World Tour Soccer
GOOOAAAALLLL! Now that we've gotten that out of the way... well, who's kidding? GOOOAAAALLLL!
Let's face it, sometimes portable soccer games just can't get their due. A lot of the early releases for the Game Boy system were overhead view games that really didn't offer the kind of comprehensive gameplay they could have, and some side-view ones lacked the depth that was necessary to give you an idea of where you are on the field.
But this is now the next generation of gaming, so such simplicities have been pared down in favor of something far more advanced. And once the PSP arrives next month, it'll have a good title to kick around with in World Tour Soccer.
The series has grown substantially over the years over on the PS2, and this marks the first time that it makes its way over to the handheld market. But that doesn't mean it's going to lose any of its thunder because Sony and 989 Sports are assuring us that the game will still be the same rollicking affair as its next-gen brethren.
The first thing you'll notice is the vast selection of teams that are available, from the 128 club teams that are known in the world soccer league to 86 international teams that span across the globe. There are even a few classic teams that some of you may remember from their historic victories over the years. Bottom line, there's plenty to choose from here, even right down to an authentic language option if you don't feel like putting up with the game in full English.
Then you've got the gameplay, which looks to be pretty above-standard when you consider that most of the competition would rather take the lazy way out. Many moves are at your arsenal, including a step over that keeps you in control of the ball while avoiding a rush, as well as standards like the header which lets you slam the ball towards the net with a jerk of the head.
The game also uses a full-blown artificial intelligence balance system so your players know what to do while the computer team you're facing is up-to-par. You'll see they'll be trying to steal the ball at every opportunity or prevent your forward drive. The accuracy you have over the ball is divine, even allowing you to change direction with ease or take on a free kick every once in a while.
That's not all! World Tour Soccer also looks to benefit highly from the presentation, featuring lighting effects and some slick cut-scenes to add to the drama of soccer. TV announcers will also be on hand to shout the infamous "GOOAAAALLLL!" with each score or comment on a foul. And the game will also bring with it some excellent modes to mess around with, from the typical Quick Start and Exhibition Match to the much deeper modes like Challenge Mode, Cups Mode, and Online Mode, where you can challenge your buddies via Wi-Fi play.
If soccer's your thing, then World Cup Soccer should easily be your next score for the PSP when it arrives next month. We'll have a high-kicking review for you very shortly, as well as some dude screaming out "GOOOAAAALLLL!" just to get us in the mood.