World Tour Soccer PSP
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by London Studio
Release Date: Out Now
World Tour Soccer, an introduction.
With football easily being the most popular sport here in Europe, it was vital we had a football game for the release of the PSP. On the PlayStation 2 the more popular football games are the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer series. Whilst both of these series will appear on the PSP, it won't be until later this year. There's a chance for another football game to make its mark on the PSP then and the only football game to be available for the Euro release date is World Tour Soccer Challenge Edition.
What's the game about?
If you like football games and own a PlayStation 2, then chances are you've encountered the This Is Football series. Whilst never being the best football series, it's always been a solid and accessible series with plenty of longevity. World Tour Soccer is a PSP spin-off from This Is Football that offers Quick Game, Exhibition, Challenge Mode, Cups and Multiplayer (in a wireless ad hoc setup) game modes. The game contains 200+ teams and plenty of unlockables to keep you playing for months to come.
What's good about the game?
World Tour Soccer is very easy to pickup and play and this is definitely the best aspect of the game. The controls are so intuitive that in almost no time at all you'll be comfortable with the game. In fact the control system suits the PSP perfectly and as well as the usual moves you'll have access to a nice collection of skill moves that will help you breeze past the opposing defenders. The Challenge Mode is very addictive and although the first 3 or 4 matches are very easy, the challenge soon ramps up quickly. In Challenge Mode games you're given points for completing passes, scoring goals, making tackles whilst you'll lose points for conceding goals or failing to complete passes or make tackles etc. The idea is to acquire a certain number of points in order to earn medals. For successfully completing a challenge you'll unlock teams and stadiums etc., and all things considered it's a great mode.
What's not so good about the game?
Those looking for more of a football simulation will probably be slightly disappointed with World Tour Soccer as it's definitely more of an arcade game. Defensively the game is rather weak and both yourself and the AI will have few problems in creating goal scoring opportunities as a result. Still at least you're on an equal footing with the AI which is more than can be said for a lot of football games in the past. The keepers can be a little erratic at times too although it's not a major problem by any means. There's no season or career mode in World Tour Soccer and that's unfortunate. There are plenty of cups to play in but with no leagues or seasons there's no opportunity to transfer players or build your own squad. Some may also be disappointed that to begin with most of the teams are locked so if you wanted to pick West Bromwich Albion, for example, and play in the FA Cup you'll have to unlock them first.
How does it look?
Graphically World Tour Soccer is pretty similar to the This Is Football games on the PlayStation 2 which is great to see. The presentation of the game is actually quite impressive with its TV style action replays etc. The game uses the side-on camera which has 3 levels of zoom and when the camera is zoomed all the way out it allows for quite a decent view of the pitch, which is great to see on a handheld console. The players look good but don't expect many of them to look like their real life counterparts. The frame rate remains constant throughout and there's no slowdown whatsoever.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
The games in World Tour Soccer do have commentary and as usual it's not subtitled. This isn't a real problem though and it's certainly nothing to worry about. Commentary aside, the game is absolutely fine for deaf gamers as all the information is exclusively in text. During Challenge Mode games any points earned or lost are displayed visually and your running total remains at the top right of the screen so you'll always be aware of your progress.
I daresay a lot of PSP owning football fans will see World Tour Soccer as a stop gap game whilst they await FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer on the console. World Tour Soccer is actually a good football game and sufficiently different from the FIFA and PES series. The game is very easy to get into and has plenty of replay value thanks to the Challenge and Cups modes. It has to be made clear that World Tour Soccer is an arcade football game though and doesn't even attempt to be a simulation. This is no bad thing though and many will appreciate just how easy the game is to pick up and play.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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World Tour Soccer is a good first football game on the PSP. The lack of a season or league mode is unfortunate though. However, if you prefer a more arcade style football game you should like what World Tour Soccer has to offer.