First, the bad news. Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007's licensing has got worse. Chelsea (now London FC) have been replaced by Manchester United (formerly Man Red), the Welsh team is captained by Gils and, most incomprehensibly, the Bundesliga has been completely erased - with Bayern Munich the only survivors.
Yet despite losing Germany, WEPES2007 retains the country's key attributes - from the mathematic efficiency of the gameplay, to the surging, unpredictable, passing movements reminiscent of Jurgen Klinsmann's gung-ho World Cup team to - sadly - the almost depressingly functional presentation, with the minimalist 'charm' of a Bauhaus industrial estate.
No matter, though - WEPES2007 triumphs emphatically, and predictably, over FIFA 07 in this season's next-gen footy showdown. EA may own the license, but Konami dominates on the pitch - where it counts the most.
Put simply, WEPES2007 feels better. Passing movements are simultaneously crisper and messier than FIFA 07 - read: more realistic - since they're a direct result of the clarity of your thinking and the abilities of your players. Off-the-ball movements are more fluid, intelligent and, once again, aggravating, depending on your fellow players' ability. Shooting feels more responsive to the point of being too exacting, once again, relative to the ability of your players (and punishing to the uninitiated). Do we need to go on?
WEPES2007 feels like masterminding a team of 11 unique individuals, where each attack, agility, balance, shooting point, or playmaker ability star makes a difference - or, more importantly, feels like it makes a difference - and requires unique handling to maximise their worth. While initially intimidating, it's this scientific precision that makes it amore demanding, skillful and ultimately rewarding game.