- System: PlayStation 4, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Developer: Tamsoft Corp.
- Release Date: Aug 28, 2020
- Pricing: $59.99
- Rating: E
- Genre: Sports, RPG
- Players: 1-4
- Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/games/captain-tsubasa-rise-of-new-champions
CAPTAIN TSUBASA: RISE OF NEW CHAMPIONS – Launch Trailer
Who it Caters to
This game is catered to the most hardcore fans, those who only care about the story and nothing else. If you're here because you like playing as Tsubasa (or any other character) and doing some fancy shots, then you will definitely love this. If you are expecting a fresh football game that also features your favorite characters and can provide you with hundreds of hours of play, then you won't be able to overlook all of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions' flaws.
What to Expect
Although this involves other issues that we will comment on later, we really like how integrated some scripted events are with the gameplay and how good the players look in the field. We have to say this is a game with lots of gameplay mechanics, but they did a good job keeping the screen as clean and informative as possible!
To be honest with you, the Tsubasa route is OK, but it's more of the same. Sure, the whole game is predictable, and we all know you'll be lifting the cup anyways, but we found it more interesting to play with our own character first. Once your avatar is ready, you can join one of 3 middle school teams: Matsuyama's Furano MS, Misugi's Musashi MS, or Hyuga's Toho Academy. What we weren't expecting is that each middle school has it's own "rules", so take it as 3 different game modes within the same Story Mode.
This is more an RPG game than it is a football one. You can befriend other players to learn special moves, you can improve your skills through certain achievements, and you can earn points to buy more player cards, training items, or customization options for your character. In fact, it's obvious Rise of New Champions copied a lot of things from the FIFA games—sadly, only the bad ones. If you hate scripted matches and pack openings ala FIFA, then we have bad news for you... oh, and the story mode is called "The Journey", too!
You can dribble using R1 and R2, you shoot by pressing the square button (charge it for a special trick, plus hold L1 for a hidden technique if available), you cross the ball with the circle button, you can make through passes with the triangle button (charge it for a special combo), and L2 activates the V-Zone, which boosts your stats for a bit. That's all you need to know, really.
The biggest problem with all this is that it doesn't feel like a football game. Since there's no button for running, all you can do is awkwardly move the ball around and spam R1+R2 to dribble past the defense until you can shoot. Another thing you can't do is switching the character you use to defend; well, actually, you can press L1 (or R3 if you're playing with your custom character)... but it's too unreliable, and that's not mentioning most of the times it takes too long to actually pick the player you want to use, giving the opponent enough time to perform a power shoot. Rise of New Champions' worst sin, however, is underestimating you.
Since you need to shoot on target a few times before being able to score, sometimes you know there's not enough time for you to win a match. Even if you score, it's impossible not to feel frustrated after tying the game in the last minute. Who cares about that buzzer-beater if there are no extra time nor penalty shootouts (only available in friendly matches), and you have to play over and over again until you can actually win? Oh, and there was this match against Italy where we were awarded a goal just because it was scripted for Hyuga to score, for example. All in all, it just doesn't feel like a football game. It's just an interactive OVA.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- 2 Story Modes, and both of them—although relatively similar to each other and 100% predictable—are fun to play.
- Nice multiplayer options, online co-op included.
- At times, you'll feel the game underestimates you and your skills.
- You must beat the Story Mode to unlock more national teams, and you need to buy packs (no real-money involved, at least) for a chance of earning the friend cards you want.
- It's a pretty good story if you love Captain Tsubasa; as a football game, it's a joke.