Given my unfavourable review of FIFA 11 last week, it would seem unfair not to provide iPhone-owning footie enthusiasts with an alternative. And what better alternative to look to than FIFA’s long-standing rival series, Pro Evolution Soccer?
That Pro Evo lacks the licensing of FIFA should be of little importance to most, although the UEFA license means you can play in the Champions League and Europa League. The graphics are of low enough quality that you’re not going to spend much time zooming in on players in replays and complaining that the game lacks authenticity. Of course, competing for the ‘England Cup’ isn’t as prestigious as the FA Cup, and the International Cup is no World Cup, but so long as the game does the job on the pitch, such superficial shortcomings shouldn’t matter.
The gameplay in Pro Evo is decent, and most importantly it runs at a good pace. A little shocking at first is the fact that the controls consist only of a d-pad and an A and B button. There is some variety with what you can do with these 2 buttons – double-tap B for a through ball, hold it down for a long ball etc. – but it does feel very basic. Also, computer-controlled players are prone to AI blackouts as sometimes they run off in a random direction or stop moving altogether. For all these niggles though, Pro Evo is fast-paced and playable.
The developers’ decision not to include commentary in the game was probably a wise one. In FIFA, the commentary deflates rather than improves the atmosphere, and Pro Evo has a bad track record in that area anyway. For that matter, they should’ve opted for silent menus as well, as the soundtrack is random, obsolete and generally awful.
Pro Evo is a solid football game that doesn’t suffer from the crippling slowness of FIFA, and that alone makes it come out on top. My main problem with the game is that it neglects the innovative potential of the iPhone touch-screen. Aside from the brilliant penalty-kick system, in which you sweep the ball or goalie in the direction you want them to go, Pro Evo feels like it could have been made 10 years ago. Still, if you’re interested in for a retro/slightly dated feeling footie game, then this might be worth looking into.
By Konami, £4.99, Updated 26 July 2010