What happens when you combine two of the world's most popular fandoms, soccer and anime? For gamers, the answer is Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, the sports action game based on the popular Japanese series. The game faithfully re-creates the look and feel of the anime, from the stylized looks of Tsubasa and his teammates to the running commentary in each match to the over-the-top effects of the characters' superpowered signature moves. It almost feels as if gamers are actively playing an episode of the show. Fans of the series should be more than satisfied with the presentation, and newcomers might be swayed enough to seek out the books or the show.
While Rise of New Champions is a faithful re-creation of the anime story, it's still a soccer game at its heart. But the game isn't a deep soccer simulation by any means. This is more of an arcade-style game with simplified controls, quick action, and plenty of outrageous physics-defying moves. While this makes it generally easier to pick up and play, it's not without its issues. For starters, the game's camera makes it difficult to keep track of where teammates are, thereby making fluid pass plays difficult. The targeting isn't the most precise, either, so when you do pass the ball, there's a fair chance it'll go to the wrong player. It's almost as if the game is designed for more one-on-one charges to the goal. In multiplayer games, this isn't such a bad thing, since both teams are on a level playing field. But when things go wrong in multiplayer, it can be particularly frustrating, since losing a match means having to replay the entire event, cutscenes and all, just to make any progress.