A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is a continuation of the Winning Eleven soccer series by Konami, but branded differently depending on the market it's being sold in. As parents know, soccer is a very complicated sport where all team members are needed to win, so cooperation is essential. Mild cussing of the "hell" variety can be heard in the song lyrics, but the option does exist to disable specific songs from playing during the game.
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What's it about?
Konami is without question one of the premier developers of soccer titles worldwide. Their Winning Eleven series has evolved into this latest iteration called PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009. Building on their already solid foundation of the world's most popular international sport, PES 2009 features many international leagues and professional players, tournaments, and online play modes.
The biggest addition to the title is the Be a Legend mode which allows the player to pick a single character and play as them from small club titles to massive international tournaments. The camera during the matches here follows your one player, allowing people not familiar with soccer to learn positional play and more about how teams move the ball around the pitch. Performing well in this mode earns experience and skills for your character, and also allows the player to be signed by more high profile clubs and teams. For quick pick up and play options, there are a plethora of teams to choose from and it's easy to start a match if the Legend mode isn't time appropriate.
Is it any good?
Seeing as PES 2009 is really a new update to an already very solid series of games, it's no surprise that it's one of the better representations of the sport on any video game system. The small enhancements to the game such as pressing the R1 button during the Legend mode will have the PS3 take control of your character and put them in the correct position. Additionally, the new camera angles make for a more enjoyable presentation for those who sit on the sidelines rather than play the title.
The game looks and sounds fantastic, with players resembling their real life counterparts, and the stadiums accurately rendered. During replays especially, even individual blades of grass are visible which combined with the authentic game commentary, really bring the title to life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes soccer such a popular sport throughout the world, and how it can bring people who normally would not interact together. On the flip side, they can also talk about the extremes that some fans go with the sport, which has lead to violence throughout the world. Families can also discuss the importance of teamwork in the sport and draw parallels to the real world of making families and friendships work.
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