Real Football 2009 (NA: Real Soccer 2009)
Wii | Gameloft | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now | 800 Nintendo Points
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7th May 2009; By Billy White
When it comes to sports titles, the DS isn't really know for having the best games in the genre, so it came as a surprise when Gameloft revealed that they were releasing a full football game complete with real player names and teams, alongside several modes, multiplayer options and even some DSi enhancements... all in one DSiWare download.
As it turned out, the game was simply an enhanced port of Real Football 2009 (already available as a retail game), but with the option to add your face into the game using the camera. Of course, just 800 points for a full game is a great deal as it is, but when you consider that the game is actually really decent, you'll soon see just why this is a title that every DSi-owning football fan must own.
As you'd expect, the gameplay is very simple, yet faithful to the sport itself. All the normal rules are included as part of the game, and there are no fancy gameplay additions to make the sport more "fun". The standard control setups sees you running with the D-pad (holding "R" if you wish to speed up), passing with the B button and shooting with Y. All fairly simple, but for expert players, there are several different moves included as well, from long passes and through passes, to "flip flop"s and "one-two" passes. You shouldn't feel overwhelmed by the amount of button combinations though, since they don't require much memorising. At any point in a game, there is also the option to change the formation of your team using the touch screen, a handy tool if you find that one area of the pitch is lacking players at any point.
For people who like being different and enjoy utilising newer technology than "buttons", there is a special control scheme for the DS touch screen as well. This includes having to draw a line in the direction you want to pass, drawing a curve for overhead shots and touching the top of the screen to change player, all whilst using the D-pad and L to move around and speed up. This scheme is okay and a fun little addition to the game, but you won't be likely to use it very often, since it isn't particularly easy to keep it up for a whole match and win.
There are several different ways to play, either by playing a quick game, seeing how far you can get through practising your hand at penalties from both the goalkeepers point of view and the striker, or going against three of your friends. In addition to this, there are several different cups you can take part in, each with many real teams and players. Not that it will really matter though, since the players faces are too pixelated and small to recognise, but if you'd rather, there is also the option to swap players' faces with your own or a friends, thanks to the camera functionality. This also allows you to post up your picture in the stadiums or even on the ball, but this does very little to alter the gameplay, if at all.
There is a lot in this game altogether, and it's all executed very well. Despite this, there are a few minor problems. First of all, the game can be a bit awkward, especially when it comes to choosing which players you control whilst in defense. This can often add some unnecessary frustration and complication to the gameplay, and makes getting the ball back a bit trickier than it needs to be. Second, the multiplayer mode is only compatible with other people who own the game on their DSi. This means that you can't connect with people who own the DS retail original, and you can't send a multiplayer version to friends via DS Download Play. Finally, the difficulty may me a tad high for those not currently skilled in the football game department, even on easy, so a beginner mode would have certainly been appreciated.
Overall though, this is well worth a purchase at only 800 points, and every football or soccer fan should certainly give it a go, since it provides just about everything you'd expect from your average football game, but in a great handheld package, that doesn't take a lot of getting used to, and only features a couple of minor flaws. For what it is though, it does a damn good job, and includes many different little touches that you're sure to appreciate, even if you don't use them much.
27/30 - Very Good
Gameplay 9/10 - Memorable football game, simple fun
Presentation 9/10 - Great visuals for the DS, very clear graphics
Enjoyment 4/5 - Good for football fans
Extra Content 5/5 - Lots of good value
Equivalent to a score of 90% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)
Review by Billy White | How we rate games