World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International Review
World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International is KCET's best soccer game to date, which basically makes it the best soccer game ever made.
- Excellent career mode
- Believable ball physics and AI
- Offers a lasting challenge
- RPG-style player development
- Every goal is different.
- Lots of unlicensed teams
- No Bolton Wanderers.
Konami's Winning Eleven games have never been able to boast the official licenses and superb presentation that are such integral parts of many other sports games, and as result the series has earned its great reputation solely on the strength of its realistic gameplay. World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International not only marks the first time that (an unfortunately limited number of) licensed club teams have appeared in a Winning Eleven game, but also the first time that the series has appeared on the Xbox. Released in Europe as Pro Evolution Soccer 4 toward the end of last year, World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International is undoubtedly Konami's best soccer game to date, thanks to a number of quite dramatic improvements made both on and off the field.
Regardless of whether or not you're familiar with previous Winning Eleven games, the first thing you'll want to check out in Winning Eleven 8 is its surprisingly deep training mode, which, like everything else, can be reached via menu screens that are both far easier on the eyes and far easier to navigate than those found in previous entries in the series. The training options in Winning Eleven 8 are divided into four subcategories: beginner training, free training, situation training, and challenge training. Beginner training not only teaches you how to perform all the basic moves, but also does a great job of explaining the sport itself, the roles of the different players on the pitch, and even the offside rule (via a series of texts, diagrams, and demonstrations). Free training lets you take control of a team on a field where the only opponent is a goalkeeper. Situation training teaches you how to use some of the more advanced controls to make you more effective at dribbling, passing, shooting, attacking, and defending. Challenge training is basically an opportunity for you to put what you've learned to the test in a series of increasingly difficult trials. It's so rewarding that you'll want to successfully play through everything it has to offer at least once.
The challenge training mode comprises no fewer than 40 different trials for you to complete, and it will test your skills in eight different disciplines: attacking, defending, dribbling, short passing, manual passing, free kick long passing, free kick shooting, and ball possession. All the challenges on offer are played using exactly the same controls and camera angles as the rest of the game, but they require you to perform very specific tasks. The dribbling challenges, for example, require you to navigate your way through mazes of cones within a time limit, while the free kick challenges have you aiming at increasingly smaller targets. Every time you beat a challenge, you'll gain access to a more difficult one, in addition to being awarded a number of "WEN points" to spend in the WE-Shop. WEN points are one of the many new features in Winning Eleven 8. Specifically, they can be spent to unlock additional content, such as stadiums, classic teams and players, ball types, player-edit options, camera angles, and a sixth difficulty setting. Completing the challenge training is the easiest way to amass a large number of WEN points early on, but you'll also be awarded a small number every time you play a match, regardless of the outcome.
When you're not playing Winning Eleven 8 with friends (up to seven can simultaneously play on the PlayStation 2, while three can play on the Xbox) you'll most likely be managing a team in the "master league" career mode, which this year introduces a host of great new features to what was already a winning formula in previous Winning Eleven games. The first thing you'll notice about the master league, before you've even chosen a team to take control of, is that you're no longer forced to manage the exact same squad of fictional no-hopers, regardless of which team you opt for. That option is still available, of course, but you can also choose to start your career in charge of a team that comprises the players you'd expect it to in real life, thus making winning games a lot easier. However, raising enough money to pay wages becomes a bit harder. Once your career gets under way, you'll find this year's master league to be an incredibly deep and engaging gameplay option in which every player on your team is in a constant state of change.
- Player Reviews: 31
- Game Universe:
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International (PS2, PC, XBOX),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 International (PS2, PS2, PC, PC),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution (PS2, GC),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 (PSP, XBOX, PS2),
- Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (X360, PS2, PC, PSP, DS),
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, DS, PC, WII, MOBILE),
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (X360, PS3, PC, PS2, PSP, WII),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 International (PS2),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 2002 (PS),
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 5 Final Evolution (PS2)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players: