Winning Eleven 7 Impressions

The latest in Konami's critically acclaimed soccer franchise will hit the States early next year, and we have new impressions of the game.

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While popularity for the sport of soccer still remains somewhat elusive in the United States, Konami's Winning Eleven 6 came out of left field earlier this year and gained far more success than Konami expected. Winning Eleven 7 is the follow-up to that title, and it will improve the series in a number of key ways. We recently had the opportunity to take a look at an in-progress version of Winning Eleven 7 and scope out the list of upgrades.

Winning Eleven 7 will contain quite a bit more in terms of teams and stadiums. The game will feature 64 club teams and 56 national teams, as well as 20 unique stadiums. Though there still won't be any licensed club teams in the game, Winning Eleven 7 will host thousands of international players and the option to rename all of the fake club teams, allowing hardcore fans to make the rosters accurate. The game will also feature a far more in-depth master league mode, with the added bonus of a search engine feature. This feature will come in handy when trying to locate players to fill a specific need for your team, as you'll be able to search by position, specific skills, and desired salary. Considering how many players will be available in the game, this is a welcome function.

Winning Eleven 7 also features a shop feature, in which you'll be able to use points earned in exhibition games and the game's training mode to purchase new players, teams, and even ball effects.

A lot of work has gone into improving the series' overall presentation, and this is readily apparent by the newly revamped menu system in the game, which visually looks significantly better and overall seems more intuitive. On the field, the development team has put together a brand-new graphical engine. All of the player faces have been improved upon, with far more detail in features and animations. The game features hundreds of new in-game animations, and practically all of the holdover animations from last year's game have at least been upgraded to look more realistic.

Winning Eleven 7 is currently scheduled to be released in February on the PS2 and PC. We will have more coverage of this game in the coming weeks.

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