Review: Captain Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa is one of the oldest anime series I know. The franchise itself has been around for about 40 years. There are plenty of manga and anime series about this football show. Still, it turned out to be time to release another game for it. That turns out to be a pretty good plan, but how does the game play? Read it in our review!
This is my first experience with both the series and the game. So I went into it with an open mind and scant foreknowledge. Still, I was surprised at a pretty strong anime game. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is an anime soccer game. That is at least the basis of what the game should be. There are Fifa elements in it, but the game mainly has an arcade-like style. Watch the trailer down below!
The biggest and most important fashion is 'Journey'. This is one of the storylines that you can play. Here you also get some more story about Tsubasa taking his Nankatsu football team to the championship. The other storyline is more about your player character. Both storylines are interesting at the best of times, but not groundbreakingly emotional or compelling. They are also quite short. However, I have experienced my time in the story as above average entertaining. If you're a layman like me, you'll also learn more about Tsubasa as a character and the team. The own storyline, with your character, gives a little more possibilities in dialogues and is also a bit more fun to play through. I liked this storyline in a different way than Tsubasa's own.There is an option to watch in-game videos that provide more context about Tsubasa himself.
If you're looking for realistic football, Captain Tsubasa is obviously not your game. It's an over-the-top form of football with special attacks, goal shots that collapse half the arena, and characters that are quite outspoken. This makes the game different from, for example, Fifa or PES. It is therefore unfair to make the comparison.
For example, taking the ball away is quite easy, but shooting at the target is quite difficult. This while other football games often have the opposite. For example, there is a dodge mechanic that can be quite difficult to time, so you will lose your ball in no time. It feels a bit like rougher hockey sometimes and I personally really liked that. The game is also quite easy to play in terms of controls. You learn the controls quickly but can always apply them in other ways. You have a stamina bar, so grabbing or sliding/tacking the ball cannot be performed every second. However, you will be rewarded for dodging tackles, which can refill your stamina.
Shooting at target is more difficult in this game. You have a super shot, which always provides an intense and cool target cinematic. However, the normal target shots are very difficult to hit. You really have to be in a certain flow and do your best to get it done. Sometimes it feels like the hitbox of this is not going quite right and that the keeper catches these balls a little too easily, even if they are right in front of your face. That can sometimes cause some frustration. The more you shoot at goal, the less stamina the keeper has. That flow applies there, because the longer you wait to shoot at target, the more stamina the keeper gets.
The controls are not difficult and feel responsive, but at the same time also limited at times. There were similarities in controls to other football games, at least this made it a bit easier for me to learn how the game plays. The switching between players is really an improvement for a possible next part.
The drawing style for Captain Tsubasa is downright fantastic. I think the supershots, cinematics and character designs are really cool and digitized close to the original. The voice acting and sound design were also more than fine throughout the entire game. Important moments came across strongly, that may be less in other anime titles. In fact, I can only congratulate the developers on this aspect for achieving something that not every anime title does or can do.
On the Line
The online play was also great. However, I noticed that I was often pickled, as I always experience with fighting games. This is more my fault than the game I have to say. You can put together your own team with uniforms and logos. Also, online play is great!
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is an entertaining game that does nothing groundbreaking, but offers a unique take on football in the gaming industry. The game has a lot of room for improvement, but it kept me entertained. The fun factor is, apart from certain factors, at a high enough level to keep me happy during both the campaign and the online play. I can recommend him to anyone who is a fan of the series, but also anyone who wants to try a slightly more over-the-top take on football.
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