World Tour Soccer 2 ReviewCain Dornan
Gamers are flooded with sport titles every season, or with game system that comes into play. In this case, Sony has launched their Playstation Portable, in which SCEEs development studio has made a soccer title available right off the starting kick, by moving their somewhat ordinary soccer series onto the shiny little system. Interestingly, the franchise transfer from console to handheld has been handled quite well, with the end result being an enjoyable soccer experience that, although not exactly accurate, delivers a refreshing experience that incorporates a welcomed pick-up-and-play approach.
World Tour Soccer delivers a large collection of worldwide soccer teams, each complete with a full roster of players. While the game does not include a career mode of any type, presumably to stick to the portability aspect of the game, a decent number of modes and events are available for play. For those wishing to quickly jump into the game without having to worry about wasting time editing settings, the Quick Game mode allows you to instantly jump into a game of soccer. Teams, the stadium and so on are selected at random, providing a perfect choice when you have a few short minutes to spare.
For those who like to have control over what they play, the Exhibition mode is the way to go. The mode allows you to create your own custom match by altering a number of settings to your liking, which range from the difficulty of your opponents, the length of the match, how the extra time will be used, whether penalties will be on or off and select a stadium from around the world. While the mode does not offer any awards based on your performance, such as in the form of unlocking further stadiums or teams, it does allow for a fun, quick and controlled soccer game that sticks close to the games quick-access portability approach.
One of the key single player modes in which you obtain unlockables is the Challenge mode. This mode simply requires you to complete a selection of pre-determined matches, all the while gaining style points that are based off your performance in game. If you perform tactical passes, brilliant tackles or score goals, you will be reward with points. Sloppily passing the ball, allowing the opposition to steal the ball from your control or performing fouls will result in you being penalized of points. If you manage to score enough points by the end of the match, you will be rewarded with a medal and unlock the next challenge. As you progress through the Challenge mode, you will unlock extra stadiums to be used in the Quick Match and Exhibition modes.
The Cups mode involves participating in a range of different tournaments that take place around the world. Such tournaments include the World Tournament, Euro Cup, Americas Cup, South Americas Cup, Asia and Oceania Cup, Africa Cup, and the Euro Club Cup. Each cup involves progressing through a series of varying matches that slowly increase in difficulty. Losing a match will result in your teams termination from the tournament.
Finally, for those who wish to show their skill against other human players will be pleased to learn that World Tour Soccer does support fill wireless LAN multiplayer support. The mode essentially allows you to create your own custom event and then compete against a friend.
Although the game has been created to be slightly more simplistic than its console counterpart, a solid collection of options are available. Prior to the beginning or during a match, you are given the opportunity to edit your teams positions, their formation, their roles and the overall game plan. Although it isnt a revolutionary feature, the simplicity of editing your team is surprisingly easy, allowing you to quickly jump into the game.
The visuals in World Tour Soccer, while not jaw dropping, satisfyingly present the sport of soccer in some solid player detail and animation. At times, specifically while they are running, the fluid level of their movement can sometimes be jittery. Furthermore, the facial detail is quite bland during the short cutscenes, which are triggered when red and yellow cards are being issued or when you are exchanging on-field players. Onto the sound, World Tour Soccer offers a solid array of in-game commentary that never becomes overly annoying.
Being one of the first soccer titles on the Playstation Portable, World Tour Soccer is a solid experience that successfully brings the world of soccer video games onto the full 3D handheld world and sets a good standard for future games in the genre. Those looking for a enjoyable soccer experience on the PSP will be satisfied with World Tour Soccer.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.