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8th December
written by Splash

Title: Inazuma Eleven GO Dark/Shine イナズマイレブンGO シャイン ダーク
Console: 3DS
Genre: Super-dimensional soccer RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: LEVEL-5
3/5/11: I’ve cleared both Shine/Dark, unlocked Team Zero and have recruited just about everyone I want on Shine except for just a couple game-only characters. At around 90 hours of gameplay and I have 3 completely different teams at or almost at lvl 99. Not bad~

Random rantings/SLIGHT (extremely vague) SPOILERS under the cut until I get things organized (I refuse to post any heavy spoilers from beyond the anime, since you should go enjoy the game yourself if you want that.)

Characters: More on this later.
Graphics: 3D – The updated graphics on this game are good kita!!! More on this later.

Animated cutscenes – I’ll be honest on this one, the animation for this title, aside from the opening and beginning clips, are not nearly as impressive as they are for the previous games. Some scenes, especially later on, just look plain sloppy and are WORSE quality than the TV anime, which just hasn’t happened for the game series before.

It’s either a sign that A) They shifted budget to put more quality into the TV anime (this makes me laugh with the 2ch poster who went “there’s no value in putting serious effort for animation on the 3DS!” as a parody of Shindou’s “there’s no value in playing soccer seriously!”), B) they gave in to tight deadline pressures, C) Someone has bad oversight.

…or a mix of all the above. On the A part, considering the terrible sales for the 3DS, Level-5 probably did some major budget shifting to adjust for the population. Maybe if this first GO title and the TV series do well enough, we’ll see better animation in the next game… (follow-up notice, GO Shine/Dark 3DS sold 135k its first week, when the 3rd DS game sold 500k in its first)

B part, Level-5 obviously wanted this game in before Christmas, also to tie in with the movie and everything else planned around the time. When you set that goal with so many parts involved, it’s not something you can extend deadlines with like Inazuma Eleven Strikers.

C part… kind of in connection with the B part, when you’ve got deadlines approaching, you let things go by even if they aren’t completely satisfactory :\ LEVEL-5 prides itself in producing high-quality games though. I’d rather they extend deadlines to polish things up without any cracks than to release something with regrets, but then again, the animation is only a small part of the game experience here.

But yeah, the downgraded animation is definitely a first happening for the Inazuma game series. At least the quality of the rest of the game makes up for it, but it’s still a BIT of a disappointment for me. And the opening sequences for both games are STILL very epic anyway, high quality compared to the TV series there. XD
AND there’s more GO to come, so there’s PLENTY of room to make a revenge comeback 8>

more later~

Sound: Props to this, it starts off with all the familiar OST from the anime, then it gets more impressive as the game proceeds. BGM are also unlocked extras after clearing the game.

While I still prefer Mitsuda Yasunori’s music in the long run, the RPG feel from this Terada Shiho composer is very well played :>
Gameplay: More later.

Essential gameplay changes from Game 3 on the DS:
-The 3ds analog also navigates past dialogue. Fastest way :3
-No time counter shown during technique usage (but time still runs :\)
-Hissatsu tactics run the time counter too (also not shown). While I’m at it, Avatar usage also runs the counter.
-No scene cutouts for possession fights, ball trappings (kind of makes up for the tactics/Avatar time runs).
-Addition of tapping the ball to get players nearby to zone in
-Addition of opponent (with the ball) tapping to get multiple players to zone in on him/her.
-Addition of Avatars (herfderf). Max 3 Avatars on the field at a time per team, but no limit to amount of Avatar users overall. Also, the opponent AI is kind of cheap in that they have almost no wait time in between Avatar summons, while you have to wait 10 seconds.
-Small amounts of TP still get used even if you fail a hissatsu technique/lose a hissatsu technique faceoff.
-Changes in stats. Example: Catch stat also affects trapping success
-Dance (performances) after scoring can be customized per player. Otherwise they’ve taken out other players from joining in (from what I’ve seen so far, buu)
-Random encounters -> Symbol encounters. No random battles, but instead there are people you can challenge, and later on, battle people who chase you when you get near. XD; Also, no punishment for losing 5 vs 5 battles. Good deal.
-Ah yes, encounters increased to 5 vs 5 instead of 4 vs 4 in previous games. Provides more flexibility, and is a welcome improvement.
-Recruiting involves looking for “community masters” around the maps, using friendship points to put people on the “call” list, then getting the listed required items in order to “call” the person you want to recruit. You can “call” people you’ve bought with friendship points using any of the community masters, but you have to go to the appropriate community master to buy the person first.
-ALL hissatsu techniques can be customized! (main key characters’ natural 4 are locked until the first game clear. Also, Tsurugi’s __DD cannot be overwritten). Each player still learns 4 naturally as they level. Assuming the first four moves have to be learned first before they can be overwritten.
-Leveling system is easier since characters can reach their max potential without worrying about leveling “correctly” at earlier stages. (This is the equivalent of not worrying about things like EV points in Pokemon)
-For total amount of players you can have, there are 7 pages each with 16 slots = 112 players. At least that’s up from the measly 100 in the previous games, but wahhh~ I will still need to be selective about who to recruit in which version.
-AI has changed in that characters with B-type hissatsu (Block status, like Ryuusei Blade) will tend to crowd near the goalkeeper rather than go after the offense, and characters with Chain hissatsu will try to dive into your shooting range to boost your chances of making those chains. It’s pretty useful.
-Some hissatsu shoots that were previously just normal moves have been given Chain status, such as Emperor Penguin No. 2 :D
-The “records” list is quite empty compared to the game 3 imo… instead of showing your top strikers and appearances, you get the basic stuff and percent completion for extra routes, player binder, etc.
-One change I really do not approve of– about 2 full seconds have to pass before you can stop a replay, and like usual you can’t stop during a cutscene move. Unfortunately, that means you end up rewatching at least the first shoot almost every single time. The only way to prevent this is to have a decent length of fieldplay that doesn’t switch screens (for example, doing a lot of passes) before each time someone scores. I spent wayyyy too much time trying to tap my hell way out of this stupid change, and only until around 45 hours of play in, I found out it just has that pointless time lag for some reason.
-A huge majority of the hissatsu from the DS series are NOT in this game whatsoever. Also, no transfers available from the DS series. The old hissatsu that ARE available are pretty much the ones you see repeated in the GO anime, such as Eternal Blizzard.

Replay Value:
Overall: 9.
I thought long and hard about giving into all of my biases and giving this game a 10. I realllly wanted to. But I just can’t.
So what brought this score down:
-0.3 points from sour grapes of not being to enjoy getting a lot of players/teams I wanted without having access to another 3DS console with the opposite game. Yes, this can potentially be cleared in a whiffy if I just get that access. It’s still a down point from how I play it. At least in Pokemon, you can trade things from other versions using the world wifi network. Everything with Inazuma besides download content has to be done through the local wifi.
-0.3 points from the replay junk. It gets THAT bothersome in the long-term. XD;
-0.1 points for a watered-down selection of hissatsu techniques. After being spoiled by the final DS game set, it feels awkward to have to be downgraded with less than a dozen each or so block and offense skills. And a lot of moves are just variations of the old moves, although still interesting. I’m guessing Avatars sucked out most of the creativity/development time/budget/whatever for this title.
-0.3 points for lack of any compatibility whatsoever with the DS series. Maybe someone can let me know if Nintendo is to blame for this rather than LEVEL-5. Either way, I would have loved over 9000 if all the hours the old Inazuma fans put into the older games had some kind of benefit for the 3DS series. I hate to say this, but Pokemon has the upper hand again in this aspect.

Despite the few disappointments, it’s still totally worth everything I spent to get the games. XD; The Avatar system, while it feels kind of redundant after a while, makes for an interesting challenge. In my case, it’s certainly given me an easier time to get S rankings in the extra tournaments.

And hey, this score is certainly better than the score I gave for the first DS game, naturally. XD The Inazuma series has come pretty far and has the potential to do huge and great AWESOME things in the next title!

Vague perks:
-wwww Achilles on Megane’s desk.
-“Yuuichi-san” hehe
-Bowling Eleven… Well. Inatter. The entire thing.

more later~

Old play log:
12/16/11: Just got my games and started on Shine, only to remember that Fudou’s on DARK. Hiroto was calling out to me. XD;;; I’ll need to start Dark soon though to get those online bonuses.

12/18/11: Cleared Shine… Got my preorder downloads on Dark. Going through postgame material on Shine for a bit before proceeding on Dark!

12/25/11: oya. 48 hrs in with some idling here and there and my Tsurugi is lvl 99 ^^;; This never happened in my previous games xDDDD tte ka why are he and Aoyama the first to hit 99 of all people

Buy Inazuma Eleven GO ~Shine~ at
Also available at CDJapan

Buy Inazuma Eleven GO ~Dark~ at
Also available at CDJapan

sakura / communities



  1. protomelvin

    For the replay thing, I think that it’s not you have to tap a bunch of times but tap once and hold it. It worked for me, although the first two taps weren’t acknowledged…it worked the third time!

  2. 19/12/2011

    I will try that after work today :D

  3. GouenjiiiShuuya

    Splash…I’d appreciate an explanation of the new recruiting system. My kanji isn’t very good xD Thanks :D

  4. 19/12/2011

    you don’t need kanji, there’s furigana in all the text >>; you need the objects listed in order to recruit people. it’s a simple system, but a lot of people require a chain of other people to be recruited before you can get to them. if you don’t have the japanese understanding to get beyond that, then you need a lot more help than a simple explanation.

  5. GouenjiiiShuuya

    Ahh I see, thanks. :D

    one more question, what were the preorder downloads for Shine and Dark? Got both, just need to know lol.

    I’m pretty sure Shine gets you Kiyama and Dark gets you Terumi?

  6. 19/12/2011

    it tells you in inatter when you download them and they’re also on the official site.

  7. 19/12/2011

    Just tried it and NOPE it has NOTHING to do with the holding it down. Holding it down made no difference for me. LIKE I SAID it won’t stop BEFORE THE FIRST SHOOT unless you tap like 10 times. AFTER that you can just tap once, but you still end up rewatching the first shoot every time unless you get those ~10 taps in.

  8. protomelvin

    Hmmm…I guess it’ll give them something to work on for the next game ^^;;

  9. 20/12/2011

    Yeah ^^; Well, they have already had to release a patch to fix a sound bug that was happening with people (you get the patch by running the same download you do to get the extra content). I wonder if they could do the same thing for this replay thing if they get enough complaints about it ;X

  10. squall23

    3DS bad sales? Maybe up until November but SM3DL and MK7 effectively helped make 3DS’s 1st year sales better than the DS’s 1st year. This is BEFORE Monster Hunter.

    I’m not going to lie, I do have to question L5’s reasoning for releasing this so close to Monster Hunter 3G. Even though early reports suggest that this game isn’t doing that bad in the sales charts either.

  11. 21/12/2011

    I did some more exploring with this these days! So actually I think you’re right!! What I’ve found that works each time I actually have enough TIME to do it, is holding it down for a sec for the first tap, then tapping again really fast two more times. 3 taps, which is easier on my hand, but still… having to hold down on the first tap isn’t doable for most of the replays, so I still end up rewatching the first shoot most of the time x_x;
    It makes the system a LITTLE bit better, but it’s still not a change I approve of and I wish they had a proper explanation for this, especially since it’s a huge element for long-term players like me ._.;;; wargh~

  12. protomelvin

    Yeah, it doesn’t always work for me, but I’ll give your method a try X_x I’m almost to the end, too! I’m at chapter eleven…!

  13. sonic20074

    Hey splash, Do you know where the community master is for Ancient Dark? also do you know how to get Zero?

  14. 21/01/2012

    you need to connect with someone with the other version before you can do either.

  15. LevelSlide

    Do the games elaborate on how long Tenma was in Okinawa? I hope it was long enough for Tenma to make a few Okinawan friends through soccer.

  16. 17/02/2012

    I don’t think they specified a specific length but–

    SPOILERS since I have doubts they’ll ever go over this in the anime now…
    his Okinawan friend through soccer was Tsunami XD;; But again, they didn’t go over how long exactly they hung out, other than Tsunami gave Tenma basic tips on laifu.

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