The one thing that the PS2 has had a solid slew of games for are soccer titles. FIFA 2003 and World Tour Soccer 2003 were both very solid titles that you would expect to be enough to be the two best soccer titles on the PS2. Well there is a new title that has finally made its way onto US stores. It’s Winning Eleven 6 Soccer the new best soccer title for your PS2.
As I talk to some of my friends I have met out in the UK and Japan they always brag about their excellent soccer series Pro Evolution. Now finally Konami has now blessed the United States with the soccer series the rest of the world has been in love with. The one thing that separates Winning Eleven 6 from the rest of the pack is that it is the most realistic soccer simulation on the market. Unlike FIFA and 989 Studio’s World Tour Soccer, it is extremely difficult to score numerous goals in one game. Because most soccer games can be easily decided by one goal Konami made Winning Eleven much tougher to get a goal.
One of the first things that you will find impressive about Winning Eleven 6 is the incredible amount of game modes. These game modes include Match Mode, League Mode, Cup Mode, Master League Mode, and Training Mode. This is the one and only soccer game that really needs a training mode and this is one I highly recommend doing before you start the game. The training mode in this game will teach you the tricks of the trade when it comes to the games controls and how to be successful in WE6.
All of these modes could actually be considered a main mode because they are all extremely long drawn out modes that take extremely long to complete. But out of all the modes the main mode would have to be the Master League Mode. In this mode you will start at the very bottom (Division 3) and try to work your way up to the top of Division 1. During this mode you need to win as many games as possible because this is how you rack up points to pick up new players to then improve upon your team. This was by far the most addicting mode on the game and for good reason.
The rest of the game modes follow pretty close to what the Master League Mode is but with a few tweaks. But surprisingly out of all the different modes of the game probably the most talked about and the most appreciated are the multiplayer portions of WE6. There is nothing like sitting down to an intense fierce battle on the soccer fields of WE6. It is really hard to explain the amount of fun to be had when you are playing this game with a friend. Unlike other games where goals don’t mean that much because you can easily score five goals a game, one goal usually decides it and that just makes it that much more interesting.
Probably the biggest complaint from people is that the game just has a rather steep learning curve at the beginning, and by the time you learn the game you’re sick of it. I think just the opposite of that, and that once you do get the extremely complex control scheme down you will be rewarded with what is an excellent soccer game. There will be a ton of frustration at the beginning of the game. I can’t tell you how many countless shots I took that went ten feet over the goal posts, but there is that satisfaction, so when you do get the controls down and you start to be able to score you just have the feeling of accomplishment which is what is so special about WE6.
The one thing that I would really like to commend Konami on is the excellent commentary. Probably one of the hardest things for sports games to do is to have good commentary and that is found in WE6. The two commentators statements seem to always been on track with what is going on the field and even after playing the game for quite some time it seemed like there was plenty of commentary to make sure weren’t hearing the same thing over and over again. The sound effects were also quite impressive, this is most notable by the crowd he goes in swings of cheering and silence.
The one thing that EA games seem to have everyone beat on in is in the graphics department. Winning Eleven 6 Soccer is an excellent looking game just not to the same extent as FIFA. It does come extremely close, but doesn’t have the flash and detail like the FIFA series.
The graphics department is probably the one area of WE6 where I think Konami could use the most improvement in. In WE6 everything looks pretty good but just not to the level that you would come to expect from such a great soccer game. The players are very detailed but from the far away standard camera you are not going to be able to realize how much detail has been placed into the players. You can really tell the players apart because they match the players nicely. The detail is there but it’s just not as good as you would hope and you really will never be able to see the amount of detail on these players because of the camera angle, which is a shame.
The stadiums are incredible, very detailed and fully represent the stadiums in which they are trying to recreate. Basically the best part of the graphics department has to be the stadiums - they are just amazing. There is not enough I can say to describe how excellent these look.
Unlike some of the other soccer games on the market where you seem to do the same move over and over again, instead in WE6 there is a heavy assortment of different moves that you will be able to pull of. What is great about this is that you won’t feel like your doing the same thing over and over again but instead playing different games all the time. Overall the graphics are a solid portion of the game but they just don’t seem to match up to EA’s FIFA series.
The one thing that really hurts the game is the first few hours of Gameplay. I will totally admit this is a extremely frustrating game to start out with. This is just one of those games you have to give time and it will reward you. This is not only a fun single player much but as well a great multiplayer game. There are so many different modes to choose from and so much fun to be having once you just invest about an hour or two of figuring out the controls.
It’s not every day you can recommend a sports game that isn’t made by EA, but now I can. WE6 is an excellent soccer title that really does a great job of being the best soccer simulation on the market. If you are looking for an arcade style soccer game then stay clear, otherwise if you’re just looking for good fun soccer then Winning Eleven 6 International is a great choice for you.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.