Inazuma Eleven 3

Type: Nintendo DS game
Genre: Sports-RPG
Developer: Level 5

Inazuma Eleven 3 is a game based on shonen anime, of which I’ve only seen one episode. I decided to pick up the game because of some reviews I had read about it and the fact that it was made by Level 5. Unfortunately their last game, White Knight Chronicles, was a huge let down. Not really relevant but I’m still bitter >:|

Now for those of you confused by the idea of a Sports-RPG, the basic execution of the game is similar to Blitzball in FFX. And for those still confused, God have mercy on your soul.
Essentially, you have a team made up of zany characters from the show and they all have different stats and special abilities. From this wacky cast you put together a team and proceed to kick everyone’s ass at soccer. And by doing so, your guys get even stronger and can start kicking larger and higher quantities of the aforementioned assess.

The game itself plays very much like an RPG, the only difference being that battles with monsters are replaced with soccer matches against random people you meet in the street. For some reason in this alternate version of Japan there are soccer fields everywhere, even in shopping malls.

At the beginning of the game you learn that Japan is putting together a team of their best soccer players to challenge other soccer teams from around the world. Very topical. It’s a little weird though since everyone in the game is in middle school. So for some reason everyone in the world thinks it’s a good idea to put together a world tournament to determine which nation has the strongest middle school team in the world. Go figure.

The funny thing about the game is that at the beginning of the game they make a big deal about how there can only be 16 players on the Japanese team. So you play a game in order for the coach to judge the abilities of the players and choose the best 16 of the 22 candidates. After the coach makes his choice there is crying and frustration from the players who didn’t make the cut and they vow to get better. And then a little after that the game let’s you recruit people you find on the street to join your team, but you’re unable to recruit the people who didn’t make the original cut. So basically the coach just cut from the team cuz he felt like it and then he lets you pick up whatever rabble you find on the street to add to your team. And when I say rabble, I mean rabble. One of the recruits you pick up has never played soccer before. Go Team Japan.

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