Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
Author: Daniel Crichton-Rouse
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Pro Evolution Soccer is my favourite video game, so its release for mobile phones was met with equal ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s from myself, before I donned my Milan shirt, grabbed a six-pack of Carling, found my Oasis best-of and pressed ‘Download’ on my N73.
Considering it’s for a mobile, the graphics are clean and smooth and a bit like what PES would’ve been like on the Mega Drive. While you can’t tug on other player’s shirts, you can play in the snow and the gameplay is quite fluid – depending on how loose your joystick is.
The controls are a tad tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be shooting goals like Ronaldo. Having to use both thumbs within millimetres of each other is quite the feat (using the joystick to move and the numbers to kick/tackle), and there is great possibility you’ll a) gain repetitive thumb-strain injury, b) destroy the phone’s joystick – which would render you phone useless – or c) both.
That’s if you get into the game as much as I do. Appointments have been missed from standing outside the office completing a match, only to equalise in added time (Cop that you nerazzuri scum!), taking the game into extra time and eventually to the nets for penalties. When the final whistle blows and you readjust your eyes to the real world, it’s quite easy to have missed a half hour of reality – and your business meeting. Likewise you’ll find yourself screaming at your 1.5-inch screen on the bus, much to the bemusement of your fellow passengers. But hey, such is life.
Just like the platform versions, there are licensed leagues as well as the traditional PES unlicensed leagues, meaning you can play as AC Milan or Real Madrid, but if you want to play as an England team you’ll have to settle for Merseyside Reds or London FC (unless you want to be Spurs or Newcastle, but who wants that-).
The match options are great, although the master league is missing. That said you don’t really need your own team on your phone. Clubs are also smaller than on the platform version, meaning you will usually only have one defender or striker to choose from if your starting player’s feeling a bit under the weather.
However, this is a gem of a game, totally fun to play, addictive and well worth your lunch money, if you take it for what it is: an abridged version of the popular console series.