Team that wins ...?

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
Author and references

That of the Inazuma Eleven series is a paradoxical situation to say the least, from the point of view of distribution.

Notwithstanding that we Europeans have to thank even just for having seen the previous episodes on our shelves, since in America they dreamed of them, this Inazuma Eleven 3 we see it localized three years after the original Japanese release, well after the conclusion of the animated series of reference also in our homeland. As if that weren't enough, Inazuma Eleven 3 was originally released on Nintendo DS in three versions, only to be integrated into a compilation including the first two episodes and released for Nintendo 3DS (titled Inazuma Eleven 1-2-3). We are offered only the third episode in the Nintendo 3DS version (practically identical to the original counterpart, except for a superficial stereoscopic effect added later) and in only two of the three original versions, renamed Lightning Lightning and Explosive Fire. The Ogre version is therefore missing, but it is the least of our thoughts, we assure you.

Inazuma Eleven 3 is a nice jRPG with a football background all too similar to its predecessors

Down to earth ...

The differences between the two versions of Inazuma Eleven 3, Lightning Bolt and Explosive Fire, are almost minimal: each deepens the character and history of some characters rather than others, proposing as opponents some different football teams depending on the version.

We were pleasantly surprised - and lucky, perhaps - to discover that the version we played, Lampo Folgorante, focuses on Paolo Bianchi, a new Spanish character. whose events will intertwine with those of Mark Evans and the other Raimon players. Apart from that, the story flows and evolves in the same way, and if you've never had anything to do with Inazuma Eleven, then get ready to enter a somewhat bizarre universe in which football is considered as a sport around which it revolves. literally everything: the characters talk about it as if the fate of the world depended on that balloon and some dialogues tear more than a smile, making us roll our eyes in the face of the most incredible situations. It must be said that this time, however, Level-5 has taken a step backwards, compared to the previous episode: this time Mark and the others will have to deal with a much more "down-to-earth" challenge, represented by a scale championship. world called Football Frontier International.

In the beginning, therefore, they will fight --- er, they will play to decide the members of the team that will represent Japan, and then slowly they will face off against all the various teams in the world. Do not worry, however, because Inazuma Eleven 3 does not betray its bizarre origins, and game after game will unravel a decidedly abstruse as funny story in which shady characters will mix determined to conquer the world with football (sic!) And even otherworldly forces. at war with each other. The plot is told through the canonical dialogues between the characters and frequent cartoon sequences of excellent quality: the lyrics are completely in Spanish, and even the dubbing, which mostly uses the same Spanish voices as the animated series, with a lot of initials completely sung in our language. An excellent job of localization, in short, which once again manages to convincingly propose the world and the characters of the series.

The 3D effect

Virtually not received: the stereoscopic effect is almost absent, also because it is mostly played on the lower screen. The depth is then applied - in vain - to the map of the areas being explored and in a very weak way to the polygonal sequences that show the special actions and techniques of the characters.

... and your head in the clouds

The problem, in fact, is the sense of stillness that is felt from the moment you start playing until the end of the adventure. Inazuma Eleven 3 adopts the same, identical structure of its predecessors, dividing itself between the exploration of the various environments, full of characters to interact with and chests to open almost as if they were dungeons of a fantasy jRPG, and the "battles" played on the field football. The main difference from the past is the addition of a couple of new mechanics that literally allow you to dominate the field by involving multiple players of the team at the same time, in order to enhance our shots or control and disable the opposing players. That's all: apart from that, Inazuma Eleven 3 is absolutely identical to the second chapter, and the gameplay remains the same - however excellent - from the beginning to the end of the adventure. For new players, however, it could be a breath of fresh air; after all, there are no other video games that blend our national sport so well with the strategy, decisions and parameters to keep an eye on of a Japanese-style RPG.

Paradoxically, however, for longtime fans of the franchise everything has already been seen, from the recruitment of the characters (fortunately far fewer than in Inazuma Eleven 2, and therefore much easier to appreciate and manage) to the painstaking composition of the team that must be put in place. adapted to face the most difficult matches, choosing the right players based on their "equipment" and their athletic abilities. There is practically nothing new that could intrigue those who spent hours on the previous chapter, apart of course the plot which, moreover, concludes the narrative cycle with Mark Evans as protagonist. Even the graphics sector on Nintendo 3DS shows the side on several occasions: it is obviously a title for the previous Nintendo laptop, dating back to three years ago, and therefore characterized by a mix of decidedly clumsy sprites that move in polygonal settings. in isometric view, to switch to polygonal sequences during matches that up to a couple of years ago could also appear spectacular, but which today stand out more for the poverty of details than for the tornadoes or the fiery tigers that accompany the goals of these young heroes of the soccer field.



Readers (23)


Your vote

In short, Inazuma Eleven 3 works yes and no: the controls via touch screen are still perfect, the "combat system" is very fun and spectacular, but the Level-5 title begins to definitely feel the weight of the years, both from the point from a technical point of view both from a playful and content point of view. The decision to propose for Nintendo 3DS an already old title in itself and conceived for the previous laptop was quite unfortunate, and risks driving away both fans of the franchise, for whom Inazuma Eleven 3 will be a continuous deja vu, and the new ones players who could turn up their noses in front of an extremely deficient technical sector for the console in question. We say goodbye to Mark Evans a little chilly, therefore, hoping not to have to wait too long to play Inazuma Eleven Go !, the continuation of the franchise designed specifically for Nintendo 3DS.


  • Coupled football / jRPG still convincing
  • Excellent Spanish localization
  • A little less absurd plot than the prequel
  • Very few news in terms of content
  • Too much, too similar to its predecessors
  • Technically, he feels the full weight of his three years
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