Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks! (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Adam Riley 01.06.2014

Review for Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks! on Nintendo 3DS

The Inazuma Eleven series of football RPGs from Level-5 has been a storming success over in Japan, becoming a multi-million selling franchise for the company. In Europe it took far too long to reach these 'foreign' shores, but still found great levels of success in countries like Italy, Germany and Spain right from the first Nintendo DS entry (that recently hit the US in 3DS eShop form), and continuing with the impressively improved sequel, Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard / FireStorm. Even the rather ropey Inazuma Eleven Strikers proved popular on Wii. Sadly, things died down with last year's Inazuma Eleven 3: Bomb Blast / Lightning Bolt mainly due to it being extracted from a special trio-package that had hit Japan on Nintendo 3DS, with Nintendo hoping that by placing the third game on the new hardware it would increase its chances of sales. Instead it split the fan base and the smaller 3DS audience meant sales nosedived in comparison to previous releases. Thankfully, though, it has not stopped the special third iteration, Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks - originally on DS as well - from getting brought over, again being extracted from its Japanese 3DS package of Inazuma Eleven 1-2-3 (which included a whopping SIX games in one!).

For those that have missed the Inazuma Eleven series so far, Level-5 has smartly crafted the world of football (soccer to US readers) into the form of an RPG. However, for those that are not massive fans of the sport, it should be stated that it merely acts as the backdrop for the storyline and the excuse for an out-of-the-box approach to standard RPG battles. Working around the basis of a young lad by the name of Mark Evans - an overly enthusiastic goalkeeper that tries his best to encourage others to the point of real annoyance at times (how can one be so excited about everything, all the time?). His aim has always been to build up a winning team and the story has progressed over three iterations of the series to the point where he has succeeded on many fronts, with the Inazuma team now being chosen to take part in a world tournament, representing their home nation of Japan. Immediately, many turning the game on and hearing Mark's cockney accent (the same voice actor that does Luke Triton in the European Professor Layton localisations, for reference), as well as the various other British dialects dotted around, may wonder what is going on - British accents in Japan? - but overlook that point and the story is actually quite enticing. The old underdogs taking on the world slant still has its draw, yet there is also another plot twist thrown in - the threat of people from the future attempting to prevent the team's success from ever occurring.

Weird and wacky has quickly become the norm in the Inazuma Eleven heritage, with the previous game focusing on a team of aliens, which means time travelling antics to stop football being as popular as it is years down the line is almost normal, relatively speaking!

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks! on Nintendo 3DS

What is addictive about Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks is the same core elements that made its predecessors so charming - Touch Screen tactical battles (three-on-three for random encounters around the world, or 11-a-side for key event matches), enlisting the help of others from all over to the squad, as well as hunting down all manner of important items and equipment to boost the team's performance levels. The enjoyment of scouring the world and traversing each new location visited - taking in the cute 2D visuals (think basic edition of the Dragon Quest IX engine) and admiring the serene soundtrack reminiscent of the classic Squaresoft days - is extremely high, and although wearing a slight bit thin, there have been some tweaks to make for a smoother experience on the whole. Recruiting is less of a drag now, with certain players wanting to join there and then post-random-encounter-battle, for instance.

The hand holding proves to be a worrisome issue once again, though, sadly, with there never being ANY doubt as to where to go next for story progression. From the on-screen updates to the in-game blog entries and, to top it off, the BIG PURPLE ARROW found on the map screen at all times (found on the permanent map at the top of the 3DS, with all the interactions taking place on the Touch Screen), this is all tailored for those of a younger nature...or anyone with a short-term memory! It takes some of the exploration fun away but the quest itself is still more than enjoyable enough and the story as crazy and alluring as ever. Being a DS game at heart, some 3DS owners may feel cheated that this has no hardware upgrades other than the overly elaborate mid-match special moves having depth added with the 3D slider pushed up, yet this being a 'port' rather than a 'remake' means it is hard to criticise Team Ogre Attacks because of what some may deem 'technical shortcomings' since, in fact, there is nothing technically wrong here - just pure fun that would otherwise have not been brought to Europe in its original DS format.

Screenshot for Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks! on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Ahead of the first proper Nintendo 3DS edition of the Inazuma Eleven series, Inazuma Eleven GO: Light/Shadow, it is well worth checking out Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks to see just why the Nintendo DS line of games were so loved in the first place. Whilst this 3DS release is nothing more than a port of a DS game from Japan, its charm and addictive gameplay cannot be argued against, with the intriguing storyline and smart Touch Screen tactical football battles making this RPG-with-a-twist one to definitely check out.

Developer

Level-5

Publisher

Level-5

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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