World Tour Soccer 2 - PSP Review
Well the World Cup has come and gone and despite Australia being bundled out under the most controversial of circumstances to the eventual champions it was a wonderful event. With the sports image running at fever pitch Sony couldnít have picked a better time to release World Tour Soccer 2 on the PSP, the sequel to the hit launch title last year. This is quite a different soccer game then weíre used to as well. Itís not a hardcore recreation of the sport and leagues, but rather takes a unique approach to the sport, rewarding you for your performances around the entire pitch, and not just by scoring a goal. Itís an interesting concept, and one which weíve come to quite enjoy.
|Stadiums are quite wonderful.|
World Tour Soccer 2 could be seen as a full version of the Challenge mode seen in the original title. For those unfamiliar progress in the game is made, not by winning matches, but by the amount of points earnt on the pitch. You earn points by passing the ball around, effective tackles on the opposition, shots on goal and of course scoring the goals which gives you the most points. You can, though, lose points for the opposition stripping you of the ball, or scoring goals or if you foul the opponent. Itís a unique take and one which we found rewards you for great games Ė even if you lose.
The game doesnít include traditional competitions, leagues or the World Cup but rather a couple of other unique modes. As well as the exhibition match the game includes a World Tour mode where you must defeat teams on each continent, and the Medal Mode which is a series of challenges grouped together by type.
|The game looks pretty nice moving.|
Type of challenges you ask? Thatís right. As well as the unique scoring system thereís unique game modes. As well as the traditional game another gives you a shot clock which gives you only a matter of seconds from receiving the ball to having a shot, or itís a free kick to the opponent. Another is sees you having the play the ball to each of the 11 players on the pitch before scoring, while another called the Zone gives you bonus points for passes or scoring from various sections on the field. Thereís plenty more modes too including Check Point Challenge, Player Tag, Totally Outnumbered, Pass Clock to name a few. This variety certainly keeps playing the game interesting at all times.
In terms of actual mechanics World Tour Soccer 2 is quite a basic form of the game with a definite arcade style rather then simulation, but this means the game is entertaining at all times, and despite it's lack of moves is always entertaining.
The developers have also included a series of achievements for gamers to accomplish in World Tour Soccer 2. These range from fairly basic such as scoring a penalty or goals with three different players to extremely tough such as scoring 26,000 points in time attack - where a game of 4,000 points is considered good on most occasions! Load times are impressively short, a few seconds before the match and thatís about it. Multi-player gamers are given the option of Ad-Hoc (4-players), Infrastructure (2-players) and Game Sharing which is nice for Sony to include. We didn't try the Infrastructure mode due to a fried wireless router here, but the other two were tremendous fun and had us hooked for hours on end.
One thing that is missing from the original game is the club teams, but you know what, I didnít miss them. Perhaps it was due to the focus on the World Cup at this time of year, or that this isnít your Ďhardcoreí recreation as is the case with PES, but Sony must be commended for getting the strength of the worldwide teams about right. Australia is actually pretty good Ė something which is now well know following their World Cup games. The lack of real world tournaments also hurts the longevity of the title a bit - they seriously needed a World Cup styled offering.
Graphically I was very impressed with what the game has to offer. First up the presentation of the entire package is super slick with nice menus and on screen displays. The stadiums are unique and interesting while the pitches and players are, well, soccer-ish with smooth animations and frame rates throughout. There's certainly nothing to complain about here.
Audio in World Tour Soccer 2 is highlighted by the commentary which has been improved significantly over last years title. Most of the player names are used and there are usual comments on the progress of the game. Fortunately the music is upbeat and suitable for the game and the crowd effects really draw you in with a sense of liveliness to them.
World Tour Soccer 2 isnít a soccer game for everyone. If you want club teams your out of luck, if you want PES styled gameplay keep away, but for everyone else you will find one of the most enjoyable arcade styled games on the PSP. It's perfect to take on the road, accessible to anyone and just pure gaming fun.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||A lot slicker looking, recognisable players, no slowdown at all.||80%|
|SOUND||Good selection of music, crowds and commentary are very good.||80%|
|GAMEPLAY||It's not always traditional soccer in terms of scoring, but very fun.||82%|
|VALUE||A fair bit to unlock. No club teams or tournaments disappoints.||66%|
|OVERALL||World Tour Soccer 2 is a very enjoyable arcade styled soccer title released as the sport reaches fever pitch around the world. Fortunately, like the World Cup, this game doesn't disappoint either.||77%|