World Tour Soccer 06


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


Bland was the easiest way to describe World Tour Soccer's debut on the PSP. Aside from the lack of online play, its full feature set was a nice addition to the early days of the consoles life, while the cheap feel of the gameplay benched it. WTS 06 drops nearly all play modes, settling on a goofy, original, and lacking set of mini-game challenges.

wts061psp.jpg (38440 bytes)To be blunt, soccer fans will be blindsided by the menus on WTS 06. There's no cup play, no tournaments, and no leagues. The only options are exhibition, multi-player, and the World Tour.

World Tour is the sticking point here, relying on challenges more so than goal scoring. Yes, you'll still need to score, but in a different way. A side game in the original PSP release, great plays are awarded points (sloppy passes and rough tackles will decrease your score). They're tallied as the game goes on, and by meeting the requirements, you'll be awarded a medal.

You'll travel the world, facing off against the best teams included in the game. Each game is one of 10 different types of play. Shot Clock gives the player 15 seconds to shoot or you'll give up a free kick. All Rounder requires every player on the field to receive a pass before a shot can be taken. Outnumbered is self explanatory, putting the player's squad on the field with fewer players.

All of these would be fine as extras. Unfortunately, they're the core of the game, leading to restrictive rules that take away most of the excitement from the sport. The only way to play a real match is exhibition play, either online or locally. Online will prove to be a challenge and not just because someone may choose one of the World Tour play types. You'd first need an opponent, and aside from a record setting night of two people logged in at once, there's no one to play against.

wts062psp.jpg (52907 bytes)This is truly a shame as the soccer engine itself has improved dramatically. The robotic feel and animation has been completely eliminated. AI is aggressive and enjoyable to play against (you'll need to work for every goal), and the FIFPro license means rosters are accurate. Commentary hasn't improved, but it is available in Spanish this time in addition to the English calls.

Whether or not World Tour Soccer's latest edition is appealing depends on your feelings for the sport. If you're looking for a quick game on the road, you'll be disappointed. If you're looking for something different, than you very well may be hooked. The engine itself is strong enough to carry the game, just not in any standard mode of play. That's a tough hurdle to beat.


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Last updated: Friday, August 04, 2006 09:53 PM