Saturday, August 10, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 41 - Winning Eleven 6

It's pretty easy to say that Winning Eleven 6 for the PS2 was the first sports game I ever fell in love with. Sure, we played a lot of other games, multiplayer of course, but they were always mindless pick up and play and then forget about affairs. Winning Eleven 6 was the first time I ever really, honestly, genuinely put a lot of time into a sports game. It was wonderful. And, not surprisingly, still holds up pretty darn well 16 full years after it was originally released. Read on for more.

Winning Eleven 6 was the first game I ever bought from GameStop. It's also the first game I ever pre-ordered online. That doesn't sound particularly interesting, I'm sure, but way back in 2003 it was a big deal. Back then we had to drive to the next town over to buy a new game or DVD or something, so the convenience of just ordering something online was pretty novel. It wasn't the first thing I ever bought online, though. That honor goes to a VHS copy of George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" sometime in 2002. You always remember your first ...

I reviewed Winning Eleven 6 for GamesFirst! way back in the day. We didn't have a strong relationship with Konami back then so I had to buy it myself. I loved soccer (still do) and this game was so hyped up as being something special that I just had to play it. I was not disappointed. The visuals were stunning, the controls were perfect, and the Master League career mode was spectacular fun that kept me playing for months and months. I gave it a 5/5, which was kind of a big deal at a site where most of the reviewers were more PC gamers and RPG fans.

Playing Winning Eleven 6 in 2019 is still a pretty darn enjoyable experience. The fast pace of the game is lovely and the smooth controls still feel great. I played on the pcsx2 emulator with 4x resolution and 4x anti-aliasing and, I have to say, it looks pretty freaking amazing for a 2003 game. Seriously, look at that gameplay video.

I also really enjoyed Winning Eleven 7,8, and 9 - especially since 8 and 9 were on Xbox - but WE6 still holds a special place in my heart. It's a shame that Konami screwed up so hard in the shift to PS360 and took a full decade to really catch back up to FIFA. I do think Pro Eveo 2018 and 2019 are probably better than FIFA, but not having the proper licenses for everything like FIFA does makes it a pretty hard sell for most people.