Like Hull City in this season’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’s played FIFA or Pro Evo on another console. Gameloft haven’t done anything radical, they’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’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 – whatever the competition, it’s only really a succession of games. Most of the player names are correct, but the squad lists are out of date and there’s no option to edit your team. Likewise, there’s the full license for La Liga but not the Premiership. Oh, and there’s no commentary aside from occasional yelps declaring you’ve been awarded a set piece. This is never going to be a serious rival to games on the bigger consoles but it’s a fine effort for a handheld. And everybody loves an underdog, don’t they?
Dec 15, 2008