Active Soccer DX 2 is by no means a soccer simulation. Instead its focus is on fast paced, arcade action from a top-down view that utilizes the game’s simplistic control scheme. It’s because of this simplistic three-button control scheme that users are able to pick this title up and feel somewhat comfortable within hours and even minutes of play.
The game does provide a seven-step tutorial to help familiarize yourself with these controls, and even allows you to change the control scheme, but custom mapping was somehow excluded as the sprint button is mysteriously mapped to the “Y” button. Once you take the pitch, you’ll notice awkward animations and moments where the rules of soccer are blatantly ignored. As an overall theme, the developers missed out on a lot of bugs that can lead to head-scratching moments.
The basics of soccer -- shooting, dribbling, passing, etc. -- are somewhat passable (no pun intended). Defense can be challenging as the game is obviously geared towards scoring goals, but as you become more comfortable with the controls you will become more adept at stopping CPU attacks. Physics are noticeably absent with the exception of free-kicks, which you can bend.
Overall, the gameplay isn’t overly complicated or deep, yet it still falls short in comparison to similar games like Sensible Soccer.
As one could expect with a $14.99 title, aspects of the game like the presentation and menus are basic and straightforward. Before matches, you will see the players walk out from the tunnel to a packed stadium before lining up. Crowd noise is surprisingly a strong point as fans cheer throughout the match while ratcheting it up a notch when a goal is scored.
Off the pitch, the menus are awful. Overly sensitive, buggy and unresponsive sums them up to a tee. Whether using the analog stick or the D-Pad, you will often find yourself over-clicking, thus ending up in a menu other than your intended one.
While there are no official licenses, the game does provide a simplistic edit mode that allows you to edit your team, even permitting mixing and matching your kits. With a plethora of teams and leagues, the amount of time it would take to edit the entire game is simply not worth it.
The career mode and tournaments are fairly well done modes for a game rooted in simplicity. You can create a pseudo-World Cup and/or UEFA Champions League, even including classic teams such as Manchester United’s (Manchester Red) all-time greats. Career mode also features finances (wages and transfer values) as well as a transfer market. The transfer log is a nice feature, one that PES 2016 could actually borrow and build upon. Unfortunately, even though the game boasts “no scripted CPU goals,” the bugs and lack of quality control make playing this game for an extended period of time infuriatingly frustrating.
Priced at $14.99, Active Soccer 2 DX is simply not worth it considering the factors mentioned above. While the game’s graphics are passable, and the action offers a fun alternative to FIFA and PES, the game’s lack of variety and bugs kill the experience. At a lower price, one could overlook some of these problems, but priced at $14.99 and with no online multiplayer there is a lack of a compelling reason to pick this up from the Xbox One store at this point.
Score: 5.0 (Average)