Genre: Sports | Developer: Konami Tokyo | Publisher: Konami
Platform: Nintendo 3DS | Players: TBC | Rating: TBC | Release: TBC
Ahh, football. The beautiful game. Is there any simpler sport? All you need is a ball, and jumpers for goalposts. Unless you’re a top European club, in which case it can get very complicated. You could, say, spend a record £50 million on a new player only to watch him lose to his old team on his debut. And the old team didn’t even need to field their new £22.7m replacement. Ahem.
Thankfully, you don’t need £50 million to enjoy a spot of footie on the go, as Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D will be available on the Nintendo 3DS.
And thanks to the power of the 3DS, the beautiful game just got a whole lot more beautiful. Every pass, tackle, foul, through-ball and goal are all stunningly rendered in full 3D for your delectation. I seriously cannot overstate how awesome it is to watch the match unfold in full 3D. It’s almost enough to make me want to brave the skinheads and head down to the nearest pub with a 3D TV and watch some footie there. Except PES 2011 3D is much better.
For a start, Konami have moved the camera. Instead of seeing the action from the commentary box, you’ll be right amongst all the big names in the thick of it. Yup, the camera now follows the currently selected player from behind, lending the game more of an immediate, arcadey feel. It does take a little getting used to, but you’ll soon be whipping the ball around with confidence. The new viewpoint also offers some more subtle tactical advantages as well. You’ll ‘feel’ the ball and the state of play around you more keenly than the traditional angle, and as such I found myself much more willing to try and run at the defence, slipping through the gaps in their ranks to cause havoc in the box. By my fourth game, I had gone from slumping to a 0-4 defeat, to a 1-1 draw. My first goal, by the way, was a cracker of a volley from the edge of the box that fizzed past the keeper into the top corner. Did I mention how stunning that looks in 3D?
But underneath the immersive new viewpoint, this is a thoroughbred PES title. The series may have wilted slightly in the face of EA’s recent entries in the all-conquering FIFA franchise, but if Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D is any indication of the quality of the next proper home console Pro Evo, then Konami could well reclaim their crown from EA. The gameplay in PES 2011 3D feels faster and more fluid than the home console versions, while I also found less of my passes going AWOL. Konami claim to have improved the general control and accuracy of the game, and going on the evidence I’d find it hard to disagree.
As ever, the weakness in Pro Evo 2011 on 3DS is the same as in any other PES title; its lack of licenses. EA have excusive use of the Premier League teams, as well as various other teams and leagues, which means such clubs are renamed in Pro Evo. Manchester United become Manchester Reds, for instance, while Liverpool are known as Merseyside.
But if gameplay is more important to you than the names of the teams, then Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D will be right up your street. It’s more immediate, fun and compulsive than any other PES game yet. Perfect for those quick blasts on the morning commute.