Konami announced today the new user interface for the Wii version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. Rather than mash the button controls from the 360 and PS3 versions into a waggle system, Konami took time to design something special for the Wii Remote. That was awfully nice of them to do. It looks like Nintendo isn’t the only developer who understands what it takes to make good Wii gameplay. If PES 2008 lives up to the control promises, this might be the sweetest sports title on the system since Wii Sports.
Players control their character with the thumbstick on the nunchuck, but use the pointer to control what happens around them. You’ll point at a player and send them somewhere or have them receive a pass using a drag and drop system. When you’re done setting up the play a simple press of the “B” button sets it in motion. It sounds fishy on paper, but if you sit with a Wii Remote in your hands and think about the controls they make perfect sense. In fact, my initial “what the hell?” reaction was tempered when I remembered how much people hated the Wii Remote when it was first announced. Now that I’ve read it, I can’t think of a better control scheme for a soccer game.
When it comes to getting down the field that is handled by the “A” button. You’ll have an arrow in front of your character that can be extended or reduced with the remote, thus making your player speed up or slow down as needed. This allows precise control of your character in turns and during sprints to outwit defenders. Shots on goal are made with a shake of the Wii Remote. But you still have to consider what’s going on around you to make the perfect play.
And just in case this is all too much for you, PES 2008 will include extensive tutorials to get you acclimated to the new style of play. The game is scheduled to release for the Nintendo Wii on March 28th.