While Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA continue to compete among themselves for the annual title of best football simulator, there seems to be something of a revival for the football classics of yesteryear. Sociable Soccer and Kick Off Revival are two projects currently in production, that intend to follow the lines of the original games released over two decades ago, winning the hearts of many fans. The subject of this review Active Soccer 2 DX follows the same path, and intends to fill the space left by Sensible Soccer in the heart of the older fans, that is at least until Sociable Soccer arrives.
Active Soccer 2 was originally released for iOS and Android, where it is currently being sold for a few quid, and it has now been ported by The Fox Software to Xbox One, where it costs considerably more. The price difference might suggest that it is a completely different game, but in fact this is an almost direct adaptation. The big difference is in the controls, adapted from the touch based realms of mobile platforms onto the Xbox One controller.
If you seek official licenses, you will not find them in Active Soccer 2, but the game is full of non licensed leagues and teams. Jerseys, team names, and player names, feature small differences that will make them easily identifiable to fans. And the most devoted players can also change all that in the in-game editor, although this leads us into one of the game's problems - the interface.
The controller sensitivity while you move around the menus is unusually high, which ultimately turns a simple task like navigating the options into an exercise in frustration. Another problem lies in the editor itself, which won't allow you to modify the length of the players' names. The new name you insert must always have the same length as the old one.
In terms of options, there aren't many. You can participate in friendly matches, play a tournament or a championship, go through a tutorial mode, or take on a friend in the local versus option. It came as a bit of an unpleasant shock as we realised that Active Soccer 2 DX did not include an online mode, something that could potentially be one of the biggest attractions of the game.
As for the gameplay, it is very similar to what we know of Sensible Soccer, but suffers from some bizarre bugs that happen from time to time. Another shortcoming is the lack of options for changing the configuration of buttons, which can be a problem for FIFA players, since the button arrangement is closer to that of PES. As for the camera, it's the classic top view, but with 3D graphics.
We did enjoy the frenetic spirit of the gameplay, where the ball is always moving. At times this brand of gameplay can be fun, especially for veteran Sensible Soccer players, but is likely to be too old-fashioned for newer players. FIFA and PES have evolved a lot over the years, and although Active Soccer 2 DX tries to offer a completely different proposal, it will be difficult to convince the most passionate PES and FIFA players to give Active Soccer 2 DX a chance.
And then there's the issue of price. Whereas this version is an adaptation of the mobile version, it is difficult to see why it costs more than three times as much. Especially if we consider that Active Soccer 2 DX is little more than a mediocre clone of Sensible Soccer. Assuming the nostalgic value, perhaps there are some elements here that might interest you, but even if you meet these conditions, we advise you to wait for a price reduction, or to purchase of the mobile version. Or perhaps to wait on Sociable Soccer or Kick Off Revival.
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