PS2 REVIEW: WORLD SOCCER WINNING ELEVEN 9

With more sensitive controls and improved AI, on both sides, the game is more realistic than ever. Teammates inspire confidence, especially for passing since they make intelligent choices and continue to run with you toward the opposing team's net. In a lot of instances you'll be forced to play a passing game since your opponents will close in on the ball when it's in your possession. Even with the tighter control system you won't be able to cover a lot of ground with only one player. You'll have to pass the ball around to shake off the opposing team.

Intercepting the ball when in the possession of the other team is not as easy as it once was where you could just press the pressure button and walk away with the ball. Tackles are fundamentally the best way to wrest the ball from the other team. Probably the most useful move is the sliding tackle. It works better than the regular tackle, especially if you have another of your players poised to grab the ball while one performs the slide tackle. This brings me to the multi-player modes.

Only through a local network can you actually experience teamwork, since up to eight players can take part in a game. There are so many different plays that you can experiment with, that you could play this game with the same four players until the 2007 version comes out. Online you can only play against one other player which is a shame considering that being able to take a team online would inspire teams to bond and ultimately practice and refine their skills. Playing online is still loads of fun but just think of the tournaments that could be made available for teams.

Online you will begin in the amateur division and work your way up from there to the other classifications such as Division 1, 2, 3A and 3B. Always play against evenly ranked opponents because you'll be gauged once a week on your performances. Regardless of how high your ranking is, if you start losing games you can be demoted to a lesser ranking. You can find various player with clearly visible stats in the lobby. Communication is done via the headset or you can just opt to use the menu. Headset communication is restricted to time outs and instant replays so players can't talk smack during actual gameplay.

Without a doubt this is one of the best looking soccer games on the market. The players move fluidly and realistically. Regardless of the camera angles, which are never jarring, you always maintain a proper perspective of the field. The fans in the stands always display the appropriate reaction to home and visiting teams. There's no shortage of excitement in the air as the crowd roars, the music soars and the announcer brings the plays to life. All you need to bring things to life, is an Xbox and forty bucks. Then go and have yourself a ball.

Features:

  • The #1 Rated Soccer game
  • The most anticipated soccer franchise in the world comes out with the best game ever Winning Eleven 9 features new animations, new clubs and leagues a refined Master League.
  • The highest rated and most authentic soccer video game franchise in the world.
  • Create your own team and compete with divisional raking system
  • Recruit from thousands of the worlds top pro players
  • Negotiate with players as they develop, grow old and retire in the multi season Master League Mode.

By StewXX
CCC Staff Writer

Rating out of 5
World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 (PS2)
4.5
Graphics
Fluid and very realistic. Even the online mode is free from slowdown.
4.5
Control
Sometimes the online controls aren't very responsive as they have a short delay but overall the controls are refined and easier than ever to use.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Excellent crowd noises, sound effects, announcements and music. You don't even have to close your eyes to imagine you're really there.
4.5
Play Value
If this game included online team play the replay value would be off the map. As it is, you're going to have a lot of soccer shoved down your throat over the winter and spring.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
2

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best