Thanks to its point-and-pass mechanics and Mii integration, the Wii version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 can safely be described as the biggest upheaval of the series in years. But have such sweeping changes to one of the most finely balanced franchises in gaming been for the better? Well, the critics certainly seem to think so ...

Official Nintendo Magazine UK -- 90%: First out of the tunnel with its views is the UK edition of Official Nintendo Magazine, which suggests that persevering with the new Wii controls will pay dividends: "Easily the best football game on a Nintendo system. It takes a while to get used to the new controls but once you get your head round them, they become second nature." [March 2008, p.58 -- excerpt found at Metacritic]

IGN -- 86%: IGN's Matt Bozon argues that the Wii controls play a crucial role in creating the "most strategic" soccer experience ever: "The integration of IR into a sports game has been extremely minimal so far, but is absolutely ideal in this situation, allowing players to not only play the ball specifically, but direct traffic and precisely move every player on the field in tandem, making for the most realistic, strategic, and intuitive soccer experiences we've ever seen."

1UP -- 75%: And it's more of the same from 1UP's Andrew Pfister, who expresses surprise that the Wii version is so superior to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions: "It's always refreshing to see a unique application of the Wii's motion controls, and it's even more encouraging to see a new idea that's not only functional, but something that really can't be done any other way. We're not sure what's going on over at Konami's PES team: on one hand, there seem to be some major issues in regards to PS3/360 development, yet the less-technically apt Wii version ends up being the game to move the franchise forward."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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