Inazuma Eleven 2: Firestorm


12 cert, Nintendo/Level 5, Nintendo DS **

Alien invasions can take many forms, but alien invasion fiction tends to follow the same path: hulking spaceships, exploding monuments and whatnot. So hats off to creators of Inazuma Eleven for introducing a hostile race of soccer-loving space invaders. Before you strap on your boots, Inazuma Eleven 2: Firestorm requires you to read through acres of expository dialogue. Typical line: “We pulled our socks up and managed to become the number one team in the country!” Eventually, after lots of plot and some exploration, the showdowns begin. These are strange, unintuitive football games involving multiple choices for tackles and stylus-led shooting. As for the RPG elements, there’s virtually no choice in what your characters say, so it feels less like an interactive narrative and more like an animated digital comic. Young fans of sci-fi and Manga might take to this, but for this writer, the nonstop dialogue and awkward action were a fatal combination.