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Inazuma Eleven - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Inazuma Eleven
Developer: Level-5
Release Date: TBA (Japan)

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I have to hand it to Level 5. They pulled off one of the better public relations stunts at TGS this year, by drawing huge crowds to their booth advertising two of their new games. The lure? A free DS cartridge with demos of both of the games. One of those games, Inuzama Eleven, is an RPG and hence of interest to us. Not only is it an RPG, it is a soccer RPG.


"Not only is it an RPG, it is a soccer RPG. ..."

Digest that for a second, and then continue reading the impression. Actually, the concept is pretty interesting, and playing it is a challenge at well. At least the demo is. As a DS title, this game makes extensive use of the stylus, and it is used to control your team and individual players. Intercepting opposing players and setting up goals makes for a big challenge, especially with the stylus as the only method of doing so.

Where's the RPG in it? This comes with building up team members, not only in terms of levels and status but also with techniques. When a player intercepts another, you have different options based on the method of approach. Kick, tackle, steal, shoot, and so on. Again, only so much can be played in these short impressions, but in a remake and port heavy show this is one of the more unique (if not the most unique) titles I've seen on the floor.

There is a story mode which serves as the bulk of the game, though befitting the DS and the style of game it is, multiplayer is where the game could really shine. I'm no fan of stylus-heavy games on the DS, but this is one case where it makes for interesting gameplay. That, and soccer RPGs aren't a usual occurrence. Final verdict...gooooooooaaaaaalll!

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