Like Hull City in this season%26rsquo;s Premiership, Real Football 2009 (Real Soccer 2009 in the US) is something of a surprise package. And just like Hull, it may look rather rough around the edges but it offers a solid defense plus fast-paced, attacking football with occasional flourishes that allow it hold its own against the big boys.
That it plays such a good game is largely down to a control system that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who%26rsquo;s played FIFA or Pro Evo on another console. Gameloft haven%26rsquo;t done anything radical, they%26rsquo;ve simply transferred a tried and tested button set-up to DS, and familiarity breeds contentment.
On the downside, holding the DS like a joypad for any length of time does become seriously uncomfortable. There is the option to use stylus controls for shooting, tackling and passing, but we couldn%26rsquo;t get them to work with any degree of efficiency.
There are plenty of competitions to tackle, with regional and worldwide international cups and European domestic leagues, although a lack of any management-focused mode is something of a downer %26ndash; whatever the competition, it%26rsquo;s only really a succession of games. Most of the player names are correct, but the squad lists are out of date and there%26rsquo;s no option to edit your team. Likewise, there%26rsquo;s the full license for La Liga but not the Premiership. Oh, and there%26rsquo;s no commentary aside from occasional yelps declaring you%26rsquo;ve been awarded a set piece. This is never going to be a serious rival to games on the bigger consoles but it%26rsquo;s a fine effort for a handheld. And everybody loves an underdog, don%26rsquo;t they?
Dec 15, 2008