Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PSP
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 box art
System: X360, PS3, PS2, Wii, 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 11, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4; 2(Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Disappointingly, the realism goes a bit too far. Konami has actually included the worst aspect of soccer. This year the "dive" has been incorporated into the game. For those of you unfamiliar with this terrible bit of unsportsmanlike conduct, you can actually fake being fouled by diving on the ground in order to win free kicks in dangerous positions. Fortunately, the referees seem to be a bit better than they are in real life at spotting the tactic, but nevertheless you will find your best players being sent off and penalties being given too often for my liking. The dive feature could have been skipped and the game would have been far better for it.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot

The core game modes include League, Master League, Cup, and Xbox Live. As the name implies, League mode allows you to play through the entirety of a league schedule. I would suggest selecting one of the licensed leagues such as La Liga, the Ere Divisie or Serie A in this mode of play. The Master League has seen no significant changes, but it is still a complex career mode that allows you to cultivate and acquire new talent in order to make the best team in Europe. In Master League it doesn't really matter which team or league you choose as it is all fictional anyway. I enjoyed this mode the most, but again I can't say it's any better than last year's. The various cup offerings are requisite, but only the European Cup actually resembles European Cup competitions such as the Champions League or UEFA. Online play via Xbox Live only lets you play head to head matches in Ranked or Player match competitions. There is no league play or tournaments of any kind. Furthermore, pesky lag leads to occasional choppy play. Konami needs to put out a much more dynamic online multiplayer mode in the future.

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So where does PES 2008 rank on the soccer totem pole? It's only marginally better than Winning Eleven 6, 7, and 8 and not quite as good as FIFA because the presentation is so bad. So what does this mean? It means it's a good game that plays like a dream, but does nothing to move the series forward. As such, I implore everyone not to purchase this title. We simply can't reward Konami for such a lackluster effort. If you must buy the title, do it for PC so at least you can mod the thing easily and adjust the lineups and faces. There is a lineup edit function for the consoles (it even allows you to scan in your own face via webcam), but who wants to do all that work? Call me lazy, but I'll only do that if I can update the product through a community forum.

This game is saved only by the quality of the title's gameplay. But gameplay is no better this year than it was last year and everything else is quite poorly done. I expected a lot more from the folks at Konami. Somehow Konami and EA have to join forces and create the one football ring to rule them all. EA's FIFA has got the licensing and presentation down, but the gameplay can't compare to the smoothness of Pro Evolution Soccer. Likewise, PES is so unattractive and unkempt that it is difficult to enjoy the experience. As far as I'm concerned it's advantage EA.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.8
Graphics
Konami really needs to work on the visual presentation of this franchise. We've suffered through it long enough!
4.6
Control
The controls are tight and allow you perform shots and through balls with pinpoint accuracy.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and voiceover work is bad, but the ambient sounds and crowd noise are quite well captured.
4.3
Play Value
Gameplay is still excellent and is improved with even better A.I., but the inclusion of the dive feature was a big mistake.
3.3
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Genuine Soccer game experience by utilizing next-gen hardware!
  • The brand new Teamvision artificial intelligence system has the CPU actually learn your tactics!
  • Improved gameplay experience on Master League that reflects Popularity of your player and your team.
  • Customize your team and players by using USB Camera. You can be a player in the videogame!
  • Up to 1080p (Full HDTV, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge

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