Iíll probably be saying this every year, just incrementing the number by one: Winning Eleven 8
is the best soccer game on the market. It surpasses every other soccer game out there in terms of realism and fun. The amount of options at your fingertips may stagger some, but those with strong stomachs for extremely dynamic gameplay will relish what this game has to offer.
At first glance, it seems that Winning Eleven 8 has all of the same stuff that other soccer games have: a Cup mode for tournament junkies, League mode for those who follow the intricate team rivalries for overseas clubs, the Master League mode for control freaks, and even a Training mode that tests your skills as an armchair futbol-er. Though this is a hefty amount of options to choose from, it doesnít stray too much from the beaten path that other games, including its predecessors, have laid down. Where Winning Eleven 8 shines is in the execution of these modes.
The Cup and League modes are great extras that can be played to their fullest in a single sitting. Though the club teams do not have their real world names, the players retain their identities and the teams can be easily identified by hard-core fans. Licensing agreements aside, every international team and most overseas club teams are included, giving you a plethora of squads to choose from when endeavoring in one of these challenges.
The real feather-in-the-cap for Winning Eleven 8 is the Master League mode. In it, you choose a club team and try to win your earnings so you can claim new and better players that bring their squad to the championship. While the player trading/acquiring system may seem complicated at first, it is one that becomes easier to handle with use. The more games you win, the more money you get. When youíve garnered some case, you can search the database via Winning Eleven 8ís search engine to find the right player for your team. After that, getting them onto the squad is just a button press away.
The Training mode in Winning Eleven 8 is a silent victory for the game. As in the past, it treats the basic mechanics as separate mini-games. The core mechanics of soccer are broken up into various categories like passing, attack, free kicks, etc. Each challenge scores you based on your abilities, and to move on to the harder ones you have to meet certain score standards. You also earn WE Points by partaking in the challenges, and by playing most of the rest of the game for that matter, which can be spent on unlockable options like ball effects and new stadiums.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Create-a-Player mode. Here you can customize a player from scratch, tweaking looks, skills, nationality; even put him on any team you want. And though you canít create a whole team from scratch, you can edit any team you want, and there are enough to the point that you can take over a crappy one and fill it with the Frankensteins you make in the Create-a-Player mode.