because for example all those fans of the genius Zinedine Zidane, since if there is a new edition of Pro Management, and he would not be there since he retired, they could create him. Another thing which could be removed is the transfer of kits and other material from another saved pro series game. I think that if the mentality of the players is removed the players would perform a lot better, because if a player has a mentality from 70 -78/79 he will perform good when the team is draw or winning, and then a player with a mentality of 80 and above will play good just when the team is losing. Also in reality I don't think that mentality really exists on fotball players, at least the way it exists on this game. In real life there can be players that when their team is losing they are motivated to play good football, but it doesn't make sense that because of this, when the team is draw or winning then the player plays bad, according to how talented he is. Another disadvantage of the game is that when the players enter their 30s their skills start decreasing, and I don't think this makes sense, because when a player gets old his disadvantage to play football is the level of fatigue accumulated after every match, and not that he doesn't know how to play football anymore. Also if there are interviews to the player as manager, and to the team's captain and players before the games played in Europe and before any final match or before the first game of the league season, and instead remove the Pro Evolution Soccer Highlights would be good. I think it would be good also to choose a sponsor. Another disadvantage is that the group tactics don't work very often in the game, and I think that if the players' attack awareness is used to instruct the players the direction of their passes instead of the direction of their movement it would make more sense, since there would be the group tactics for players' movements. Also other training facilities like instead of train the players according to the number of defenders, you train them sfecific formations and train players according to the attack awareness, together with the existing training types. I'm not saying that this game has no advantages because it's got some amazing thing like holding talks with players to affect their motivation. Also you will notice that if a player hasn't got bonuses in his contract he would play a bit bad and when you give him bonuses his performance will improve. Even the tactics are amazing because with all those individual tactics and players' movement you can create all your immaginable football systems. Also what could be added is that the substitute players appear on the bech bench together with the manager and his assistant coach. The commentary during the matches could also be removed, since it is not that important and a manager is not going to listen to the commentary during a football match. Then of course are other things which could be added like more clubs and changing the club's stadium's view or build a new stadium or changing the training facilities, and many other things which exist in other football management games. And if you look at Fifa Football Manager I think it's got all the extra features which together with my suggestions and the good things which I've mentioned that this game has got would make the perfect football management simulation. But with what I've mentioned as what should be removed and added regardless the other features like building a new stadium and so on would make a very good game before the perfect game someday is created.
Posted 20:00 on 30 March 2007
rezzman's Avatar
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rezzman@ liam

where can i save the game
Posted 15:14 on 15 September 2006
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Matt@ liam

this is the best management sim ever it rules
Posted 20:55 on 02 July 2006
...'s Avatar
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...@ liam

sounds ok, but i dont want to read all that ^^^. can you change teams instead of having to start the game all over again?
Posted 19:43 on 02 May 2006
ying yang's Avatar
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ying yang@ liam

Posted 12:35 on 26 April 2006
liam's Avatar
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do you have any cheats
Posted 14:11 on 01 April 2006

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Pro Evolution Soccer Management
Out of 10
Pro Evolution Soccer Management
  • Attractive in game engine
  • Progression is far too slow
  • Becomes routine far too quickly
  • Your choices don't have much of an effect
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/03/2006
Platform: PS2
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Management
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,535 980
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