With last year’s successful Real Football 2009 under its belt, Gameloft has dusted off its downloadable footballing franchise and slapped a new number on the end. Taking the control systems and fast, arcade-style gameplay from its predecessor and polishing it up, RF2010 is at once the definitive football game on DS and a real letdown.
Make no mistake: this is some of the finest eleven-a-side action seen on a Nintendo handheld, with plenty of teams, cups and leagues crammed into the DSiWare download package. The animation is fluid and the sound effects do the trick, although on the audio side there’s now some rudimentary commentary from an over-excited announcer who cries “great pass!” every time one professional football player kicks the ball to another professional football player. It’s unintentionally hilarious and there’s no way to turn it off, meaning the joke sadly wears thin after a while.
The DSi-specific features from its previous incarnation survive, letting you put custom photos on players, adverts, the big screen and the ball itself, creating yet more hilarity for creative (or just plain rude) players. The touch screen controls work just as well as they did in the previous version, and although there are no new moves added this year the passing seems more accurate, particularly when using the button controls. Sadly there’s still no ability to customise your controls or even change any options beyond difficulty, game length and language, making this a pretty barebones title in terms of flexibility.
There are a few small additions here and there, with new stadia and teams to select, but mostly this is identical to last year’s effort. There’s still no online play, no customisable controls and no edit player feature, and if you’ve spent a few hours with the previous entry you’ll be hard-pressed to spot any major differences between the two. There are no additional playmodes either, with the same cups and leagues from last year’s effort, though they still equate to weeks of gameplay. It’s a shame the single-player “Enter the Legend” mode and some of the social aspects from the iPhone version didn’t make it across to the DSi as they would have improved the lastability considerably.
Real Football 2010 plays a great game of football and there’s stacks of content here for DSiWare footie first-timers. If you’ve already paid for last year’s entry there’s no point in shelling out for this one too, as there simply isn’t enough new content to justify the 800 Points, but footie newcomers should make this their next transfer target.