|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: March 17, 2009||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|
That was probably the longest control section I've ever written, but really, that's what PES 2009 for Wii is all about. Thankfully, all the game modes the PES faithful have become accustomed to are here. The Master League (career mode) is as tight as ever. You can play tournaments, one-off matches, standard leagues, cup competitions, there's the training pitch, an enhanced Champions Road mode that even allows you to develop a team of Miis, and the oft-touted Champions League license, all of which is available for players to run through.
The team editor is also remarkably complex. Since Konami doesn't have nearly as expansive licensing rights as EA does, players are forced to create teams, players, kits, emblems, logos, etc. PES 2009 for Wii lets you do all that, but I find fiddling around with it to be tedious and tiresome. Still, I suppose it's an important option for diehard fans. Nevertheless, the lack of licensing is something with which Konami still struggles. As such, picking up PC versions of PES and downloading the community patches is, for me, always the way to go.
Players can also try their hand at four-player, local co-op. However, due to the new controls, I actually find single-player action to be far more compelling. Like last year, a deep online component is available through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. While there, you can set up friend lists, make friend requests, manage black lists, filter by network connection quality, and stay current with the most recent updates to licensed team rosters. Being able to play matches against competitors around the world is certainly enjoyable, giving the title a lot of longevity. The only problem players may encounter is freezing due to sporadic yet persistent lag issues.
On the presentation front, PES 2009 looks pretty tight for a Wii title. The stadiums, while plagued by aliasing issues, are still nice to look at. The licensed players look good, though not nearly as realistic as they do on the Xbox 360 or PS3. In terms of audio, the commentary is very professional though by no means stands out. Nevertheless, I found the action to be well captured by the English-speaking duo. On a side note, players that speak other languages, such as Spanish, French, or Portuguese will find that PES 2009 can be tailored to their native tongue - a nice touch considering the demographic.
All in all, PES 2009 is one of the best sports titles to release this calendar year. In fact, I would say it definitely rivals FIFA 2009 and even NHL 2009. What a surprise! Now I can't wait for the 2010 version to come out to see how this title matures on the system.
CCC Editor / News Director