World Tour Soccer 2
The PSP is not even one year old and already there are quite a few sequels available on Sony’s handheld. As there is for example the entertaining World Tour Soccer 2, this game is not exactly a PES or a FIFA-killer but certainly can hold its ground against its big brothers and has more than enough to offer you some distraction on those long train rides home.
Apart from the obligatory exhibition match and the World cup there are a lot of other modes available which make a game of soccer in WTS2 a bit more challenging than just running towards the goal with the ball and trying to get it in between the two poles. You may encounter the shot or pass clock, you may have to play on a field that is divided into several zones with point multipliers for every action you perform. As in other games, the keyword here is variation as performing the same action repeatedly will not result in the needed amount of points to unlock more parts of the game. Before every match, you can tweak the strategic aspects, the formation and the strategy you are planning to follow.
The big question however is if it really does matter. Because just running towards the goal with the ball and trying to get it in between the two poles is enough in most cases to win with a very unequal score. The AI is not exactly the smartest kid in town because it makes many strategic mistakes and gives you excessively much space to play forward and score one goal after another. More than once, you will find yourself in a one on one situation with the keeper, which means only one thing: shooting sitting ducks… The players respond very well to every command you give them and you are capable of performing a selective amount of creative tricks as for instance the deliberate dive. This last one seems to be working very well for the CPU team; but will give you an instant yellow card. The match is played in fictive stadiums each based on a different continent.
Graphic design is very good too PSP standards and although the players may have a rough look and feel sometimes; the known and lesser known gods of the field are very well recognizable and World Tour Soccer 2 doesn’t really give you anything to complain about the graphics.
The audio is a completely different story. The commentator is the most irritating person I have ever encountered. Frankly, he does nothing more than stating the over-obvious and he succeeds in commenting even the most challenging match as boring as the Mediterranean Curling Cup . (“Beckham passes the ball to Rooney and now Rooney has the ball”; “Zidane scores the goal and now the other team must try to come back into the game”)
So; except for the audio commentary World Tour Soccer 2 is a very enjoyable arcade soccer game on the PSP that succeeds in enhancing the gameplay by adding a bit of extra features. The replay value is very high and the game excels in both gameplay as graphics and sound but for the third edition there should be definitely another commentator or the series will be responsible for situations like the Paris riots.