For those who aren't aware of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), it's a series of football (soccer to some parts of the world) games by Konami that began back in 2001. It sports similar gameplay to the likes of Fifa by EA Games, but is put down by lack of licensing. PES2011 for Windows Phone is no exception with a handful of teams sporting unlicensed names – Man Red (Manchester United) and Man Blue (Manchester City) to name but a few.
Don't allow the above to put you off from trying PES2011 out, it really is a superb football sim for Windows Phone. There are a number of game types available including quick match, exhibition, UEFA club competition and leagues & cups with fairly challenging gameplay and intelligent AI. Head on past the break for the quick run through and video goodness.
On arriving at the main menu we can see all the game types available as well as extra options. Being an Xbox Live title we have achievements for players to earn points, but before we all get excited at adding to our gamerscore, the achievements are insane. You're required to play hundreds of matches if you wish to earn each and every one. But hey, if you love football and enjoy PES, you'll have no problem at all.
PES2011 features leaderboards where players can check how they fare against friends. Training is available, which I recommend you take before getting into matches just to get a hang of how you control players. Lastly we have a gallery of trophies won in leagues and cups as well as options for users to manipulate the difficulty level, length of matches and more.
Getting into the gameplay itself (always the main selling point of a football sim), it's not actually too bad. One would think that the breakup of controls and buttons available and be limited to a single d-pad accompanied by two buttons would have a negative impact on the control of players. Konami has done a superb job in keeping the controls simple while providing the player with all the functions available to effectively play football and score goals.
It's not all green grass and roses for PES on Windows Phone, and if you find loading screens to be a real pain in the rear-end then you should definitely dribble clear of this title. Even returning to the main screen from the options section or the achievements podium will award you with a loading screen.
While the gameplay remains true along with the Android and iOS versions, you can't help but notice that each match you play feels artificial in a strange way. There's no involvement that you find with other Xbox Live (or Indie) titles available on the platform and feels like a truly rushed port of an already dumbed down console alternative.
Check out our quick video walk through below. Excuse my terrible skills.
Wrapping this all up with a conclusion is metaphorically comparable to preparing a Mexican wrap with no fillings. PES is perfect for die hard football/soccer fans, but other than the obvious charm with smashing a rubber compressed ball of air into your opponents goal it's a relatively dull port.
You can download PES: 2011 from the Marketplace for $4.99 (£3.99).