Inazuma Eleven 2 offers a new story and a couple of gameplay tweaks but is ultimately more of the same.
- Fun, involved story.
- Tutorials are slowly drip-fed
- Plot is far too reliant on you having played the original
- Doesn't address the first game's glaring issues.
UK REVIEW--The lads of the Raimon football team are back, fresh from winning the Football Frontier in Inazuma Eleven. The action in Firestorm/Blizzard picks up just seven days after the conclusion of the first game, beginning with an epilogue to that tale, resolving some of the former's outstanding plotlines. The celebrations don't last for long, however. Plucky goalkeeper Mark Evans doesn't even have time to return to training before football-mad aliens from Alius Academy decide to invade, on a crusade to destroy the world's schools through football.
If you played the first Inazuma Eleven, the sequel is immediately familiar. If you didn't, well, this game isn't aimed at you. Despite a number of tutorials, slowly drip-fed over the opening hours, Inazuma Eleven 2 is hugely reliant on your having gone through the first. The plot makes little sense if you aren't already familiar with Mark, Axel, and crew. Mechanically, Inazuma Eleven 2 is also pretty much the same game.
Inazuma Eleven 2 has two primary elements. The first has you and your team wandering around regions, chatting to non-player characters, buying up football kits and healing items, and generally advancing the plot. The kids now have access to a tour bus, so the whole of Japan is fair game. There's nothing really surprising to be found elsewhere--each areas has streets, parks, and schools with football pitches--but the concept of touring around the country allows the areas to look more varied at least. The overworld contains restore points that let you pay PP (points earned through playing football) to heal your characters, as well as training points that let you pay to increase a character's stats, such as power and speed.
The other element is actual football. On the pitch, you control characters with the stylus, drawing lines to direct them around and tapping to shoot or pass. It's exactly the same system as in the first game, and once again there's no immediacy to the controls, something usually required for an exciting game of football. Unlike in the first game, however, you no longer need to be able to see the goal onscreen to take a shot, since a shot button has been included in the top right-hand corner.
Each player has a bunch of special moves, either their starting moves, ones they learn throughout the course of the narrative, or moves you can teach them from books. These moves are key to winning, with the majority of shots going saved unless powered by a fire-breathing dragon, or turned into a spinning ball of ice. Defensive and offensive possession moves are also once again present, and the success of these depends on how your relevant stats compare to your opponent's.
As in the first game, matches take the form of four-a-side random battles or 11-a-side football matches against rival schools. In the former, you must either score first or retrieve the ball. Retrieving the ball takes seconds and is basically impossible to fail. The battles in which you have to score start off a little unbalanced, and you frequently find yourself unable to do so in the time limit. Once your characters start leveling up a bit, though, the battles become a breeze, and the difficulty curve is once again entirely misjudged.
How did I miss this? I liked the first one very much, this one is as good as bought. No significant changes? That's what I like to hear about sequels.
I actually really really enjoyed the first game. My biggest fault was the horrible voice acting, which isn't even mentioned here.... So I'll probably pick this up. I don't like the game for trying to collect everything like pokemon, I like building up a team and winning the game. It's not really a collectathon game.
this is one mediocre review, I wish half the game sites would fire there reviewers and get people who actually play games