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In another installment of “Nintendo casually dropping a huge announcement”, a prequel to Breath of the Wild was just announced and it isn’t quite the game you’re imagining it to be.

Enter Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a hack-and-slash RPG scheduled to release on November 20, set 100 years before Breath of the Wild.

Check out the overview of the game as seen on the Nintendo website:

See Hyrule 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game and experience the events of the Great Calamity.

Join the struggle that brought Hyrule to its knees. Learn more about Zelda, the four Champions, the King of Hyrule and more through dramatic cutscenes as they try to save the kingdom from Calamity. The Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game is the only way to firsthand see what happened 100 years ago.

Battle Hordes of Hyrule’s Most Formidable Foes

From barbaric Bokoblins to towering Lynels, Ganon’s troops have emerged in droves. Playable heroes like Link, Zelda and more must use their distinct abilities to carve through hundreds of enemies to save Hyrule from the impending Calamity.

The announcement was accompanied by a developer video featuring The Legend of Zelda Series Producer Eiji Aonuma and Hyrule Warriors Producer Yosuke Hayashi, which you can view below:

More news about Hyrule Warriors will be announced on September 26, so watch out for that.

Aonuma also provided a hint of an update regarding the actual Breath of the Wild sequel in the video, saying “Regarding the sequel, in order to make the vast world you enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates.”

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is scheduled to release on November 20 for the Nintendo Switch.

A Hong Kong Distributor called Game Source Entertainment may have leaked the existence of a Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

In a now deleted listing that the fine folks at ResetEra and Reddit have saved before being taken down, the trilogy will include Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and will release in March 2021 for $39.99.

Fans of the series will know how notoriously hard the Ninja Gaiden games are, so multiple rage quit episodes are definitely on the menu if this listing proves to be true.

Koei Tecmo have not provided an official response for this yet, so we’ll have to wait and see if this holds water.

An initial song list for the upcoming rhythm title Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory was revealed, showing classic franchise tracks as well as beloved Disney songs.

Melody of Memory is said to have a catalog of over 140 songs from the Kingdom Hearts series as well as Disney music, with an initial list shown below:

Kingdom Hearts

  • “A Day in Agrabah”
  • “Arabian Dream”
  • “Destiny Islands”
  • “Go for It!”
  • “Hand in Hand”
  • “Hikari”
  • “Olympus Coliseum”
  • “To Our Surprise”
  • “Traverse Town”
  • “Under the Sea”

Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

  • “Castle Oblivion”
  • “The Force in You”

Kingdom Hearts II

  • “Darkness of the Unknown”
  • “Roxas”
  • “Savannah Pride”
  • “Schezo Di Notte”
  • “Sinister Shadows”
  • “The 13th Struggle”
  • “Vim and Vigor”
  • “Working Together”

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

  • “The Other Promise”

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

  • “Another Side -Battle Ver.-“
  • “Secret of Neverland”
  • “Vector to the Heavens”

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

  • “Wonder of Electron”

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

  • “Dismiss”
  • “Enter the Darkness”
  • “Hau’oli, Hau’oli”
  • “Rage Awakened -The OriginThe Encounter -Birth by Sleep Version”

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

  • “All for One”
  • “L’Impeto Oscuro”
  • “The Eye of Darkness”

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage

  • “Wave of Darkness I”

Kingdom Hearts III

  • “Let It Go ~Ari no Mama De~”

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- Album

  • “Destati”

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will be a great entry point for new fans wanting to learn more about the franchise but will also serve as a way to recap past events for players familiar with the lore.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is scheduled for a November 13 release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory was announced to a rather lukewarm reception, mainly because of the switch from Action RPG to a rhythm type game. While it wasn’t something that the fans of the long running series was expecting, the developers are hoping that the upcoming title will introduce new fans to the franchise while rekindling some of the nostalgia from long-time supporters.

Speaking to a group of media from across Southeast Asia, Producer Ichiro Hazama and Co-Director Masanobu Suzui shared a few more details about this coming theater-rhythm game set in the world of Kingdom Hearts, including answering the big question – “Why?”

Hazama-san has previously worked as associate producer for Final Fantasy VII Advent Children as well as producer for Final Fantasy Dissidia and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. Suzui-san and his development studio Indieszero have developed games such as Cooking Guide: Can’t Decide What to Eat?, Retro Game Challenge and Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido.

When asked why the team decided to make a rhythm game, it was Tetsuya Nomura who actually brought up the conversation with Disney. Turns out, Disney was actually quite enthusiastic about the idea and the rest, as they say, is history.

“And so as far as we’re concerned, our next concern then was just to make it the most fun, and the most enjoyable kind of rhythm game that we could.”

Throughout the various screenshots and trailers, you’ll notice that the game still very much feels like a Kingdom Hearts game, despite the change in genre. Staying true to the series was an important aspect during development, still ensuring that it is a “Kingdom Hearts game that is a rhythm game, rather than a rhythm game that is a Kingdom Hearts game. So that’s the way it’s worked out.

The Kingdom Hearts series is known for the number of guest characters that appear in the game. Iconic personalities like Donald Duck, Goofy, Elsa, Hercules, and Ariel all make up a colorful world that Disney fans will enjoy. Other Square Enix franchises, particularly Final Fantasy, have also made some appearances and if you’re looking out for the likes of Cloud or Sephiroth to tap to the beat, sorry to say but you’re out of luck on that one.

“To put it bluntly, there won’t be any Final Fantasy characters in it… your players are made up of the main characters from past installments in the game and at the end of the day the Final Fantasy characters are guests in the Kingdom Hearts world, so they haven’t managed to make their way into this game.”

The Final Fantasy Characters, while well-known, were at least considered but the focus was really with the Disney collaboration. Final Fantasy already has its share of songs and even a rhythm game on the 3DS already, so it might feel like the same game at the end of the day.

Multiplayer and DLC details

Melody of Memory is set to have online multiplayer and while details on how exactly that would go was scarce then, we now have some sort of idea.

The main mode in Melody of Memory is the World Tour, or the Story mode. As you clear tracks and songs, they will become available to play in the other modes like versus and co-op, which can either be online against AI or locally on the Switch version.

For the online versus mode, its a simple “highest score wins” game but there is what you would call a “Trick System” that you can use to hold the opponent back. Both players will still receive rewards for their collection, win or lose, which still makes the mode rewarding even if you don’t perform at your best.

There is also no plans to have any kind of additional content after release, not that the game really needs DLC at this point, since the developers “wanted to really create a complete experience that you could play through in one complete game.” Melody of Memory has over 140 songs to bop your head to and a ton of unlockables and collectibles, enough to keep players busy for the long haul.

Also confirmed is that the Switch version of the game will not have touch controls.

A good way to dive into the world

Given that the Kingdom Hearts franchise is one of the “messiest” in terms of story and spin-offs, the developers assure players that Melody of Memory is a great entry way to the series.

“For some of them [Dev Team] it was completely new to them but as we were creating the game and as they were playing this game they sort of fell in love with the series, and actually went back and played all of the past Kingdom Hearts games as well. So I hope that happens for the players as well.”

Melody of Memory can be that game where you can build up your knowledge of the world of Kingdom Hearts and even as a fan, can serve as a great recap of the events. Kairi plays a big role as the story will be told through her point of view and may allow moments of “Oh I didn’t notice this before…” even for KH veterans.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is scheduled for a November 13 release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.

NBA 2K21 is now available and you can bet that a lot of people are already grinding towards their perfect MyCAREER character or just taking on the neighborhood with their buddies. If you’ve been playing the game, you may have noticed that putting the ball through the hoop is proving to be quite the challenge, resulting in games with ridiculous rebound stats and dismal field goal percentages.

It’s proving to be quite tough that even cover star Damian Lillard, Logo Lillard himself, is struggling with it, to the point that he can’t even make free throws. The Portland star took to Twitter to air his thoughts.

Gameplay director Mike Wang also took to Twitter to offer some advice, giving some tips on how to get those percentages up, or even turning off Shot Aiming, which is one of the biggest additions to 2K21.

Whether or not everyone was just getting used to the new system or all of the ballers out there don’t have their badge upgrades just yet, 2K Games have released a hotfix that covers shooting tweaks for Rookie, Pro, and All-Star difficulty.

Higher difficulties and Neighborhood will remain unchanged, so pro players out there will need to git gud if they want to dominate the courts once again.

NBA 2K21 is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia. NBA 2K21 will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.

You may be old enough to remember the ‘Crysis Meme’, basically asking you if your hardware can run a particularly punishing game with very high spec requirements. The question “Can it run Crysis?” has been a long-running joke for the PC Master Race community and now, the developers Crytek are bringing it back to for the PC version of Crysis Remastered.

Crytek have shared a maxed out screenshot from the upcoming game taken under the “Can it Run Crysis?” setting exclusively for the PC, which is described to “demand every last bit of your hardware with unlimited settings.”

This newly remastered version is said to bring “several enhancements that deliver a major visual upgrade, including high-quality textures up to 8K, HDR support, temporal anti-aliasing, Screen Space Directional Occlusion (SSDO), Global Illumination (SVOGI), state-of-the-art depth fields, new light settings, motion blur, parallax occlusion mapping, Screen Space Reflections and Shadows (SSR and SSS), new and updated particle effects, and more.”

As per the Epic Games Store, the PC requirements are as follows:

Minimum system requirements:

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3450 / AMD Ryzen 3
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Direct X: DX11
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti / AMD Radeon 470
  • GPU memory: 4GB in 1080p

Recommended system requirements:

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7600k or higher / AMD Ryzen 5 or higher
  • Memory: 12GB
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Direct X: DX11
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti / AMD Radeon Vega 56
  • GPU memory: 8GB in 1080p

Crysis Remastered will launch on September 18 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store and will set you back for $29.99 or around PHP1,500.

Game Day.

The next iteration of the top-rated and top-selling NBA video game simulation series is now available across local retailers in the Philippines, offering one-of-a-kind immersion into all facets of NBA basketball and basketball culture, including exciting improvements upon its best-in-class gameplay, competitive and community online features and deep, varied game modes.

Not simply “just another roster update”, NBA 2K21 will feature several new additions and improvements:

  • Realer than Ever – With enhancements across its visual presentation, player AI, game modes and much more, NBA 2K21 continues to push the boundaries as the most authentic, realistic basketball video game experience. Feel the energy of the crowd, the intensity of NBA competition, and the entertainment of the most immersive sports product in gaming today;
  • Elite Gameplay – Enjoy unparalleled control with the ball in your hands using the advanced Pro Stick. Aim jump shots and layups for a new level of precision and skill, and unlock new signature dribble moves with more effective ball handling;
  • Your G.O.A.T. Team Build your greatest collection of latest NBA stars and legendary ballers in MyTEAM and compete against other ferocious collectors around the world. New for NBA 2K21, limited-time Seasons offer unique rewards as you compete in new and returning MyTEAM modes;
  • New MyCAREER Story – Ascend from high school ball to one of 10 officially licensed college programs to the NBA in a brand new, cinematic MyCAREER experience – The Long Shadow. Take your MyPLAYER to the top by making the big moves on the court and even bigger moves off of it, and make a name for yourself along this exciting, dramatic journey;
  • New Neighborhood Locale – Soak in the sun as you ball out in 1v1s, 3v3s and 5v5s; the new Neighborhood in NBA 2K21 takes your game beachside with all-new visuals and layout. Flash your skills and style at 2K Beach, squad up in Pro-Am and earn prizes in dynamically updated 2K Compete Events;
  • All the Latest Drops and Music – From head to toe, look the part of a baller with all-new apparel and sneaker drops from your favorite clothing, accessory and shoe brands. And ball while taking in the dynamic NBA 2K21 music experience, which features the latest big artists – including two Dame D.O.L.L.A. tracks exclusively debuting in the game – from around the world and breakthrough musicians waiting to be discovered;
  • USA Basketball – Relive USA Basketball’s championship legacy. Take the court with classic teams, collect MyTEAM cards featuring past stars and show off your pride with MyPLAYER gear.

Local retailers like Datablitz and Game One PH have already started announcing local availability for walk-ins and pre-orders.

The standard edition featuring Damian Lillard will retail for PHP3,190 while the Mamba Forever Edition featuring none other than Kobe Bryant will retail for PHP5,390. Purchasing the Mamba Forever Edition will provide users with a copy of the standard edition of the game on the other generation within the same console family.

NBA 2K21 will also feature MyTEAM Cross-Progression and a Shared VC wallet, enabling all MyTEAM Points, Tokens, cards and progress to be shared on both current and next-generation versions in the same console family.

NBA 2K21 is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia on September 4, 2020. NBA 2K21 will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.

As part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct, which saw the likes of Super Mario Bros. 35, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, the Wii U classic will be making a comeback as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will be making its Switch debut in 2021.

Slated for a February 12, 2021 release, not much is known just yet about this title, except for the fact that it will include online and local multiplayer.

Peep the announcement trailer below!

In the mean time, you can take a look at these awesome furry Cat Mario and Cat Peach Amiibos that will be launching alongside the game.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is scheduled to release on February 12, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch.

You can view the whole Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct in its entirety below.

Because Nintendo like to casually announce major reveals out of nowhere like Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. 35, a fun and wacky take on Mario Kart was revealed called Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.

Home Circuit allows you to control AR enabled Karts that will be using your home, or anywhere for that matter, as a course that players can design and create. It looks like a whole lot of fun, as long as you have the space for it.

You can view the full description of the game below:

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit: Created in partnership with Velan Studios, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit brings the fun of the Mario Kart series into the real world by using a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite** system to race against opponents using a physical Kart. The physical Kart responds to boosts in-game and in the real world, stops when hit with an item and can be affected in different ways depending on the race. Players place gates to create a custom course layout in their home, where the only limit is their imagination. Race against Koopalings in Grand Prix, unlock a variety of course customizations and costumes for Mario or Luigi, and play with up to four players in local multiplayer mode.

Here are a few screenshots of the official product:

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be released on October 16 for $99.99 or around PHP5,000. You can head on over to the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit website for more information.

One of the worst kept secrets from Nintendo is finally official as Super Mario 3D All-Stars will make its way to the Nintendo Switch, bringing with it some of the best titles from the past in Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy.

The collection is scheduled to release on September 18 and will bring with it higher resolution graphics and optimized for a smooth gameplay experience. Music from all 3 games will also be featured in a music player mode that players will get to enjoy.

Similar to Super Mario Bros. 35, this collection will be a limited time release and will be available until the end of March 2021, so you shouldn’t hesitate to pick this title up if you have the chance! Watch out for announcements from local retailers for stocks.

As per Nintendo Everything, also confirmed are the resolutions these games will be pumping out for both docked and handheld use:

Super Mario 64

– Docked: 960 x 720
– Handheld: 960 x 720

Super Mario Sunshine

– Docked: 1920 x 1080
– Handheld: 1280 x 720

Super Mario Galaxy

– Docked: up to 1920 x 1080
– Handheld: up to 1280 x 720

You can check out the whole 16 minute Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct below.

Mario is joining in on the battle royale craze as Nintendo just announced Super Mario Bros 35, a take on the Tetris 99 formula only this time, with our beloved plumber.

Mario 35 has you taking on 34 other Marios where enemies you defeat on your course will be sent to other players courses in a fast and frantic battle to be the last Mario standing.

Super Mario Bros. 35 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers on October 1 for a limited time, as the game will only be playable until March 31, 2021.

You can peep the whole Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary presentation below, which blows the lid off of the widely rumored Super Mario 3D All Stars, a collection of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy.

It may be a couple of months too late, but our overseas package just arrived due to the shipping delays. Nevertheless, its here in one piece, ready to be unboxed, so let’s get to it!

One thing about this version of the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is that this is the European version, hence the marked difference in size, presentation, and content.

Peep below for a quick comparison:

Local retailers had the US version in stock, which understandably sold out in a blink, even though it retailed for a particularly higher SRP than expected.

In any case, let’s unbox the EU version, which has everything and much more.

It may not look like it, but the box is unexpectedly HUGE.
As with most Collector’s Editions, the outer box houses a smaller inner box which greets you with the copy of the game and a gorgeous steelbook which the US version does not have. Switch on the side for size comparisons.
Next up is a huge HUGE poster, game case for size comparison. This would make for a great framed piece!
The full spread.

The whole package set me back around $170? $180, around PHP8,000++, which isn’t bad considering the contents and comparing it to other Collector’s Editions. Now to add it to the pile.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is now available for the Nintendo Switch.

With the new Dream Address feature of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can now visit the KFC Island without lining up or waiting for the island to go live!

Ogilvy and KFC Philippines previously set up an official KFC branch in Animal Crossing, with only a limited number of individuals allowed to visit the island. Now, you can visit anytime, simply by typing DA-2831-0006-0430 as the Dream Address code.

Along with the announcement, the Colonel wants to visit your islands too! All you have to do is to build a KFC-inspired island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From there, upload your best screenshots on Facebook with the dream address. Don’t forget to tag @KFCPhilippines and use the hashtag #KentuckyFriedCrossing to be qualified!

The best islands will get to meet and greet the Colonel and will be tagged as one of the official KFC branches on Animal Crossing. In addition, the Colonel will be giving away Bells for all your hard work.

Chop chop, that’s an order from the Colonel himself, and for more information on the promo, you can check out the official KFC Facebook page.

NBA 2K21 is coming out later this week and before we let the Mamba Mentality consume us, we get a peek at the upcoming storyline for MyCAREER.

In the latest Courtside Report installment, 2K gives us more details about MyCAREER, one of the more popular modes year in year out for the series as well as 2K Beach, the latest location for the hottest games.

For 2K21, MyCAREER tells the story of Junior in “The Long Shadow” – the son of a beloved baller who faces the challenges of trying to make it to the NBA, balancing legacy while carving his own path through high school to college. 2K21 will feature 10 officially licensed college programs to choose from in the story: Michigan State, UConn, Florida, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, UCLA, Villanova University and West Virginia.

A star-studded cast will lend their talents to the campaign, including performances from Jesse WilliamsDijmon HounsouMirelle EnosMichael K. Williams, cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson, and much more.

2K Games also unveiled 2K Beach, the latest location in the Neighborhood, where players live out their day-to-day 2K basketball experience. Jump into 3v3 streetball runs with your crew, 5v5 ProAm games for something more serious and take part in plenty of events providing even more reasons to come back all year long.

NBA 2K21 will be available worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia on September 4, 2020. NBA 2K21 will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: August 28, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Sports
  • Similar Games: Previous Captain Tsubasa titles
  • Price: Estimated SRP PHP2,595

Coming from a country that is not primarily known for its love of Soccer, or Football as some would call it, Captain Tsubasa was largely unknown to me. While I’ve heard of it, I haven’t had the pleasure of watching it yet, which is surprising to some of my friends, greeting me with a “You haven’t watched Captain Tsubasa yet? Lol” everytime I mention the game.

Anyways, Captain Tsubasa is an anime that follows Tsubasa Ozora, a really (really REALLY) good Soccer youngster who sets out to win the National championships for a 3rd time in a row, and along the journey, he faces off against other schools, each with their ace player who in turn have unbelievable abilities as well. If it sounds like a cliche sports anime, that’s because it is, and it is with this premise that the single player campaign of the game takes place in.

The main draw of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is spread out through its 2 campaign modes – Taking Tsubasa through the national tournament and taking your “New Hero” to basically be the next big Soccer superstar, complete with your custom character and all.

One thing about the narrative of the campaign is that it is based on the anime, and so like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the events of the campaign are pretty much set in stone, with the main (and probably the only) difference being the final scores of the matches you will be playing.

We’ll get to how the “Soccer” part of the game actually works later, so we’ll talk about the anime part first.

Playable anime episodes

Bandai Namco have proven that they can produce good looking anime games. Save for some outliers *coughJumpForcecough*, it’s hard to find fault when they transfer an anime property into a game, presentation-wise. The art is close to accurate, the game is fully voiced and the voice acting is great, even the animations are on point. Bandai Namco knows its anime games and they pay a huge amount of respect to the source material, which is what you’ll be getting with Captain Tsubasa.

Even without extensive knowledge about the show, it was easy for me to see how well done the characters are, looking mostly like their counterparts from the anime, from the looks to their costumes and even to their moves, which is something fans will appreciate. It was also easy for me to follow the story beats, and while the storytelling could have been improved due to some of the sequences being dull, the narrative was not hard to understand at all.

Possibly the most ridiculous shot of all.

Tsubasa employs a lot of his ridiculous trademark moves in the game, like his ever famous Drive Shot. Each of his ace opponents also have their own set of unique moves like the Tachibana Twins’ Skylab Hurricane and Kojiro Hyuga’s Tiger Shot. All of these trademark moves are faithfully captured and are definitely highlights during matches everytime they are performed. They are all sorts of crazy, but that’s what the anime and the game is all about, unabashed fun.

The tournament matches have their specific “anime moment” to them, which is basically a scene from the anime that is recreated in the game. In the match against Hanawa, the Tachibana Twins will perform both the Triangle Shot and the Skylab Hurricane, which will lead to a sure goal, automatically putting you at a disadvantage. In another instance, Hikaru Matsuyama and his Eagle Shot / Northern Country Shot will also score an automatic goal, which you’ll have to overcome. These scenes add some bit of challenge to the game and will be a treat to the eyes for fans and even newcomers to the franchise.

Tsubasa against the Otomo Quartet.

None of these are particularly hard to pull off, as you’ll only have to charge the Square button to a certain point to pull them off, which is indicated on the meter above the head of your controlled character. The controls are quite simple to use and while there are some complicated moves and more advanced passing techniques to learn, you can enjoy the game with just a few buttons and moves, which lends itself well to the arcade style gameplay.

In some parts of the anime (I would assume), Tsubasa would get slightly injured but would continue playing despite the condition. One touch I particularly liked in the game was that during this injury, Tsubasa would “feel” it as well – lose spirit faster, be more ineffective during tackles, and so on. It’s a nice touch, and shows how much of the source material is being followed.

As mentioned earlier, Captain Tsubasa is similar to Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot in this sense, where there is really only one way to go in the story and if you know about the anime, there you already know how things are going to turn out, prompting you to turn into that Leo DiCaprio pointing meme. While Dragon Ball Z has already been remade and retold to death, Captain Tsubasa has the unique privilege of being introduced to a wider audience who probably does not know about the anime since the last Captain Tsubasa game was back in 2010 for the Nintendo DS. It proves to be a great way to be exposed to the lore of Tsubasa and even for someone like me who has not watched the anime, it definitely intrigued me enough to do some research and watch a few episodes, specifically that episode where Tsubasa counters the Tachibana Twins in mid-air. That s*** was craaaaaaazy.

Jump off the goalpost why don’t you.

Might as well have been Rugby

The ridiculousness of it all extends to the Soccer part of the game as well. Anything goes as there are no yellow or red cards here, so feel free to tackle your opponents to death as they will do the same to you. Ace defenders like Hiroshi Jito can block special shots with his body without flinching, and star goalkeepers like Ken Wakashimazu defends the goal with some highly acrobatic one-handed saves. It’s all a spectacle and we’ve got front row seats.

If you’re expecting gameplay like FIFA or PES, you’ve come to the wrong place. At certain points in the game, formations and positions don’t even matter because it’ll all boil down to you zig-zagging past 2 or 3 defenders and pulling off your special move, rinse and repeat.

Putting the ball in between the goalposts is not complicated at all, as you only need to aim in the general direction of the goal to pull off a shot, but the main mechanic in scoring a goal lies in the spirit meter of the goalkeeper. At full spirit, even Tsubasa’s Drive Shot will not make it through, but every shot you make towards the goal will slowly bring that spirit meter down until eventually, a goal. There’s hardly any strategy here and scoring a goal mostly boils down to a battle of “who can bring down the meter first”, which is kind of ridiculous. The three times we’ve seen a goal on a mostly full meter was with Kojiro Hyuga’s Tiger Shot, but it has never worked with anyone else.

Of course, being a Captain Tsubasa game, this is exactly what you’ve come to expect. No (okay, SOME) semblance of simulation, just pure and fun arcade type Soccer which is fun, but gets bogged down by some clunky basics like sprinting and passing. You can change up tactics in a match, swap out players, switch positions, and so on. Do note though that we got to finish the campaign and then some by not changing any setting, which makes us believe that most of these is for show, or reserved for at least the highest of difficulty settings.

Create your own mullet superstar

The other campaign mode, entitled “New Hero”, takes you on a similar journey, but this time using a different team. This mode will have you create a custom character, level him up through gameplay, improving statistics based on in-game performance, and learning moves from different players to create the ultimate player.

Character customization has some semblance of depth. There is quite a number of hairstyles and jerseys and cleats to choose from, but none of them look especially satisfying or “cool” as some would put it, but this is also partly because of the style from which Captain Tsubasa is based from, where mullets and buck teeth are more than common occurrences.

There’s a loose storyline behind it too, but this mode generally ties in with spending in-game currency on player cards that will determine who you can gain special moves from, a form of gacha mechanic shoved into the game for good measure.

Yellow cards

While Captain Tsubasa: Rise of the Champions is a fun and serviceable game, there are quite a number of issues that stick out like a sore thumb. The AI, especially your own teammates, can be infuriating at times, especially during long ball opportunities where they would run away from the ball instead of towards it. Your opponents are none the wiser, as they would fall to the same defensive tactics over and over again, sometimes leading to them not even getting a shot off at the goal in some games.

Some of the more advanced techniques are quite tricky to pull off, and for an arcade style game, it doesn’t feel right to have those things there. Throughout the campaign, I’ve never been able to pull off touch passes and passes that lead directly to power shots just because they feel so unnatural to do that I found myself just dribbling, crossing, and shooting the ball for the most part. It has worked for me through both campaigns, so the need to pick those advance techniques up didn’t really feel necessary.

For soccer players, these guys run out of spirit (stamina) way too easily, only allowing maybe a third of the field before they need to recharge again. This makes it especially hard to score when you want to, as getting close to the goal without any reserve “mana” to pull off a shot will just result in a turnover.

What we liked:

  • Faithful to the source material
  • Ridiculously exaggerated moves
  • Voice acting and presentation

What we didn’t like:

  • Scoring can be simplified into an almost fail-proof repeatable routine
  • AI can be improved
  • Repetitive gameplay

Verdict:

For what it set out to do, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions does it pretty well. It delivers the anime storyline straight into a playable game that’s ridiculous and fun, but also frustrating at certain times. Fans of the series will definitely get a kick out of this, especially with how faithful the game is to the source material, but players who are looking for a polished soccer experience will need to look elsewhere.

If you aren’t a fan of the anime or simply do not know anything about it like me, the game doesn’t have enough pull to be enjoyed by someone wanting more out of it. There is a lot to love about the characters and the anime moments, but the charm will most likely stop there. It is serviceable, but for the same price, there are other more worthwhile anime and / or soccer experiences out there that can scratch the itch for you.

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of the Champion was reviewed on a PS4 Pro through a review code provided by the publisher.