Pro Evolution Soccer 6
|Pro Evolution Soccer 6|
European art cover featuring Adriano and John Terry
|Series||Pro Evolution Soccer|
|Release date(s)||PS2, X360, PC, DS
|Distribution||DVD, UMD, DS Card|
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (also known as Winning Eleven 10 and Winning Eleven X for Xbox 360 in Japan and South Korea, Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 in the United States) is a video game developed and published by Konami. Released on 27 October 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and PC platforms and following on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable on 1 December 2006, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is the 6th edition of the Pro Evolution Soccer series for the PlayStation 2, 2nd for the PlayStation Portable and 4th for PC. It is the first game to debut on the Nintendo DS and the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 version features improved graphics, but retains gameplay similar to the other console versions. The edit mode has been stripped down for the Xbox 360 release, due to time restrictions. The graphics engine on the PC does not utilise the next-gen 360 engine but will again be a direct conversion of the PlayStation 2 engine.
A Bundesliga license was supposed to be a feature of the game but Konami were forced to remove the Bundesliga license, which means the Bundesliga is not present in PES6, not even as a series of unlicensed teams, with the exception of FC Bayern Munich who were fully licensed with the omission of their shirt sponsor T-Home. From then on, no further games featured the Bundesliga, with the participation of German teams restricted to a few of its teams appearing in separate blocks (like the UEFA Champions League teams without their own league).
International Challenge Mode
PES6 marks the first time the International Challenge Mode has been included on the PES Series. Usually this is seen on the Japanese version - Winning Eleven - where you play as Japan and take them through the qualifiers to the International Cup and then attempt to win it. On PES, however, you have the ability to choose any playable nation on the game. The user can only play the qualifiers from Europe, Asia, South America, and North/Central America. Although the tournament is not licensed, the qualifiers have a lot of similarities to the FIFA World Cup qualification process:
- A cross-playoff is used between a South American team and an Oceanian team, and a North American team plays an Asian team.
- There is the same number of qualifiers on the game from each region as there is in the real World Cup. e.g., 14 qualify from Europe.
- The qualifiers from South America are the same - 10 teams play each other twice with the top 4 qualifying and 5th place entering the cross-playoff.
- The qualifiers from North America are the same - 6 teams play each other twice with the top 3 qualifying and 4th place entering the cross-playoff.
Team selection can be changed before each game and the player can choose from any player with the eligible nationality.
The International Challenge mode is only available in the PlayStation 2 and PC versions of PES6. The Xbox 360 and PSP versions do not include this mode.
Random Selection Match
Also new to PES6 is the Random Selection Match. In this mode, the user can pick up to either four clubs/nations or one region/league. Once selected, the computer picks a random selection of players from the teams or region for the player's squad. The lineup is selected automatically, although players can choose to let the computer to pick another random selection. This was not included in the Xbox 360 version, presumably because of time restrictions.
- Players are available as always, but there have been many more added (all unlicensed, but based on real players). It's not only retired "legendary players" that can be bought, Juan Sebastián Verón (playing for Estudiantes de la Plata by then), Fernando Cavenaghi (then at Spartak Moscow), Freddy Adu (at DC United then) being the most notable cases.
- Costumes can be bought. The Ostrich and Raptor costumes have the players riding them. The Penguin costume has the player in a penguin suit. When riding the raptors, they shoot, header, control, pass and do all the hard work, but their shooting ability is much less than a normal player.
- Gameplay frames, new hairstyles, new goal celebrations, and new stadiums are other new features available in the PES Shop.
- The PES Shop is present on all versions of the game, with the exception of the Xbox 360 version
Groups have been introduced on the PES Network. A player can join/create a group that can gain points by playing together. Groups can play each other in rival matches. If a player creates a group, they manage who's in and who's out, the team name, and who else can allow others to join and matches. A player can join a group by applying to join or accepting an invitation from another player. If the leader accepts, they are in the group. Only ten are allowed in one group at first, but there can potentially be 30 in a group at one time. Groups can reach levels with the highest level to progress to is Level 14. When you achieve higher levels, you will unlock different costumes (penguin, dinosaur, and ostrich) and classic national teams. Also, you can achieve extra member spaces in your group when you go up in level.
The Network capabilities have since been relinquished.
It should be noted that though the Xbox 360 version lacks dressing, it is the only version with a fully analogue Manual Pass feature, as well as much more sophisticated ball physics compared to the PS2 version and can therefore be argued to be the ultimate version in terms of gameplay as well as an online community that continues to have matches available all of the time. Even to this very day several years after the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 and onwards, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 marks the point where the series underwent significant changes to the gameplay that remain in the series to this day.
In 2006, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 got a perfect 10/10 score in the Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK, which beat FIFA 07 (9/10 in the same magazine). However, the PSP version of the game ranked beneath the FIFA 07 PSP version due to slow loading times and an incomplete editor. Hyper's Eliot Fish commends the game for its "tighter dribbling [and] refined Master League" but criticises it for its commentary.