Pro Evolution Soccer DS hands-on

Friday 12 May 2006
While the prospect of getting hands-on with any new Pro Evolution Soccer is always exciting, getting to play PES on a format as unique as Nintendo's DS is doubly so. The big question is: what has series creator Seabass done with the stylus and the touch-screen? Well, the big answer is: not much really...

The match action is displayed on the top screen which leaves the bottom screen open for tactical changes. We thought this would be used for changing formations on the fly, or for dragging players round to plug gaps or utilise space, but all we were able to do was change the attacking or defensive attitude of our team - something which you're able to do with shoulder buttons on the PS2 version. All-in-all it was a bit of a disappointment.

Above: Match action is displayed on the top screen, leaving the bottom screen for tactical changes

There is some good news, however, as once we got over the lack of touch-screen usage we discovered a tight and hugely enjoyable PES experience.

Unlike the PSP version which attempted to create an exact replica of the full console version on a handheld - and suffered for it - the DS version has stripped down graphics featuring cartoony player models and a seemingly over-large ball. This enables the Nintendo handheld to handle the busy player activity that you'd hope for from PES.