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Review - Pro Evolution Soccer 2014

PCN Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
Posted on September 18, 2013 by Shak

Although the frame-rate is solid during the gameplay, it becomes very choppy when a goal is scored and is followed up by a replay. The frame-rate halves and the game stutters very noticeably, this should have been fixed, and it does take you out of the overall experience. Whilst this may sound like a small issue, you'll be seeing it every time a replay takes place, so it can be a little annoying. The commentary is just as good as you'd expect, and it is always better than the competition. Commentators are constantly referring to every pass and shot with great accuracy and will pepper in some pertinent comments regarding certain players when they play well or poorly for that matter. The music, however, is dreadful and was the first thing I muted when I got the chance. For some reason Konami have decided that we all like opera, and have it playing on the title screen. The crowd chanting was the next thing I muted after playing it for a long period of time.

Probably the biggest improvement and the most new additions are in the gameplay category. New feint and deft touch controls on the right analog stick will definitely separate a good player from a great player. There are 6 levels of difficulty ranging from "beginner" where you can practically walk the ball into the goals, or "Super-Star" where your heart will be pounding with every pass and intervention and literally be on the edge of your seat or be in complete frustration when the AI trounces you. The accessibility is perfect for anyone, and will allow any player new or old play through the games single player "Become a Legend" mode or the regular competition matches. Furthermore, improvements in free kicks, penalties and Corners have been introduced, with much more accurate guides that show you where you are aiming, and with penalties in particular you now have a useful aiming reticule.

A massive addition to the roster is the new Manager mode, which allows for a fairly in depth management SIM. But don't expect anything as deep as the Championship Manager series here. It is quite basic in comparison. Select a team and approach players for transfers and negotiate wages and season contracts. There aren't any training regimes for players, but some coaching tools and you can even play the matches yourself and receive money for ticket sales and sponsorships to further your team to success. It is something the fans have been demanding for quite some time now, and it is good to see Konami finally answering their call with a nice new feature that can only get better in upcoming releases in years to come.

PES has always been about nuance, and this year's edition is arguably full of new minor animations and tweaks that add up to a great game of football, and make sure you play the training mode and read the game tips during load screens to pick up on the latest additions. Fans of this series will undoubtedly love this game, and I am sure they will be quick to spot the minor faults too. This is a must buy for any football fan.

Looks good, but not the best. Still struggling to keep up with FIFA.
Very good commentary, music is awful.
Good gameplay, small changes have made a big difference in controlling the ball.
Replay Value
Decent campaign length, management mode extends gameplay.
A good football game, but still lagging behind in some respects.
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2014

PCN Rating: