Real Football 2009 (DSiWare)

Game Review

Real Football 2009 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

A good effort, but does it hit the back of the net?

As the first Premium title available on DSiWare, there’s a certain amount of expectation surrounding Gameloft’s Real Football 2009. Do you get enough game for your 800 Points?

First things first – Real Football 2009 is more or less a straight conversion of the same game that was released on DS a few months back. The download version lacks some of the leagues and teams you’d find in the boxed version, but aside from that there’s actually a great deal of content for your 800 Points. There are six cups and six leagues as well as exhibition and penalty shoot-out modes, and a decent range of training modes that help you get to grips with the controls before heading onto the pitch. There’s also a huge range of teams to choose from, with 60 international teams and 98 club teams from all over Europe. Sadly there’s no edit function to rename the teams or players, but with a decent number of the teams boasting licensed players there’s no need to put up with your Wayan Rownies or Davidd Bickom.

Once you’ve chosen your game mode and team, you’ll see the usual TV-style presentation of the stadium, the players and fans before you get to kick off. Anyone who’s played a football game over the past ten years will be immediately familiar with the style and the range of controls too, with through balls, lobs and a range of tricks all easily accessible from the face and shoulder buttons. This being a DS game there are full touch screen controls, which you’re advised to learn from the in-game tutorial before stepping onto the pitch to avoid many nasty defeats and angry outbursts.

Essentially the touch screen controls are gesture-based, with a line towards a player bringing about a pass, a curved line for a long ball over the top and holding the stylus on the screen charging up power for a shot on goal. Some of the gestures used are rather counter-intuitive – drawing an h and holding the stylus brings about a lob, for example – but once you’ve mastered the basics it actually proves a novel and satisfying way to play.

These controls were present in the original DS title though, so what have Gameloft added to justify its release on DSiWare? Well, you can use the built-in camera to snap pictures of anything you like to paste onto the ball, giant stadium screens or even players’ heads. It’s a passable attempt at DSi-specific features, but the photos often end up blocky and unrecognisable, and mapping your face onto a player means you can still see your face even from behind, a truly bizarre sight. Of course, the more imaginative you are the more fun this feature will be; every player should paste a photo of a potato onto Rooney’s head.

Once you’ve abused the camera features and learnt the controls, you’ll be into the game proper, and in all honesty it’s not a bad kickabout. It’s remarkably fluid for a handheld game, and there are rarely boring passages of play as the ball bounces from player to player. One gripe with the controls is the difficulty of pulling off diagonal passes due to the DSi’s very flat d-pad, but other than that all controls are accurate and responsive, though there is an annoying delay whilst players are sprinting as you wait for the animation to end before pulling off a pass. Once you’ve taken this into account, however, you’ll be sliding the ball around with all the finesse of Brazil in 1970.

The graphics are typical DS fare in a lot of places, with some blocky textures and low polygon player models, but the presentation and animation is very good. The sound quality is as you’d expect in a pocket football game – there’s no commentary or speech, but the sound effects are decent enough, with sampled chanting and cheering in the background adding to the atmosphere of each match.

Although primarily an arcade-style football game, Real Football 2009 does cater for the more serious football fan with different formations and tactical decisions available, all of which are controlled by the touch screen. Dragging a player’s icon around can put them anywhere on the field, and a slider alters how aggressively they defend or attack, allowing you to fine-tune individual players to suit your style best. It certainly adds more depth to the play, although it’s questionable whether it genuinely makes a huge difference to the outcome of a match.


On the whole, Real Football 2009 is a good stab at a downloadable football game, with more content than you'd expect. Although the DSi-specific features make it hard to recommend this version over its boxed DS counterpart, at 800 points it’s still reasonably cheap for what is essentially a fully-featured football game. The inclusion of Wi-Fi Connection play would have boosted this dangerously close to must-buy status for DS football fans, but as it stands, this is still a recommended buy.

From the web

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User Comments (31)



warioswoods said:

It's great to have confirmation now that the download service can indeed handle games on par with retail releases, and for a fraction of the price.



wiiboy101 said:

it should have dsi-ish graphics come on for goodness's sake

give me a remake and optermize of iss 98 n64 on dsi call it iss touch 2010 and give us n64 killing visuals at 60 frames and a tactics touch screen

if only i was a games producer i know what people want im fed up with weak 3d fotball on DS its far more capabile than n64 yet we aint seeing it

dsi far more so



James said:

@Wiiloveit - I actually read your review just after I'd posted mine, and was pleased to know you felt the same about it!

@wiiboy101 - Judging from the other comments mate, seems like other people like this

I'll admit that the graphics are a bit shoddy in this, but the gameplay is very good and at the end of the day, that's what's going to keep you switching on your DSi time after time. Besides, let's face it - if Konami released a downloadable update of a twelve-year old title, there'd be uproar!



Bahamut_ZERO said:


GAH! Why do us Americans have to call it soccer!!!

@Wiiloveit: Good to see you updating your site. Havn't been there in a while due to lack of activity.



Token_Girl said:

Nice to see what downloadable games can handle on the DSi. I'm really looking forward to seeing some exclusive titles now.

Soccer...soccer ...soccer
I think we just like being different and annoying, so we named a sport that involves mostly throwing and catching as opposed to kicking football. If it makes you feel any better, it's a pain for me to travel anywhere, because we can't use the metric system either. Yay America! ^^



SmaMan said:

Looks good. Hope we get it over here. Though it'll probably be called Real Soccer 2009.

Yeah I never understood why it's like that. The UK's football makes more sense since you actually spend a lot of time kicking the ball with your (drumroll) foot!



Bahamut_ZERO said:

Agreed. I mean, we are the only major country that doesn't use metric (I think Zimbabwe, Africa is the only other country in the world). And seriously, you play foot ball with your foot.



Roopa132 said:

I just downloaded it after reading this review and I have to say it's a really good game. I wouldn't even think it is "just" a DSi Ware game if I didn't know it. The Camera Feature is nice but nothing amazing since 1. The graphic of the photos is declined very much when they are bound into the game and 2. Just the stadion screen and the flag pictures look good but putting a picture on the ball deformes it to incognizability and putting your Face on a Player looks just ridiculous because the face will be aimed to you independent from the direction the player looks. And the `Head will be almost as big as the Body of the Player...
Wow that was almost a whole review^^ But alltogether it's a very good game and is totally worth the 800 points but just 2 out of the 4 camera features are usefull and fun.



James said:

SmaMan - thank goodness, no! My photos are even more horrendous than those, if you can imagine such a thing.

Legend Marioid - I saw the boxed version for £15 in a games shop yesterday, which makes it roughly twice the price of this download version, so I thoroughly second your recommendation. Nice to see people downloading this and enjoying it!



Raptor78 said:

I still get my points from Argos at less than £15.00 per 2000 points card and after seeing this game in GAME for a staggering £24 I thought "Wow" almost all the content of the original for a quarter of the price, but hey even if you can pick it up for £15 its still less than half price!!!
Im actually looking forward to more Gameloft games because if their wiiware is anything to go by and this premium DSi game is going to represent their standard of games on the DSi then even if all their games are 800 points they would represet good value for money.



Gogata said:

I downloaded this game on the 24TH of April (its first day) and I must say that I am really satisfied with it. For the same game as the one that you buy in a cartridge + with some DSi camera features, it is really cheap and worthy. The only thing I disslike about this game is the penalty kicks' because the goalkeeper is reacting unnaturally sometimes.

My score:



MDee14 said:

I can't wait for this game to come out in NA, but is the touch control the only option?



Crunc said:

Does the cartridge version of this game have internet play? If so, that would give me pause in buying this download version. Still, this is the closest thing we've got to a "real" game so far, so I may just buy it in order to support that notion. I hope it tops the charts for some time to come, hopefully sending Nintendo a message.



cecesigue said:

hahahaha in American football you don't use your feet to touch the ball as much...in soccer is the only way! has no sense at all, but like you guys said, America uses and say things no other place in the world would, that's how it is



Machu said:

oi! leave the Roondog alone, he's beautiful!

Great review thanks, wasnt sure, but now i shall beat Loserpool, with Rafa Beneathus plastered onto there silly faces, 'on the go'.

finally, a game for my dsi! woot!




Roondog, you mean Shrek? He doesn't play for Newcastle United (ie. there is more than one "United" in Britain)



Wolfcoyote said:

I just downloaded this (payday) and I'm really enjoying it. I need to learn both control schemes before I go too far into it. One question: how many of you use the touch-screen control setup versus the button configuration?



motang said:

Good review, I am thinking about getting this one.

Update: Just bought the game! It is a load of fun, and on go to as I don't need to have the game cartrage in the slot!



Grumble said:

just bought this for $8 used at GameStop, for the price of the dsiware version, but the boxed version i think has more features (wifi, etc) so take a look at those clearance titles at GameStop (and other stores) before purchasing through DSiWare!



Dodger said:

This was my first DSiware game. Thanks for the review. I like games where you play as countries and this was worth the 800 price tag. I wish it was easier to move sometimes but it is a really complex game that keeps you coming back.

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