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ESPN MLS GameNight: Looking Forward to This Season
Company: Konami

The graphics look pretty good in this alpha of ESPN MLS GameNight, especially during the actual gameplay. In some of the close-up shots, the low polygon count models look a bit blocky. But during most of the game, they look fine. The sounds have lots of, um... potential. There were some great sounding sound effects and a really good play by play, but there were also a number of bugs in the sound that will most likely be worked out before the game ships.

Soccer is not the most popular sport in America... and I?m not the biggest sports fan... by far. So, if there?s a sports game that I actually enjoy, that usually means it has a fairly wide appeal. ESPN MLS GameNight is a great soccer game. I enjoyed playing it quite a bit, and would have been quite addicted were it not for several bugs in this early previewable copy. There are several camera angles to choose from, including a simulation of the camera shots used in television coverage of a game. This mode zooms in closer for some of the action, but keeps a nice, playable distance most of the time. The controls are fairly easy to learn, letting you quickly get to work on your strategies.

Learning the controls is simple. Scoring a goal is difficult. There are a wide variety of teams to choose from, however. By choosing a team that compliments your playing style and choosing one of the weaker opponents, you can lower the difficulty level a bit. Also, you can play against a (less-skilled) opponent (read, ?little sister?) until you get better. THEN try to beat up on your friends. Actually... if your little sister plays soccer, you may want to pass on that... There is a ?practice? mode, so there?s hope.

There?s a lot of potential in MLS GameNight, but it?s in a very early stage as of the Alpha I received. The control is smooth and easy to comprehend, but there are several sound issues, etc. to be worked out. However, as I said above, if it?s a sports game that even I can ?get into,? then it?s gotta be GOOD. I can?t wait to see how this one turns out...

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins