The Nintendo DS gets footy in a big way. Inazuma Eleven from Level-5 (Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies) does, however, bring more than 11 players to the pitch.
There are in fact more than one thousand different characters to choose from. These characters also have the kinds of skills that would get them sent off any real world ground. With Flying fireballs, power spins and sky kicks to use, and teleporting strikers to position, the gamer has a real choice come team selection time.
The plot underlying the game sees the Nintendo DS owner following the career of teenage goalkeeper Mark Evans in his bid to win the prestigious Football Frontier tournament. Its Marks job to select the right players for the job. Along the way he will meet characters such as ace-striker Axel Blaze who also holds a secret as he battles rivals such as Jude Sharp of arch-foes the Royal Academy team.
Inazuma Eleven, true to its Japanese development, uses anime-style movie-like sequences to bolster the storyline. Mark Evans must explore the town to scout for players. Each of the 1,000+ characters comes with their own stats as well as unique skills and special abilities.
50 additional characters are unlockable using the Nintendo DSs Wi-Fi connection.
Its not all about recruitment and exploration though, there is also football to be played. There are two kinds of match to take part in: Full eleven-a-side games played out on a standard sized pitch and a fast paced 4-v-4 games that see the gamer having to complete specific tasks such as scoring or gaining possession of the ball.
Both modes involve using the Nintendo DS stylus to press opponents, cut passes, perform slippery sliding tackles and score goals.
Inazuma Eleven also makes use of local wireless multiplayer mode for 4-v-4 player gaming as well as a transfer/swap market for characters.