World Tour Soccer 2 (titled World Tour Soccer 2006 in the US) is Sony London Studio's second football game on the PSP. Conveniently arriving at the height of World Cup fever, the follow-up isn't as realistic as Pro Evolution Soccer. Instead, the game marks itself out as the PSP's best arcade football title, with fast and enjoyable gameplay that rewards skill-based play.
World Tour Soccer 2 uses a points-based system that rewards skill and punishes sloppiness. Players need to demonstrate both basic football skills and showmanship, with points conferred for keeping possession and scoring goals, and docked for giving the ball away and conceding goals. More difficult moves result in higher points tallies, so spectacular goals and longer passes will increase your final score. Individual games feature a target score that yields a gold medal if achieved, while lower scores will result in a silver or bronze medal.
As well as this points-based system, World Tour Soccer also adds in different match specifications. These contain various rules under which the games must be played, and there are nine different conditions in total: all-rounder; shot clock; the zone; totally outnumbered; time attack; challenge plus; pass clock; checkpoint; and player tag. The rules in each mode vary slightly, but most are fairly self-explanatory. For example, all-rounder requires you to pass the ball among all 11 players before you're allowed to score. In the shot clock scenario, the game mimics basketball and requires you to score within 15 seconds of getting the ball, and punishes you by awarding a free kick to the other team if you fail. Some games have no requirements and are a straightforward points challenge, but most games feature a condition that has to be satisfied in order to win the game.
The single-player game of World Tour Soccer 2 offers the expected quick-play choices as well as a world tour and a medal mode. Of the two quick-play modes, play now will draw a random team and a random condition for you, while exhibition match lets you play a normal game against any other team. The world tour mode offers a selection of matches across six continents, with a different number of opponents depending on the continent (Europe has the most with 14). Not only do you have to worry about getting a gold medal for points in each match, you have to do so while satisfying one of the match conditions mentioned earlier, which can be tricky. The final feature is the medal mode, with eight individual matches for each of the 10 different match conditions. These conditions become progressively more difficult, so you start out having 15 seconds to score in the first shot clock game, but only five seconds once you reach the eighth one.
These novel features bring a welcome challenge to the football genre, and as an arcade title it's easy to pick up, play, and score. Gamers who enjoy the challenge of completing all aspects of a game will relish the chance to earn a gold medal on all matches, not to mention attaining the 33 achievements that range from simple hat tricks to going online and playing another person. As well as opening up more matches, progression through the game will unlock all-star teams for each of the continents, as well as an all-star global team. However, even with all of these modes, fans of the series may be disappointed to learn that instead of the 245 teams that were featured in the original World Tour Soccer, this new game includes only 71.