Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 04/14/04 | Genre: Sports
Although 989 Sports is taking a year off in several of their franchises, World Tour Soccer 2005 is here and the franchise has proven to be one of their most consistently good titles in their yearly lineup. Does that tradition continue in the latest version in the series?
Looking at the game compared to last year’s title, the visuals are much the same. Not a lot has changed. Once again we find that the stadiums are faithfully rendered like their real-life counterparts (a 989 tradition). The fans have been upgraded in the 2005 version. They will now wave flags supporting their teams with the players on the field showing detailed facial expressions to any call made by the officials. Another nice addition are the weather and shadow effects. However, despite these additions, the camera is a disappointment. You don’t have much control over it and you just feel like when playing that you aren’t getting the best possible view of the field. I hope we see the camera system tweaked in the 2006 version.
In the audio department, 989 Sports has done a good job at capturing the feel and excitement of soccer. You will hear the crowd get involved in the game and that helps you feel like you are a part of the experience. To help avoid the repetitive nature that sports commentary usually has, World Tour Soccer 2005 has less color commentary than you may be used to. Why did 989 Sports choose to do this? Since there are only so many different phrases used by the commentators, you will normally hear the same lines over and over again after a few playing sessions. So less is more in this case.
The best new audio feature in World Tour Soccer 2005 is the foreign audio commentary. 989 Sports has included the option to hear French, Italian, and Spanish commentators. Since Soccer is a popular sport around the world, this is an excellent addition and really gives you a new spin on the game.
World Tour Soccer 2005 definitely has plenty of teams in it. With over 900 international teams and 18,000 players, players can take control of virtually any soccer team in the world and find out which country reigns supreme. You will be able to use these teams in a variety of different gameplay modes. These include Exhibition Match, Challenge Modes, Carerr Mode, and Season. The season mode will allow you to lead your chosen team through an amazing twenty-three seasons! As in prior versions, the Challenge mode is where you will spend the majority of your time at first. After fine-tuning your skills by going through all of the challenges, you can jump into the Career Mode and become the manager of your own soccer team. Your job will be to build the team, design the jerseys and flags, and guide your club to glory.
The gameplay may not be for everyone though. World Tour 2005 is a realistic soccer sim. In the title, you will not consistently see smaller countries defeat a team from England. Of course, for those of you who master the gameplay, this may be a challenge you would like to take on. Are you good enough to lead a small country to a World Cup trophy year after year?
While World Tour Soccer 2005 is definitely not for everyone, soccer fans will eat this title up. With the amount of teams to pick from and the rock solid gameplay this series is known for, 989 Sports continues their fine soccer tradition with the 2005 installment. With a little luck, soon their hockey, football, and basketball titles will all be at the same quality level as their MLB and World Tour Soccer series are.