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Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka reveals all on the brand new PES

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On a yearly development schedule every year brings its own challenges, what have been the biggest challenges about developing PES 2009?

Seabass: There were basically two main challenges when we started work on PES 2009, the first was introducing new modes, like we were finally able to introduce the Become a Legend mode, that was one of our biggest goals and targets. At the same time we really wanted to make the AI real next-gen AI which we've accomplished this time quite well. So those were the two themes and targets that we had at the beginning of the project.

If EA said 'we're going to dump FIFA and you can have our engine - would you take it? Or would you say 'no I'll continue to do my own stuff'.

Seabass: Well I would think about it really seriously because I still believe that EA's engine and animation is really superb, very good. The modelling of the characters is perhaps not really to my taste actually, so I might not take that part, but seriously I think their engine and their motion style is really great.

How satisfying is it to get the license for the Champions League and big clubs like Liverpool, Man Utd and Barcelona? How much does that bring to the realism and atmosphere of the game? Will it influence people who like FIFA's realism to buy PES?

Seabass: Yes I do think it will influence people to an extent. I was really very happy when we acquired the Champions League license but frankly I originally thought we would never be able to acquire this license when we tried to go after it. As I said I'm very happy but at the same time I also have to say I believe we're still not completely there with all the licenses and leagues we need, for example with your countries' teams. When the day comes when we have the Premiership and Bundisliga I think I'll be even more happy then.

We had a great Euro 2008 tournament this summer, well England didn't but it was a great tournament to watch. Did any of the players or teams influence PES 2009 - what kind of input did it have into the game?

Seabass: Unfortunately during Euro 2008 it was a real crunch time for PES and I didn't have a chance to see as much as I did in previous years. Also it was quite surprising that Spain won the competition which I wouldn't have predicted at all. Afterwards when I managed to catch up with some matches there were some players that were really key and of course that influenced me and it probably will as long as the series goes on.

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