Soccer games on the iPhone and iPod touch have all but been lackluster and mediocre; X2 Soccer 2010 has its lag and animation problems, Real Soccer 2010 has its AI problems, and FIFA 10 has its control and other issues. But let’s put in yet another soccer game into the confuzzled mix, in this case Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, and you get a solid soccer game that could have been better.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 includes all of the basic things you would expect from a soccer game: exhibition, league, and cup play, along with the inclusion of a UEFA League mode with licensed, European league teams. Of course, that’s not enough to really balance out the fact that Pro Evolution Soccer doesn’t include much more than a standard soccer game.
Along with that, it’s failure to include multiplayer seems like a huge oversight to me. Even WiFi and bluetooth multiplayer would have been great, and with the competition such as X2 Soccer including online multiplayer, Konami did something that was quite surprising. Multiplayer is a standard now in most iPhone games, and it just seems like a huge misfire by Konami.
Other than that, Pro Evolution Soccer contains a lot for the $1.99 price tag, regardless of its lack of multiplayer. Sure, it’s not the best game on the platform and it would have been nice to see more, but the single player mode is actually much improved from its predecessors.
Speed: In PES 2010, the speed of the players feel normal; they’re not going drastically slow such as the case with X2 Soccer 2010, and when they’re sprinting it actually looks like they’re sprinting. Some people may have to adjust to the speed (although I highly doubt it), but PES 2010 adds much needed quickness to a should-be quick game.
Player models: If I said the graphics were good, I would be lying to myself. The grass detail is lacking, and it looks just like a green rectangle angled a bit to “look” like grass. But enough of that aside, PES 2010′s player models are probably the most detailed of all soccer games on the App Store. They actually look like people, compared to other soccer games that have players with very pixelated arms and legs, with little or no eye or hair details.
AI: If you’re one of those people that love a challenge, this is definitely the soccer game for you. In the regular difficulty (mind you, there’s two levels higher than that), I never lost, but I did tie three times with teams I just couldn’t score against. But that’s a huge improvement from Real Soccer 2010 and X2 Soccer 2010; I was able to score 11-0 and 7-0 respectively pretty much every match. The average scores for PES 2010 range anywhere from 1-3, as I haven’t scored four goals yet. That’s much more realistic and akin to professional soccer matches; you won’t even find an 11-0 score in a kiddy game.
They actually block the ball: Wow, what a surprise! The players can actually be used as blocks now, like they are in real soccer games! If you kick the ball and happen to hit a player, the ball actually bounces back! This is how it should be in any soccer game, but I first encountered it here in PES 2010; this shows that iPhone soccer games still have a ways to go.
Lack of multiplayer: This is a HUGE oversight by Konami. With multiplayer, I believe the game would have easily achieved the Must Have award and proclaimed the best soccer game so far. But without it, PES 2010 is somewhat crippled in terms of features, and without any new game modes other than the standard, I just don’t understand why they didn’t include it.
No commentary: Meh, I’ve never been a huge fan of commentary, as soccer players are on the field and not in the commentary box. Games such as FIFA may be trying to achieve a more “TV” type of soccer game, and it just feels natural and not as quiet with commentary in there.
Nothing more: Like I mentioned before, there’s nothing more than the standard gameplay modes: League, Exhibition, and Cup. X2 Soccer atleast has the Dream Team mode, FIFA the Be A Pro mode, and Real Soccer 2010 with something similar to the Be A Pro mode. PES 2010 has nothing more, which in turn takes a huge hit on the amount of content it has.
Manual switch?: Is there a button to manually switch players? I can’t seem to find it. If it’s not there, then someone at Konami really needs to wake up, as it’s yet another huge oversight.
PES 2010 is, at best, a good soccer game. There are a lot of feature and content problems that I know could have been nonexistent had Konami been more creative. Along with that, it would have been very nice if they included some sort of multiplayer in here; a single player experience just isn’t enough anymore with App Store games. Other than that, the gameplay experience is definitely one of the best out there, and the AI is probably the most intelligent of all.