Inazuma Eleven is incredibly original, featuring real-time strategy gameplay on the field, as players draw on the touch screen to direct positions of team members. Hopefully the gameplay is easy enough to understand for keen importers, because the chances of localization are not that great. Well, anything less than 100 percent won't be good enough!
The latest issue of CoroCoro Comic has taken a long, hard look at Level-5's forthcoming soccer RPG, Inazuma Eleven. Mostly this involves displaying large quantities of the title's pretty fantastic character art (there's a definite Layton feel to it), but there are a number of screenshots dotted about the pages.
These show off several aspects of the title, from your common or garden dialog screens to shots of the matches that take place (and in which players control the movement of players by drawing on the touchscreen). Combining soccer with a real-time SRPG is fascinating to us, not to mention ridiculously original -- the closest comparison we can think of is International Superstar Soccer 2000 for the Nintendo 64, which included RPG-lite elements in its single-player mode, but nothing quite as in-depth as Inazuma Eleven.
Anyway, we digress: Jeux France was kind enough to pop CoroCoro in the scanner and show us the entire preview, so hit the "Source" link below for the full skinny.
For those of you who're as intrigued by this title as we are, know there is some new media around the net. First up, Game Watch has some lovely screens for you to check out. After that, get some full-motion excitement from the extended trailer up at GameSpot Japan. After that, we'd suggest changing your pants. We had to.
Read - Inazuma Eleven trailer at GameSpot Japan
Read - Inazuma Eleven screens at Game Watch
Will the marketing overkill pay off for Level-5? We were pretty sure Inazuma Eleven was going to be huge even before they started doing this stuff, just because of the massive amounts of cred the company has picked up in Japan since Layton and DQVIII.
Hino also mentioned that Level-5 would announce a new RPG soon, also for release this year. It's the 10th anniversary of Level-5, and they're celebrating it with work.
They're now competing with Square in the 'ridiculous show of wealth' department. Where Square disgraced Hironobu Sakaguchi into fleeing and almost ruined themselves with a high-budget CG movie, Level-5 is taking a more modest, but still overboard, approach to the whole 'conspicuous consumption' thing. Presumably to promote Inazuma Eleven (for which the company also manufactured a singing group), the company has purchased the naming rights to the Avispa Fukuoka J-League soccer team.
For the next three years (at $287,185 a year), Hakata no Mori Football Stadium in their native Fukuoka will be known as Level-5 Stadium, and teams across Japan will be encouraged to defeat the bosses of Levels 1 through 4 before attempting a game here. Well, maybe not. But the name thing -- that's true.
In the game, each of the three girls provides a different support function for your team. Haruna covers matches and events for the school paper, following players to collect data on them. Natsumi, the top student of her class and daughter of a politician/philanthropist, is initially unimpressed with your crew, but she eventually becomes one of the team's biggest fans and benefactors. Aki, the youngest of the group, manages the team. We guess she likes to wear green skirts, too.
Twe'lv plans to perform Inazuma Eleven's ending theme, a song composed by Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger), at the World Hobby Fair in Osaka this weekend. Peek past the post break for in-game art and more promotional photos of the young trio.
For the full scans, head past the break.