|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||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: March 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Unlike other world tour modes, Champions Road does not contain any gimmicky mini-games. It instead focuses on real matches and basic to advanced PES tutorials. The further you advance, the more the game will school you on the finer points of the PES control scheme. PES is a very deep title, and it allows you to grow accustomed to the ins and outs of the new setup one step at a time.
As we have covered, the controls in this game are spot on. As for the graphics, those looking for something equal to the advancements in the gameplay may be a little disappointed. The visuals are a familiar sight to the avid Wii gamer; they scream last generation. Although they are dated, they are not all bad. The players' movements are extremely lifelike, and the game runs as smooth as can be. There are slight annoyances to be sure. For example, the camera is panned so far out that teams with similar uniforms are nearly impossible to tell apart. Despite that, the presentation is top notch. Players are given the hand of God when it comes to orchestrating replays; it even allows them to record and save highlight reel strikes. The atmosphere feels just right, evoking the look and feel of a jam-packed soccer stadium. Of course, it couldn't hurt to tighten things up just a bit.
The sound is also more than adequate. The announcing sticks with the flow of the game nicely and stadiums can come to life when intense matches begin to heat up. The echoes of a blown shot will reverberate through the arenas. The music selection during the menu screens is average at best, but it will not annoy players to the point of frustration. Besides, the really important effects pertain to the games on the field, and for the most part it nails those effects.
In summation, PES 2008 is the must own soccer title for any fan of the sport. With a deep stable of options, there is plenty to keep you coming back for more, and the new control scheme has to be experienced first hand. PES 2008 brings soccer games back to life with its fresh approach. Plus, with hidden gems like the ability to field a team of your Miis, it is impossible for me to not lend it my staunch support.
CCC Freelance Writer