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Inazuma Eleven 2 review

Are you Inazuma Eleven 1 in disguise?

Well, they didn't hang about with this one, did they? It was only seven months ago that we were singing the praises of Inazuma Eleven, Level-5's football RPG. Since then it seems that Nintendo's localisation teams have been working overtime because now here we are with the sequel already. Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that in Japan it took more than a year for Inazuma 2 to be released, so don't let the short turnaround time here fool you into thinking this was a rush job. If anything, Inazuma 2 is even longer than its predecessor.

Set just a week after the events of the first game, Inazuma Eleven 2 sees Mark and the rest of Raimon Eleven meeting up again to resume training. Things don't go to plan when they hear a large explosion at their school.

The explosion was caused by aliens from the interplanetary Alius Academy who want to use football to destroy the world. It's up to Raimon Eleven to literally beat Alius at their own game, but before that they'll need to go on a recruitment drive across the whole of Japan in search of the finest players around.

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Yoooou're Not Changing Anymore

Anyone who's played the original Inazuma Eleven will be either delighted or disappointed (depending on taste) to discover that the sequel is much the same as the original. Obviously it's a completely new story, with new locations, characters and special moves, but everything else, including the football system, remains mainly unchanged.

It's as if the original game just continued another 30-40 hours after you finished it (not before returning all your characters' stats to Lv 1, of course).

For those new to the series then, this means Inazuma Eleven still has a great football-based battle system, where you use the stylus to pass the ball and move players across the screen while using players' abilities, stats and a bit of luck to dodge tackles, steal the ball and take shots.

It can take a while to get used to how it works and the game does your confidence no favours when the opening few matches are rigged to make you lose in order to progress the story, causing many newcomers to wonder what it is they're doing wrong and why every decision goes against them. Stick with it though and eventually you get into the swing of things, planning your own tactics on the fly and identifying which of your players are the key ones you want to build attacks around.

There's Only Two Inazumas

What sets Inazuma Eleven 2 apart from its predecessor is Level 5's decision to go down the Pokemon route and release the game as two separate editions - Firestorm edition and Blizzard edition. Much like Pokemon, the differences between the two are minimal, with only very slight differences in the story - Mark will become closer to a different girl depending on which version you play, with said girl then able to join the team - and certain version-exclusive players who can only be recruited in that game.

The latter may seem like a big deal but with a massive 1500 possible players to recruit throughout the game it's not like you're missing out on any Pokemon-style attempts to catch them all.

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Fans of the first Inazuma Eleven will be chuffed to bits with this sequel because it's from the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school. The things you loved and hated about the first game are more or less directly replicated in the second, so it's more a continuation of the story than an evolution of the gameplay. That's no bad thing as the the original was so good. It's worth bearing in mind that Inazuma 2 assumes you've already played through the first game and you know all the characters already, so if you're new to the series it would be best to hunt down a copy of the original first.


9 comments so far...
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  1. kylewithaface Friday 16th Mar 2012 at 16:07

    absolutely love it it is one of the best games the ds has, its just a shame its also one of the last games it has

  2. RTY1998 Friday 16th Mar 2012 at 16:59

    absolutely love it it is one of the best games the ds has, its just a shame its also one of the last games it has

    Not really. The first one came out in 2008 in Japan.

  3. Kooper Friday 16th Mar 2012 at 18:23

    absolutely love it it is one of the best games the ds has, its just a shame its also one of the last games it has

    Not really. The first one came out in 2008 in Japan.

    And it just so happens that we aren't in Japan... :roll:

  4. phil2512 Friday 16th Mar 2012 at 21:41

    Fair review might get the game though.

  5. TaleOfTheToaster Friday 16th Mar 2012 at 23:32

    I got the first game because Morrisons were selling it for Ł20, and it was great.

    I'm interested in this, but I have a few problems
    *I don't have much money, definitely want Rhythm Thief, could maybe get Kid Icarus or a Circle Pad Pro. If Mario Tennis Open has an RPG, that takes top priority.
    *Morrisons might sell this for Ł30
    *Morrisons might not sell this at all, they've still got 3 of the original left.
    *My DS pile is full to the top, no room.

  6. spacemen13 Monday 2nd Apr 2012 at 14:30

    I think they should make one for the 3DS, imagine special moves coming out the screen!

  7. kylewithaface Tuesday 3rd Apr 2012 at 14:24

    Not really. The first one came out in 2008 in Japan.

    yeah but we might not get the 3rd series because i meant that there will be very few ds games coming out now

  8. yoshiller64 Sunday 8th Apr 2012 at 17:24

    not really interested in the second one but if you think if it was one of the last games the 3ds had then it must be good because Nintendo want all of its systems to be remembered but they wont be remembered if its last games were useless might buy the first one soon but might get the 2nd one as well not to interested though

  9. Phantom George Tuesday 15th May 2012 at 15:06

    85%?Rubbish,this is a million times better than no.1!Much better plot,the first one's plot was dull,but aliens who play footy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Superb.I am stuck on the match against Royal Redux!So frustrating! :evil:

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