Other than the Champions League there’s a familiar feel to the rest of PES 2009’s modes. The International Cup (read: World Cup), leagues, and exhibition games are all in attendance and, of course, with a new PES there’s a whole new Master League, right? Wrong. Save for the new loyalty indicator that signals whether a player is happy at a club or not – giving you an idea of how easy/hard it will be to pry a player away – everything is exactly the same. You can play as your favorite team with their current squad, or the default players like Huylens et al, or make your own club from scratch to compete in the make-believe league and that’s about it.
Konami haven’t even incorporated the Champions League into the Master League either, which seems like a strange use of the competition. We know EA have all the licensing power to make their career mode exciting and accurate but Konami need to come up with some great ideas for PES 2010 because this is starting to wear really thin. But, judging by their Be A Legend mode – a carbon copy of FIFA’s Be A Pro – it looks like they’re all out of inspiration for the moment.
Be A Legend could’ve been huge but instead it feels incredibly shallow and soulless. The gist is that you create a 17 year old player and work your way up from, say, Sunderland’s reserves to the first team and beyond to giants like Barcelona or AC Milan. We’re gutted that you can only improve stats by playing training games or the odd first team game when they could’ve used the training mode that’s already tucked away on the disk to create realistic challenges and sessions which concentrate on specific skills. Hell, they could even have brought back the challenges from PES6 where you had to hit targets in free-kick training to bring some excitement to the fore.