Shooting pauses the action, giving you the chance to select the strength and height of the shot, though you can also increase your chances of scoring by spending Technique Points on a potentially net-busting super-strike.
Such incredi-moves aren't only reserved for the forwards, with wingers able to clone themselves to bamboozle opponents, and goalies teleporting from one side of the net to the other to make impossible saves.
Inazuma takes the idea of erecting a defensive wall all too literally - you'd think the concrete constructions featured here would count as cheating, but officials happily turn a blind eye. Fun when you're blocking; less so when you're on the receiving end. Who's the b...[blighter - Ed] in the black, indeed.
Still, in the context of the anime, such Naruto-esque nonsense actually seems to fit. Subtlety isn't really Inazuma's game and it's this explosive drama that ultimately elevates it above its fairly mundane mechanics. The story might be a fairly straightforward rise-of-theunderdog tale, but as your team of loveable losers improve, you'll be rooting for them all the way to the Big Important Must-Win-Or-Else Tournament.
On a console hardly short of RPGs, it's more of a top ten side hoping for a decent cup run than a genuine title contender, but Inazuma isn't without its charms, particularly if you're a fan of the sport - or, indeed, of anime. Younger audiences will certainly get a kick out of taking Raimon Junior High all the way to the top, even if the football they'll play to get there is more Birmingham than Barcelona.
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The game's a solid and fun addition to the DS's heaving RPG roster, although it never quite sparks into life like you hope it will and feels a bit young at times
- Cel-shaded on-pitch encounters make up for ugliness elsewhere
- Some charming voice work
- A capable RPG
- Music is forgettable
- Lacks a bit of flair