Nintendo Pocket Football Club (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Az Elias 24.04.2014 3

Review for Nintendo Pocket Football Club on Nintendo 3DS

The English Premier League season is drawing to an exciting close and the World Cup is just around the corner - what better time to get football video games out there? Even North America has just had its first taste of the soccer-RPG series Inazuma Eleven, whilst the next pair of titles - Inazuma Eleven GO: Light and Shadow - will hit Europe in June. Many diehard footie fanatics love a good management sim, though, and ParityBit and Nintendo look to fill that void on Nintendo 3DS with the European-only release of Nintendo Pocket Football Club.

It was almost a given that Nintendo Pocket Football Club was going to be a stripped down version of the likes of Football Manager, offering nowhere near the depth that a true management simulator provides. To expect such intricate details and options of being able to control and organise squads and players, and build a formidable team that starts at the depths of the lower divisions to ultimately become European champions through the know-how and tactical skills developed from constant playing…would not be very wise. Sadly for this little title, the management side of it is pretty deprived.

Instead of actually being able to relay an array of tactics during matches at any given time, commands for altering the style of play can only be done when one of three substitutions is made, leaving the opportunity to change things up very limited. Before each half, the same few options can be applied, too, but it leaves problems once certain match-changing events happen. Red cards, injuries, and, naturally, goals, will warrant changes in game tactics, but if these can only be applied during substitutions, what good is that?

How the team succeeds is really based on increasing player stats through obtaining training cards during games. These random cards will be collected in every match - each one looking to increase certain areas of a player's game, including passing, shooting, heading, stamina, technique and more. Using cards in training will give a little boost, eventually bumping up the grade for the respective skills.

Screenshot for Nintendo Pocket Football Club on Nintendo 3DS

Some degree of tactics can still be employed for matches. Formations are fully adjustable, the starting IX and subs can be picked prior to a game, and transfers can be made to search for players to improve the squad during an open window, but the lack of management means this is less about actually being a manager, and more about grinding to make players better.

Nintendo Pocket Football Club demands each match be watched, which can prove extremely bothersome. Practice games can be skipped, but at the cost of fan backing and training cards - defeating the point of training at all. This method usually ends up in clicking to go ahead with a match, then setting the 3DS to the side to do something else, checking back to make any necessary subs and changes when needed. Matches are entertaining at first, but it soon becomes a chore and a case of rinse and repeat.

Decisions the players make during matches can be baffling, and whilst this could be due to lower stats in certain areas, it doesn't make some choices any less infuriating when observed. Opting to pass out to the wings when through one-on-one or going backwards on a free kick in a promising position, never fail to ignite rage when looking for that all-important goal.

Anyone with a passion for the sport will find themselves getting really into it, at times; whether good or bad decisions are made by the team, outbursts of anger and joy are inevitable, and so it proves that Nintendo Pocket Football Club replicates football well in that regard, but fails to deliver in lasting and interactive appeal as a game.

Screenshot for Nintendo Pocket Football Club on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Nintendo Pocket Football Club isn't without its charm. For a short time, the cute graphics style makes it fun to watch each match playing out, but it quickly becomes apparent that watching is mostly all that is being done. Rather than being able to put actual management skills to the test to build a squad to rise through the leagues and win cups that way, this is more of a grind quest to increase player stats in order to win games. It holds amusement for a brief period, but the novelty factor phases out hastily.

Developer

ParityBit

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

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

Comments

I don't know what else ParityBit have done, but the GBA game was meant to be a 4 or 5/10 effort, and clearly they've not improved things that much for this sequel. Missed opportunity, I say!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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Michael Schirmer (guest) 05.02.2017#2

you dont understand the game! the main argument is: "not enough tactial possibilities!" but you can change the position of every player during the whole game where you want! Im sure you overlooked the screen where you can pace every player as response what is happening in the game. in trainig games you can find the perfect playing group because you can change as many players as you want and you can test everything you want. furthermore you should train players with their talents and also make the weak spots better. because it is NO MANAGEMENT game, there is no need to compare it with managment games, it is a game as trainer! This aspect tells me, which tester understand the game and which not!

Heh, well, it's been almost 3 years since I last played this, so my memory of it is very hazy now, but I think the fact that it isn't a management game (at least first and foremost) left me feeling what I mentioned in the review - that it's a big grind to just increase your player stats. I just didn't find it too engaging or interactive enough in the end. But hey, maybe I'd have a different opinion if I went back to it today. Clearly some people do like it, and I'm sure it's worth the price it can be picked up for today (I assume it's cheaper now).

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