Whether a huge football fan, anime lover or both, only a few kids from the 90s passed the dribbling arts of Captain Tsubasa and the kickers broadcast even earlier on German free TV. It is hardly surprising that the Sport-Shōnen series could not only boast with emotionally charged stories and amiable characters, but also with top-class ball sports action. With the animated soccer boys, a shot on goal was not simply held – ridiculous! The devil-hand-directed ball (which lacked any understanding of physics) circled the goalkeeper for half an eternity and symbolized a never-ending arm wrestling between the shooter and the goalkeeper. Of course, the attacks were ridiculous, but that made them so satisfying and fascinating.
Between the intense matches, the two anime also took a lot of time for their characters and the importance of love and friendship. In addition, important values were conveyed via tube TV: cohesion, perseverance, respect and fun with the game. With Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (buy now for € 59.99) Bandai Namco wants to bring this nostalgia feeling into the gadget-filled living room of 2020. But beyond that, the arcade sports game should also fill the existing gap in the arcade sports niche that titles such as Super Mario Strikers, Disc Jam or Mutant Football League have left (with the exception of Rocket League). Incidentally, the last Tsubasa game for consoles is ten years in the past. There would also be the European Championship 2020, which will take place in eleven European countries this year, and the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo, in which Captain Tsubasa, in addition to iconic anime heroes such as Son-Goku, Sailor Moon or "Straw Hat" Monkey D. Luffy acts as the official ambassador. So it looks as if the time for the big Tsubasa comeback was perfectly chosen.
Source: Bandai Namco
At first glance, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is strongly reminiscent of one of the most successful video game franchises ever: Fifa. Not surprisingly, Fifa (our test on the current offshoot) shines with a very good visual appearance. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is packaged anime-faithfully in a chic Cel-shading look, but the design of the game screen is reminiscent of the great representatives of football video games. In the half-time break we look at statistics on possession of the ball or the number of corner and goal shots taken and even the button allocation also finds the well-known actions such as passes, steep passes, crosses and shots. But here it ends with the similarities. In action, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions plays pleasantly different. Our (very early) game version only offered a Versus mode with two different teams: the "FC Nankatsu", the iconic team of protagonist Tsubasa, and the team of the "Toho Academy", in which main rival Kojiro Hyuga appears as a striker , We were able to play several matches, which gave us a complete overview of the gameplay.
Above all, the game speed is remarkably fast. The pace is always high and surprising counter actions are abundant. The tactical claim is there, but very minimalistic. With the directional pad, we can switch the strategy between offensive and defensive at any time and the so-called V-zone, which symbolizes the team's morale, allows us to quickly gain the upper hand. How? The V-Zone can be increased by actions such as dubbing opponents or conquering balls. If we are in the V-Zone, the will and kick display of our team members increases for a certain time. The will indicator is required to carry out simple actions such as sprinting or various special skills. For example, if we charge a special attack, but our display is already in the red area, we simply cannot complete the loaded shot. Using the available willpower cleverly usually decides about victory and defeat. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a distinctly "casual" gaming experience in the sports game space. There are supposed to be free kicks, corners, tactical moves and all the other stuff that a football game is supposed to offer, but players should not expect real complexity in team building and other aspects.
Source: Bandai Namco
But that doesn't stand in the way of fun. The focus is clearly on the special abilities of the individual players. For example, rival Hyuga relies on his famous tiger shot, while Tsubasa relies on the "top spin", in which it only seems as if the ball is flying over the goal for miles just to slip into the correct trajectory just before that. The brute staging typical of anime adaptations is really good. Colored "force" effects underline the inhuman power of our characters and even when the ball is picked up, a golden glow appears on the screen. So there is one thing left to say: Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a lot of fun and should feel particularly comfortable on the Switch. A story and a multiplayer mode are also confirmed, but we have no further information about them at the moment. How well the arcade dribbler will perform in the end is primarily determined by the size. However, we are cautiously optimistic. If your thirst for more information about the game is still not satisfied, we recommend you our podcast episode 558, where we talked about Captain Tsubasa and the new Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.
Yay! Arcade fun that should particularly unfold with beer, pizza and friends.
After my playing session with Bandai Namco in Frankfurt, I wanted one thing above all: please keep playing! The game version provided by Bandai was still a very early development, but it was a lot of fun. The faithful Cel-shading look makes me as a fan of the series wiggle my ears, I receive the "FIFA casualization" (as a football layman) with a kissing hand and especially the fast and brute playing style really appeals to me. I'm excited to what extent and with how much love the story of "Captain Tsubasa and the great football stars" will be implemented and what announcements around the game we can still count on, but I'm looking forward to the many heated ones Duels with dream bags in the circle of friends (you know who is meant :)). Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a lot of fun and could even convince with fanatic football fun beyond the fan base.
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