TGS 2018: Inazuna Eleven Ares no Tenbin Hands-on Impressions (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Monday, September 24, 2018

TGS 2018: Inazuna Eleven Ares no Tenbin Hands-on Impressions (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Yet another Level 5 IP getting the upgrade to HD consoles.
Anime and soccer must be a good idea because Level 5 keeps on making both with the Inazuma Eleven series. With Level 5 making an appearance at TGS for the first time in years, it made sense for them to bring some of their big hitters to the show. Starting on the DS back in 2008, the series has appeared on Wii, 3DS and mobile, but never an HD console. Until now. Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tanbin (Balance of Ares) is the next entry in the mainline titles and is set to hit iOS, Android, Playstation 4, and most importantly for us, Nintendo Switch.

The demo for Ares puts you right into the action in a full game of soccer. The halves are ten minutes long (not real time ten minutes) and give players control of action on the pitch. While you do have direct control of the movement of your characters as well as passing, when you encounter a player on the opposing team, the game cuts to a very short face-off sequence. When battling for possession of the ball, there are on screen prompts to take the ball either left or right. If you choose the direction that the opposition isn’t going, you’ll make it through with the ball. If you choose incorrectly, the opposing team will take control of the ball.
When you are in range of the goal, a similar face-off mechanic pops up as well. Here, you have the option to choose between a power shot or a controlled shot. The main difference here is that the control shot allows you to aim where you want to shoot the ball. If the goalie is out of position, you pretty much have a 100 percent chance of making a goal. All of this feels pretty polished and was more fun than I anticipated.

Visually, Inazuma Eleven Ares looks fantastic. Similar to their other heavy hitter at the show, Yo-kai Watch 4, this visual presentation is about as close to being able to play the anime as you can get. The in game models animate nicely and the game runs pretty smoothly, making for a pretty positive experience.

Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin looks great and plays pretty well. The RPG meets sports title control mechanics were kind of a turn off for me. Honestly, I’d rather play a game in this style where you can directly control the players in all aspects on the pitch. At the same time, this gameplay aspect is what helps make the series unique - offering a sports experience that can appeal to non-sports gamers. Ares is set to release in Japan later this year and will then get a Western release in 2019.

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