Football’s Winning Ways

Playing football on a handheld console is a pretty good time killer but most of the time, you’ll be stuck playing on your own against the game’s AI which might lead to a not so fun time. With Winning Eleven DS, you can take your game on the road (or to the local cafe) and challenge people via local wireless connection or via the Nintendo WFC if a hotspot is available.

There are a variety of game play modes available in the game but since I purchased a Japanese version of the game, I might be wrong in some of my descriptions. First up is the Exhibition mode, where you can select a team and play in an exhibition match or in a penalty shootout.

The penalty shoot out mode is interesting in a sense the player utilises the touch screen to determine where the shot is made and where to block the ball.

The World Tour mode, is well, a World Tour which is self explanationary. The Konami Cup mode provides some knock-out tournament experience for those itching for it. Basically the player can choose to have 4, 8 or 16 teams in the tournament. There is as well a customize your own team mode, a training mode, a mind-your-progress mode as well another mode which I still can’t make out.

Graphics wise, I bought this game without expecting much knowing that it is a Nintendo DS title but it does serve its purpose. I liken the graphics to that of EA Sport’s FIFA games in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and although its nothing to shout about, it is in 3D. Before I forget, the game suffers from an invisible referee, the man in black is no where to be seen but you can sure hear him whistle.

Sound wise, the game does have some nice touches such as the crowd’s noise in the stadium and the nice music in the menu screen.

Despite its shortcomings, Winning Eleven DS makes up with its gameplay, which I makes for quite engaging matches. There are a number of gameplay options that I have not explored, simply because of my inability to read Japanese. The replay feature has this great camera panning system to give a more TV like feel to the replay.

Getting onto the WFC was pretty easy once I had sorted out which menu does what and I have had 2 WFC matches since. The experience so far has been 50/50 with my first game experiencing heavy lag and the second one played out smooth as silk.

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