on 26 October 2002
I eagerly tore open the packaging and played PES2 the second it came through the front door, and was instantly impressed. the opening scene is superb, with 'we will rock you' by queen thundering on behind.
The presentation is very impressive, with fantastically detailed stadia( flares, banners etc), and players the resemble their real life counterparts. My only gripe on this front is the lack of real club and some player names, which are depressingly still held by the far inferior Fifa franchise. However, anyone who buys iss is buying it for its renowned gameplay, ahead of the 'all style no substance' Fifa. However their is an option to rename players/clubs, and its worth it for the big name clubs and players, to add a sense of realism.
Gameplay, is almost perfect. one feature i was disappointed with, however, was the return to the 'hold down the button for more power' system, as opposed to the use of the analogue buttons seen in the first ISS on ps2, where the harder you press them, the harder the shot/pass is. Whilst not a big problem, it would have been nice to have the option. passing and movement is first rate, with ultra realistic turns and passes going astray, accompanied by superlative charecter modelling for the different types of pass. Tackles also require alot more skill to 'connect', with 3 out of every 5 sliding tackles bringing a free kick. I have not even started to explore the skill moves yet, but they include one-two's, trap'n'turn, and other such skills seen regularly in the league at the weekend.
What most impressed me however, was the intelligence of the computer on your part, whereby a player finishes exactly how they would in real life. Vieri tends to blast it past the keeper into the roof of the net, whilst henry will slide it past the oncoming keeper, and jump over the said keepers prone body (a lovely effect to watch). Players also have a whole range of stats, (out of 99) which were apparently supplied by Sports interactive, those who brought us the ultra realism of championship manager, and it shows.
The game modes are varied, with a choice of friendly, league training and editing features. The editing features are also well done, allowing changes to team kits, and flags.
however, the best part is the master league, where you take your team (for me it was inter) and start in division three, with a bunch of unknowns and try and work your way up through the leagues, buying and selling players on the way.
The commentary and sound are very good, with peter brackley and trevor brooking applying themselves nicely, with only a few instances of repetition. A nice touch is the ability to bias the commentator to a team. (think big ron during any man utd game). For some reason, irritating dance music plays throughout the replays, and is infuriating after the 3rd or 4th time.
In terms of longviety, the master league seems like it will take a while to master, with the ability to chop and change your squad adding to the long term appeal. however, i cannot judge yet, as i have had it for a day.
Overall, PES2 is easily worth the price, and far far superior to Fifa 2003. And at amazons fantastic price ..treat yourself to a truly fantastic game.
on 1 November 2002
This is by far the best football game money can buy!!! I have played FIFA football for many years and was dubious when i purchased the first pro evolution soccer, but i thought stuff it i'll try it. I couldn't get into PES straight away and didn't play it that much as i was that used to the FIFA controls it didn't feel quite right. That is until i sat down and really played it, i found out what a superb and realistic game it was (but still a little slow)
This takes me to PES2, all i can say is WOW. The speed of gameplay has been upped and the reactions of the players to my control feel more natural and responsive. This really is an incredible game! There is now the inclusion of the UMBRO training menu which you can chose from various training exerises, the master league has also been updated to make it harder and there is much more to this game than meets the eye. Oh and the commentary is alot better that PES, but it still needs some improvement.
It is easy enough for novices to pick up but PES2 will take you quite a while to master
on 31 July 2004
If Championship Manager is (if you don't count the recent debacle) the pinnacle of footy management games, then this surely has to be its on-the-pitch equivalent. I've been lobbying for this series since its modern inception on the PSone, as have many of the more well informed gamers out there. Even if there have been some cack versions - the original PES (I thought) was shocking - it's always been better than Fifa.
In fairness, Fifa 2003 actually isn't that bad. So at least they've raised the bar, to about five-a-side height. Unfortunately for Fifa's motley crew, PES 2 is the best football game ever and this time consumers have noticed. For the first time since the two footballing franchises have clashed, Konami's PES game has outsold EA's Fifa contender. It's not hard to see why
Every year Konami just tinkers a little bit with the game engine in their quest for perfection. Mostly they get it right but occasionally things do go wrong. My mine gripe with PES (1) was the woeful first-time touches players had, generally dribbling control was pretty dire too. Inaccurate passing didn't help things along either, even five yard efforts seem an impossibility. And then there was the artificial intelligence, it was Casio calculator stuff. Players on your team wouldn't move into space and the computer cynically hacked you down whenever possible. Basically it did everything in its power to irritate you.
But to my delight they've sorted it all out again with PES 2. The controls are responsive, the players can now control the ball, and passing plays are fluid and gratifying. You feel as though you're controlling the game this time rather than it controlling you. You can hold onto the ball, wait for options, fire it back to the defence, try and take on the opposition through quick feet. It feels far more open, as it should do.
Single player gaming is much improved and the Master League (a bit like Championship Manager, but you play rather than watch the matches) provides a long and tough challenge - one that you keep coming back too. A diverting training game is included too. It's not exactly a tutorial eye-opener on how to play the game, but the tasks are entertaining and challenging as mini-games in their own right. To get the most out of PES 2, though, grab a couple of extra controllers, find some mates who are pretty rubbish at it and then spend the rest of the evening wiping the floor with them.
The great thing about PES 2 is that novice players can pick up the game quite quickly and be at least a challenge to other, more seasoned players. This isn't because the game's simple with no depth - on the contrary, it has that in abundance - it's because the A.I. levels out the playing field. It brings players back into position, provides obvious passing outlets, gives the goalkeepers excellent but sensible abilities. A player never feels out of his depth even in such a game with thousands of different ways to play the game and score.
There are a few things about the engine I would like to see improved upon. Fouls are still committed too regularly, mostly on an accidental basis - and in a follow up to that, you're a bit stranded with free-kicks around the box as a simple pass will negate your entire defence. Defenders still seem to get a far superior bonus when going up for headers (so crossing isn't as important as it should be), there still isn't the flexibility in long balls that there should be and default formations always seem to adopt a defensive posture - although this can be rectified through the comprehensive formation and strategy editor.
The silly discrepancies still remain too. Commentary is pathetic but hilarious at the same time (the Trevor Brooking heavy breathing sound is a moment to savor). Real player names are inconsistent too. Full England players but no Brazilians and the Dutch secret service pose as the mighty Netherlands (Oranges 007 anyone?). And why is there still no option to replay random moments from the game at the time of your choosing? Silly, but forgivable.
Aesthetically there isn't much difference compared to the original Playstation 2 game. In some ways you could argue that this is nothing more than a patch for PES. As patches go, though, it just about fixes every major issue the original had. If you're only interested in fancy graphics, real player names and face-value style then you'll probably already have Fifa. For football connoisseurs, though, there is only one choice.
With quick reference to Pro Evolution 3. Yes, that is a better game but one that demands some attention and effort to get over its annoying habits. PES 2 is more accessible and easier to play in the first instance but patience in PES 3 has higher rewards.
on 26 October 2002
Fantastic game that has me hooked since I got it. More enhancements to the players movements, reactions, skills and individual traits have made the best football game ever better!
Slight niggles though include the improved (but still not good enough) commentary from Peter Brackley and Trevor Brooking. You can also set the crowd to be neutral, on the home side, or derby-like yet the many crowd chants that were on the orginal are missing from this. And to top it off, the squad rosters have not been updated. There are a few adjustments but they still have Rio Ferdinand at Leeds, Barmby at Liverpool and Ronaldo at Inter. And teams are not called as in real life (ie. Liverpool is call Europort!, etc.).
But niggles aside, this is the BEST football game on any console ever! The matches are so life like and the football seems so real. This game focuses on gameplay and trying to recreate football as we know it. FIFA 2003 is to "arcade-like" and is only for those who want real teams and real player names. However, PES2 is better than FIFA and This is Football. If you have a choice between the three footy games out, then you'll be crazy not to choose PES2. This is a strongly recommended game. But if only the creators took some more time with the finer details....
on 2 July 2002
Having been fortunate enough to play the japanese version, "winning eleven 6", i can assure you the european version is going to be well worth your hard earned cash. Those of you who have played the original will know it is the most addictive and best football game ever released.... until now! I personally didn't think they could improve, but konami have done it, and in style. The freekicks are easier to take advantage of with a new targetting system added to make scoring much more possible. The graphics have also been greatly improved and many of the teams, such as Argentina now have their proper names so you can be Batistuta instead of Buatista!! As for open gameplay, the basics are still the same, but the horrible stumbles when your tackled have been taken out, to keep the game smoothly going like a premiership match, rather than a division 3 one! Also attributes will be more clear, so classic long range shots from the likes of Scholes will be a common occurance, and Beckhams freekicks will curve like never before.
Outside of the matches, the training mode has also been improved to help you actually learn from it, rather than just shooting at keepers. And one of the biggest changes is the master league, that now comprises of 3 divisions instead of 2, to make a bigger challenge, and players cost more, making it harder to get a championship winning side together. Of course the European version is to be released later and so small additions probably will be made, player names, and likenesses being the most likely.
on 25 October 2002
Whether you know it or not, you fall into one of two camps. You either want your footie game to look great or play great. Traditionally, ISS & Pro Evo games have concentrated on the latter. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), when it came out last year, not only hit new heights in gameplay, but looked fabulous too.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2 (PES2) has improved upon both looks and gameplay.
Anyone who has played PES will know how addictive it is and how it's in a league of it's own because of it's superior gameplay. Anyone who has played PES since the day of it's release last year, will also know that there was still a degree of clunkiness in the game. PES2 has ironed out almost every niggle and added many great new features.
If you need your players faces to look exactly accurate and you need kits with actual sponsors names, there are other games in which eye-candy abounds.
If you want the most addictive, most realistic and gripping PS2 football experience on the planet, Pro Evolution Soccer 2 is a must-have. The realism has to be experienced to be believed.
I have heard MANY accounts of players who have migrated to the PES series. I have NEVER heard of a single gamer abandoning it for it's competition.
on 25 November 2002
Konami have done an amazing job with PES2. They have continued their dominance in the world of video game football by creating a game which (unlike other football titles) does not allow you to simply run through the opposing defence. Momentum of players is taken into account, with tackled players not unrealistically stopping dead when they've lost the ball. I remember playing FIFA 2002 and winning up to 8-0 at times even on the hardest difficulty settings, but with PES2 scores are kept realistic (unless your playing Brazil against Jamaica ofcourse).
The supurb Masters League has been improved upon, giving you three divisions to battle your way through and allowing you to negotiate contracts with players and train the promising stars up.
The only problem I see is that team names have still not been changed. Arsenal are still known as London and Manchester United are still called Aregon. This problem has been partially fixed with the introduction of a Edit Mode. But who wants to spend all day changing names.
In all though this is a minor problem, if your after exciting football action buy PES2. It leaves other football games such as 'FIFA 2003 and 'This is Football in it's wake.
on 24 July 2002
In recent years, FIFA has been the dominant force in terms of sales. The fact that it contains below average gameplay didn't seem to put people off, until now.
Last November the Pro Evolution series came to the PS2, and finally FIFA's dominance began to slip away. More and more people began to realise whtat they had been missing out on. Even now, 9 months on, PES remains in the top 20 charts. Of cause now there is a sequal coming, and it promises to be even better.
PS2er's who are lucky enough to have played the import of Winning Eleven 6 will know just how good PES2 is going to be. A few of the new features to note are:
- A brand new 3rd division in the popular Master League mode
- 8 new club teams (including Aston Villa, Celtic and Rangers)
- Over 50 National Teams including all of those from this years World Cup
- Much improved commentary over the appaling Chris James and Terry Butcher (most likely will be John Champion and Mark Lawrencen)
- Even smoother animations, with special "signature" moves for certain players (i.e. David Beckham dragging his left foot under his right when taking a free kick)
- Tweaked gameplay giving an extra feeling of control
- Ability to modify almost everything, including Kits, Flags and ALL Players names. You can also now create up to 10 custom teams
These new and improved features are more than enough to make PES2 a MUST purchase for all true football fans. But be warned, if you are new to the series, don't be put of by the seemingly comlicated play. All PES games must be played for at least a month before the pleasure comes. If you have never played before you will probably find that you won't win any matches for at least a couple of days, even on the easiest difficulty. But soon enough you will begin to master the realistic style of the game, and pass the ball to create chances instead of just racing down the field with one player and shooting (like you would in FIFA). Once you get the hang of the game, I guarantee you won't ever look back, and you won't stop playing PES2 until PES3 comes out.
on 20 November 2002
After playing Pro Evolution Soccer, i thought that no game could top this one, that is, until now. I was a bit weary at first when buying this game about whether it would still have the annoying features of the goalkeepers run and the mundane goals. However, it looks like Konami have mastered it.
The gameplay is very smooth and does not have the stumble so allows for a more continuous match. Konami have also added another master onto the two that it had previously, adding 8 more club temas to go which include: Aston Villa, Galataseray, Spartak Moscow, Olimpaikos and Dinamo Kiev. It has also got a new tranfer system, in which you have to sign players off clubs or loaning them out for the rest of the season. If the player's club is not on the game then you can sign him on a free transfer. E.g. Shakhtar are not on the game so you can buy Julius Aghahowa on it for a free transfer. When in the master league, cups can be played in the season as well. It now lets you alter the difficulty of the master league even when you have started a season.
It now enables you to edit the players details or appearance under edit mode. And you can edit the teams kits if they are a bit past dated (it is so specific that you can choose what colour you want the player's number to be on his back!). The ability points have also been upgraded so players like Henry and Vieira are finally good.
More national sides have too been added, whichever team played in the world cup are on it, such as senegal and costa rica.
The teams flags can be edited instead of the unlicensed ones from the last pro evo.
The training has been improved dramatically. It has a competition for you to take part in, where you have to dribble round cones the fastest or shoot at targets from free-kicks. When you have came top in some of these events, it then allows you to sign players in the mastr league that you could not before. A completely new feature has been added where you can train youth players. If you sign a youth player and play him in a game, you can upgrade his ability points (the amount of points you get depend on how long the player plays in the game and what score the game is).
This is easily the best football game this year or even ever! If you are thinking about purchasing fifa 2003, remember how unrealistic the gameplay is and how square the graphics are. This is a must buy for all footy crazed people and especially if you are a fan of the previous game.
on 29 October 2002
Every year Konami do it again - release a game that is better than the previous years efforts - which at the time seems unbelievable - but its true.
PES2 is the most complete football game you will ever play - they (Konami) have got rid of the tiny errors which where in the predocesser PES1 - i.e. turning with the ball, Goalkeeper dives and finding a way to score and do it eveytime.
PES2 has the daddy of all competions from the Konami cup (world cup) to the legendry Master League.
for those of you who are not familair with PES - the Master League is a game where you pick a team - say Liverpool and you then lose all your players and get them replaced with players who struggle to get into a pub team.
You have to get points by winning games in order to exchange your poor players for world class players - but, the world class players come at a price and have loyalty points to pay at the end of the season - if you dont have enough points to keep your star players they will walk out on you - and you get your shoddy player back - losing Zidane for a pub player is most heartbreaking!
this years master league is slightly different - you can now loan in/out players and train up players from your youth team at the new Umbro training centre.
The game play is amazing and just like real life you have to watch your tackles - or you are off!
the Goalkeepers animation has been tinkered with and that is a good thing - its almost like watching the real thing after Seamon conceedes a goal and looks down at his feet in disgust.
The other major difference is the players attributes - in PES1 the best players in the world (ie zidane, figo, viera, gerrard, beckham & Owen to name a few) were just average players - but htis time they stand out like in real life - the player who has benifitted from this the most is Totti of Italy/Roma.
The only flaw in the game is a tiny one - for some reason Konami cant get the licence for names (unlike the shoddy Fifa series) even though they say they have.
If you go to the Dutch National team - every player is called Oranges1, 2 etc ? -
Also teams in the master league are not the proper names - liverpool are called Eurosport & West Ham are the Lake District - all these little flaws can be changed by going to the editing mode - you can even create yourself - I have - and I play for England!
So to round it all up - this game is the best Football game of all time for any format - go buy it & live the dream - and take those boots of before you enter the house !