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4.2 out of 5 stars
Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (Xbox)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2005
My son has a gamecube and we've been playing various incarnations of FIFA since 2002 but my frustration with the game had risen to such a point that I refused to buy the 2005 version and instead I bought myself an Xbox purely so that I could try out pro evo 4 instead.
It's the best decision I could have made. For the first time in years I'm truly enjoying playing a console football game.
So what's so good?
Basically, the players do what you tell them to do - at the time that you tell them.
Pro Evo 4 acknowledges that you can't have super smooth animation AND responsive gameplay. It boils down to the fact that you don't just play the game by pressing buttons, there's also the thinking you do beforehand. In a real game, a player is adjusting their feet while they're thinking of what to do but there's no way that a computer game can predict the button that you're going to press at any future instant in time.
When you hit the button to make a pass, Pro Evo 4 simply cuts immediately to the required animation, regardless of whether this looks quirky on an action replay. The bottom line is that the pass is made at the time you wanted it made.
Pro Evo 4 is a football simulation game. FIFA is more like a football animation game.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2005
Football games are ten-a-penny these days and for the uninitiated, it can be a very daunting choice. Allow me to simplify that choice - buy Pro Evolution Soccer 4.
I've had the opportunity to play almost every football game Konami have released on home consoles (barring a couple of the more obscure WE titles) going back as far as ISS & ISS Deluxe on the SNES. I can honestly say that this is the closest thing to footballing perfection you are likely to see on a console.
From the overhaul in the already exquisite controls, to the fine graphics (pay no mind to those who berate PES for lacking the graphical sheen of FIFA 2005 - both the in-game graphics and the incredible cut scenes evoke the passion and emotion of football more than any other title), to the improved training modes... and then there is the Master League and XBox Live... PES 4 is a joy to play from start to finish.
What other game forces you to think before you play your next ball? Pass? Shoot? Hold the ball up on the inside-right while the full-back makes his over-lapping run down the wing? And just like in real life, you only have a split second to make your decision. You will curse (loudly) when you get it wrong, but get it right and you can experience glorious moments like pulling off the Zidane turn past the covering centre-back and slotting the ball in the far corner... Or playing your attacking midfielder into space with a first time backheel... Or sliding in and clearing the ball off the line after your 'keeper has been chipped from 12 yards...
And best of all, you can save these moments on your memory card/HD for posterity. Every match is different, with a 1-0 victory away at your rivals sometimes meaning more to you than handing out a 4-1 battering at home.
The controls, while at first seeming quite daunting to get to grips with, soon become second nature. You will quickly identify which players are best at certain techniques and tricks (the "perpendicular shot" described in an earlier review is actually called the Rabona and is limited to certain players in the game).
Even though it lacks the full FIFA license (though licensing from FIFPro and certain leagues means that you get the bulk of "real" player names and certain club sides), you can always edit the kits, teams, stadiums, league and player names... in fact, pretty much everything! You can also unlock additional teams, players and stadia if you put in the time and effort (maybe the Maracana is in there after all...). There are plenty of websites and forums that can help you out (try Neoseeker, for example).
My only gripe is that Konami insist on using the woeful Peter Brackley and Trevor ("I'd sit on the fence, but it might not be neutral enough") Brooking to provide a shockingly bad in-game commentary. Next time Konami, go for Tyler and Gray, because after four titles, Brackley and Brooking have proved that they aren't fit for commentating on Fanzone.
But that is possibly the only downside to this wonderful title, and you can always switch the commentary off at the options screen.
I will conclude this review with an analogy. If I were to compare PES 4 to a football team... it would be Brazil 1970 - Technically gifted in all areas, and capable of producing some of the most sublime football moments you will ever experience. FIFA 2005? I'd say that they were the present day Real Madrid - possessing some great individual talent and capable of producing some great moments, but ultimately a testament to the fact that money and big names do not a great football team make.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2004
I'm a footy fan who happens to live in the united states. For the past few years, I've been a huge FIFA fan. I absolutely loved FIFA 2004; my friends and I spent many nights staying up until 3 in the morning playing that game. When FIFA 2005 came out, I rushed to the store to buy it, and I was pleased with the game and the new features EA added. However, after hearing so many fans rave about Winning Eleven 7 (as Pro Evo is called in the states) and its incredible gameplay, I decided to purchase WE 7 for the PC (I own an XBOX not a PS2 so buying it on the PC was my only option)and see if WE 7 could live up to all the hype.
Now that I've played WE 7, all I can say is that the WE/PRO EVO series puts FIFA to shame, and I no longer plan on purchasing any future FIFA titles. FIFA 2005 was fun at first and I liked the first-touch control system, but after playing WE 7, FIFA is just too slow and completely unrealistic. The gameplay is nowhere as smooth and fluid as the gameplay in WE. I only wished I lived in Europe so that I could purchase a copy of Pro Evo 4 for the XBOX. An even though I haven't played PRO EVO 4 yet, based on WE 7, I feel confident that any newer versions will be worth a five star rating.
Until PRO EVO 4/WE 8 comes out next year, I'll continue playing WE 7 while my copy of FIFA 2005 collects dust.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2004
After being hooked on Iss delux on the snes as a youth, this is the most playable footy game in my opinion to date.
I've played all the fifa titles from 98 road to world cup including the latest fifa 2005, and here's my comparison.
I think Fifa 2005 wins on the graphics ( stunning, like watching footy on tv ).
It also has the licence ( All the worlds teams, Kits, Players etc )
It also has better sound ( Commantry, crowd chants, are spot on ) I love the fact that if one of your players gets booked, he gets boooo'ed when he touches the ball.
All that said. For me it comes down to game play, and i'm afraid Fifa 2005 looses badly ( why have they kept that stupid corner / free kick system ( once you crack it you can score every time ) its just not realistic.
Pro evo 4 feels like your in controll of the game ( If I loose 3.0, I know i've been Fairly outplayed ) but in Fifa 2005, If you take the lead after 80 mins, you just know the opposition will score twice in the final 5 mins, with you thinking "WHAT'S GOING ON!" and the joy pad embedded in the tv.
If by chance Konami got together with Ea for the next footy game, I don't think I would ever go out again.
BUY PRO EVO 4! NOW!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2005
Already hit the "Classics" on the shelves, this game is a definate buy for players offline or on. So much to learn, so much to do. The player structures have been lifted from the previous games to give the game a new edge over it's competitors. You control the player, and the ball, as opposed to pre-determined moves in other games.
The Master League stands on the original basis of you manage and play your team from the lowest league, and slowly build them up and increase your status and experience as you move along. Buying in players must be dealt with carefully, as wages and transfer money can be spent easily, and as soon as you go in the red when the season ends....Game Over.
Xbox Live - As a big fan of Xbox Live, this game has to be one of the best along side Ghost Recon 2. I just keep coming back for more (after 5 months of having this game), I'm still playing online. Great people to meet, although a few prefer to play silently. It opens up a new area of football and is very addictive and enjoyable to play on Live. Only for two players, but you find yourself setting up players, strategies and formations just so you can get that extra chance at goal.
Overall, one of the best football games ever. If you don't like football, you'll still like this game....even my girlfriend plays and she hates the game in real life ;-)
5/5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2005
Like most people who have reviewed this game, being an x-box owner i have relied on Fifa for footie fun over the past few years. As usual, I bought the latest Fifa installment and really enjoyed it. However, now we have PES 4, so take Fifa off the shelves. Graphics, licences etc aside, PES is so much better. You are able to do things that would never happen in Fifa, but happen in footie matches week in week out. A major example is in corners and set pieces. in a free kick, instead of being able to strike the ball into the top left corner every time a la fifa, its all about doing the right thing at the right time with a much more satisfying feel to a goal. i live in a student house. if i scored a free kick in fifa, my opponent would probably mumble something under his breath. score in pro evo though and even they find it hard not to get up and cheer! Buy it and if you have fifa, trade it in at the same time!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2004
To put it simply, this game just feels right.
You know those times on Match of the Day, when you see a player stumbling through an opposition's defence, not really in control of the ball, yet somehow he seems to stick it in the back of the net? Well I've played the various incarnations of Fifa for several years, but you always get the feeling the ball is glued to your player's feet, and such goals are impossible, but in Pro Evo, it happens, and it felt great to watch Rooney rampaging through the box before scoring!
It's a small example I know, but it's only meant to highlight that Pro Evo is much more realistic, yet still really fun to play. My PS2 friends have always preferred this game over Fifa, and now I can see why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2005
Fantastic, i think that just about sums up this game. By far the most playable footy game i have ever played, it truly does beat fifa 2005 hands down on playability but fifa may have the edge on looks. all i can say is forget looks, pro evolution more than makes up for it with its gameplay. Its a true footy game for a true footy fan. BUY IT!
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2004
...If I could give it 10 out of 5, I still would...
Pro Evo has been a fantastic series, and Pro Evo 4 has gotten us even closer to perfection than we could ever possibly imagine. Now, for any of you non-believers out there (i.e. those still in favour of FIFA Football...), answer me this... who's going to make a better football game,
1. The Japanese, who are obssessed with football or
2. The Americans, who play football with their hands...?
Die hard FIFA fans will argue that FIFA has the licensed teams, the licensed kits, the better graphics... but Pro Evo has the better gameplay, by far. All you need is a little patience, and you can edit the kits, the player names, the badges and now, even the sponsors... Certain gamers, mainly no-skills gamers or non football gamers, will find this game a little difficult to grasp, but with time and practice you'll never want to let the gamepad go...
For those who have played Pro Evo before, you'll be able to jump straight into the game as all of the basics are there. The controls seem more responsive than ever (if that is indeed possible), the animations for the players are incredible, and at times it really does seem like you are watching a game of football.
The play is smooth, especially when you're up against the likes of Brazil who will be running circles around you...
Don't even bother buying any other football game (unless it's Pro Evo 5), the king has arrived on X-Box... or at least, will arrive...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2004
Most People giving reviews on the game seem to be Ps2 owners and haven't played the Xbox game. Most people are speaking in anticipation mode. I will tell you what its like. Ive played both versions.Basically they are almost identical and thats the problem. The Xbox is a superior machine and u would have thought they would of made it better optimised for the Xbox. Eg loading times and more noticeable the fuzzy pitch which is only on the xbox version. Strangly no reviews i have read mention this when this is clearly noticeable when playing the game. It seems when Konami ported it over they didn't polish these differences out. Apart from this and you begin to ignore the fuzz, the gameplay is outstanding and if you want the ps2 game then this is it....well almost.
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