by Liam Edwards
reviewed on NDS
What a finish!
Inazuma Eleven involves players taking on two main tasks. The first task is for the player to re-build the Raimon team. You can achieve this by training the team, acquiring players from all around Japan and even previous opposition players and by learning special skill moves. Although requiring players and spending time recruiting is a bit flat, and the players you start out with are more than adequate to finish the game with, it can be fun swapping and trading players. But with 5 of the players you start out with being required to be used in the team at all times, it is rather pointless spending time building up a team of other players, just to fill the other 6 spots.
Skill moves are centred around shooting, dribbling and defending. Players can learn different moves depending on their position- defensive players can learn moves which allow them to block opposition players, or moves that can allow them to steal the ball back from the on-coming opposition, while midfielders and strikers can use two sets of moves,-moves that allow them to dribble past defenders and moves that allow for power-shots past the goalkeeper. Goalkeepers can also choose to use a block attack. To learn new moves, you have to train the team. To do this, you can walk around the school and different areas of Inazuma, to encounter rival clubs and teams for a three on three battle.
These battles are in essence the random battle factor of the game. Battles play out by giving the player a specific pre-requisite to accomplish before the time runs out. The usual pre-requisite is to score the first goal and can usually be accomplished within one move. You can also decide to go to the special Inazuma Eleven training centre. Here you can decide to a specific training session and build upon a certain area of the team. Once chosen, you must go through a series of rooms, much like a dungeon, and battle with other teams without losing. Once you get to the final room, you must play a match against another team. Matches are 11-on-11 full football matches. If you beat the final team, the whole Raimon team has their stats raised and levels raised. Sometimes, when levelling up, a player may learn a new skill move automatically, at other points you must use items called manuals to teach them new skill moves.
Each skill move has a certain amount of TP points needed to be used. This then becomes an important section of the tactical decisions you need to make in a match or battle. The more powerful a move the more TP it uses, but the more powerful it is, the higher a success rate of the shot going in. Players have to decide whether it would be worth using that amount of TP points at that point in the match. It is always good to try and push for goals at the start of the match, but if you don’t leave enough TP points to defend afterwards, matches can switch in balance quickly. Many teams you face within the story will use nothing but skill moves, so the only way to defend or attack is with other skill moves to counter. Building up and training to gain more TP points is important.
The second task is to win the frontier league. This is the main campaign, and involves your newly formed team entering the frontier league between local schools and then between national teams. The teams you face within the league are all crazy rival schools who, in true anime fashion, have a special theme and a special attack or tactic you must overcome to be the winners. Some of the teams you face include: a ninja high school, a farm high school and an occult (supernatural) high school.
Each team has a skill move that is required to be countered or beaten in special ways. Before each match, you can decide to train and level up each player and learn new skill moves. But, for the story, special players within the team must go through set training to learn skill moves that are required to beat the other teams. Usually these moves are then used first in a match to stop the other team from pulling out their skill moves. The match then moves on from there playing out like a normal match. It can sometimes lead to a bit of an anti-climax, when after training hard to stop a move that seemed impossible to stop before, is now easy to thwart.
Fantastic battle system, challenging and rewarding and hours of entertainment.
Some mundane RPG tasks that can’t be avoided. Small environments and world.