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Real Football 2007 (3D)

For: Mobile

It's been beefed up for high-end handsets, but is it a FIFA-beater?

Product: Real Football 2007 (3D) | Developer: Gameloft | Publisher: Gameloft | Official site: Click to visit | Format: Mobile | Genre: 3D, Simulation, Sports | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 1470KB | Reviewed on: Sony Ericsson K800 other handsets | Version: Europe
Real Football 2007 (3D) Mobile, thumbnail 1

For those of us who grew up with top-down soccer games like Sensible Soccer and Kick Off, the footballing fare available on modern-day consoles is truly gawp-worthy. Recognisable players, TV-style replays, more camera angles than you can shake a boom mic at... Advances in 3D graphics technology truly have revolutionised the (virtual) beautiful game.

So it's been no surprise to find mobile publishers keen to take their football titles three-dimensional as soon as there were enough capable handsets to make it commercially worthwhile.

Recently, we reviewed EA Mobile's FIFA 07 on a Nokia N70, which meant we got the 3D version of the game. EA prefers to just release one game to the market, so if your handset's 3D-capable, you get the 3D version, and if not, you don't. You can't personally choose which one you want, in other words.

Gameloft has taken a different strategy with Real Football 2007, releasing two separate versions – one 2D, and one 3D. We reviewed the 2D version recently, and that's the one that's been on sale on operator portals so far.

However, it's now joined by an all-singing, all-dancing 3D version, which is currently available only on 19 Sony Ericsson handsets (you can find the full list here). If we're being fair, it's this version that provides the best direct comparison with the 3D version of FIFA 07 that we reviewed.

Got that? Good. We don't need to write much about the gameplay, as the controls and game structure are the same as the 2D version. So the same praise and criticisms apply from our previous review: the lack of licensed player and team names is a bit annoying, and the controls are more complex to get to grips with than FIFA's, but do let you string together some slick moves once you've mastered them.

But really, this 3D version is all about the visuals. As you'd expect from a game weighing in at over 1MB in size, they're lush. You can choose between three camera angles – Normal, Near and Follow (go up the pitch instead of a side-on view) – and there's a choice of stadia to boot.

During the game itself, the camera stays fairly still, but you notice the game's 3D fanciness most during the replays or when the keeper catches a ball, and the viewpoint spins round to directly ahead of him. Meanwhile, there's some lovely little touches, like goalscorers pulling their shirts over their heads and running to the touchline in celebration or the cutaways to the coaches on the sideline.

In terms of pure visuals, it's marginally cleaner-looking than FIFA 07, and the pace of the game is faster. It does lack FIFA's 'Dynamic' camera angle that swoops around the pitch, but to be honest, the vast majority of gamers won't miss that.

The sound is fairly impressive, with some great crowd chanting, although actually kicking the ball is more of a basic thunk.

So, which to buy? FIFA 07 is an excellent slice of footballing action, and one we'd recommend to anyone who wants an accessible kickabout with proper players. The latter point may be crucial for many gamers, we admit.

However, having played Real Football 2007 3D for a decent amount of time, then gone back to FIFA 07 to make the comparison, Gameloft's game shades it. It's a football game that truly does show off the capabilities of high-end mobile phones, with an added dash of sparkle and panache.

Real Football 2007 (3D)
Reviewer photo
Stuart Dredge | 15 March 2007
Narrowly bests FIFA 07 as the best football game for high-end handsets
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