Reviewed by Jimmy | 02.26.06
Introduction:Konami decided to spread the love of its highly acclaimed soccer series to the Playstation Portable. After reviewing the console version, I'm sliding in the UMD to get a look at the portable version of World Soccer Winning Eleven 9.
The Game:If you have checked out the any press on World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 then you will get the good vibes it spreads. WE9 is defiantly one of the best soccer games going, and now you can take it with you on your PSP. Is it too good to be true? Well, that's what I'll answer along with other questions like, how does it compare to the console version? Is it online? and is it worth owning both versions?
Found In Translation
You never know how a sports game is going to handle on Sony's PSP. At times it works out beautifully and others it's just a mess. I'm glad to report that Winning Eleven 9 works damn well. Almost every aspect performs nicely from the controls to the graphics and sound. I was surprised on how fluid and responsive WE9 controls are for the PSP, and glad that they let you switch between using the stubby analog stick or the D-Pad. Sometimes holding the PSP can start to drain the energy of your hand, so even a small factor like two controls types help, especially in long sittings. WE9 is a successful translation and gamers who have already played WE9 on the console the PSP version should live up to your expectations.
Learning the Ropes
Like the console version the more time you put into WE9, the more you'll get out if it. WE9's gameplay really needs to be mastered for you to become successful on the field. Konami isn't leaving you with just a instruction manual either, like the console the PSP can help you along with its training mode. Everything you need to know before you hit the field is in the training mode and I suggest you invest some time doing so. Although every game helps you learn and evolve into a better player, the training will accelerate the process. The entire WE9 experience is a one of the best soccer emulations so you have to be ready to go to war on the field rather then an action based soccer game. The AI can be tough, just remember don't throw the PSP; it's not the same as a controller. Slap her down to the one-star level and build your way up.
A few more positive points for WE9 are that it supports Ad Hoc multiplayer. The multiplayer is pretty straight forward to set up and virtually has no setbacks except the minor slowdown, although it's not major enough to hurts the gameplay. Also you can upload your changes onto the PSP from your PS2 so you don't have to sit around for hours renaming stadiums and teams. One downside to the updating is that you have to send the data to the PSP; you can't go the other way. So for updating purposed lets hope you have the PS2 version and not the Xbox one at home.
Now for the bad end of the review! Ready? This PSP version doesn't have the Master League Mode (career mode). Um, Yes. I guess Konami didn't have enough time to squeeze this into the PSP, or was it room? Either way it is disappointing because a large number of people count on this mode. The PSP version can only satisfy on the level of basic matches and league tournaments which isn't bad, just not as sweet as the sweet can be.
Konamis WE9 also suffers from the dreaded spinning disc syndrome of long load times. I guess if you compared it to the day of the Commodore, it would be lighting fast, but we've come a long way since then. Expect to handle up to a minute or upwards to two for load times. Seems like nothing, but when you're sitting and anxious to get into the game this can take forever.
PSP vs Console
Overall the Winning Eleven 9 on the Sony PSP is a solid effort, which basically translates into a slightly poorer version of the console game, which shouldn't come as a surprise. To answer my above question, should you buy both versions? I'd say no, unless you love your soccer and you're always gaming on the go. Otherwise you should be fine with which ever platform you play the most. The PSP is a nice option and I'm sure lots of soccer fans will eat this up.
Lowdown:Winning Eleven 9 for the PSP with the missing Master League mode might sway the majority of fans away from the handheld version. If you really don't care about management and just want to play the game of soccer, it will do fine. Overall Winning Eleven 9 is a solid PSP sports game, and with the excellent controls, presentation, and online play make this a for sure pick up. Soccer fans and sports fans should defiantly look into WE9 by Konami, if not on the PSP then one of the home console versions. It's soccer at its prime.