Konami's latest edition of the Pro Evolution Soccer series, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (also known as World Soccer: Winning Eleven 2013 in Japan), was released in September 2012 and is considered by many to be one of the most challenging and rewarding soccer games to date. The long-standing rivalry between Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA might finally have a clear winner with this new installment.
Despite a steep learning curve that some might find difficult to grasp, most gamers who enjoy the Pro Evolution Soccer series praised Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 for eliminating the less technical defense system used in previous installments. The difficulty pays off by delivering a more interactive experience than ever before. Players who find the task of mastering the new system daunting can hone their skills in the overhauled training mode, which leads you through every new move until you're confident enough to take them out on the field for a real match. Once you have the hang of pressing the right buttons at just the right time, which might be frustrating to players who are new to the soccer genre, you'll find it much easier to use the complex new moves to their fullest.
Your first match on the field will be more satisfying than Pro Evolution Soccer's previous installments due to a refined physics system that brings the ball to life like never before. Vastly improved artificial intelligence means you don't need to play with another gamer to enjoy a challenging match. However, while the game has visually improved and feels smoother and more controlled than ever before, some fans who've been with the series for years are unhappy with the occasionally unrealistic moves and the oftentimes unerring accuracy of the players on the field.
The game itself flows beautifully, but key features that could have made Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 even more of a stand-out than it already is have been neglected. Unfortunately, its single player modes haven't improved and are virtually the same as before. While a prize system is in place to reward online play with in-game money and items that modify your team's stats, online multiplayer is still in need of the overhaul fans have been asking for. Perhaps worst of all, the transfer system is still outdated and shows its age more than ever before.
Unfortunately, the presentation is still dreary and unattractive despite its attempt at having a retro charm, and most fans are still unhappy with the commentary, which is as abysmal as ever. While these most likely aren't flaws that will have a huge impact on your enjoyment of the game itself, they can be distracting and aren't insignificant details if visuals play an important role in your gaming experience.
Despite its flaws, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is still a huge leap in progress and has been praised by most fans of the series as being the best installment yet. It will offer countless hours of entertainment to veterans of the soccer genre and newbies alike.