Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Inazuma Eleven Strikers (Wii) Review

Review for Inazuma Eleven Strikers on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The Inazuma Eleven series took a while to take off in Europe, mainly due to a delay in the accompanying anime show airing across TV networks in certain countries. Now it is in full swing, though, and two of the three Nintendo DS RPGs have managed to gain sufficient traction for them to be classed as successes, it would be more than safe to say that the series has definitely become quite an important entity across this territory. Now gamers are being treated to a special spin-off for Wii, focusing purely around the football side. Welcome to Inazuma Eleven Strikers.

To start with, anyone expecting to find something of the same quality as FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer will be sorely disappointed, after all just because of the cartoon subject matter it does not mean the gameplay should be sacrificed. Whilst the basis is certainly reminiscent of the big football hitters, the fluidity and special manoeuvres are sadly absent. In their place, though, are the crazy moves that have become famous in the RPG versions on the Nintendo DS. Therefore, rather than being faced with the chance to do slinky moves and fancy through-balls, in their place are super moves that try to make up for the loss with devastating effect. Shadow past defenders, shoot with great ferocity, and pull off miraculous saves, all within reason as there are limited amounts of energy on that front in order to prevent matches simply coming down to who can use the most insane abilities the quickest.

Options-wise, there is Exhibition (single matches against the computer or up to four players), Club Room (create and train your own team), Minigame (of which the five will be mentioned later), and Tournament (play with up to four players). At the time of writing there have been two releases of Inazuma Eleven Strikers, with the second being a slightly improved version, and a third one on the near horizon. The one Europeans are getting now is the very original, without any added improvements despite the delay in localisation. Despite that, what is here is still fun...for a while. However, there are several elements that make for a lesser experience than might be imagined after the quality of both Inazuma Eleven and the duo of Inazuma Eleven 2: FireStorm / Blizzard.

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven Strikers on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

For instance, the commentator sounds like Harry Hill, which is hilarious at first, but swiftly becomes tiresome due to the incessant over-the-top nature. Throwing in the crazy special moves from the RPG matches makes for a slower paced game, but still just about works nicely. Sadly, as mentioned earlier, most people looking at this will either be disappointed by the lack of an RPG adventure side (fans of the original DS games) or frustrated that there is no lofted through balls here, slinky one-two moves, and so on (those hoping for an alternative to PES or FIFA). Items such as rice balls and noodles to increase TP (the energy for special moves) or ones that heighten the Inazuma and Tension gauges can be used before matches to boost players, but once more the novelty wears off faster than desired. The same goes for the plentiful supply of stadia to choose from, such as Old Raimom, Royal Academy, Zeus, Alius, and the many others that can be unlocked. With a good-but-not-spectacular core, only the multiplayer antics will drive longevity.

Minigames! They are sure to save the day, right? In this case, no, not at all, unless you love hitting buttons repeatedly without much thought, of course. Look at the evidence: Bus Pull -- tap the A button extremely quickly to pull the bus as far as possible, trying to keep the energy bar at the same level as the computer (or friend) assisting. Special Sync boosts occur when both bars are filled completely. Tyre Punch -- bash the A button to set a tyre on a rope swinging and hold A to power up before letting go at the right moment to bash it as it swings towards the chosen character. Rinse and repeat until lots of tyres have been punched off the rope! Volley -- run around a small square box and tap any button when the ball comes near to head or volley it against a tree, stepping in ahead of the opponent to prevent them from returning so as to get a higher score. Tyre Dash -- keep tapping A to drag a tyre towards the finish line, aiming to beat the opponent racer, but not overdoing the tapping so as to tire (*groan*) the character out. Finally there is Bungee Shoot -- blast in as many goals as possible, trying to hit multiple ones at once, whilst every time B is tapped to strike the ball your footing is lost and the bungee rope pulls you backwards. As well as being repetitive, all of them have extremely annoying voice snippets that repeat constantly. Inazuma Eleven Strikers is by no means a total disaster, but it really does not manage to strike the right chord with either market it tries to aim for.

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven Strikers on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Whilst the football itself is not particularly awful, sadly it lacks the pizzazz of other sports titles on Wii, and the minigames are far too basic.

Graphics

All characters present, looking as impressive as ever but somehow lacking some of the charm of the DS games.

Sound

Although there are some of the great tunes from the DS adventures, the key aspect -- commentary -- is highly irritating.

Value

Extremely light in terms of overall content, with no online options and repetitive extras that are not tempting at all. Thankfully mutliplayer is a saving grace.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

As much as fans will want to adore Inazuma Eleven Strikers thanks to the fantastic Nintendo DS RPGs, this football-only spin-off that ditches the unique take on the sport in favour of a more 'traditional' approach sadly misses the mark on too many occasions. Whilst moderately enjoyable in brief multiplayer bouts, the game fails to hit the mark far too often.

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28.10.2012

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Developer

Level-5

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (11 Votes)

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

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Saw an advert yesterday for this. Nintendo is selling a Wii Bundle with this game over here Smilie AND advertising it on TV! This is insane, considering on the other hand we're one month away from Wii U and still no adverts for THAT over here.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Yeah, I saw that - France as well, right? I wouldn't be surprised if Italy and Spain also get the bundle, since the games have done really well there! Shame this one isn't as good as the update that hit Japan within six months.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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