Vancouver – Academy of Champions takes its place on store shelves all across North America today. The inaugural title from Ubisoft Vancouver, Academy of Champions features Brazilian soccer great Pelé as the headmaster at Brightfield Academy, where teamwork and good sportsmanship are the rules of the day. We’re helping the studio celebrate with three prize packs to give away. Read on for details about how you can win.
As the story’s main character, you are given the chance to live your dream by being chosen to attend Brightside Academy, where you will work towards becoming an international soccer star. Upon acceptance to the Academy, players must use their soccer skills and follow Pelé’s teaching of friendship and respect in order to form teams and play matches in order to move forward, unlocking new skills, fields and characters. American soccer star Mia Hamm is also a student at Brightfield Academy, and she lends her skill to help the team move up in rank as the storyline progresses.
Every game is better with a little competition, and Academy of Champions has a rival who doesn’t believe in following the principles of good sportsmanship; in fact, the school teaches just the opposite. Scythemore Academy is led by villain headmaster Von Trappe, who believes in doing whatever it takes to win the game – and that includes underhanded recruitment of Brightside’s players. Luckily Pelé and Mia come to the rescue and our character can continue his soccer education at Brightfield. There are 19 teams to play in Academy of Champions – including a team comprised completely of insane Rabbids. Rumour has it that this is the toughest team to beat.
If amazing soccer play isn’t enough to wet your appetite, then the incredible graphics will certainly stimulate your visual senses. The artwork in Academy of Champions is of very high quality. Rich colouring, highly detailed characters and environment are only the beginning. As players win their five-on-five matches, new scenery is unlocked and added to each of the seven fields. Players can also buy new equipment in the Academy’s store and earn new moves as the team moves up the tournament ladder.
To further enhance their skill, players can participate in mini-game skills clinics, honing their abilities for goalkeeping, shooting, passing and tackles. Check out this list of Special Moves:
Super tackle: Take the ball off your opponent’s toes in a blink of an eye with this lightning-fast slide tackle.
Helix Kick: Bamboozle the goalie with this insane corkscrew shot.
Banana Kick: Put extreme bend on the ball – the keeper won’t know which way to turn.
Chopper: A spinning tackle frenzy that will send anyone in your path flying – including your own teammates!
Unstoppable Rush: Release that pent up aggression by knocking over anyone that gets in your way as you charge towards goal.
Cat-like Grace: Glide through tackles and defense like a knife through butter.
Stealth Attack: When Sam Fisher turns on his night-vision goggles nobody can see him – ideal for getting through on goal undetected.
Eagle Strike: Altair’s assassin training helps him to launch into the air and unleash a lethal strike that will take out the keeper before it hits the back on the net.
Acrobatic Leap: Why go through the defence when you can just leap over it? The other team won’t expect that!
Plunger Shot: The Rabbid weapon of choice makes for a very potent shot at goal.
Photo Fanatic: Jade will use the flash of her camera to temporarily stun her opponents and make them lose the ball.
Perfect Dribble: Opponents will be stunned by Pele’s unbelievable ball skills rendering them unable to stop him.
Bicycle Smash: Mia Hamm’s stunning backflip bicycle kick makes her one of the best strikers around.
Speed Burst: An explosion of pace that will help you catch up to opponents.
Dodge Move: Jump over or go around players quickly with these cool and easy to use tricks.
Academy of Champions is one of the easiest games ever to learn how to play. Prior to my in-studio game play preview, I had never played a soccer game, and being a 360 player, I was apprehensive about my sparse Wii skills. The apprehension was inconsequential – the player controls are very intuitive, and the in-game tutorials help newcomers pick up the necessary skills very quickly. As an added bonus, Academy of Champions will work with or without Wii MotionPlus™, and even incorporates the Wii Balance Board. You can also play the game solo or recruit a friend to help you defeat other academies or play against you. I have no qualms about recommending Academy of Champions as a great family title – and have done so to everyone I know, including the EB Games outlet in Langley where we purchase all of our titles (where they’ve had the box on display for awhile now) .
Related Post: Read more about my introduction to Academy of Champions.
As I mentioned at the top of this article, we are celebrating Academy of Champions’ North American debut with three prize packs, courtesy of Ubisoft Vancouver. Each prize pack consists of the following:
1 copy of Academy of Champions Wii game
1 adult T-shirt
1 child’s T-shirt
1 Pelé trading card
1 Academy of Champions pin
1 set of Academy of Champions shoe laces
1 mini Academy of Champions soccer ball
…and it all comes packed in an Academy of Champions mini backpack.
To enter for a chance to win this great prize pack, simply email the answers for the following questions to contest-at-villagegamer-dot-net, along with your name and mailing address, using Academy of Champions Contest in the subject line. This contest is open to residents of Canada only. Entries will be accepted until 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 6, 2009. Winners will be chosen from a random draw of correctly answered ballots. Winners will be announced at noon on Friday, November 6 on Village Gamer, and prize packages will be sent directly from Ubisoft Vancouver.
The contest questions:
1. Who is the Assassin on the Ubisoft team?
2. Who is the American soccer star featured in Academy of Champions?
3. Pelé played for which country’s National Soccer Team?
Once again, congratulations to the team at Ubisoft Vancouver for presenting a highly-polished, very well put together debut product – you have much to be proud of with Academy of Champions.