Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 3D (Available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS)
ESRB Rating: E
Developer: Winning Eleven Productions
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Online play! PES 2011 was fun, but 2012’s introduction of Wi-Fi modes makes it one of the best portable football titles. The option to challenge anyone whenever you wish allows PES 2012 virtually unlimited replay value. Sports games are always better when played against humans anyway. You can face a friend or opt for a random match. I didn’t have any problems connecting with someone or jumping into a game quickly. I’m surprised by the match quality too; there’s no lag or slowdown. Your internet connection of course determines your experience, but mine has been perfect. This is the best feature to the young 3DS series.
+ The modes you want. You can play in all the major leagues (I’m not a soccer expert, so there may be some major or minor exclusions) and there’s an incredible roster of teams. You can also create a player and watch him become the next big thing in “Become a Legend”. Or, choose an existing star and dominate. There’s also a training mode to learn the basics.
+ 3D visuals. It’s fun to play with the 3D slider to see the amazing effects.
+ Great commentary. Soccer is the most popular sport, so offering multiple languages is a must. I found the French commentators much more entertaining than what you hear in the FIFA seres.
+ Konami cup! The classic returns as a nod to fans.
+ It’s Pro Evolution Soccer. The franchise has always captured the sport to near-perfection. If you haven’t tried it, now’s a great time.
+/- Am I playing PES 2011. 2012 is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
+/- Choosing the camera angle. You or your opponent decides the perspective when playing online. I’m not sure why each can’t choose his/her preferred viewpoint, especially since it changes how you play.
+/- Lightly tap the shoot function! As soon as it’s held for a millisecond, the ball is launched into the stratosphere. I would like to learn how to score from center field, and stuff like that.
– No custom teams like FIFA. A mode where you can control one player on a multiplayer-only team is a bit more challenging to execute on a portable system, but is probably the next big step for the franchise.
– No MLS.
My online play! I was handily defeated 5-0 in my first match. I’ve also yet to score against someone altogether. (Update, have now scored a goal! Still winless however.)
Finally supporting online, PES will remain in my 3DS for a long time. 2011 was great, but ‘12 adds lots of little goodies to make this the definitive “football” game on the go. If you’ve never played PES, there’s no better time than now. Highly recommended.
Final Score: 8.5/10