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First Touch Soccer Review
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First Touch Soccer, Exient’s follow-up to their popular X2 series of footie games, is now available from the app store. Offering improvements aplenty as well as a revised control system, First Touch picks up right where X2 left off and continues to provide the best soccer experience on the iDevice.

First Touch Soccer Pros:

  • Terrific Retina Display graphics and extremely fluid animations
  • Soundtrack includes so cool songs on menu screens
  • Improved control system is better than ever, now allows for lobs and powerful low kicks
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards, achievements, and online multiplayer matchmaking
  • Star Player mode is a fun addition to the variety of game modes
  • Plenty of teams, stadiums, kits, weather, time of day, and other options to tailor the game

First Touch Soccer Cons:

  • Commentary still lacks variety
  • AI can be pretty tough, even on low difficulty

All of the game modes from the X2 version have made it unscathed to the new game: Quick Match, Dream Team, Tournament Mode, Penalty Shootout, Training, and Multiplayer, as well as the newest mode: Star Player. This addition allows you to play as any one player throughout the entirety of a match, which mirrors the way you would experience a game if you were actually playing. It can get a bit boring if you don’t choose a player who sees a lot of in-game action, but it can be quite exciting, too. You can call for passes from other players if you feel you aren’t getting enough exposure, so that does help to give you a feeling of control. Dream Team Mode gives you the ability to create a team of superstars from current studs to past elites, with plenty of team management options and even an editor to create your own kits. You can scout players using gold, silver, and bronze tokens earned by finishing well in Dream Team competitions or completing achievements in other modes. Tournament mode sees you enter into a single tournament or take any team through an entire season of competition. Penalty Shootout and Training are pretty self-explanatory, while Quick Match gets you into a friendly in just a couple of steps. Multiplayer is available via local wi-fi/Bluetooth or online wi-fi through GameCenter.

There are the typical smattering of options to tailor the game to your liking, including difficulty levels, real-time half length, injuries, bookings, offsides, camera angles, weather, time of day, stadium, and various other audio/visual tweaks. First Touch boasts over 300 club and international teams to play as, so your favorite is bound to be there. Gameplay is even smoother than in past iterations, as Exient has added more than 200 new motion-captured animations, making for even more realistic movements from the players. The AI has been tweaked somewhat to offer an even better competitive environment, making you work for possession and forcing every shot to count. The lowest difficulty level offers a pretty good challenge, so seasoned players should be in for a treat as they take on the 3 additional difficulty levels. We remain steadfast in our assertion that Exient is as the top of the soccer game, as this sports franchise has been, and continues to be, our go-to option.

Visually, First Touch improves upon the previous iterations’ graphics, adding Retina Display support and better player models to create a crisp and realistic look. A variety of stadiums and kits further enhances the feeling that you’re watching a real match rather than gaming on a mobile device. Audio continues to take a backburner to the other major aspects of the game, which is fine with us. There isn’t a lot of in-game audio flair, save for the commentary, which remains as repetitive as ever. The menus contain a good bit of enjoyable songs and you can play music from your own library if you like. The controls, which were our favorite of all the soccer games we’ve played, have received an update that actually makes them even better. The floating joypad remains for movement, and the three-button configuration is also present, but the functions of the buttons have been changed up. On offense, the buttons now control low kicks, hard kicks, and lobs. Passing and shooting are still controlled by the low and hard buttons, respectively, but we now have greater control to really rip a shot on goal while not firing it over the crossbar time and time again. This has been one of our biggest complaints from the previous two versions and we’re thrilled to see this change. The thru-ball button has been replaced with a lob button, so you can also chip the ball over the goalie’s head if he gets too far out of the box. Thru-balls are still possible by aiming in an open direction rather than dedicating a button to them. Defending is still accomplished by using the typical buttons for pressure, slide tackles, and switching player controls. Overall, the controls are spectacular and one of the great highlights of the game.

Replay value is outstanding, as there are plenty of modes to keep you busy and a multiplayer mode to find human competition when the AI just doesn’t cut it. GameCenter integration brings leaderboards and achievements into the mix, as well as match-making. The nature of the game means that it is never the same twice and the fun factor is way up there, giving us plenty of reason to fire up a Quick Match or challenge a buddy whenever we have some time to kill. Replays can be quickly uploaded to YouTube to share with the world, and Facebook and Twitter integration also add social elements. Currently on sale for a mind-numbingly ridiculous $0.99 for a limited time, you must pick this up if you are any type of sports fan. First Touch Soccer is a 5-Dimple superstar.

First Touch Soccer Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-05-09T00:13:08+00:00 rating 5.0 out of 5

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