After a crushing 4-1 defeat once more at the hands of Germany in the world cup, you’d think that football (soccer) was the last thing on my mind. However, I simply couldn’t ignore the release of the second high profile rendition of the beautiful game to hit the AppStore.
EA have released two games based on their hit FIFA license. Gameloft have done admirably too, but it’s been the two releases from X2 that have stolen the show thus far. So how will Konami fair with Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 for iPhone and ipod Touch?
There are a ton a play options and a bevy of cups to play for, 19 in all, including the European cup, Italian cup, Spanish Cup, UEFA champions league cup and Europa league cup. Konami have added their custom ‘Konami’ Cup, which lets you mix and match any of the cup teams into a dream cup. The Europa cup is the biggest league to play, with 48 teams to play through before cup glory. As well as cups and leagues you can play quick matches which randomly pics two teams to battle it out, or you can choose an exhibition match and choose any two teams from the full roster available. This includes club teams and international teams. So, for example, you could play Liverpool against Spain, creating an interesting doppleganger of Fernando Torres as a striker for both teams!
While the full roster of international teams are available, the same cannot be said for the cup teams. Only Liverpool FC and Wolves are available from the UK, due to licensing, with other teams and the Premier League given fake names instead. I assume EA got the license to use those teams officially on the platform.
If there is one thing that Konami’s offering brings to the table well, it’s great controls. There are three options in all. One is true flow, which uses accelerometer and one touch passing and shooting. The other two options use a virtual analogue stick as usual, with either one touch, or A and B buttons for ball control. To be honest, the accelerometer doesn’t really work well… however, the one touch ball control works great, especially for beginners. Instead of worrying about complex button taps, the game intelligently works out what shot you are trying to do, and for the most part it gets it right. Used as a training aid you can get good at the basics before moving onto the the standard A and B setup. I’m not sure why, but I found PES’s v-stick and buttons to be easier to use than the other games, and found my goal tally to be far higher, even on harder difficulties. Does this make PES easier than the others? Possibly, but it’s certainly more fun!
The graphics are another standout for PES. For me it looks the best out there. It might not have the effects as the others, but it looks the most realistic and authentic. The colour palette across any four of the weather effects all look natural, and the player animations are some of the best i’ve seen so far, perfectly blending from one sequence to the other. Up close the character models aren’t the highest in polygon count, nor bear any likeness to their player names, but from a distance you can almost be fooled into thinking you are watching a real game on the TV.
Unfortunately, while PES 2010 has great graphics, some of the best controls and the basic gameplay is great, it cant keep up with the competition on options. Both EA’s, Gameloft’s and X2′s offerings give you multiplayer, with the last two offering full online. Multiplayer is probably one of the main reasons for playing in the first place, and it’s an odd omission from Konami. Small details such as recording replays, and Gameloft’s Youtube uploads is also amiss. And finally sound. While the game does sound good with a mix of rock and classical in the menus, the on-pitch sound effects fall short. The Crowd sound good for the most part, but it’s the lack off commentary that is most apparent. You could argue that some of the other football offerings don’t do that great a job of the commentary, however, it is a traditional part of football, and to leave it out is, well… like removing one of Pele’s legs!
Overall then and it’s another great football game for iPhone and iPod Touch. If, like me, you prefer the simpler controls, then PES 2010 might be for you, but you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of the other offerings out there…. Especially the current champion, X2 Football (Soccer) 2010.
Pro Evolution Soccer (P.E.S. 2010) is out now for £5.99 ($9.99), get it on