World Tour Soccer PSP Review

Already glutted with sports games, the last thing the PSP needs is another one, especially when it's as under whelming as World Tour Soccer. It doesn't particularly do anything wrong, it just do anything different from soccer games five years ago. It already feels aged, and that's not getting any help from the graphical or audio package, either.

World Tour tries to do far more off the field than on, though that does not include online play, something other 989 releases for the handheld have featured (and some of those were ready for launch). Beside the usual array of tournaments and cups, the only unique thing here is the challenge mode. It's not just important to win here; it's how you win.

Good (and clean) plays are awarded points; screw up and points are deducted. This is all tallied on the fly so you know how you're doing as the game progresses. You'll need to best a small roster of the games highest ranked teams, each game putting more pressure on you as the score requirements increase.

That's about all the game has to make it stand out. On the field, you can do little in the way of fancy kicks. The AI rarely makes an attempt to impede your progress unless you've set the difficulty to its highest setting. Players manage to gain inhuman speed bursts to catch up to loose balls, and there's no attempt to differentiate itself from the competition. It's a very basic game of soccer, and that's not necessarily a turn off. It just depends what you feel like taking on the road with you.

Player models are basic (though acceptable), but there's no excuse for the blurry, sloppy texturing that covers both the field and jerseys. It looks like the uniforms have been smeared onto the athletes with paint. Stadiums are rendered well, and you're only going to get a side view (at three different depths). If you prefer the camera behind the goalkeeper, you'll be sorely disappointed.

With so many teams and players, the commentator is stuck simply shouting names at one of two octaves as passes are made and shots are taken. There's very little in the way of exciting play calls, a hindrance due to the UMD format. A few licensed tracks litter the menus and the crowd has a few audible chants for ambience.

If you need your soccer as realistic as possible, then you have no reason to own this title. It's fun if you just need a quick fix as it moves quickly and smoothly, and the options can be set to play a full game in a matter of minutes. That makes for a nice portable experience, but while other current releases are pushing portable sports gaming ahead, World Tour Soccer has just dragged it back a few years.

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