Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

Wii Review

"Despite complaints about the lack of change over the previous instalment, this is still the best football game available on Wii."

It has been that time of year again when EA and Konami strap on their boots and take to the field with the latest iterations of their football franchises. Pro Evolution Soccer has been required to wear shin guards in recent seasons with the relentless kicking it has taken from FIFA in the HD arena, but it has been a much different story on the Nintendo console front. Does PES 2012 on Wii continue in its rich vein of form or, like Fernando Torres' career over the last few months, have the wheels started to fall off?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is the fifth game in the series to be released on Wii since March 2008 and we've come quite some way since the first instalment appeared with its new way to play. In addition to tweaks to the 'Playmaker' controls, we've witnessed improvements to passing, shooting and AI as well as Classic Controller support thrown in over the last few years. PES 2011's big innovation was being able to manoeuvre the camera during corner kicks to improve your view of the action. With PES 2012, however, it appears that Konami couldn't shoehorn in anything quite so ground-breaking.

If you can navigate your way through the sarcasm of the last couple of sentences, like Messi through a myriad of defenders, you'll ultimately come face to face with the truth. This game is almost exactly the same as Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, right down to 111 Block save file.


Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

If you played last season's game, then, you'll already know what to expect. The Champions League and Copa Libertadores themes will greet you as you boot the game up before being greeted with an almost exact replica of PES 2011's interface and the ability to compete in all the familiar modes and competitions that we've all been though a few times now.

Master League and Champions Road are both present and correct along with the UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and a variety of other League and Cup options. My Team, however, is probably the biggest incentive to play through all the competitions.

With My Team, you can create a team of Mii characters from your personal collection, give them an appropriate name, and kit them out with items that can be purchased with hearts that you'll obtain by participating in each of the game modes. The more you progress throughout these competitions, the better items you can buy and the higher your team's statistics will become as a result. It isn't a new addition, but it's still nice to have it there and be able to take your creation online to compete against friends, rivals and the world.

Visually, the game is a copy and paste job from the previous version and, therefore, nothing to write home about. It would even have been appreciated if the selection screens were given a minor facelift or the HUD during gameplay was refreshed to give the illusion that this is a new game, but everything is identical. The only real difference you'll notice is the updated kits and badges for certain teams. It will come as no surprise, however, that you'll still be playing with teams such as Merseyside Red and London FC. The option to edit team names, kits and players is still present but many of us have grown tired of having to deal with the lack of licences each year.


Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

On the audio side of things, commentary is the same as last year with Jon Champion and Jim Beglin in the hot seat. You'll be greeted with lots of familiar lines and phrases, whether appropriate to the action on screen or not, further enhancing that sense of déjà vu. The games soundtrack, however, whilst mostly changed since PES 2011, is actually less robust and, unsurprisingly, there is still no option to import music from your SD card to the track list.

Even with so much negativity throughout this review, is it possible to recommend Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 to anyone craving decent football experience? Well, yes and no, actually!

Despite complaints about the lack of change over the previous instalment, this is still the best football game available on Wii. The unrivalled freedom of play and precision of passing is present and correct and it is definitely a joy to play for those who take the time to come to grips with the excellent controls. There are times when everything clicks and you can produce some scintillating attacking football that genuinely raises a smile and is an absolute pleasure to behold. Those that just want to play in a traditional way still have that option too with the Classic Controller or the Wii Remote though it never feels quite as refined as it did with PES 6 on the PS2.

Ultimately, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is still an excellent football game, arguably the best this generation, but it is starting to reek of the laziness that got Konami into such a predicament with the series and allowed EA to reclaim the spoils on other formats. If you have PES 2011, there is no reason to upgrade unless you absolutely must have access to all the latest transfers, though these actually need to be downloaded and therefore require an internet connection. If, however, you haven't bought a new Pro Evolution Soccer for Wii for a couple of years, now is the perfect time to return to the series for possibly one last hurrah on this particular console, especially considering the bargain bin price tag of the game.

It'll be interesting to see which direction Konami take the series on Wii U, but for now we can content ourselves with a series on Wii that, whilst fantastic in many areas, never evolved enough to discover its true potential.

N-Europe Final Verdict

The same game as last year, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals3
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan5
Final Score



Superb Controls
Lots of Game Modes
My Team


Smacks of PES 2011
Lack of Official Licences
Poor Graphics

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