I ve spent some time playing more than a few matches on soccergames from a trio of iOS developers. And while no game can matchthe excitement of what your favorite European league, internationaltournament, or God help you Major League Soccer team can provide,at least two offerings prove up to the task of satisfying yoursoccer cravings. In Control: Real Soccer 2012 uses standard controls a d-pad forplayer movements and virtual buttons that change depending onwhether you re playing offense or defense. Let s dispense with the lackluster app first.
Real Soccer 2012 from Gameloft is a free iPhone and iPad download in name only. Much likeGameloft s equally inadequate NFL Pro 2012 , Real Soccer seems more focused on getting you to downloadupgrades, ideally through in-app purchases, than it does inproviding you with a compelling sports game. When you download the free game, your only available option is tomanage an international team through a World Cup-style tournament.Winning games and scoring goals builds up your experience, whichunlocks other options like domestic leagues in Europe, Asia, andthe Americas. Some upgrades such as different balls, stadiums, andnational teams can also be bought with experience, though the bestupgrades require you to spend in-game currency, which you accrue ata much slower pace. Of course, Gameloft is perfectly willing to letyou purchase that currency for anywhere from $2 to $100 worth ofreal money.
Entreaties to upgrade to new balls, stadiums, and otherextras appear nearly constantly at least every time you try toaccess a new menu in the game. That would be fine if a little off-putting were it not for RealSoccer s stamina requirements. To play a game, you need at least50 points of stamina. The game replenishes one stamina point every10 minutes, but it caps you at 100 points. DVB-T Digital Receiver
Of course, if you rewilling to part with some in-game currency which, again, you canbuy with real cash Gameloft will deign to let you play more than amatch or two in Real Soccer in one sitting. It s a greedy,contemptuous scheme that s more interested in separating you fromyour money than in giving you an enjoyable gaming experience. Match Postponed: If you don t have enough stamina, Real Soccer 12won t let you play a match. It will give you the option of buyingstamina. DVB-S2 Digital Receiver
The constant upsell is even more insulting when the actual gameplayin Real Soccer doesn t exactly keep you coming back for more. Thegame features a standard d-pad, along with virtual buttons thatchange depending on whether you have the ball or not. (Buttons forpassing and shooting on offense become controls to press and tackleon defense; the sprint button remains constant.) The controls arepretty simple to use; unfortunately, the AI appears just as simple.Pass a ball to one of your players, and he ll stand there waitingto receive it, instead of charging forward for a free-flowing styleof soccer. When your player shoots, he ll come to a dead stop,rather than charge toward the net in hopes of tapping in a rebound.If there s a way to turn dead-ball situations like free kicks andcorner kicks into anything other than an exercise in futility,it s beyond me in-game tutorials appear to be non-existent. Andeven when you opt for a higher degree of difficulty, yourcomputerized opponent won t put up much of a fight I often foundI was outshooting my opponent by as much as 6-to-1. China Android IPTV Box
It could well be that if you re willing to spend the time and themoney to optimize Real Soccer 2012 to its fullest that there s adecent game in there somewhere. But what I saw didn t make meeager to part with either commodity. Mystery Buttons: PES 2012 doesn t label its on-screen buttons,though if you look hard enough, you ll find a help screen that canteach you how to better control your players. PES 2012 from Konami Digital Entertainment fares much better just by offering a more genuine free-to-playexperience.
When you download the free iPhone and iPad game, onlythe Super Challenge mode and a training area are unlocked and youhave a limited selection of teams. In essence, this acts as a sortof trial version: A $6 in-app purchase unlocks the rest of thegame. (The exception, at least for me: The recent 1.0.5 updateadded a Copa Santander Libertadores mode that appears to require aseparate in-app purchase.) Note that a single in-app purchaseunlocks PES 2012 on any iOS device tied to your iTunes account. Controls in PES 2012 are similar to what you get in Real Soccer ad-pad for controlling player movements and two buttons for passes,shots, tackles, and other defensive maneuvers. The trouble is, PES2012 doesn t label these buttons, so you may not realize what theydo at first.
Dig around a bit, though, and you ll find a helpscreen that tells you not only what the buttons do, but how toperform more sophisticated moves like back heels, through balls,crosses, and feints. It makes for better gameplay than in RealSoccer, and your players less likely to stand around and wait forthe ball to arrive in PES 2012. (Your computerized opponent is alittle more competitive, too, though your opponent never seems torely on substitutions.) Euro Vision: The game modes in PES 2012 include the ability tocompete in the Champions League. Multiple game modes are where PES really shines. The Super Leaguemode gives you a chance to lead a team up a four-tier league, withpromotions and relegations awaiting at the end of each 38-gameseason.
You can augment your team by adding players through thetransfer market with coins you accrue by winning games. You earnthis virtual money at such a slow pace, however, that if you havedreams of adding a Messi- or Ronaldo-caliber player, you re goingto end up boosting your budget via in-app purchase. In addition tothis league mode and a League Cup tournament offering, PES 2012features not only a Champions League simulation complete with Champions League anthem but a Europa League mode as well. The 1.0.5 update also broughtthe game s rosters in line with real player movements from the2011-12 season. PES 2012 has its share of shortcomings the menusare cluttered and the stadium simulations are fairly generic butsoccer fans should appreciate the in-game action.
They ll also like some of PES 2012 s multiplayer functionality. Iwasn t able to test the game s challenge modes, which require youto know user names or email addresses of PES-playing friends ortrack them down through Facebook. I did, however, test out themultiplayer features that use a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection tohost a local game with another iOS device-toting friend. Theselocal network games work well enough, though there s theoccasional lag in action, which can make it difficult to time shotsand tackles. Soccer fans craving realism will probably want to turn to theofferings from Electronic Arts , which makes separate versions of FIFA Soccer 12 for both the iPhone and iPad.
These apps come with a price tag $5for the iPhone version, $10 for the iPad edition but a singlepurchase unlocks everything. And there s lots to unlock: Inaddition to the top leagues in Europe England, Italy, Spain, andGermany FIFA Soccer 12 lets you manage real teams from leaguesacross the European continent not to mention Australia, Japan,South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. You get the real clubnames here, too: Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United go bythose names and not London FC, Merseyside Red, and Man Red as theydo in PES 2012. Life Among the Minnows: In addition to the major leagues, FIFASoccer 12 also lets you dabble in lower divisions.
Here, LeytonOrient are taking on MK Dons in a League One scrap. If lower leagues are your passion, FIFA 12 s got you coveredthere, too: It includes the second-tier leagues in Germany, France,Spain, and Italy, as well as all three levels of England sFootball League. As a Leyton Orient fan, I was happy to get thechance to lead the O s to the glory that has thus far eluded themin real life. Controls mirror those in the other two soccer games: FIFA Soccer 12uses a d-pad for player movement and contextual on-screen buttonsfor offensive and defensive maneuvers.
I found FIFA s controls theleast forgiving of the soccer games I tested. One of my playerswould be sprinting down the pitch when all of a sudden, he d cometo a dead stop as my thumb slid off the d-pad. That said, FIFASoccer 12 offers the best in-game tutorials for performing moreadvanced tasks like lobbed passes and through balls, and it handlesfree kicks and corners in a more intuitive way than the othergames. FIFA Soccer 12 offers limited multiplayer functionality. It snon-existent on the iPhone version, while the iPad offeringrequires a separate iOS device and a free download of the EA Sports Gamepad app.
That app uses Bluetooth connectivity to turn your iPhone or iPodtouch into a gamepad, allowing a second player to control a team inFIFA Soccer 12 for the iPad. The set-up is only moderatelychallenging, and once in place, gameplay works pretty well. Just For Kicks: Challenges in FIFA Soccer 12 include scoring from afree kick and give you the chance to sample the many teams featuredin this app. But FIFA Soccer 12 offers another gameplay mode that helps itstandout from the competition a daily challenge.
Sign into EA s Origin service , and FIFA Soccer 12 serves up daily tests of your soccer skill.You might have to block a penalty shot or lead a 10-man side to acomeback victory. The challenges are varied and give you theopportunity to play different squads Bayern Munich one day, RealMadrid the next and discover which teams you enjoy controlling.Combine the daily challenge with FIFA Soccer 12 s friendly matchand team manager modes, and there s plenty here to keep you comingback for more. The iPad version of FIFA Soccer 12 seems noticeably buggy. When Ifirst downloaded the app and tried managing a team, the game wouldalways crash roughly four games into the season, making itimpossible to advance any further. After wiping the game off myiPad, reinstalling it, and starting the season again, I was able tofinally move forward.
Even so, the iPad version will stilloccasionally limit me to one substitution per match when I shouldbe allowed three. Force-quitting the app usually sets things right.Considering EA last updated the game nearly six months ago, thesekinds of bugs are noteworthy enough to make me less enthusiasticabout the iPad release. Soccer fans looking to bring the beautiful game to their iOS devicehave a couple of worthwhile options. PES 2012 is a good download,so long as you re willing to pony up to unlock the full game.
If arealistic soccer simulation is more to your taste, either theiPhone or iPad versions of FIFA Soccer 12 will fit the bill, thoughyou should be prepared to run into some bugs with the latteroffering. [ Macworld.com editor Philip Michaels is overly pleased by the factthat he led Leyton Orient to both the Johnstone s Paint Trophy andpromotion to the npower Championship in FIFA Soccer 12. ].