Jeremy Jastrzab
23 Sep, 2005

World Tour Soccer: Challenge Edition Review

PSP Review | More dives than a Brazil vs. Argentina match.
With Pro Evolution Soccer 5 and the latest FIFA titles soon to be released, there is one title in the PSP launch line-up that will unfortunately suffer from the late PAL release. World Tour Soccer is a long running soccer series from Sony’s European studios and has been a PlayStation 2 exclusive. This version happens to be based loosely off the 2005 rendition on PS2, as regular followers of the series will find out. The reason we say that it’s unfortunate to have come out so close to these big gun releases is that it happens to be a pretty good game.

World Tour Soccer happens to be the Mortal Kombat of Soccer games. It isn’t as deep or as realistic as the others (because Street Fighter and Tekken are known for their realism. - Ed), but it just happens to be fun.

The game modes cover the basics. You’ve got Quickplay, Exhibition, a good but short Challenge mode and plenty of Cups. The Challenge mode pits you against the world’s top teams, each with increasing difficulty. However, there are only a handful of teams and soccer game veterans won’t have too much trouble getting through it. Each FIFA region has a cup, as well as there being World and Club Tournaments.

A bit late to try and defend it now

A bit late to try and defend it now
Not only are the tournaments numerous, but for each cup victory you will receive tokens that you can put towards unlocking teams. Victories alone will unlock some of the special and novelty teams. Though this mightn’t seem much, there are a LOT of teams to unlock. Starting at about 20% unlocked, there are over 160 International teams, nearly 100 club teams and a fair few special teams.

The good thing about soccer is that the video game has been around for years, so it isn’t difficult for developers to make it work. However, World Tour Soccer proves to be the best handheld rendition thus far. Not only that, but it also happens to be one of the most faithful console style games to have been made on a handheld system.

No Goalie Mode

No Goalie Mode
The actual soccer game has made an excellent transition to the PSP. The analog nub happens to be almost spot-on with very precise movements possible with very little hassle. The fact that the game flows just as it would on a console is an excellent achievement. WTS happens to have a few twists of its own, too. It claims fame from a little trick known as the “dive”.

While the game’s tricks are hardly the most robust seen in a soccer game, they are extremely effective - though sometimes they may be considered a little too effective. It isn’t too difficult to dodge slide-tackling defenders and a bit of tactical precision goes a long way. Defending isn’t as fun as attacking, but with a bit of patience, players will be fine. You can also dive all you want, though you'll pay for it eventually.

Surely, the Brazilians wouldn't do anything wrong?

Surely, the Brazilians wouldn't do anything wrong?
The soccer itself is very good, however, it may suffer when compared to the depth of other games. The AI is excellent most of the time, bar a few occasions where it may completely lose the plot. For example, most AI players won’t move after a stationary ball. Other than an extremely effective trick system, comparatively easy goals and some questionable referee bias, this is an excellent game of soccer that works well as a handheld title. Soccer fans will relish with some of the classic teams, like England from the 1960’s. Load times are very quick, so the game works really well for a pick-up-and-go game, given that you can customise the match length and the game can be set to autosave after every game.

Bugger the Soccer, who's up for Hacky-Sack?

Bugger the Soccer, who's up for Hacky-Sack?
Graphically, the game is solid without being groundbreaking. The 3D models and animations are all good, without any noticeable deficiencies. The only thing noticeable is that off the pitch, there is little or no atmosphere, something we’re sure that most will get used to. Sound-wise, the game is completely ordinary. Sound effects are basic, commentary is extremely shallow and the music is oddly solemn.

What players have here is a very good soccer game that is a lot of fun. There’s plenty to unlock, the multiplayer is good and the soccer is rock-solid. Not to mention that the quick load-times make for the most faithful on the road console experience to date, though the lack of depth will not appease everyone. The impeding releases of the much deeper FIFA and Pro Evo 5 will also overshadow the game. Still, given the opportunity, players shouldn’t overlook what is probably one of the most justifiable reasons that the PSP exists.
The Score
World Tour Soccer gives the PSP a reason to exist, as it has been tailored to be one of the best home console experiences on the handheld to date. It's just a shame about the timing.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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8 years ago
lol, who would buy this game?
8 years ago
pretty good ive got it but no season
8 years ago
click here wrote
lol, who would buy this game?
Someone who read the review to find it positive?
Nice work, although the summary makes the game sound worse than the article.
8 years ago
Definately not the portable soccer game for me, PES can't come soon enough.
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