Monday, February 26, 2007

The Review: Winning Eleven 2007

Unlike the rest of the world, most Americans view soccer with disdain. Its a sport you play when you’re too uncoordinated to play football, basketball or baseball. It’s a peripheral athletic event that teaches kids about teamwork and fair play, at least until you get older and move on to the big three. But there are a few of us rare Americans, guys more than willing to admit we like soccer and the abuse that comes with such an admission. Besides being razzed by friends who don’t quite understand the beauty that soccer can be and get confused about why a 1-0 game can be exciting, the toughest part about being a soccer fan is finding a good video game for it.
As recently as a year ago this wasn’t a problem. EA was cranking out solid “FIFA” titles and Konami was nipping at its heels with the brilliant “Winning Eleven” series. With EA faltering with its last two titles, the soccer gaming world was ripe for the taking and I was very excited about the newly released “Winning Eleven 2007”…until I started playing it. Before I go off on a rant here, I want to make it clear that “Winning Eleven” has its good points. The game play is solid. Don’t count on going the length of the field to score goals (except on easy mode). Passing is king and set pieces require a great deal of skill. Unlike “FIFA”, corner kicks are not instant goals. The player models look good and move with photo-realism. While the game play is great and much more enjoyable than the last two “FIFA” titles, “Winning Eleven’s” big problem lies with the one thing EA has that Konami does not – licensing.
As a lifelong Liverpool fan I’m supposed to be satisfied by playing as Merseyside Red?!? (Don’t even get me started on the lame logo, it’s a disgrace.) Then I’m supposed to battle it out with my archrival Everton…better known as Merseyside Blue?!? That’s like playing a football video game where the Rocky Mountain Stallions (Denver Broncos) take the field against the Bay Area Pirates (Oakland Raiders). Would any self respecting NFL fan settle for that? Me neither.
“Winning Eleven’s” licensing issue also includes the players. Some of the bigger names are included but most are left out, including all of the U.S. players. This wouldn’t be so bad if I could edit team and player names in the game, something that was an option in past “Winning Eleven” titles (and in the PS2 version of this year’s version) but for some reason that’s not available anymore.
Throw in repetitive, uninteresting commentary from Peter Brackley and Sir Trevor Brooking and the odd disappearance of the German league and soccer gamers are left choosing their poison between two titles (“FIFA” and “Winning Eleven”, duh) that would only be complete if they were joined together.
Winning Eleven: 2007
Price: $29.99-$49.99
Players: 1-4 (2 online)
Formats: Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, DS
Category: Soccer Sim
Rating: E (Everyone)
Grade: C
Top 5 Things David Beckham Will Spend His $250 Million LA Galaxy Salary On
1. New parts for Posh
2. Hair gel
3. A monkey butler
4. Pedicures
5. Gold-plated toilets

1 comment:

football news said...

i don't know why american hate football.But i am sure they will love it one day.I am also a great fan of fifa.But in the recent years EA has failed to impress football fans.

While konami is doing a nice piece of work.The problem as you said is rights.This can be resolved using patches.By which you can get original names like that of EA Sports