Ever since the curtain was pulled back on Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 for Wii, we knew it was going to be something special. The integration of IR into a sports game has been extremely minimal so far, but is absolutely ideal in this situation, allowing players to not only play the ball specifically, but direct traffic and precisely move every player on the field in tandem, making for the most realistic, strategic, and intuitive soccer experiences we’ve ever seen. It’ll take a bit of time to learn the basics, but Pro Evo is extremely rewarding, is hands-down one of the top sports titles on Wii. The game trail blazes with a new design, capitalizes on proper Wii usage (minimal waggle here, with a huge emphasis on the pinpoint precision of IR), and adds a flood of features such as Wii remote player trading, Wii Connect 24 “Invitation Matches” that let you play AI-controlled versions of your friend’s career team, full online with random opponents and friend play, and on-field Mii integration.
This game is not only filled with modes and options, but it’s filled with the right modes and options, and that’s what makes it a must-have sports title on Wii. Yes, it has some issues to iron out, such as the somewhat clumsy defense system that doesn’t let you take direct control of just one member of the team, and the fact that the game’s new design makes it a hybrid of play calling and multi-task control (no traditional mode here), but in the end we’d take this design of Pro Evolution Soccer for Wii any day. If every design took the time to truly innovate on Wii as much as Pro Evo has, the console would be in a whole other league. The bar has just been raised.