Having played PES 2008 on the PS3, I was intrigued to find out exactly what made the title fresh on the PS2. In a nutshell the PS3 version benefited from the extra PS3 processing power with a natural ebb and flow to a game at speed, HD visuals as well as increased player movement & actions and an improved shooting mechanism. Where it fell down is that the flow to the game was wonderful when the frame rate wasn't playing up as it tending to do, goalkeepers parry shots like their life depends on it and that the online experience was almost unplayable. As a vast majority of us will be experiencing PES 2008 on the PS2, I found it interesting to see how the game stacked up to its supposedly superior brother.
When you pick up a Pro Evolution Soccer title for the PS2, you instantly know what you are going to get. Great game mechanics and playability, but rough around the edges in terms of presentation. PES 2008 nearly through as the title screen is a lot better presented this time, but select your first option, be it exhibition, master league, league, cup or network and the comfortingly rough selection menus are back and you feel suddenly at home.
The first thing that hits you about the match gameplay, specifically if you are picking this up straight after PES6, is that it doesn't really `feel' too much different. Let me elaborate. Picking up a new version of Pro Evo is tantamount to someone changing something in your daily routine. Initially you are shocked and uncomfortable and are outraged.
However as time passes you begin to feel good about the changes with a whole new respect for why they were made before concluding that this way is better and progress has been made. I don't get that in the slightest with PES 2008. In fact everything seems worryingly/comfortably [delete as appropriate] familiar. I get the impression that the game is slightly quicker but without the polish of its PS3 counterpart. when the frame rates are comparable. I can understand why some would choose to play the PS2 version over the PS3 title if sluggish frame rates are that annoying to some people.
The statistics are still the same with a mix of license purchases and random names that look similar to the team/player they are meant to be. This said the statistical game analysis, if this is your bag Andy Gray, beats the PS3 version hands down. Here you can analyse the game from all angles to assess your performance, a feature lacking from PES 2008 on the PS3. This aside the only addition I can think to name of note is a `FIFA-esque' World Tour mode where you face varying challenges to overcome. Everything else from audio to visuals is pretty much consistent with PES6. If you are hoping that I am going to sign off here by telling you that the online playability is what has been improved and that it is awesome, then you are about to be disappointed. It is even worse than its PS3 counterpart and teeters on the edge of the `why bother?' category.
PES 2008 is a brilliant game in its own right, but if I had PES6, I would think twice about upgrading. Save your cash and put it towards your PS3.
7.5 out of 10