Despite some lackluster performances in recent years, the World Tour Soccer team hasn't given up on achieving some kind of result against the likes of EA's FIFA series and Konami's Winning Eleven games on the PlayStation 2 playing field. Like both of those series' latest installments, World Tour Soccer 2006 primarily looks to improve upon its predecessor through the introduction of new features and subtle gameplay refinements. Unlike those series' latest installments, however, World Tour Soccer 2006 ranks as one of the worst soccer games to appear on the PS2 to date, for reasons that will soon become clear.
Despite its cool EyeToy support, World Tour Soccer 2006 has little to offer soccer fans.
It says a lot about World Tour Soccer 2006 that the most significant new feature you'll find in the game is its EyeToy Cameo support, which lets you stick something that vaguely resembles your own head onto an in-game player. The Digimask-powered process is surprisingly simple, and provided you set your EyeToy camera up in an appropriately well-lit area, it's actually possible to create a reasonably pleasing 3D likeness of your head, complete with freakish facial animations, within just a few minutes. Something strange happens between the initial creation of your 3D head and its first appearance in-game though, and more often than not your would-be doppelganger will boast either a ghostly white or a slightly unnerving purple complexion when he steps out onto the pitch. You can create a custom team composed entirely of EyeToy Cameo players, incidentally, but since each cameo weighs in at 685KB, when you save it you'll need an otherwise empty memory card to do so.
Other new features in World Tour Soccer 2006 are few and far between, and we're sorry to report that most of the flaws we noted in our review of last year's game not only are still present, but are now joined by a host of all-new ones. For example, you'll still get to stare at a loading screen for almost a minute before every match (longer if you want to use EyeToy Cameo players), and you'll still find that you can quite effortlessly walk the ball from one end of the field to the other on at least two of the game's four difficulty settings. Replays of goals are generally so short that you don't get to see the strike (let alone any of the buildup), and you'll certainly notice that your occasionally inanimate and mostly useless CPU teammates have little more than their names and their hairstyles in common with their real-life counterparts.
New problems in this year's game, or at least those that are more pronounced now, include referees that are always very slow to react to incidents, goalkeepers that are often even slower to react to incoming shots, players under your control occasionally refusing to make contact with the ball, an inconsistent frame rate, and commentators that often deliver repetitive and inaccurate information. Like a stopped clock, the commentators aren't always wrong of course, and occasionally they'll come out with some real gems, like "This is a semiprofessional league match between these two representatives of the semiprofessional league," which, although poorly written, is certainly accurate. There are "school league" and "professional league" variations on that particular quote, both of which you'll be hearing a lot of if you're brave enough to tackle World Tour Soccer 2006's career mode.