Although Winning Eleven 10 will inevitably be released next year, you could quite literally play #9 for years without ever being bored. by StewXX

February 10, 2006 - World Soccer Winning Eleven 9, this is easily one of the best soccer games ever produced. It's better than last year's version and it's even better than last year's FIFA. That's not to say that FIFA won't come out with an amazing game that could blow this one away since soccer games have been steadily improving, but for now, World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 takes the lead.

Having to playing soccer games every year it's sometimes difficult to appreciate just how far they've come. From virtually one-dimensional perspectives, with characters that looked like the aliens from Space Invaders, we now have multiple camera angles zooming and sweeping a field which is filled with realistic looking players sporting incredibly smooth animation. Today's games rival a live televised broadcast. With tons of modes, deep controls and multi-player features, you could play these games for months if not years.

Although not revolutionary, World Soccer 9, is definitely the most refined version in the series. The controls are more responsive and as a result you will actually use less combinations of buttons and the sticks to make your moves. Most of the action will require the use of the Left analog stick which is tighter and more responsive than ever. Moving it around you will be able to pull off quick turns and side steps. You can also access more fancy moves with the shoulder button and Right stick but these moves feel more at home in an arcade game and not something you would feel compelled to use in such a realistic game - unless you really want to show off.

If there is one single reason to own this game it's because of the online modes. Not to take away anything from the Training, Career, Quick Match, Edit and Custom League modes but this is the first time that an online mode has been available for World Soccer 9. It's definitely worth checking out since you'll be able to play against another human at virtually any time day or night.

With more licenses than ever before, World Soccer 9 still requires the Edit mode since many of the teams are composed of generic players wearing generic uniforms and sporting inaccurate stats. You can change things with the Edit mode to get your favorite team up and running by inputting the correct information. Some of the new teams include the Rangers, Chelsea, Celtic, Kiev and Arsenal.

Most of your time is going to be spent in the Career and online modes. In career mode you manage a team for an entire season, making decisions that will affect not only the team's performance but your leadership qualities. You can start the season with the real players which will give you an advantage at the beginning and allow you to win some games and earn some money. You'll need money to pay wages and if you have some star players on your team, they are going to cost you. At the same time, some of these star players may be past their prime and they will start going downhill on you late in the season. Younger players will accumulate experience points when you let them on the field but they can be weak and cost you games. If you wind up with no money to pay your players at the end of the season, your game is instantly over.

System: X, PS2
Dev: Konami
Pub: Konami
Release: Feb 2006
Players: 1 - 8
Review By StewXX