Wii version impressions!
Total bonus this. My mate got his copy of the game today and is off away on holiday so I have it for the week at least. Played about 4hrs worth of games since this morning and this is my take on it. Going to break the game down as best possible so as most points are covered. Will cover one or two things per post.
So firstly, and this is HUGE!...
Player Control - 360 movement/dribbling arrives on the Wii version.... and ........It is bloody marvellous!
Honestly, what a pleasant little surprise this was. I had read on the Wii versions portal site something about 360 movement/dribbling but I honestly thought it might have been a quirk of the translation. A couple of days ago someone who had played the Wii version confirmed that it was certainly in the Wii game and that they rated it highly but I simply had to see/feel for myself and it is a confirmed triumph folks.
Think of classic PS2 gameplay with the addition of this feature. It changes very subtly how the game plays, particularly in midfield and on the flanks. Suddenly your player has the ability to move into little spaces that weren't available to the player before. Defensive control is also feels vastly improved due to the 360 movement but also a tweaking to the semi-assisted controls, and second player press has aided in this too. This change in direction(literally) for the Wii version has also seen some new wee animations feature like first touches, some different standing tackle animations, and the physical element of the game is well visualised as well.
I am not kidding when I say the following - The Wii's 360 movement easily trumps the next-gen versions of PES2010 and IMO FIFA/WC2010!!
It actually adds to player individuality as when you have a great dribbler on the ball he, and thus you, feel more threatening and likewise when you are facing such a player who is COM controlled. As already stated it is subtle at first but once you realise it is present and works very well indeed it opens up many a new possibility.
Passing/Shooting/Ball Physics/Gameflow - Passing is left largely untouched regards speed which isn't a bad thing as the Wii version of WE2010 had a solid passing game and flow in place.
What has been pleasingly tweaked though is the the sense of freedom in your passing game and I can only think it is the 360movement that assists in giving this impression. Lob passes have been greatly enhanced and now travel with a lower trajectory and are faster but feel more accurate. I have had played some lovely lob passes that I honestly don't think would have come off in previous versions of the game either on the PS2, Wii or even next-gen versions.
Ball physics have been improved so as a result control feels satisfying when bringing down a lob pass or first time passing a bouncing ball. Earlier when playing as Japan I played a pass to Nakamura whose first touch seen the ball flick up in the air slightly. quickly pressing the standard pass button and pushing the stick in the opposite direction to which he was facing saw him play the pass to his team mate behind him by simply knocking it over his own head and that of his marker. Beautiful and another example of the games natural flair in context sensitive situations. The ball really is doing the work here and it feels excellent. Shots now have a capacity to wickedly dip if caught correctly and seem to have a more realistic look in flight too. Crossing feels pretty similar but I have not brought my 'A' game in this department as yet. More practice needed.
Goalkeepers - Hmmmm....not convinced. Still very erratic and often go from the sublime to the ridiculous. This normally could and often would break a game for me. Thanks to what appears to be better control over the defensive side of the game however, so long as you are not having him have to face countless crosses and allowing your opponent clean strikes on goal they just about hold it together. Still perhaps too many spills but I have noticed a wee bit more in the way of them palming efforts out of play for corners. If Greyhound and his team get this right for PES2011 the game will be something even more special.
Finally, a quick word on the visuals. They have been sharpened up further from WE2010 and there seems to be a touch more detail in player models/kits. The 480p upscaling has never looked better and a big pplus also is that from the farthest wide-cam view the ball is clearly visible which it wasn't sometimes in previous versions. The crowd have been improved greatly with the low,low res pattern which almost looked like a group of humans but not quite which made up the crowd before being replaced with visible individuals with a smattering of basic detail. Still cardboard cut outs though and not animated but hopefully this will be the case come PES2011. Stadiums too also look to carry more detail and look very solid. I have noticed that there seems to be a layering effect of ad boards,fences and crowd which give the stadiums more a sense of depth about them. Pitch texture and lighting seems better too. Finally, when a player goes off injured for treatment he is visible sitting on the sidelines before re-joining play. Nice.