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Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The journey to Europe proved to be a long and arduous one for the original Inazuma Eleven on Nintendo DS, with the game unable to land in time for the 2010 World Cup, as Level-5's Akihiro Hino initially told Cubed3 he had hoped, instead coming to mainland Europe in January 2011, followed by a UK release on 26th August, after the belated debut of the cartoon series. Now the sequel, in Pokémon-esque dual release format, is here. Prepare to recruit even more players in the fight against evil…using football…in Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard / FireStorm.

Anyone jumping straight into Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard / FireStorm having come straight off the back of its predecessor will immediately feel at home, with happenings actually feeling a little too familiar at first. However, after settling gamers into the format of top-down adventuring and touch-screen tactical football antics, the real twist kicks in, with a story arc that only Level-5 could concoct. Rather like seen in the recent Professor Layton tales, the developer's head honcho, Akihiro Hino, has a penchant for the unusual and bringing in a football team called Alius Academy that seem to sport alien abilities, wreaking havoc and destroying various other football training grounds around Japan, is definitely akin to the crazy tales found in Professor Layton and the Lost Future and Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call. However, it is the sort of yarn spun that wraps players up and draws them ever closer to the game's tasty core.

Once more players are tasked with shoving their hands into the padded gloves of Mark Evans, the young goalkeeper and captain of the Raimon High football team that ended as Football Frontier tournament champions in the first adventure. This time he must rouse his team-mates to push themselves beyond their previous limits to overcome the new menace. The main purpose of this new adventure is to protect teams from around Japan that are terrorised by Alius Academy, with the threat of complete annihilation on the cards should the opposition either lose or forfeit the match for fear of losing.

Evans and company must traverse new locations, extending their reach much further than previously, impressing fresh teams to attempt to lure some of their key players to join forces with them for 'the greater good.' The mechanic from the first game is back, with random battles in the field taking the form of three-on-three football matches, where the aim is to either regain possession or score the first goal, and main fights being full games against tough opponents where clever tactics need to be employed. Drag the stylus across the touch screen to draw paths for players around the pitch, tap the ball at the right time, choose from numerous special shots and defensive abilities, and get ready to become a football champion!

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The first game was fantastic for its time, but was delayed so much in Europe that it had been surpassed by many other RPGs, including the Level-5 developed Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, and although Inazuma Eleven 2 is a little tardy in its localised release, it has still progressed in leaps and bounds, with the story being more engaging, the interaction with other characters proving more worthwhile, and the range of locations to visit more thrilling than before, being filled with much more variety. As with the previous games, the production levels are superb, with more voice acting, plenty of anime clips, a great segue between each chapter that gives an overview of what to expect in the upcoming 'episode,' and the stunning return of Yasunori Mitsuda on the soundtrack side.

Collecting more than 1,500 characters, trading with friends to gain the full quota across both FireStorm and Blizzard (with 150 unique characters in each, as well as their own special abilities, teams to battle, and special moves), and playing against up to three other friends using local wireless is more thrilling than before (playing against those with the original game is also possible). Add in the usual slew of meaty quests, intuitive user interface for menu navigation and keeping track of current objectives, and the charm of the original shines through even more thanks to the new additions ("Even players changing positions mid-match?" Of course!). Inazuma Eleven 2 takes the brilliant concept of bringing the worlds of football and RPG adventuring together, packs in a wealth of extras, and even includes a barrage of post-game content to keep players going for longer. Level-5 has once more delivered a sterling effort in this addictive series.

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Level-5 has refined what was already a superb gameplay mechanic, bringing back the fantastic touch-screen football antics and ramping up the RPG adventuring element more than before.

Graphics

The range of animation scenes is astounding, and the main game graphics themselves are as cute as ever.

Sound

Mixes in firm favourites from the first game with some more beautiful compositions, as well as amazing voice work.

Value

Working through the lengthy adventure alone is time consuming enough, but just like Pokémon there is that added lure of recruiting all the players possible, battling and trading with friends, plus tackling the extra post-game content.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard is a wonderful follow-up to what was already a fantastic concept, expertly blending an intriguing RPG adventure with some highly skilful touch-screen football fun. With plenty of new features, a deeper story, stacks of objectives to complete and extras to unlock, as well as four-player matches, anyone that even marginally enjoyed the first title should pick this up without hesitation.

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12.08.2012

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Developer

Level-5

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I was really pleased to see these jump back up the DS chart in the UK two weeks ago. Has a new series started on Disney, or was it just retailer promotions? Seems a shame the superior sequel hasn't achieved the same high sales of the first game.

Any Cubed3 readers avid fans of Inazuma Eleven? I can't wait for the full-on football game on Wii next month Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Joel (guest) 13.08.2012 08:03#2

I love these games. I wondered whether they'll actually release the three IE3 games or just bring the 3DS compilation across instead?

Isn't Mark's voice the same kid that does Luke in the Prof Layton games??

Rob64 (guest) 14.08.2012 07:39#3

I much prefer the kid that does the US Luke - less annoying mockney tone. Not tried these games yet. Are they really that good?

What's the cartoon like?

Hales95 (guest) 14.08.2012 18:14#4

Has anyone been watching the show since it moved to CITV? On at about 7am in the UK! Brill!

"Let's stay together, best friends forever!"

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