This is a guest review by SK who's taken some time out from work to give the game a thorough pasting.
Konami are well known for their Pro Evolution Soccer series and their yearly releases of the next in the series run almost like clockwork. But after PES3 you begin to wonder can they make PES4 any better than its predecessor?
Gameplay - General
To those of you who are familiar with the Pro Evolution Series the game play is very similar. It's nice to see that Konami have tweaked the game system even more, and that they have addressed certain problems within the game system. The game system itself has been made more fluid, it's almost like watching a game on the TV but some problems still remain. Two of the main problems I encountered were passing, and that the offside rule can still be a bit twitchy.
Gameplay - Controls
The control system of PES4 can be rather daunting in the first few matches of the game, it seems there are so many buttons to take into consideration and it can be hard remembering them all, however like many games they become easier to remember the more you play.
Passing can still be slightly twitchy, for example passing to another player, should you press the pass button while the ball is not in play, as soon as your player takes possession he instantly passes again thus 9 times out of 10 losing possession of the ball.
Graphics - Models & Texturing
As fans of the series would already know, the graphics of PES3 were fantastic, but again Konami take it one step further by making improvements to the system, not only do the player models look even more realistic, the customisation level of the faces allows you to make your players face look that even bit more realistic.
Graphics - Animations
Again Konami take the game one step further, if you thought the animations of PES3 were good, prepare to be amazed as Konami take use the processing power of the XBOX and not only make the animation sequences smoother and more realistic, they have also managed to make the transitions between them more fluid and natural.
The sound of PES4 is still similar to its predecessor but like the gameplay and graphics it has been tweaked. The commentary has been made more realistic, they comment even more on your players as you play. Again this has been made smoother so you hardly notice any seams between the commentators the sound has been made more fluid for that realistic feeling.
As said above two of the major let downs of the game are that the offside ruling can still very twitchy at times and that the passing system still has its flaws.
This time round with PES4 they have also gained licensing to some of the overseas players. However the answer to the question still remains.
Can they make PES4 any better than its predecessor?
Yes, they can, with graphical, sound and game play advancements PES4 takes its rightful place as top of the series, the Pro Evolution Series fans will surely love it!