World Tour Soccer 2005 Review

Developer: 989 Sports Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: April 13, 2004 Also On: None

989 Sports has released the latest edition of their soccer franchise, World Tour. Now in its third year, World Tour has become the leader in the soccer arena for the PS2. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, but has never caught on in America. This is unfortunate, since a great title like this will most likely not be recognized by the gaming public.

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Game modes included in World Tour 2005 are: exhibition, cup, league, season, career, and challenge. Exhibition allows two players to face off against one another. The options menu allows you to set the difficulty, match length, turn on/off penalties, etc. You also select from 22 stadiums, time of day, and weather patterns.

The cup mode allows for up to twelve human teams to enter the competition. Ten total games are played in the cup against teams in your own group. Six teams are divided into the two groups. Four teams, the top two from each group, make it into the semi-finals. From here, the winners will face off to decide the champion of the cup. Expect a lot of one point games and draws in this and practically all of the modes.

World Tour Soccer 2005 offers twenty-three seasons to compete in. Qualify for continental and global competitions by progressing through each year. Season mode will challenge gamers to act as the owner, having to manage player contracts, trades, salaries, and injuries.

In the career mode, you select from different high school soccer teams. Edit the manager name, appearance, team name, lineup (all players start off as 13-15 years old), team flag design/colors, team kit, and players. With all the customization available, it could literally take you hours to select everything as you wanted, but twenty minutes or so is also good, if you can live with what the end result is.

During the school league, which is inside the career mode, you play eighteen games, against each of the nine teams, not including playoffs. You will play one game at home and one game at the opposing team’s field, for every team in the league. From there, you move to the semi-pro league and to a domestic league of your choosing.

Before we continue to the graphics part of the review, let us discuss the controls. The ball is shot with circle. Depending on your kicking meter’s height, the ball will either be kicked high or low. Mind you, the following, along with the prior control, are for offensive moves.

X is used for a short pass, square for an aerial pass, and R1 for a sprint. Defensive moves include X to switch between players, square to slide tackle, and circle to block tackle. Player movements and ball direction are done with the left analog stick, along with the control pad.

An optional radar shows where your players are, on the field. Keeping track of teammates is more difficult, because of a limited camera, but the combination of radar and arrows will display positions adequately. Arrows show where teammates are on the field, in relation to your position.

The graphics in WT 2005 are the best that I have seen in a 989 Sports game. Although there are long load times (thankfully there aren’t many of them), there are some nice shadow and weather effects.

With a strong presence in the soccer genre this year, 989 Sports is going no where but up. WT 2005 is by far the best soccer game that I have ever laid hands on, and in my opinion, 989’s finest title, ever. If 989 can translate this success into the other sports, things will be looking quite good for them.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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