Inazuma Eleven 3 is the third installment of the jRPG series of football games, initiated in 2008 with the title named Inazuma Eleven. Just like the two previous installments, the third game was released on 3DS and NDS handhelds, and the team at Level 5 is responsible for its development. The company has a few hits in its portfolio, including the Ni no Kuni series.
The story takes place after the events shown in previous installments. The action revolves around the Football Frontier International tournament, the virtual equivalent of the youth football World Cup. The team of Japan, called Inazuma Japan, selects the best athletes. Most of them appeared in previous installments of the series, but there are also two new faces - Utsunomiya Toramaru and Tobitaka Seiya. To qualify for the tournament, the team must first make its way through the Asian eliminations, but this is only the beginning of the problems, as the players will also have to face the demons trying to bring back to life their king and a certain Garshield Bayhan, who wants to use football to take over the world.
In terms of gameplay, Inazuma Eleven 3 is a development of ideas known from the predecessors. Gameplay is divided into two main parts. The first is a simplified jRPG in which we move around small locations, collecting items, chatting with characters and playing short meetings with some players. The arrow on the screen brings us to the main objectives.
Combat in the game is completely different and more demanding. We fight as part of football matches, although they do not resemble e.g. the FIFA series, but classic turn-based jRPGs. The characters are controlled by using the stylus, showing them the direction in which to go. In case of encountering an opponent, the game stops and we make a decision, choosing the action to be performed by our charge. Depending on whether we are an attacker or a defender, it may be a shot, an attempt to take the ball, etc. The players have different powers, which can only be neutralized by another special skill. In this case, the winner is determined based on the statistics of the characters taking part in the clash or the number of players performing the action (in some cases we can use the help of nearby colleagues). In the later stages of the game, we get access to more advanced tactics and a new Shoot Chain Hissatsu system, which increases the power of the shots.
During the meeting we should remember about Fitness Points, decreasing when the character moves, and the mana (in this case called Technical Points), consumed when using special powers.
The game was first released only in Japan on the NDS handhelds. After a few years, it received a slightly improved version (with improved visuals) for 3DS. This edition also appeared in Europe.
Inazuma Eleven 3 was released in three versions - Spark (Lightning Bolt in Europe), Bomber (Bomb Blast) and The Ogre (Team Ogre Attacks). The first two do not differ in any significant way, except for a few scenes in the initial stage of the adventure. The latter offers more videos and a different intro. However, they all tell the same story, so we only need to buy one of them to get to know practically all the details.
age requirements: everyone