“Inazuma Eleven” is a unique game that combines role-playing elements with soccer gameplay. This small gem was originally released as a Nintendo DS game in Japan in 2008, then in the UK in 2011 before reaching our shores February of 2014.
For Nintendo 3DS via eShop
Review Score: 4/5
The game is only available via download on the Nintendo eShop at a daunting price of $19.99, however the value is well worth it as the game is ported over with no changes to take away from the unique experience.
The game is split into two sections of different gameplay. The first section deals with the day-to-day tasks of managing your soccer team. This not only progresses the story, but also allows for training and leveling up your team members.
The latter section of the game is a tactical sport simulation that takes place when the story presents a soccer match. During these gameplay sections you have to decide where your team members go on the field, as well as deciding when they shoot or pass.
“Inazuma Eleven” would be fun enough at that point, but apart from the normal soccer gameplay, there are also combination shots and special moves that are flamboyant and colorful. These special moves can range from a kick turning a soccer ball into a meteor or three team members joining hands to score a goal.
The story in “Inazuma Eleven” is fairly simple. The main character notices a lack of a soccer team at his school and decides to start one to solve the problem. He also happens to be the grandson of a superstar soccer player that used to run the soccer team at the same school.
The biggest, if only, complaint comes from the age of the game. No changes are made to the gameplay or the graphics, and it shows in most of its sprite based movement. “Inazuma Eleven” is a unique experience and though it shows its age, it is worth the $20 price tag. It’s a fun game with gameplay you won’t find anywhere else and earns a score of 4 out 5.