Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Review for Wii

On: WiiXbox 360PS3PCDSPS2PSP

The acclaimed football series makes its Wii debut.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Time for a new way of thinking
Time for a new way of thinking

Time for a new way of thinking

PES on Wii plays unlike any football video game ever. It's so unfamiliar and bizarre you'll almost want to turn it off and immediately slap the Xbox 360 or PS3 version on instead. The funny thing is, after a while you do get used to the crazy controls, and, once you do, Wii PES starts to feel, well, just great.

You need to forget everything you've ever done in scores of footie games in the past and open your mind to motion-sensing madness. Instead of controlling player movement with a d-pad or thumb stick, you need to point the Wii Remote at where you want your player to dribble with the ball and hold down A. This sounds simple, but it requires a change in thinking akin to getting China to embrace democracy, especially if you've honed your virtual football skills through hours of play on PES down the years.

The madness doesn't stop there. To pass, you need to aim the Wii Remote at your target and press B. Again, time for a lobotomy. To shoot, wiggle the Nunchuk. To tackle, aim at the opponent and hold A. Mind-bending.

Things can get extremely complicated and busy on-screen. Seen that advert with Michael Owen and Ian Wright rolling about a white couch? That's just what it's like. Controlling every player on the pitch, pointing and clicking, dragging players to man mark, directing player runs, raising the Wii Remote to trigger the off-side trap - the screen can often get filled up with too many lines, cursors and player trails. On a small to medium-sized television, this can actually start causing problems.

'Where Konami has made 2008 a more arcadey, fast-paced PES on 360 and PS3, the Wii version is a much more considered affair.'

Wii PES, amazingly, ends up feeling a bit like an RTS. Where Konami has made 2008 a more arcadey, fast-paced PES on 360 and PS3, the Wii version is a much more considered affair. This slower pace is forced in many respects, since the controls are so damn complicated. Soon enough, though, the game results in enormous satisfaction. Controlling player runs, sliding through balls, hitting a killer one-two then rifling a shot into the top corner is, in many ways, even more satisfying that in the game's more illustrious cousins because you know you've been in control of every cog in the sexy football wheel.

It doesn't always work as brilliantly as you'd like though. Attacking is much better than defending. Sometimes getting your defenders to tackle the player with the ball feels like asking a stone to give blood. And, as much as it pains us to say it, there are times when too much control can be a bad thing, especially when you need to ping the ball about first-time Arsenal style.

Graphically, PES on Wii looks a little dated - PS2 quality at best. The players look like muck, the crowd is laughable and the pitches look like they were drawn by a three-year-old. It's not really the point, since Wii PES is about substance over style, but it's disappointing all the same, especially since we know the Wii is capable of so much more when developers put their minds to it. Still, Wii owners do get widescreen support, which is something the PS2 games have never had.

The control system ends up feeling a bit like an RTS

The control system ends up feeling a bit like an RTS

Other areas have seen serious toning down, too. The edit mode will disappoint many - you can only change team names and player names. Online play is a random affair, too, with some games afflicted by the same crippling lag that has plagued the 360 and PS3 versions since launch, and some games that are perfectly playable. Criminally, quitting out of games before they're finished won't affect your record. We hate it when developers don't include this in online play - it just lets cheaters get away scot-free. Grrr. Oh well, a lack of an online leaderboard means players shouldn't get too upset.

On the plus side the Champions Road mode, which replaces the frankly stale Master League, is quite refreshing. It's a stripped down version, but it's better for it. Gone is the uninspired transfer system, replaced by a trading card-style player collection game. Here you take a squad, which begins with the same set of players that have made up the default Master League team in every PES, Castillo and Minanda included, and attempt to "collect" better quality players by winning region specific tournaments, usually four teams strong. Player quality is measured out of five stars, but you won't gain access to high-level players until you complete more difficult tournaments. In a nice touch, you'll able to trade players with your friends online. And, once you've played a few matches in the Champions Road, you'll unlock the ability to integrate your Wii console's Miis into a team. Funny, but a nice touch.

Overall, PES 2008 on Wii is a solid first effort, a great start for Konami's genre-scrambling control system and, with practice, extremely rewarding. I won't go as far as to say it's revolutionised the series - for me the traditional control scheme is still the best way to play PES. But you do wonder how good and refined PES 2009 on Wii really can be.

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User Comments

nicko's Avatar
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this game is awesome. i really think the controls are quite easy after yeah about 20mins.
give it a go
Posted 04:34 on 14 August 2008
nathan's Avatar
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how do u get online with pes2008 because u have a regastion number what is it or how do u get it if u know email me ty
Posted 13:32 on 24 July 2008
jafar2468's Avatar
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ive got it and its class
Posted 18:10 on 15 June 2008
samy's Avatar
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thank you
Posted 00:22 on 15 May 2008
Keiichi's Avatar
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This is has definitely changed the way football can be played on a console. No longer am I begging for the AI to make that run to the open I can actually get the person to go there and make that wonderful through pass through 3 defenders...
Posted 10:57 on 19 April 2008
ShitBrains's Avatar
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PES 2008 is one of the best games i have played on and the controls are complicated but are really easy to learn through the practice camp.
Posted 14:45 on 09 April 2008
Charlie's Avatar
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Great review, many thanks
Posted 10:33 on 05 April 2008
ryan w's Avatar
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ryan w

as in the uk the game pes 2008 came on on wii in march so will pes 2009 on wii come out agian in march or in october like the rest of the consoles??
Posted 19:55 on 03 April 2008
Omar Kamel's Avatar
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Omar Kamel

I have to differ with the review on a couple of points - the controls aren't that complicated at all. Sure - they take about 20 minutes to get used to, but once you do - they're very simple, quite fantastic, and help create the best football I've ever seen on a console.

The graphics are indeed a bit dated, but honestly, with the gameplay possibilites offered, that's hardly an issue. After playing this for a while, you'll never ever want to go back to the standard console versions.

The defending takes some getting used to, and I admit my friend seems to have trouble with it - but I'm not so bothered by it. You click players once to mark them, twice to mark them with two players - and if you keep the Z button down the marking players will position themselves to intercept any passes made to the marked player. Otherwise, the angle of marking is controlled by the nunchuck control stick. It doesn't quite control the defenders, but rather influences their angle of tackle.

It's much easier than it sounds :)

A brilliant, brilliant game.
Posted 13:40 on 01 April 2008
Fwank's Avatar
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Nice review! Can't wait to try this out...
Posted 17:22 on 31 March 2008

Game Stats

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
Out of 10
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
  • RTS-style control system is rewarding
  • Champions Road mode a refreshing change
  • Graphics look dated
  • Online play quality is random
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 28/03/2008
Platforms: Wii , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , DS , PS2 , PSP
Developer: In-house
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 3,378 2953
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