Inazuma Eleven

Level-5 responds to Sega's lawsuit over Inazuma Eleven

Points out its soccer series started before the patent, plus touch screen controls are "very basic."

Level-5 has responded to Sega's recently filed patent infringement lawsuit, claiming the Professor Layton publisher stole its touchscreen mechanics for its football series Inazuma Eleven. Sega is currently seeking 900 million (6.8 million) in damages as well as the removal of all eight Inazuma Eleven games from the market.

Inazuma Eleven

Inazuma Eleven

A game of two halves.

Fetch the violins: I love football, but have always been crap at it. Whoever at Level-5 is responsible for Inazuma Eleven's concept is, I'd bet, in exactly the same boat: an enthusiast rather than an expert, the first to every match but one of the last to be picked. They know the dull ache of the substitutes' bench, or something like it. Inazuma Eleven isn't just a football game; it's a game about the love of football.

And one that's knocking on a bit. It's taken Nintendo over three years to release Inazuma Eleven in the UK, in which time it's not only been available in Japan, America and the rest of Europe, but has had two DS sequels and a Wii spinoff. Its age isn't nearly enough to warn you away from this, but Inazuma Eleven can feel clunky in terms of its menu screens and overall interface, which are aspects the series has since refined. But hey, this is Nintendo Europe, so let's party like it's 2008.

You play Mark Evans, a plucky young goalkeeper who's football-mad and the captain of his school team - which, at the start of the game, doesn't even have enough players for a match. The school is the hub for Inazuma Eleven, with most chapters constructed around a single match against a themed opposition team, and another chunk of the story to take you around the world map - a still screen that lets you jump from place to place.

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Out This Week - 26/08/11

Deus Ex! Tropico! Inazuma! Rugby!

Credit to plucky Xenoblade Chronicles for managing to foist its niche fantasy fun into the charts, marking the end of a largely stagnant summer.

Inazuma Eleven UK release date

Inazuma Eleven UK release date

DS footy RPG finally kicks off.

Role-playing football oddity Inazuma Eleven will finally launch in the UK on 26th August, Nintendo has announced.

The manga-style sports title has been a long time coming. Inazuma Eleven's Japan launch was in 2008.

The rest of Europe got the game this January but UK gamers have had to wait for Inazuma's anime tie-in to start broadcasting.

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