Any of you reading my preview for Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions a few weeks ago will know I had really high hopes for this very different approach to football video games.
Captain Tsubasa promised a "refreshing look to the football genre with the exhilarating action and over-the-top shots." I have been craving a return to the cut and thrust arcade style action that made me fall in love with football video games - a love that FIFA and Pro Evo have slowly eroded over the last few years.
Here in the UK, one look at CT instantly evokes nostalgic memories of the classic Super Sidekicks.
And I’m delighted to report that the action matches my expectations and then some. CT is already an established hit series in Asia. In fact, it started out as a Manga comic over 40 years ago. This is the first game for 10 years, though, and it’s gone global.
Zany, unique and fast-paced
In terms of taking on the traditional football games like Pro Evo and FIFA, the truth is Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions can’t compete. But that’s because it doesn’t want to.
It offers its own zany, unique and fast-paced take on the beautiful game and it looks stunning in terms of its anime and Manga style graphics. It has bags of charm, simple controls and an element of customisation and online play that caught me by surprise in a positive way.
Over the top cut scenes for special power shots and tackles are fun at first, but the novelty does soon wear off. And my biggest gripe is that it is very difficult to score without executing one of these, which takes away what was great about games like Super Sidekicks - engineering a run through on goal, choosing your angle of attack and smashing the ball home from inside the box.
It is a real shame that the goalkeepers seem to save everything that doesn’t come with beams of light or animals projecting it towards goals. But what you will notice is that each goalkeeper has an energy bar which you will need to wear down to get any joy.
Not for everyone - but give it a chance
There are two story options in CT which form the main framework of the game. Online play is available but Captain Tsubasa is a sports game that is made to be played between two friends looking for a quick burst of action and fun. In that respect it delivers, with the only downside being that lack of 'open play' goal joy.
Of course it’s not for everyone. It won’t suit those who like their football games in a more traditional mould. And there are little AI and camera annoyances here and there.
But, I would say, give it a chance. Because as an overall package - as a game going out of its way to be different and stand out from the crowd - CT scratches an itch you might not even know you had.
Out: NowRating: 7.5/10