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PES 2010 PS2 Review


Form is temporary, class is permanent. Like a world class footballer who is gradually coming back from injury and trying to find his fitness and form, PES has found the next-gen road very rocky. But we all keep faith because there are constant reminders of what the game has and can achieve. This year that reminder comes in the shape of PES 2010 on PS2.

PES 2010 on PS3 and XBOX 360 it seems is regarded by the wider public inferior to EA’s latest offering, but there’s a reason why many still think the likes of PES5 & 6 are the best football games ever. From the individuality and flowing gameplay, to responsiveness and infinite ways of scoring, PES 5/6 encapsulated everything to do with the real life sport perfectly. Still to this day no game has come close to matching that level of authenticity. FIFA 10 does comes close in certain elements with its free flowing gameplay and 100% freedom in movement, but falls way short when talking about individuality and player look and feel. And with the competitor raising the bar consistently year after year, Konami have yet to react with great authority – or at the very least match past achievements.

While the next-gen platforms are proving to be a technical mountain to climb for Seabass and the WEP team, the PS2 platform is very much PES’s home. Since the move to XBOX 360 and then PS3 a year later, one eye has been taken off development of the PS2 versions – and it showed. When PES 2008 hit on PS2 it was ugly, and never had the TLC or focus PES 6 had. It was a shock to the system, but never was supposed to be significant thanks to the arrival of the PS3. Last year was a similar experience, although the game had more polish and a few additions from the next-gen versions.

So to this year, and what would again be seen as a low-key release has actually turned into something more significant. Talking about the game visually would probably be a bit of a joke to most, especially with so many having sold their PS2 years ago. As PS2 games go, however, it doesn’t look bad at all. Perhaps doesn’t have the sheen of PES6 or even my fave WE 10, but it comes a lot closer than the last 2 iterations. What hits you besides the PS2 graphics is how game feels and moves. Being a seasoned PS2 PES/WE player the gameplay loveliness isn’t as surprising, but to anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to play it for a few years it will be will be an eye opening experience.

If you’ve been playing the next-gen versions of the game (or even FIFA 10) its an instant reminder how good PES was back in the day, and how free flowing football was apparent on the PS2 days too. Not only that, it will make you realise how animations were integral to the way PES played. Its the one element the entire fanbase has been critical over, and it amplifies the need to sort it out on next-gen. They are varied and flow from one animation to the other seamlessly, without any response issues. This in-turn frees up the game, takes it off the rails and eradicates rigidness we all feel in the newer versions. This new found freedom allows for more instinctive and intuitive attacks, always making you feel you are in control.

Something that will surprise the ones who have stayed with the PS2 is how physical the game has become. Again testament to the animations, the interaction between players is to a higher degree I’ve ever seen in a PES game, with players never giving up when you try to take them on. It never gets as ridiculous as it is in FIFA 10, as we’re playing football not rugby, but getting eased off the ball down to physical superiority is common in the game. Messi is quick and very skillful for example, but going toe-to-to with John Terry for e.g. is something you should be wary of!

The final element in the PS2 version that shows the flaws in the next-gen version is goal keepers. They are awesome! From the animations to reliability, the behave and react just like you want them to. Mistakes are rare, after playing 3 days of the game I didn’t see the keeper spill the ball once when he should have caught it. Thats saying a lot as the shooting in PES is lethal, with players having the ability to launch missiles at the goal – similar to PES5.

Aside from gameplay, this year PES 2010 PS2 welcomes the Champions League, playable in ML and from the game menu. It shares the same razzmatazz as the PS3/XBOX 360 version, but without the same presentation benchmark. Edit mode and stadiums have taken a hit, with both seemingly meeting the next-gen versions half-way. Gone are the licensed boots, neck warmers and 3 sock lengths, while the stadiums are now at 27. Then theres the nets. Not something that bothers me, but the old square nets that graced the game a few years back have now being designed to match the ones that everyone hates. Not a good move then.

To round-up then, PES 2010 is quite simply an incredible football game. A few niggles aside (tricks on d-pad etc), Konami have proved they can hit the highs of old year-in year-out on PS2. Trouble is not many people care about the old black console, and achievements like this will no doubt go unnoticed. It very well dominating the PS2, PC, PSP and Wii formats, but ultimately it means very little when you struggle on PS3 and XBOX 360. I’m sure Seabass and the fans will be content, safe in the knowledge that its only a matter of time before the PS2 greatness is transferred over to the newer, sexier consoles.

PES 2010 PS2 is a must buy, get your copy now from ShopTo by clicking here.

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