Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 PSP
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Konami
The Pro Evolution Soccer series made something of an impressive comeback this year on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. After a couple of years of playing second fiddle to the FIFA series on those consoles, this year's game is arguably the more enjoyable game. Can the PSP version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 be just as impressive?
The modes on offer in Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are Match, UEFA Champions League, Copa Santander Libertadores, World Player (where you'll step into the boots of a real-life footballer), Master League, Become a Legend, Legends (where you can play casual matches and competitions with friends in ad hoc mode), League, Cup, Training and Edit where you can correct all the fictional team and player data the game ships with. Ad hoc multiplayer is supported but it's a shame that once again no online multiplayer support has been provided.
It's great to see the Copa Santander Libertadores mode make it to the PSP but the World Player mode essentially seems pointless and redundant as the Become a Legend mode pretty much does the same thing in a more interesting fashion. The mode includes the English, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish divisions but there are plenty of fictitious teams and kits in here which is disappointing but par for the course with the Pro Evolution Soccer series.
Probably the two biggest complaints with last year's game were that the gameplay didn't differ much at all from the previous year's game and there was only one stadium in the game which just seemed downright lazy on the part of the developers. This year they've certainly made up for the previous lack of stadia with a whopping twenty-five on offer this time around. The actual match action doesn't seem much different at all however and that's disappointing considering the strides forward the series has taken on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Of course there are many more limitations with the PSP hardware and maybe the handheld's capabilities have already been stretched to the maximum.
The game data is somewhat out of date with some transfer deadline data not being correct. For instance you'll find Mascherano at Liverpool when he should be at Barcelona. Fans of the Pro Evolution Soccer series are used to such things but it's still disappointing that the game didn't ship with data that was correct at the end of the transfer deadline, particularly as the PSP version of the game was the last to be released.
The presentation of the game is decent but little to no improvement has been made. The graphical quality of the game was never going to improve dramatically with the PSP now being old hardware but it's disappointing to see virtually no improvement aside from the inclusion of many more stadia. The frame rate remains decent although there are times when some slowdown is noticeable. Load times can be quite long, particularly if you don't choose to install a fair chunk of the game data to your memory card. The game is about as deaf gamer friendly as last year's version. All important information is given in text and you'll always be aware of what you need to do in each of the game's different modes. The match commentary, of which there is much more this year, isn't subtitled. It’s also rather annoying to have the song titles appearing on the main menus when you’ve disabled the menu background music.
On the whole Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is a better game than last year's Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 and if you haven't purchase a football game for your PSP over the last few years it's easy to recommend. If you have been purchasing the last couple of versions of the PES series for the PSP then the choice is a little more difficult. The superb amount of new stadia in this year's game is truly impressive and the new game modes are certainly welcome. However, on the pitch little has changed and the absence once more of online play makes this an upgrade that's not really essential.