Nintendo 3DS Review: Inazuma Eleven

If you think the dragon punch is brutal, then get a load of this!

If you think the dragon punch is brutal, then get a load of this!

By: Uma Smith

Inazuma Eleven is a mix of RPG and soccer that gained quite the popularity in Japan and even in Europe for a long while. Initially released for the Nintendo DS, the fact that these games have come to the 3DS means that developer Level-5 is doing something right with their execution. Well finally, Inazuma Eleven reaches North America as it makes its appearance as a Nintendo 3DS remake of the original title. Let’s get ready to “kick off” this season!

CONTROLS (4.5/5)

With Inazuma Eleven involving a lot of battles during these soccer matches, you’ll be using the touch controls entirely as you swipe your player in the direction you want him to move as well as tap in order to either shoot or pass. So it’s very easy and convenient, especially when using the stylus. There are also moments where you’ll need to perform special moves when approached by your opponent. Having effective controls here means that you not only getting to enjoy the challenges, but also having the time to bear witness to some really slick action on screen.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (4.75/5)

Terrific and magnificent are two words that pop up in my head when describing Inazuma Eleven. There is a nice blend of the 3D effects against a colorful and vibrant backdrop. The anime style really brings out the charm in the game as there are a constant number of cut-scenes that will blast you away.

The soccer battles themselves really stand out, not just because of the impressive visuals, but also on account of the game’s outstanding soundtrack. You really get a feel of the atmosphere with the adrenaline pumping in your veins with each occurrence of the action sequence. While the English dubbing may not be the best I’ve heard, I still have to give kudos to the voice actors for a job well done.

GAMEPLAY (4.5/5)

This is the first in a long while that I’ve come across a game like Inazuma Eleven where the union between sports and RPG comes into play. The result is quite pleasing and unique even though the concept in itself may sound ludicrous on paper. Basically, you gather a team of soccer players and help them develop in terms of their skills and abilities.

Of course, you’ll need to determine your team’s formations as well as develop your game strategy. The RPG aspect of the game really works here considering that you can help the players to acquire new talents and special moves. Since there are at least 1,000 of them that you may be able to train, the possibilities in terms of how the team will develop are nearly endless. Therefore, a lot of customization is offered, thereby significantly prolonging the game’s longevity.

If that wasn’t enough, Inazuma Eleven still offers further excitement during the soccer battles. Just like RPG games such as Final Fantasy, you get random encounters while roaming your environments types, which will bring you right into the challenge of a fight. As such, successfully beating your opponents will allow your characters to level up and grow stronger. And with an engaging story behind Inazuma Eleven, it entices you to spend just the extra few minutes in order to find out what will happen next. Before you know it, hours have passed by!

If having a superior single-player experience wasn’t enough, you get the multiplayer mode where you can face off against your friends through ad-hoc wireless. It’s very easy to get into the competitive mindset with a game like this. Unfortunately, the absence of an online multiplayer keeps this title from being perfect. But take note, every time you start up this game, the intensity will always be stirring.

OVERALL (4.5/5)

You don’t need to be a sports fan to appreciate the excitement and awe from the gameplay found in Inazuma Eleven. It is an outrage that it took this long to make it over to this part of the world. But now that it has, it’s time to go for the goal with Inazuma Eleven!

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About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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