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World Tour Soccer 2006 Review

Developer: 989 Sports Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: March 22, 2005 Also On: PSP

For some reason, Americans are shy to sports outside of the ‘Big 3’ (baseball, basketball, and football). While baseball may be America’s disputed pastime, soccer is the world’s pastime, without doubt. Whether you’re from Dublin, Berlin, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Quebec, Baghdad, or London, chances are you have a television set tuned to a soccer match at some point in the year. World Tour Soccer 2006 is an American-friendly soccer title that could act as a bridge to gain interest in America.

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While I can’t independently verify what 989 Sports says, they claim that there are 935 World-Class International and League teams waiting for you to choose from. I can say, however, that there is a very deep selection. Want Chicago, Columbus, Athens, or Kiev? How about Barcelona? Maybe you’d rather have an international team like the United States, Spain, or Germany? The choice is yours, from every corner of the globe, to nearly every major city.

Multiple modes are available to play, including Exhibition, Season, Career, League and Challenge. You’re given the opportunity to play a friendly match of soccer with a pal, or you can battle it out with the computer. The best part of playing multi-player is a human player’s actions are much more difficult to predict.

Speaking of multi-player, it shouldn’t be a problem to get a friend to play. World Tour is built with a ‘pick-up-and-play’ mentality. While skill is required to do well in single-player, friends should be able to at least enjoy their time. From a multi-player standpoint, I can only fault 989 Sports for not including an online component for a second year in a row.

As for the game modes, exhibition obviously allows for a quick and easy way to play alone or with a friend. You have a number of options to choose from, including stadium, time limit, penalties, etc., along with your roster, though it’s suggested you leave it as default. In both Cup and League, gamers can take on history’s best in the Time Warp. Season allows you to select one of the hundreds of teams and play a season out.

My personal favorite mode is the Career. Just as last year, your goal is to bring a ragtag high school-level team into stardom, through the semi-professionals, and into the pros. You’ll customize your team’s uniforms, flag, players, coach, etc., all of which could theoretically take hours if you wanted, but an investment of fifteen minutes or so should be sufficient for the basics, if you can live with that.

The EyeToy is as much an obsession anymore with Sony as ‘connectivity’ is for Nintendo. Sports game after sports game we continue to see these EyeToy features. World Tour Soccer 2006 isn’t the first game to use it, and I doubt it’ll be the last. Using an EyeToy, you can create a 3D model of yourself. This I suppose could be a good or bad thing, depending on how the character comes out.

Not enough has changed from last year’s version to this year. We all wanted online play rather badly, and we didn’t get it, a stubborn decision by 989 Sports to omit. Still, if you’re looking for the most accessible soccer title on the market, next to maybe FIFA Street, look no further than World Tour Soccer 2006. That’s not to say you can’t up the difficulty for hardcore soccer fans, but those of us not entirely familiar with the sport, World Tour acts as an introduction to the world stage. I highly recommend this title if you do not previously own a World Tour Soccer title. If there was a World Cup of soccer video games, World Tour 2006 would be in the Finals.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 7.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide