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September 15, 2005
World Tour Soccer Challenge Edition - Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
1/9/2005SonySonyStudio Liverpool
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating
640KBEasy1-4G

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About to kick the ball back in.
If you love soccer and just bought your PS2 you're probably looking at store shelves and noticed a game by the name of World Tour Soccer Challenge Edition and wonder what it's all about. Well it's actually Sony's soccer title brought to us by the same people that make the This is Football/Soccer titles on Playstation 2. Why the name change? We're not really sure, but the game is tremendous fun to play and well worth considering.

So this game is more of an arcade styled soccer game rather then the simulation and detail in Konami's Pro Evolution titles. Gameplay is smooth with the analogue stick used to move your players around the pitch. As expected you have control over your team including formations, selected players, style of play and who performs special moves such as throw-ins etc. With the official license the game includes over 200 international and club teams and real player names and likenesses. Unfortunately the game only includes 8 stadiums to play in.

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Players look fairly good actually.
In terms of game modes World Tour Soccer includes Quick Match, where you're just thrown into a match with two random teams, Exhibition, where you can select the difficulty, match length, extra time, penalties or which of the eight stadiums you will play in. The Challenge Mode is one where you'll spend considerable time. In this mode you earn points for every pass, goal, tackle or saved goal. You'll have to be careful as you can also lose points if the opposition scores goals, or steals the ball off you and so on. It's your task in each of these seven Challenges to earn a certain number of points. At the end you may be awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal, but as a reward also unlock

Cups are the other area where you are likely to spend considerable time as you play through many world tournaments such as the World Tournament, Euro Club Cup, Asia & Oceania Cup and so on. After completing these tournaments you are awarded credits to unlock additional teams to play with in the other game modes. Finally, World Tour Soccer includes a multiplayer mode to play against some of your friends.

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In-game graphics are nice enough.
This games biggest crime is simply that it doesn't include a career mode of any kind thus reducing the longevity of the title. While every other soccer game seems to have this mode it has sadly been left off this PSP title. With the challenge modes able to be cruised through in almost no time, and the Tournaments can also be breezed through pretty easily, although on the highest difficulty may take a bit of effort. Another thing that pissed me off a bit is the way in which it was so easy to commit a foul on the opposition, but when they commit and obvious foul it's rarely called by the refs. The game also has some very suspect AI. It's not uncommon for AI controlled teams to pass the ball around, get one-on-one with your goalie, but then for some reason passes the ball back into a pack of players rather then taking a shot at goal.

World Tour Soccer is a fairly nice looking game. As well as a clean menu design the in-game graphics are also fairly nice. The stadiums all look wonderful and the players, while not the most detailed ever, aren't terrible either. Their animation is solid enough and the ball, even on the far camera, is easy to see. At times, the players seem to slide across the field instead of running as normal. Also slightly disappointing is that there are three camera angles - near, mid or far from the sideline, but none looking at the length of the field from behind the goals. Overall it's a pretty nice, but not great, looking game.

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It's past the goalie.
This game includes some pretty nice music for the menus however it's the ambient and crowd effects which are the highlight. Each crowd has its own effects depending on the teams playing with quite some variation in levels of noise depending on the action on the field. Unfortunately the commentary in the game is generally very poor. Besides a brief match introduction, and a comment when a goal is scored or the match ends the only other words you'll hear are player names. "Schwartzer", "Chipperfield", "Viduka", "Kewell", "Viduka", "That was a magnificent goal" and so on.

I guess the ultimate question is whether or not this game will match EA's FIFA 06 in terms of options, or Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 5 in terms of gameplay. We suspect not on either count, but that doesn't mean this is a bad game. Indeed for those looking for a more arcade styled game then this will probably fill your needs perfectly.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSNot the best we'll see, but not major issues to complain about.
78%
SOUNDMusic is good, and effects solid but the commentary is quite minimal.
70%
GAMEPLAYIt's arcade styled but actually pretty entertaining to play.
80%
VALUENo career mode really hurts. Everything is unlocked too soon.
62%
OVERALLWorld Tour Soccer Challenge Edition is an entertaining arcade styled game to play however the lack of game modes does hurt the longevity greatly. If you can't wait for EA's or Konami's soccer titles due in a couple of months then this game will tie you over nicely.
70%

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