E3 06: Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 Hands-On

We score some hands-on time with the recently announced Nintendo DS version of Konami's popular soccer game.

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Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007
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LOS ANGELES--One of our first ports of call when the doors of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo opened this morning was Konami's booth in the South Hall. It was there that we had an opportunity to play the Nintendo DS version of Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 for the first time, and although the game is clearly a ways from being finished, we were pleasantly surprised by just how much the game has in common with its home console counterparts.

All of the action in Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 takes place on the DS's top screen, while the touch screen is used to display your team's current formation and to move your focus between aggressive play and defensive play on the fly. Other than that, the game controls and plays almost exactly like the home console versions, with the left and right shoulder buttons being used to feint/change player and sprint, respectively. The face buttons are all assigned to the usual functions, and we found that the directional pad performed its duties admirably.

Though we didn't get to check them out for ourselves on the show floor, Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007's wireless features have us pretty intrigued. According to Konami's handout on the game, the DS version will feature a gameplay mode in which winning matches will unlock new players that can then be added to your team or traded with friends.

Visually, Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 on the Nintendo DS doesn't look nearly as polished as other games in the series at this point, but the players are well animated and the game certainly doesn't look bad. The demo version of the game was running a little slower than we'd like, with the ball sometimes appearing to hang in the air like a balloon, but if things are sped up in time for the game's launch Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 could turn out very well indeed. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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