For many years now 989 Sports has been producing some of the best soccer titles for the PS2 with their World Tour Soccer franchise. Not plagued by mediocrity, the World Tour Soccer series remain the only saving grace for the developers, managing to offer refreshing and solid gameplay for true soccer fans. Now, it’s time for the next installment, and we’ll reveal how it measures up to its predecessor and the competition.
As we look at the last few World Tour Soccer titles we see games that have just been at the edge of being the best soccer titles on the PS2. Will the 2005 edition be the one to get the job done?
World Tour Soccer 2005 includes a nice list of game modes to choose from. These include: Exhibition, Challenge, Career, and Season. The one mode I thought that 989 Sports might introduce to this version of the series was an online mode. This is something I have been searching for the past year, is an online soccer title, but we have yet to have one. All of the other 989 Sports games have had online modes; it’s quite disappointing to see that this one does not.
The challenge mode is in fact one that is quite appealing and has some great ideas to it. If you really want to learn the ins and outs of WTS 2005 then you should definitely go through this mode. It’s in this mode that you will be able to learn some of the sublime skills to help further your advancement in this game. This mode is quite fun to go through and can be quite useful in the long run.
The Career Mode is the central game mode of this title, which consists of you taking a small school team and proceeding from there. In the career mode you will handle all the manager’s responsibilities and develop the team anyway you wish to do so. In the career mode you are given plenty of options on exactly what you are going to want your team to look like and play like on the field. The career mode is very extensive and is quite impressive; this is one career mode that was really nicely constructed.
One thing that has really stood out and stands out even more this year is the amount of teams included in the title. In World Soccer 2005 there are a total of 900 international soccer teams. Now if you ask me that is just amazing that they could actually have that many soccer teams, so I must give major kudos to 989 Sports on that one.
So far so good, right? Well not all is great in the world of World Tour Soccer 2005; in fact things aren’t going all that great at all. World Tour Soccer 2003 was a game that really was moving fluidly and starting to truly catch up with the other great soccer titles on the market (Winning Eleven 7 & FIFA 2004), but now it is though the series has taken a step in the wrong direction. In World Tour Soccer 2005 we are presented with a game that doesn’t move fluidly at all and in fact has a much slower pace then last year’s. The cautioning system is on overdrive, which means you’re bound to get yellow cards constantly in this game. There are also times in the game where you will find that your shots will be delayed a few seconds which in fact causes you to miss shots. I have found numerous times that because my shots don’t go off when they were supposed to I lose the game.
All is not bad in World Tour Soccer 2005, as the icon passing works very nicely in the game. Along with there comes a pretty simplistic yet effective Juke system, which allows you to move around the field gracefully.
Overall the game is taking a step in the wrong direction in the gameplay department. The gameplay is not as fluid as it was last year and it really does hurt the game in the long run.
Graphically the World Tour Series has never been one of the best looking games in the genre, but always one to hold up its fair share. In this year’s edition, the same proves to be true and in fact the game is actually a step up graphically from last year.
The character models in World Tour Soccer 2005 have much more detail and form then they did in last year’s edition. In fact you can see that 989 Sports has added a lot more character models to make the game not seem like you are playing with generic soccer players.
Overall I was impressed with some of the minor improvements found around the game. The game is still not over the hill and competing with FIFA or Winning Eleven but this does show that they are getting close.
World Tour Soccer 2005 has some great features to it but the gameplay just doesn’t come together like it has in previous installments. With the control issues that are found throughout the game you will find that the game is not as fun as it once was. With this being said, it’s not like the game is boring, because it still has some great features and still has some solid gameplay. There are plenty of teams to choose from (what an understatement) and plenty of game modes to choose from. This is one of those games that will keep you busy for quite some time.
World Tour Soccer 2005 just didn’t perform like I hoped it would. The gameplay just hasn’t made it to the top yet, and is now really starting to lose some ground. Let’s hope that 989 Sports does some strong developing for the 2006 version so we can see this title compete for the top soccer titles. If you’re wondering if you should purchase World Tour Soccer 2005 I would have to give you the thumbs down and say that right now there are just better soccer titles out there to choose from.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.