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So after a long break from playing (I was doing more Chrono Stones postgame), I finally got around to finishing Inazuma Eleven 2.

And by finishing, I mean playing everything after the opening, pretty much.

All in all I liked it. It didn't quite have the feeling of customisation you got from IE1, as unlike IE1 pretty much the entire story team were significant characters. Not that that really mattered a whole lot, as you could still just not play the story characters (except Mark). On a related note, how lucky it was that the 5 players injured at the start of the game were the 5 Raimon players to have no development or pretty much any dialouge after the opening scenes in the first game.

A couple of things I found odd were the alter ego mechanic, where a player has 2 personas, each with 2 different sets of skills, which made sense for Shawn Froste's storyline, but... not much apart from that? Scott Banyan had an alter-ego, except the first skill the alter learnt was 'Jinx' (causes moves to be more likely to fail) so I never used it. Plus I didn't actually use Scott a whole lot, there was a lot of good defenders aside from him. Aside from that nobody else really uses the mechanic, at least on the easily recruitable side, there's at least one (recruitable) villain looks like used it, but other than that nothing. Which kinda seems strange. It would either make sense to make more use of it (and I can think of a couple characters it definately could be implemented with that it wasn't) or just leave it as a purely Shawn thing.

The other was... I don't know if it's a huge issue, but I had a problem with the final game against Genesis. A while before the game, Jude says he has a new move that will score against Genesis, and you need to use it to complete the game. Except I'd saved and quit between him saying that and playing the game, so I ended up playing the game 5 or 6 times, going ahead by scoring with someone who wasn't Jude each time, and then getting a game over at half time. I actually had to use trial and error with the players most likely to score, story-wise, before getting to Jude and remembering that conversation. Not that I think the game needs to be as signposted as the GO games were, but I definately found that kinda annoying.

Of course, I complain, but all in all I found the game really fun. It was definately a break from the first game, with a much wider scope, going across most of Japan (which presumably also made it harder to localise, but the team did a good job of it anyway). It was also quite a bit darker, which did make it a bit harder to keep playing at first like I did for IE1. I still feel the series has a problem with plot escalation, going from winning the youth cup to fighting aliens, but hey, I'm not here to tell Inazuma to not have out-there plotlines.

I'm not sure how much of the postgame I want to do, there's still a couple characters I want to recruit, but I have a pretty solid team already. Plus there's more post-game wise in other games, so I might play through those first, and come back to 2 when I need that Inazuma fix. Well, at least this game has a postgame.

Other assorted thoughts:
I recruited Samford in the first game, and did the same as soon as I was able in this game. He has a nearly identical kick stat to Axel, the team's best striker, despite being 10 levels lower. Which makes sense, story-wise, but still, nice.
Speaking of Samford, his Royal Academy Redux chapter nicely foreshadows the final chapter.
Tori is pretty cool, for someone related to a politician named 'Tori'.
The plot-enforced chapter where you have to use a training facility is back from IE1, and it's just as annoying, although this time there was a twist that made me appreciate it more.

And if anyone cares, the team I had for the final game was
Darren; Mark, Bobby, Jack, Shawn; Miles, Tori, Jude, Sue; Samford, Axel
Subs from: Erik, Aurelia, Cheetah, Hurley, Aphrodite
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