World Tour Soccer 2 ReviewCain Dornan
When compared to the norm, World Tour Soccer 2 is quite a different soccer video game experience. While it still carries the same basic controls that are quickly mastered by virtually anyone that is capable of pushing buttons corresponding to on-screen motion, it offers more than yet another regurgitated attempt at pitting gamers into an ultra-realistic world of soccer (or for many, football). You see, WTS 2 requires you to do more than simply pass a ball from one side of a field to another. While, yes, youll essentially be doing such a thing, youll quickly find yourself being restricted to specific creative rules and limitations, the type that youd see in a friendly schoolyard game of the sport. You must pass to all players on field before scoring, while other occasions see you being limited to how long you can hold the ball in your possession before you must take a shot for goal. These key differences, while small, add a level of much needed freshness to a genre that is quickly decaying in its repetitive nature. Were sick of playing the same game year-in, year-out; on many levels, WTS 2 answers our calls for variation.
The basis of WTS 2 is the eleven different gameplay styles that are on hand. While the entire game is based on the core aspects of the sport, each different game type introduces some added rules. Each mode is gradually introduced as you progress through the games core single player mode, that being the World Tour, which sees you winning a collection of matches within each continent. Each game type can also be played in the games Medal Mode, which poses as another key gameplay mode. Here, you can progress through a series of challenge-like events based on each of the game types available.
The game types include the Classic Challenge, which sees players receiving points based on stylish and successful play. If you pass effectively, steal the ball from opponents or score a goal, youll be rewarded points based on your skill and execution in doing so. If you pass sloppily or repeatedly miss goal shots, youll have points deducted from you. Basically, winning a match doesnt revolve around scoring a higher number of goals than your opponent; its about playing better and more effectively than your opponent.
Another game type forces you to pass the ball to all players on field including the goalie before being allowed to score a goal. Each time you score a goal, youll need to get the ball to each of your players on field before you can go for another attempt at goal. Shot Clock, on the other hand, introduces tight time restrictions, which limits how long your team can have control of the ball. The aim of this game type is to get the ball into the attacking quarter quickly, allowing just another time to set up a goal. This game type sees the game speeding up significantly, as you no longer have enough time to dawdle along and casually pass to each of your players.
Other game types on hand offer various other forms of gameplay, however, these arent quite as rememberable as the above mentioned game types. These include The Zone, where points are awarded or subtracted based on the location of the ball. Theres also Totally Outnumbered, where your team is pitted against a team that has a higher ratio of players on-field. Other game types including Time Attack, Challenge Plus, Pass Clock, Check Point Challenge and Player Tag.
Apart from progressing through the World Tour or Medal modes, you can also battle-it-out to satisfy various Achievement Awards. While these dont unlock any real bonuses, they do offer a novelty for those who enjoy overcoming difficult obstacles. These achievements range from scoring a set number of goals in one match through to scoring an unbelievably high number of points during a match, scoring a penalty or simply beating a human opponent online.
Outside of the World Tour and Medal modes, theres also Play Now and Exhibition, which are both quick-match type modes. The first pits you straight into a game with randomly selected options, while the former allows you to select various options for the match. These include the difficulty of your AI-controlled opponent, the length of the match, extra time conditions, penalties and the stadium in which the match will take place. Theres also full multiplayer support, which includes Ad Hoc or a watered-down game sharing capability, while the inclusion of Infrastructure for online play will satisfy those inclined.
A creative, eye-catching and effectively presented menu system compliments the games visuals, which look essentially the same as the original World Tour Soccer on the PSP. The developers appear to have added a bunch of new animations, however, which result in a wider variety of on-field animations that become particularly impressive during attempted goal shots. Some good music with basic commentary also adds to the atmosphere.
Although World Tour Soccer 2 is not an outstanding title, it is to be commended for its attempt to differentiate itself distinctively from the various other soccer titles on the market. In many ways, it does manage to breathe in some much needed variation into the sport. Fans of soccer will appreciate the solid gameplay mechanics that are enhanced with the varied game types on hand, resulting in it being a worthwhile purchase for soccer fans that are tiring of the usual formula.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.