The July release of Gameloft’s Asphalt 5 surprised us in more ways than one. First, a non-Mango Xbox Live game in mid-2012 is entirely unheard of. Second, before hearing otherwise from Microsoft, I’d have bet money that the game was quietly cancelled. Asphalt 5 was one of 50 Windows Phone 7 launch titles announced way back in 2010, so clearly the game endured a series of delays before managing to launch at last.
This week another of those ‘launch titles’ finally squeaks out of the gate: Real Soccer, also from Gameloft. Color me surprised again!
Which witch is which?
An interesting aspect of the original announcement is that Microsoft referred to the game as Real Soccer 2. You see, the Real Soccer series on iOS and Android always has a year in the title, not unlike our platform’s own PES 2012. There never could have been a Real Soccer 2 because there is no Real Soccer 1. What happened? My money is on someone incorrectly copy-and-pasting the full title, cutting off the year at the end. Nobody’s perfect! I do that all the t.
Okay, so the Real Soccer we’re now getting actually excludes the year, likely in order to obscure the game’s age. It’s tough to say just which version was ported to Windows Phone, but based on the features it sounds like the 2010 version. We’ll try to ignore the fact that Real Soccer 2012 has been available on iOS and Android for some time now. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, as the free-to-play 2012 game didn’t review so well.
What to expect
Real Soccer 2010 iOS
Let’s hope all of Real Soccer’s Xbox Live Achievements actually work, unlike Gameloft’s last sports title, Let’s Golf 2. In fairness, Asphalt 5 does not suffer from broken Achievements.
Real Soccer boasts 3D graphics and voice commentary, not to mention 245 teams with real player names (thanks to the FIFPro license), all of which should make for an authentic ball-kicking experience. It also packs 14 different stadiums, several of which begin with the letter M, such as Madrid, Machester, and Milan. Marvelous!
As for the controls, a virtual stick and two buttons, just like PES 2012. I just hope this one is easier to pick up and learn, since the Pro Evolution Soccer series is way too hardcore for this most casual of soccer fans.
Real Soccer sports a couple of unique modes that should appeal to true enthusiasts: Enter the Legend and Club Master. Enter the Legend allows players to follow a player’s career from the very start, controlling only that player as he steps onto the field and sometimes warms the bench. Club Master gives players managerial control over the team between playing the matches themselves. You’ll trade players, manage finances, and more.
Almost game time!
Real Soccer launches at $2.99 in the US, Japan, and Canada. The rest of the world (besides poor Brazil and Korea) gets the game as Real Football. The game is due out on Wednesday, but it might just launch on Tuesday. If it does, our readers will be the first to know!