Winning Eleven 6 International is, without a doubt, the finest soccer game available for any game platform right now.
In Europe, where soccer games are plentiful, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series is widely regarded as the very best the genre has to offer. EA Sports' FIFA series has always boasted superior visuals, better match commentary, and a slicker presentation, but over time more and more European gamers have come to realize that when it comes to gameplay, the soccer games developed by KCET really are in a league of their own. The latest KCET-developed soccer game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2, was released in Europe on the same day as FIFA 2003 last year, and, much to everyone's surprise, it topped the sales chart and went on to sell more than a million units across Europe in just 40 days. Winning Eleven 6 International is the North American name for Pro Evolution Soccer 2, and you've probably already guessed that the game is better than FIFA 2003--all we need to do now is explain why.
Playing Winning Eleven 6 International for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Not only are the in-game menus poorly presented, but once you find your way into a match, there's a very good chance that you won't manage to score a single goal. This isn't because scoring goals in the game is unnecessarily difficult, or because the controls are particularly tricky to get a handle on--it's simply because the kinds of attacks you might be used to scoring with in other soccer games simply won't work in Winning Eleven. The reason? Because they normally wouldn't work in real life.
Realism has always been key in the Winning Eleven series, and despite the fact that Konami's license doesn't allow it to feature real team and player names, the game re-creates the sport of soccer so well that it's easy to see past this failing. For anyone uncomfortable with the idea of pitting soundalike teams against each other, Winning Eleven 6 International also features a fairly powerful editing tool that can be used to customize not only the names, appearances, and attributes of teams and their players, but also the flags that will be waved by the teams' supporters during matches. The process of entering all the correct information is time-consuming, but the option to do so is an important inclusion for soccer fans keen to take control of their favorite team. Before taking to the pitch, you also have the option to fully customize your team's formation, playing style, and player lineup. It's also possible to select up to four different tactics for your team, which can then be easily activated mid-game using the shoulder buttons.
Once you get your team out onto the pitch, it's hard not to be impressed by the game's near-FIFA-quality visuals, and when the game kicks off, it quickly becomes apparent that Winning Eleven 6 International is by far the most realistic soccer game for any platform to date. The ball physics in the game are completely believable, and the animations as the players interact with it are not only great to look at, but they also seem infinitely varied, so no matter where the ball is in relation to a player, his actions never look out of place. The range of moves available to a player in possession of the ball is also impressive, and it is accessed via a control scheme that both intelligent and intuitive. Straightforward passes, through balls, long balls, and shots are all accessed via a single button, but depressing the L1 button when in possession of the ball opens up a whole new set of moves, including one-two passes, lofted through balls, early crosses, and lob shots. When in possession of the ball, there are also three different running speeds with varying levels of ball control, a few occasionally effective trick moves, and some really intelligent control assists, such as the way that the shoot button performs an almighty clearance if you're in your own half, or the way that pressing the long ball button when you're out wide alongside your opponent's penalty area will automatically send a probing cross ball in.
- Player Reviews: 2
- Game Universe:
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International (PS2, PC, XBOX),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 International (PS2, PS2, PC, PC),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution (PS2, GC),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 (PSP, XBOX, PS2),
- Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (X360, PS2, PC, PSP, DS),
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, DS, PC, WII, MOBILE),
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (X360, PS3, PC, PS2, PSP, WII),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 International (PS2),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 2002 (PS),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 5 Final Evolution (PS2)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players: