First PES 2008 verdict: "Essential"

Xbox World says PES 2008 has "perfectly balanced" gameplay, but the controls are a bit rubbish

The first review of PES 2008 arrives this week in Xbox World 360 magazine and as usual it looks like Konami's footy effort has managed to beat out FIFA.

XBW gave PES an impressive 92 out of 100, praising the game's "perfectly balanced" gameplay and calling it "an essential purchase for all football fans." High praise indeed.

Here's a clip: "Even with its faults, PES 2008 is unquestionably a better game than its predecessors. It may be lacking in a couple of areas (hell, they needed to justify next year's PES 2009 after all...) but PES 2008 remains far more than a yearly update.

"The game now thrives off its speed and, as a result, dull matches are all but extinct," says reviewer Mathew Pellett. "While it's easier to lose the ball, it's also easier to fly in and win it back. Sliding tackles are a cinch to pull off, so long as you're sensible about it."

So it sounds like Konami's is the footy game to go for this Christmas then, though XBW does note that the lack of analogue controls is a "massive oversight", so there's something to improve for next year.

Read the full review in the Issue 58 of the mag, on sale this Thursday.