Pro Evolution Soccer 6 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PCDSPS2PSP  Check Price
360 owners have the right to feel a little short-changed
360 owners have the right to feel a little short-changed

360 owners have the right to feel a little short-changed

Seeing the 6 on the end of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is actually quite scary. I can remember playing the first game in the PES series as if it was yesterday, and the years in-between have simply flown by. Konami's approach with the series has certainly been one of slight tinkering rather than all-out revolution, but changes from game to game have been no less significant. With FIFA 07 making huge strides in the right direction, is more tinkering going to be enough this year?

Die-hard fans may well scoff at the thought of the mighty PES being challenged by FIFA, but in all seriousness, this year the gap is closer than it's ever been. Still, it only took a single game with PES 6 to realise that FIFA still has some work to do. There has always been the argument that PES is too hard for newcomers, but with FIFA's numerous tricks and other advanced controls, that argument is now harder to make than ever before. The only real drawback for casual players is the lack of many officially licensed teams.

This year's PES has once again changed things, but nothing drastic. PES 5 players will appreciate that the refs are now a little less whistle-happy, and no longer blow up for a foul when your player happens to brush another. This change alone makes games in PES 6 flow far better than in 5. In fact, that pretty much describes what PES 6 is like; it simply flows very nicely indeed. You can even perform quick free-kicks if you hit the right buttons in time, getting the game moving again without everyone getting into position.

Shooting has been tweaked and now requires even better timing. Hit a shot while your player is off balance slightly, turning, or with the ball on his wrong foot, and you'll more often than not see the ball fly over the cross bar, and almost out of the stadium. The controlled shot modifying button (R2 button on PS2 and RT on 360) is even more useful this year, and careful use will result in a larger percentage of your shots hitting the target.

'Attackers seem far more powerful then I remember from previous games, and really push through defenders when trying to get a header in on goal.'

It might just be my new found love for headers, but crosses from the wing seem like one of the most potent attacking weapons. Attackers seem far more powerful then I remember from previous games, and really push through defenders when trying to get a header in on goal. R2 is once again the key to this, allowing you to position your player for the header, and if you time your moves correctly some real high quality goals can be scored. Screaming down the wing requires you to use the new technique for fast running, so don't despair if you find the defender catching you a little too easily. Medium run has now been mapped to R1/RB, and tapping this button will help your player reach top speed.

PES is a series that is argued about almost as much as it's played, and PES 6 will be no different. It always takes a while to adjust to the changes made in the latest iteration, and some people simply prefer things as they were. With PES 6 I see the changes as being positive across the board, making the game far more enjoyable than the often infuriating stop/start matches in PES 5. You do have to have a little more patience than in PES 5, forcing you to pass the ball about while waiting for space, and star players no longer have such a big impact, but unless you're Liverpool that's not such a bad thing.

As ever, PES only really comes into its own during multiplayer matches (the computer AI in single-player is as annoying as ever). This year the game supports 4v4 online play on the PlayStation 2, and lets you play against PC players, although there are some teething problems with the latter. The lobby system is pretty complex, and more than a little confusing at first, but it's a damn sight better than the overly simplistic, lobby-less 360 version. Despite its online supremacy, the 360 game only has support for 1v1 matches, and has a quite awful online menu system.

As usual, small changes make a big difference to gameplay.

As usual, small changes make a big difference to gameplay.

How matches play online varies dramatically from game to game, but tests surprisingly found matches on the PlayStation 2 to suffer the least from lag. I'm yet to play a perfect game, so such a thing might never happen, but the Xbox 360 game suffered from laggy controls far more frequently than the PlayStation 2 version did. It's sad, as the voice chat on the 360 helps add to the atmosphere, but when your timing is completely off the game becomes a whole lot less more fun.

Other differences between the two games are shockingly plentiful. On the game modes front the Xbox 360 version is lacking everything bar a basic Cup mode, League mode and the ever present Master League mode. On the PlayStation 2 you can edit pretty much everything (360 limits you to player names and stats), there's a new International Challenge mode, an excellent quick-play feature for multiplayer matches, memorial matches (so you can keep track of performances against friends) and generally better menus. Neither game will win an award for menu design, but some of the design decisions in the 360 game are scandalous - having to go to the options menu to set your manual/automatic player switching is totally dumb.

On the pitch both play similarly, but the 360 game seems to have more weight to it. Players seem to barge each other around with more frequency, and games feel a lot more physical. Widescreen support on the 360 is also a first for the series, and it adds more to the experience than you might think. With your view no longer confined to a small square section of the pitch (radar aside), you can pass the ball better and time through balls with more accuracy. I couldn't say one version plays better than the other, but there are definitely slight differences. The d-pad on the Xbox 360 pad is less than ideal for PES, so you're better off using the analogue stick. Hardcore fans won't like it, but it's not as dreadful as it sounds.

Being the first time the series has graced a next-gen console, we were all hopeful that we'd be treated to some splendid next-gen visuals. Sadly, Konami obviously thinks that widescreen, high definition and slightly improved stadiums and player models is all it takes. Played on an HD display there is a huge gap between the PlayStation 2 and 360 versions, but it doesn't look next-gen. Slowdown is actually worse in the 360 version, and while the stadiums look better, you only get eight of them.

Some noticeable button lag makes the 360 version a disappointment online

Some noticeable button lag makes the 360 version a disappointment online

After each game you'll notice differences too, or, to be more accurate, you won't notice them. The post-match stats pages that the PlayStation 2 offers are nowhere to be seen in the 360 game, so analysing performances isn't possible. Another popular feature missing from the 360 is the ability to save replays. While the game's manual claims you can do it, you most certainly can't, which is a real shame.

Audio work is as bad as ever, with commentary on both systems that's so bad it would have been better left out of the game. The lack of licensed music in the same fashion as EA manages for its sports games means that the menu music becomes annoying very quickly, and crowds often sound dead. Compare this to the splendid audio in the latest FIFA and it's obvious that Konami needs to improve this area considerably next year.

What matters most is how PES 6 plays, and both versions play very nicely indeed. Unless you spend most of your time playing alone, you won't be disappointed by either version, as when played with a group of mates most of the missing features from the Xbox 360 game aren't significant. If you really want to play online though, or the game modes are important to you, the PlayStation 2 game is by far the better choice. This year Konami can just about be forgiven for short-changing Xbox 360 owners, but next year's game better be next-gen.

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User Comments

moon's Avatar
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moon

hi am the best player
Posted 02:40 on 11 September 2008
david's Avatar
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david

there is no player like me in pro n6
Posted 18:19 on 21 February 2008
AIplayer's Avatar

AIplayer

anyone trading pes6 hints?
like the RT/R2 aiding the shot..?
Posted 06:26 on 29 October 2007
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charoui

how can i play pes6 online on ps2? what do i need to play online? pls help me. thnx
Posted 02:01 on 29 August 2007
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Anonymous

yersh i agree with u its not got an editin mode . . .why, i used to use tha to make the game . . . more real, but just save the hassle, buy fifa, its much more entertaining
Posted 16:08 on 28 August 2007
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Anonymous

im sick of the debate between fifa and pes, pes hasnt got the contracts that fifa as and FIFA is the official game for world football, PES is just s game for stupid little kids with nothin better to do, its not realistic, the players dont even run proper tbh PES is pathetic i prefer FIFA 100% more. its more realistic, easier to move with, better graphics,more licences
Posted 16:06 on 28 August 2007
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Anonymous

can u save goals on the 360 version?
Posted 21:00 on 12 August 2007
Courtz's Avatar
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Courtz

the gameplay is pathetic, the refferees are a disgrace and why did they take the editing mode out, who the hells south london reds, how pathetic, the editing mode was the only realistic part on the game, and when you put the players the fastest they can be they are still slower, all my mates are not buying the game unless it has the english championship and the scottish premiership, who wants the dutch league! and the master league is pathetic, when you buy a player its points instead of money, whats the point, and you should be able to just do a english season with transfers, pro 7 better have the edit mode back, surely sum1 agrees with me! sum1 post a message about my 2 comments
Posted 19:32 on 05 August 2007
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Courtz

this game is very dissapointing, it hasnt even got the english championship or the scottish premier league on, but its got the dutch and french league on though, what are those japs at konami thinking of, and the crowds are so unrealistic, where is the passion, the heart in the game, crowds may be like that abroad but not in england or scotland, send the konami team to st james' park or celtic park and then they will know real passion for the game
Posted 19:24 on 05 August 2007
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patrick

i no every single cheat and hint there is too pro evo trust me add me on bad_boy_patty@hotmail.co.uk and i will let u no anything u need!!!
Posted 01:17 on 30 July 2007
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Anonymous

"Pro evoultion is godlike"
OMG how sad is dis geezar
Posted 22:48 on 30 May 2007
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Anonymous

ur all sad man n need 2 get a life u little freaks
Posted 22:44 on 30 May 2007
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Anonymous

why cant i play pro evo 6 online its says it cant transmit using a certain port? do i need to subscribe or something
Posted 11:58 on 28 May 2007
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mikemillis

i dont think its as good as fifa...but still a good game and definetly fun to play with my friends
Posted 17:46 on 25 May 2007
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Jake

Pro evoultion is fantastic. Its the best game since the last pro evo. Fifa has always been sh*t trust me i know what i am on about.
Posted 14:28 on 25 May 2007

Game Stats

Technical Specs
7
Out of 10
Pro Evolution Soccer 6
  • Great gameplay
  • Visually underwhelming
  • Online play isn't great
  • Loads of missing features
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 27/10/2006
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PC , DS , PS2 , PSP
Developer: In-house
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 1,697 139
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