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PES 2011 Wii review

Stretching the definition of evolution

Konami has pumped out new PES games every year for ages. The Pro Evo moniker was justified to begin with, but describing the 2011 edition as 'evolution' is stretching things a bit. It feels a lot like PES 2011 is little more than the 2010 version with updated squads and a few tweaks to the visuals and gameplay.

Viewed in isolation, this Wii version of PES 2011 is an excellent football game. Build-up play is neat and tidy, there's a feeling of real satisfaction when a carefully-placed ball finds its target, and you get a strong sense of the kind of player you're controlling - there's a world of difference between Torres and Heskey.

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As ever, PES' major strength is the Master League mode, which offers a real long-term challenge for solo players. Pit a couple of experts against each other and it's a great multiplayer experience too. PES has always favoured passing your way through opponents over outpacing and overpowering your foe, so canny use of the through ball and a cool head is required to keep knocking the ball around until an opening appears.

Spot The Difference

Everything from PES 2010 returns - competent online modes, cups, leagues and the ability to edit your squads. The most obvious change is the new Copa Santander Libertadores mode which is essentially the South American equivalent of the Champions League. Fully licensed teams combined with the added flair and pace of the South American game make for a refreshing change in pace and style.

2011 is a more physical game than its older brother. Outpacing defenders feels trickier - in a straight race onto a through ball, a strong centre-back will successfully wrestle a lithe striker off the ball much more often than they did before.

Shooting is very difficult to judge at first, and midfield tussles are more frenetic. If your opposite number chooses to pressure you high up the field, it's noticeably tougher to knock it around midfield and build up play. These are all subtle tweaks, but they'll be noticeable to any PES 2010 veteran. For them, this will feel like an update of the old PS2 games.

So, as with any PES, it takes a little patience to get used to the game's quirks. Yes, the goalkeepers make the odd blunder and, yes, you'll sometimes be given free reign to stroll through your rival's back line at your leisure, due to some dodgy AI.

So it suffers from glaring AI problems and boasts some astonishingly bad presentation, but the compulsive multiplayer and quasi-retro appeal have won us over.

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This is an edited version of a review that appears in the December issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is on sale now. For more in depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, buy the magazine here.

Comments

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  1. Smash-bros fan Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 16:42

    Thought it would be a bit higher than that, but ok

  2. SuperLuigiBros Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 17:01

    At last! FIFA beats PES in reviews. I've always preferred the former, not sure why, just have (well bar the 2010 offer)

  3. South London Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 17:08

    fifa may have a better score than pes but pes is still better than fifa

  4. lminett Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 17:10

    Well now im stuffed then, i dont want to buy the new fifa just for 5 a side, but pes 2011 is pretty much the same as 2010! ill just wait till next years offerings

  5. lminett Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 17:10

    Well now im stuffed then, i dont want to buy the new fifa just for 5 a side, but pes 2011 is pretty much the same as 2010! ill just wait till next years offerings

  6. Tailsdreggman Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 18:29

    fifa may have a better score than pes but pes is still better than fifa


    I don't want to get into an arguement here, but you haven't presented any evidence supporting your accusation, whereas OMN have :wink: . Without any, you sound like an angry fanboy. Just warning you here...

  7. imbusydoctorwho Monday 1st Nov 2010 at 22:12

    mere rather get goldeneye

  8. Waldy565 Tuesday 2nd Nov 2010 at 22:19

    THIS got more than pokemon rnager 3?!?! how?!? just read the review in the mag, sounds complete rubbish compared to the DS game i just mentioned. but i dont no, thats just me. but honestly, deserves 70% at best while ranger 3 deserves 80%, at least

  9. monkeymagic Wednesday 3rd Nov 2010 at 09:21

    I know this is an abridged version of the full review, so apologies if my questions are answered in the full version.

    Did the reviewer even actually play how it is supposed to be played, with the wii remote and nunchuck? The thing that sets the Wii version apart from the others (and makes it the best football game on any system) is it's ingenious controls. The review sounded so generic and could have applied to absolutely any format.

    Has the control system been tweaked in any respect? Is defending with the remote any easier? Has the shooting improved further? Set pieces? These are the questions that should be answered for the WII version. Most people don't buy it to play old school pro evo with the classic controller.

  10. andrea987 Sunday 7th Nov 2010 at 16:42

    fifa may have a better score than pes but pes is still better than fifa


    I don't want to get into an arguement here, but you haven't presented any evidence supporting your accusation, whereas OMN have :wink: . Without any, you sound like an angry fanboy. Just warning you here...

    I agree with South London on PES. 'Evidence' is hard to give, preferences are subjective but certainly PES is a much deeper experience (and nicer to look at) than Fifa 11! They failed to mention the improved AI, much more challenging this year and the improved online (no more lag, and no more one player favoured by a better connection, also the option to play between all styles : classic, playmaker,etc). Master League might be the same, but it was great to start with, and thanks to the improved AI is even better/longer. And of course if you choose the 'playmaker style' control option then you got another game altogether, where you become the mastermnd of your team. Fifa gameplay is so frantic (you run from one end of the pitch to the other in few seconds!) that most of the times you win or lose for pure luck, especially online where matches last for only 4 mins, no subs to call in, no injuries, there's hardly any time for scoring, never mind recovering from an early goal of the opponent. Manager mode in Fifa is ludicrous, no resemblance to reality whatsoever and the so acclaimed Street mode, due to the smaller pitch is even more frantic. The only fun can be found in the Street to Stadium mode, but that only last for 5 seasons.
    Hope this helped.

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