Anime soccer...this time with more castles and swords?
As I mentioned in my impressions for Inazuma Eleven GO Strikers 2013, before the Tokyo Game Show this year, I never played any game from this series. While I was left surprisingly impressed with what the Wii title had to offer, I can’t really say the same for the Nintendo 3DS version.
One thing to you have to understand before going into this game is that unlike the titles on the Wii, Chrono Stone is not a simulation or arcade soccer experience. It’s an RPG that just happens to have elements of soccer mixed in here and there. As with all of the Level 5 titles that I played at TGS this year, this game looks gorgeous, sporting a cel shaded look that is extremely sharp. It almost looks like it’s running on the same or a similar engine that was found in Layton or Fantasy Life, which is definitely a possibility.
Instead of thrusting you into a school yard with competing soccer clubs, Chrono Stone is set in a in a medieval time period (at least the demo segment I played was). It was definitely odd to see all of the characters dressed in knights armor and donning weaponry. The demo allowed time for exploration, of which there was plenty of. There were many different townsfolk to talk to as I made my way down the cobblestone streets . Character interactions and dialogue don’t just offer static artwork – they move, blink and react to what is being said. It was a pretty nice touch.
After walking around the town for a little bit, I came across an enemy character who was looking for a fight. You would think that they were all going to duke it out in melee combat with swords and all manner of medieval weaponry. Apparently, scholars of history have gotten it wrong all along, because the characters in the game decided it was best to settle their score on a cobble stone soccer pitch. Controls are all more or less touch based, requiring the player to navigate his players toward the ball and opposing characters by simply holding the stylus down onto the screen. When you encounter someone from the other team, you are given choices to go left, right or to perform a special move. After failing to predict my opponents moves several times, I was down 2-0 within no time.
Perfect place for a quick match
Inazuma Eleven GO 2 is a really weird, and yet amusing mesh of themes. The visuals are great, but if you are expecting a game that gives you direct control over your characters (ala FIFA or PES), you might want to stay away from this one.