Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PS2 | PSP
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Konami 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Konami 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 11, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Online play allows gamers who prefer the PES take on soccer over EA's FIFA titles to play likeminded gamers online. Those who were disappointed in last year's online offering from PES may not be thrilled with this year's, as it continues to offer somewhat limited capabilities for a 2009 offering. Online, gamers will only be able to partake in on-on-one exhibition matches in five or ten-minute lengths. Whereas full-team online sports games have been made extremely popular in 2008, PES 09 doesn't offer anything of the sort, nor does it offer any other mini-games or match types. Next-gen consoles offer four-player online play for PES 09, though such variety is disappointingly left out for the PS2 and PSP. It's unfortunate that the online features of PES 09 are simply not up-to-date with what is to be expected this year.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 screenshot

Even with the abundance of new features and capabilities, overall, 09 feels very similar to past PES titles. Commentary by John Champion and Mark Lawrenson still remains as dull as ever with vague descriptions of what is actually happening onscreen that can and are used in any number of situations. Player movements and stadium sound effects feel as though they haven't been changed in years. Animations of refs carding a player and celebrations after a scored goal are reused from past years. The same sequences of replays are shown after a half or at the end of a game, from the exact same camera angles. Any fan of the series will be overcome with an uneasy feeling of familiarity, as 09 feels far too unchanged from recent installments.

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While Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 doesn't stray from the beaten path solidified by the series, earning its reputation of a great soccer simulation, those who own recent installments are not given enough reason to purchase this year's offering. The inclusion of a few new features looks impressive when listed on the back cover, though they are anything but when actually put to use. It's unfortunate for a series of games that I have always enjoyed playing.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.4
Graphics
Improved player models are a plus, though the game is visually extremely similar to recent titles.
3.2
Control
Anyone familiar with the series will feel right at home with control setups that expand on previous titles with the inclusion of the Become a Legend game mode.
2.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Dull, repetitive, and often inaccurate commentary is matched by reused sound and stadium effects from previous titles.
2.9
Play Value
Though the inclusion of new features is something the series has drastically needed, online features lack depth and Become a Legend is spoiled by frustrating A.I. teammates.
3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Exclusive UEFA Champions League Mode utilizing all the elements and attributes of the competition.
  • With smarter A.I. system your team mates will be constantly seeking out open space, taking intelligent lines toward the goal and on defense and also actively calling for the ball.
  • New teams, players and stadiums.
  • Updated rosters from your favorite club and national teams.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge

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