Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 review
PES2009 - Definitely an Improvement, but is it Good Enough?

The good:

UEFA Champions League mode is my favourite feature in PES2009. Although it only lasst up to 10 games - if you progress to the final - I think the realism of the competition is so impressive, that it is enough to make it the most rewarding game mode. In the past, most gamers feel that PES have lacked realism in a visual sense but now that they have acquired the Champions League license. Official advertising boards, anthems, footballs, sleeve crests and trophies are what makes this mode so realistic. The reason for this is that the whole Champions League story. Starting with you progressing through the group stage, reaching the final and eventually winning the competition. Simply breathtaking!

The Edit mode has also impressed me this year, compared to last. It has improved immensely and now again, you can create kits near enough to perfection using the user-friendly editing system. The ability to import scans is also a fantastic addition - For my XBOX360, I used my Live Vision camera to import images that really helped me create my desired kits and player faces. The quality could be improved, but it's much better than 'building'. It's a good start for the next PES installment.

Master League mode is good, yet again. Although not much has changed over the years with this mode, but that doesn't mean that this game mode isn't absolutely brilliant. Throughout your career you must beat your opponents using good tactics, while also using the Negotiations Periods to your advantage. It's a real challenge and any gamer who loves football would adore to accept this challenge.

The bad:

Some would argue that this game is still a 'let down'. However I am not entirely surprised as this has been said, ever since PES has started making their games on next generation consoles. Graphically, I would agree with this. The appearances of some players are just terrible, suggesting that Konami were rushing this part when creating the game. Unbelievably, some players have the wrong skin tone as some players who are Caucasian in real life, are black in PES2009. That shouldn't really happen to be honest. However most of the more well-known players look fantastic!

Also the commentary is far from impressive. I can deal with Jon Champion, but listening to Mark Lawrenson is just painful. So painful that I get tempted to play the game on mute. Maybe I am being too harsh on the commentary in a generalised sense, but what Lawrenson says - and how he delivers it - is just awful.

There is also a glitch in Master League, which allows you to loan ANY player you want. This makes the game unrealistic and gets rid of the challenge of Master League. If you are managing a lower league team, you can sign any, and as many players as you want. Yet it would still cost you next to nothing to do so. This should be fixed.


Konami will have been busy this summer, because there are many improvements that Konami need to do in order to do so. I've enjoyed PES this year, but I feel that in saying this that I am the minority rather than the majority. Konami have lost a lot of hardcore PES fans since moving to 'next-gen' and they need to get these fans, and more, back so their next installment (PES2010) must be even better than this years game. PES2009 - A great game, a great improvement. But there's still work to do.

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EricF Sep 17, 09
Good review Mikey. It's good to see a PES 2009 review, even if the game isn't as good as expected. Hopefully an improvement is made this year!
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