Soccer

After being arguably the most popular soccer game for Windows Phone devices, FIFA 14 has now arrived on the Windows Store for Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

The Xbox LIVE enabled game would satiate your craving for authentic soccer experience with real players, teams, and leagues along with new touch controls that deliver the feel of every pass, shot and tackle.

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Football is a huge sport on a global scale, but it's particularly special here in the UK. There are numerous ways to remain up-to-date with leagues, fixtures and results on Windows Phone and Window 8, but what about individual teams? How does one check latest news and other data for their favourite squad? Cue 1st4Fans for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

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The first Real Soccer for Windows Phone was less than an exemplary game. Announced back in 2010 as a launch title, it didn’t show up until well into 2012. The Real Soccer we eventually got falsely advertised the inclusion of two modes (‘Enter the Legend’ and ‘Club Master’) that weren’t even in the game. And one of the Achievements (‘Man of the Match’) was tied to the absent Enter the Legend mode, making it impossible to unlock – by design! Gameloft’s otherwise solid Windows Phone port of Let’s Golf 2 also suffered from an impossible-by-design Achievement.

Yes, Gameloft and the Xbox Live certification team were awfully negligent in those days. We brought these issues up to Microsoft, but neither game was ever fixed and Real Soccer still has the same blatantly incorrect store description it launched with.

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There are a number of football apps available for our Windows Phone, enabling consumers to keep up-to-date with what's currently happening in the world of sport. We previously looked at a handful of such apps, but missed THE Football App, which was released soon after our app round-up.

We've decided to take a quick look at the app and see what it's all about. So grab a beer, throw on your team's shirt and join us on this wondrous adventure.

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Gooooooooaaaaaal!

As promised, Gameloft’s long-in-development soccer simulator, Real Soccer (also known as Real Football in Europe) has made it to the Windows Phone Store. It took some digging to find the North American download link, as the European version counts as a separate title and can’t be downloaded from the US. But our friends Judbud and Zebrasqual came through!

Head past the break for our impressions and download links for both versions of the game.

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The July release of Gameloft’s Asphalt 5 surprised us in more ways than one. First, a non-Mango Xbox Live game in mid-2012 is entirely unheard of. Second, before hearing otherwise from Microsoft, I’d have bet money that the game was quietly cancelled. Asphalt 5 was one of 50 Windows Phone 7 launch titles announced way back in 2010, so clearly the game endured a series of delays before managing to launch at last.

This week another of those ‘launch titles’ finally squeaks out of the gate: Real Soccer, also from Gameloft. Color me surprised again!

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Windows Phone Central's roundup of Football apps

We've already covered a roundup of apps for your Windows Phone should you desire to follow American Football, but what about 'football' for the rest of the world (also known as soccer)? We've got you covered with this roundup of the football apps available for Windows Phone. Prepare yourself for an eventful 2012/13 season with Windows Phone Central.

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Currently for ESPN football/soccer fans there is the official ESPNSoccernet app that was launched on July 2nd. The app is an extension of Soccernet.com, which ESPN owns but the branding was always confusing. The Windows Phone app has received mediocre reviews with some people noting it still felt like a beta.

Now, ESPN seems to be rebranding their efforts by re-launching Soccernet.com as ESPNFC.com. Going to the former site will now redirect you to the new address and site redesign. Not only that, the new site will feature many more features than the previous Socceernet.com offering and it should keep fellow footballers happy...

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Another day, another exclusive app from Nokia available to all Lumia owners. Today, the Finnish company released Goal.com 2012 Finals. The app is a must have for those who watch soccer...errr...football as it will deliver "breaking news, exclusive interviews, video clips, team profiles, player profiles and 'Road to Euro 2012' which looks back at how each nation qualified for the tournament".

The app has multiple Live Tile support as you can pin your team to your Start screen with updates reflected on the tile (under Settings). It can even remind you when a match is about to start which seems extremely convenient to us.

Overall, the app is smooth and nicely laid out and while we not huge football fans here in the States we can see many of our European friends being thrilled with another great Nokia release.

Pick up Goal.com 2012 Finals for your Nokia Lumia device here in the Marketplace.

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We know some of you need a nice dedicated app for your favorite football (cough, soccer) teams out there, a way to follow the latest scores and stories. No one does it better than Goal.com so it's with great pleasure to see them release an official app for Windows Phone yesterday.

"The Goal.com app gives you all the latest breaking news, exclusive interviews, transfer gossip, live scores and much more. Whatever and wherever the story is, Goal.com offers the most comprehensive and expert coverage from the major domestic leagues and competitions, as well as all the major international tournaments."

  • Latest breaking news with insights from over 500 reporters worldwide
  • Track & Pin the latest on your favourite teams or leagues from around the world
  • Live score coverage including team-line ups plus match stats
  • Up to date team fixtures & league tables
  • Bookmark or share content via email or social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook
  • Transfer activity zone

Not a bad looking app (even though it has ads) and we're sure many of you will be rushing to grab it. Plus pinning your team with a Live Tile is pretty awesome. Pick up the official Goals.com app here in the Marketplace.

Hit us up in comments with your thoughts. Thanks, xirsteon, for the tip!

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Windows Phone Game Review: Air Soccer Tour

Air Soccer Tour is a cross between an air hockey game and a soccer match for your Windows Phone. Available in a free and paid version, this mango app combines the two for an interesting, challenging and entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

Air Soccer Tour has three game speeds, four game levels, and you can play with up to three strikers. There are one player, two player (pass and play) and a single player tournament to compete in. All in all, plenty of air soccer gaming.

More after the break.

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PES 2011 - Review

For those who aren't aware of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), it's a series of football (soccer to some parts of the world) games by Konami that began back in 2001. It sports similar gameplay to the likes of Fifa by EA Games, but is put down by lack of licensing. PES2011 for Windows Phone is no exception with a handful of teams sporting unlicensed names – Man Red (Manchester United) and Man Blue (Manchester City) to name but a few.

Don't allow the above to put you off from trying PES2011 out, it really is a superb football sim for Windows Phone. There are a number of game types available including quick match, exhibition, UEFA club competition and leagues & cups with fairly challenging gameplay and intelligent AI. Head on past the break for the quick run through and video goodness.

Pros: 
Good football simSolid controlsLeagues and cups available
Cons: 
LicensingLimited gameplayAchievements too time consuming
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We mentioned a few days ago about ESPN Goals making its way to the UK Marketplace. That day has arrived and you can now grab it to begin the new football season. Though we haven't tried the app yet ourselves, from what we've heard, it's pretty nice. From the app description:

"The complete Barclays Premier League video App! This season football fans can watch video clips of all the goals* from every Barclays Premier League match – completely free on the ESPN Goals app. The ultimate Barclays Premier league app includes live scores, video highlights and clips of every goal, for all 380 games – within just minutes of it taking place*."

  • The essential football app for fans of the Barclays Premier League will feature:
  • Video of goals and match action from every Barclays Premier League match all season long
  • Live scores and match stats
  • Fixtures and results from around the league
  • Additional video including match previews and weekend round-ups
  • Video alerts: Alerts for goal videos, match highlight clips and Weekend roundup clips
  • In-match Clips

Sounds fairly comprehensive to us and the app looks well designed as you can see from above. If its something you think you'll want to pick up, you can get it for free here in the Marketplace. [Not available in the US]

Thanks, Damien H. and Dale B., for the tip!

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ESPN Goals app coming to WP7

Fan of football or what we like to call soccer? Then you may be excited about ESPN's Goals app coming soon to Windows Phone 7 (as well as every other mobile OS). From the app description:

"This season football fans can watch video clips of all the goals* from every Barclays Premier League match – completely free on the ESPN Goals app. The ultimate Barclays Premier league app includes live scores, video highlights and clips of every goal, for all 380 games – within just minutes of it taking place."

  • The essential football app for fans of the Barclays Premier League will feature:
  • Video of goals and match action from every Barclays Premier League match all season long
  • Live scores and match stats
  • Fixtures and results from around the league
  • Additional video including match previews and weekend round-ups
  • Video alerts: Alerts for goal videos, match highlight clips and Weekend roundup clips.

We're not too familiar with any of that but we're going to guess that some of our UK friends will enjoy getting this as soon as it hits. The service which we're told normally goes £30 but will free for the season, which seems like a good deal no matter where you're from. Might as well pick up Pro Evolution Soccer while you're at it.

Source: ESPN; Thanks, Tahiti Bob for the tip!

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We've known about Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 for sometime now, even that it was going to be $4.99 and sure enough, it has landed.  The application is quite hefty in size (74MB), requiring a WiFi connection to download, so best to grab it at home before heading out. From the app description (note: we removed their spelling errors, nice)

The unrivaled and award-winning football simulation is entering its first season on Windows Phone 7! Immerse yourself in unprecedented football atmosphere and the true PES experience with PES 2011. Features:

  • Unrivaled realism: Experience incredible gameplay and focus on tactics, goals and winning trophies while competing against the most advanced team and player AI on the market. Striking animations such as referee cut-scenes or goal celebrations and technical moves (diving header, bicycle kick, and more) will make you feel the beauty of the game.
  • Exclusive UEFA Club Competitions: PES 2011 includes many of the best European club teams in the officially licensed UEFA Champions League™ and UEFA Europa League™ modes.
  • Online connectivity: Prove your skills and unlock the various Xbox LIVE achievements, compare yourself to your friends, make it to the top of the leaderboards and become the world’s greatest PES player
  • Outstanding Accessibility for Beginners and Experts: The uniquely designed true flowTM control system provides instant access for players of all levels by utilizing the accelerometer and AI-supported touch controls. More advanced players are presented with unlimited freedom of play by being able to master classic console-style controls with virtual pad and buttons.
  • Stunning graphics: Detailed stadiums, pitches and weather effects provide the perfect visual environment for exciting matches

First impression: massive game with huge initial load time (even with 'NoDo'), the game is nonetheless impressive. Must for soccer fans. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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Last week we brought you news of Full House Poker’s release date well in advance, and we’re pleased to be able to do it again this week. March 23’s Xbox Live game for Windows Phone 7 will be Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 from Konami.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is the mobile edition of Konami’s popular soccer/football franchise. The Windows Phone 7 version is a port of the iPhone game. It’s a surprisingly accurate recreation of the sport, with realistic tactical game play, licensed European teams, advanced A.I. and numerous authentic animations. Pro Evolution Soccer’s 3D graphics (which these tiny screen shots may not convey) contribute to the realism as well. The player models, detailed stadiums, and weather effects all make for a very console-like presentation. The game features multiple control options: simple accelerometer and touch-screen controls or a virtual pad and buttons.

The only thing missing from the Windows Phone 7 version of the game is multi-player. We continue to hope and pray for the day that Microsoft allows mobile Xbox Live titles to have local Wi-Fi or online multi-player.  It will come to pass! For now, soccer fans will have to make due with 19 Xbox Live Achievements and friends Leaderboards.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 will debut on March 23. It will cost $4.99.

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In case you've been living under a rock, there's been a new phenomenon taking place at the World Cup, a tradition unknown to us, which is the vuvuzela horn. Need more? See this Discovery story on it and you'l be caught up.

The other annoying fad is replicating that aforementioned 'experience' on smartphones. The iPhone has 'em, Android has 'em and yes, now Windows Mobile.

JDB software has made a freeware app (like anyone would pay for this function) and it's actually pretty top notch. It works on all WM6.x touchscreen devices, all resolutions.

The UI design is very-much Windows Phone 7, which we like. You also get choices in the size of the horn and sound-type (traditional or euphoric) as well as skinning the horn with you're country's colors, 'cause nationalism is still very en vogue these days.

Probably the most, dare we say, fun part is the ability to play it by traditional screen-tapping or by blowing in the microphone. Okay, that's kinda cool.

Grab it here and apologize to your friends/family for us in advance.

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World Cup Application for Windows Mobile

Are you a fan of the largest sporting event in the world? If so, the folks over at Mobile PractiCEs have created some software to give you quick and easy access to all of the latest updates.

The guys at Mobile PractiCEs built their World Cup 2010 application as a proof of concept application for a panoramic UX (User Experience) that is very similar to the “Hubs” found in Windows Phone 7. While it is technically a beta, it is free and provides access to news, scores, schedules, and more. This application requires a touch screen device and the Microsoft .Net Compact Framework v3.5.

You can download your copy of World Cup 2010 directly from Mobile PractiCEs.

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Resco Table Soccer

I loved Table Soccer growing up and still love to play it when I see it in an arcade somewhere. I love to have a small chest full of time wasting, addicting games on my handheld for those times you really need them, like in the Doctor's waiting room or waiting for your delayed plane at the airport. So when I saw Resco's Table Soccer this last year I snagged it. The answer to my question of is it worth the money, was soon to be answered.  Just follow the break.

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