Soccer was one of my favorite sports growing up, and I remember playing the sport all the way through elementary school and a little bit in junior high. I couldn’t really explain why it was, just know that it was fun. And I enjoyed it every single day: practices, games, all that free food.
But after junior high, that passion sort of faded away. Soccer was no longer THE sport I wanted to play, and I moved on from the reality to the virtual world. While you won’t find me playing a soccer game in the big leagues, you may or may not find me playing a little bit of soccer on my iPhone, whether it be Real Soccer 2010 or the most current X2 Soccer 2010.
So with that all said, is it really worthy of being called the best soccer game ever to walk the App Store halls? Read on for the breakdown.
Dream team: The Dream Team mode is all about building your team from absolutely nothing. Your offensive and defensive stats are all the way down to basically zero, meaning that you basically just suck statistically. As the player of the game, you have to control your character quickly and intelligently, enough so that you will be able to score goals and such. This game mode is all about YOU being skilled at soccer games, with the team stats not affecting your play in any way.
I definitely enjoyed the creativity of this gameplay mode, and it’s something that I haven’t really seen in other games. Sure, there’s the Be A Pro mode in both FIFA 2010 and Real Soccer 2010, and X2 Soccer 2010 could have just followed that road and implemented that in. Instead, I love how they created something new, something that hasn’t exactly appeared on the App Store until now.
Content: You’ll almost always find a lot of content with soccer games on the App Store. This one has the usual International Cup, Africa Cup, Asian Cup, European Cup, etc. etc. There’s also the league play within the game, so you’ll be able to play with whatever is your favorite league (the names may be different though, as it is not licensed).
Multiplayer options: I like how X2 Games included all of the multiplayer options, including WiFi, bluetooth, and online. While I’ve had some troubles with the online multiplayer and connecting to the server, the multiplayer in and of itself is definitely extensive. So if you’re ever in the car and wishing to play some soccer, you can always connect through Bluetooth.
User interface: When choosing a team for a quick game or whatever gameplay mode you’re on, the scrolling for choosing teams is very unresponsive and somewhat clunky. I didn’t enjoy this part of the user interface at all, and there were times when I had to scroll twice or thrice for it to actually start moving. And even if it was responsive, I highly doubt I would enjoy it, as they would have to get the sensitivity down perfectly.
Character animations: When playing the game, the animations are far from smooth. When your player is running, he will sometimes “stutter”, meaning that his legs will float in the air for a couple of milliseconds. There are also times when the character is looking like he’s sprinting, but he’s actually moving very slowly.
Slowdown: On my iPhone 3GS, I’ve had problems with the game running smoothly. From the game not registering my touches to the characters stuttering, all of the problems listed above may or may not have to do with the overall smoothness of the game. Whenever I was playing a soccer match, it just felt extremely choppy, exempt from smoothness. This lag really shouldn’t be happening, as the iPhone 3GS is the fastest device so far. Who knows if it lags on other devices?
Connection lost: During online multiplayer, you’ll get the connection lost of course. This happens in all online multiplayer games, so that isn’t the problem. The problem is the connection lost screen, which just stays there and doesn’t go away. Once it shows that connection lost screen, you’ll have to exit out of the app, enter back in, then exit, then enter back in again for the game to restart. It may have been just a one time problem, but still, this is something worth mentioning.
Sprinting: The controls for sprinting are uncomfortable and quite annoying actually, as you have to move your joystick as far away from the joystick as possible for it to register a sprint. I had my iPhone case get in the way because I had to move my finger so far, and it was just an overall uncomfortable experience. The only time when sprinting has worked in soccer games was Real Soccer 2009 and 2010 with the use of a virtual d-pad and double tapping to sprint. That’s the only control method I’ve seen it work, and this should definitely be something that should be considered.
So is X2 Soccer 2010 the best soccer game in the App Store? And to that I say no. I believe that it is on par with all the other soccer games on the App Store, and to me, the AI is slightly under the AI for FIFA 10. The online multiplayer took a long time to connect with others, and of course, with the red, deathly “Connection lost” screen. There are a lot of problems with X2 Soccer 2010 that I couldn’t get over, and while it’s still a great soccer game, they seriously need to fix some of the performance issues that I encountered. But still, X2 Soccer 2010 is counted as one of the premier soccer experiences on the App Store, just not the best.