It had me at "hello"...
I’ve waited a very long time to say this, so I’m going to announce it slowly: ”Pro. Evolution. Soccer. Management”! That’s right, it is a footy fan’s most powerful dream come true and, what’s more, we’ve loads of screenshots.
Currently under the working title PESM, the game will enjoy complete compatibility with the impending PES5 title. Players can manage any club from six European leagues and will take control of everything from player selection, training and transfers to balancing the books. PESM also promises to fix the natty menu system of previous Pro Evo games with a new streamlined interface designed to minimise the number of clicks it take to reach any given screen.
Vitally, PESM will use PES5’s code for its match engine as well as the game’s greatly expanded player database, while “Dream Teams” can be created and swapped between both titles. “We are delighted to offer a companion title to the ever-popular Pro Evolution Soccer 5,” commented a smug Martin Schneider, Konami’s European King of Spin (Marketing Manager). “Pro Evolution Soccer Management adds new depth to the series, and is an incredibly absorbing strategy title that will continually surprise the player with its level of detail.”
Of course, Schneider’s bravado aside, it may be a little ambitious to think PESM will jump straight in to provide a more comprehensive management experience than Sport Interactive’s established genre leader Football Manager, or even EA’s vastly improved FIFA Manager 2006 (of which I was impressed during a recent sneak peak), but as long as it doesn’t feel like a flimsey bolt-on package I can’t see how Konami can lose?
Naturally, whatever the outcome, we can expect PESM to be just the first in an annual series of titles like Pro Evo Soccer and with that approach there is sure to be a steady learning curve. “2006” is the incredibly loose time frame Konami has given PESM. Currently only a PlayStation 2 version has been announced, but support for other formats is sure to follow.
Now it’s time to give the people what they want: More screenshots!