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The first person shooter genre, better known as FPS by fans, has really evolved ever since the earlier days of Doom and Wolfenstein. While these games have seen numerous upgrades with the latest Doom title blowing our minds with incredible nostalgia factor, more newer and fresher titles have come out of the woodwork with impressive gameplay. What makes the FPS genre so satisfying is perhaps being thrown into a fantasy world and being able to either fight alone or with a strong team, and compete against other players online. With the more popular titles like CS:GO and Overwatch making headlines for their stellar team based gameplay, many players still opt for that single player experience and perhaps that’s the true selling point of FPS: Versatility. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best anime based shooters out there and see which one takes the top spot.
10. The Legend of Alfur
- System/Platform: PC
- Publisher: Ayaemo Research Institute
- Developer: Ayaemo Research Institute
- Release Date: February 28, 2014
The Legend of Alfur is an indie first person shooter from Ayaemo Research Institute that takes players back to the year 312 where two young siblings must work together to put a stop to an invasion by the neighboring Elgs Dominion. They were captured and carried away as slaves, but by fate the carrier they were in crashed allowing them to escape and return home to plot their next form of action.
The Legend of Alfur isn’t your run of the mill shooter, so don’t expect too much from the title. Ayaemo’s goal was to create a truly anime like experience and they surely did so with this one. The game is quite short in length pertaining to the story, but it makes up for the FPS experience that initially was the focal point to begin with. If you’re looking for something totally fresh and not one of the more well known shooters currently out on the market, then search online for The Legend of Alfur and let us know what you think!
- System/Platform: Xbox
- Publisher: Namco
- Developer: Namco
- Release Date: January 29, 2004
Breakdown is another sleeper hit from Namco before they tied the knot with Bandai Entertainment, and was well received for its first person storytelling experience. Another point to note is that while Breakdown focused on its first person aesthetics, fighting game elements were also thrown into the mix to provide players with a very distinctive game that was unprecedented for its time. The game felt very real especially when interacting with different objects, such as being able to look down and pick up ammunition instead of walking over it, which was known to be an issue at the time.
Despite its lack of commercial spotlight, Breakdown is one game that managed to maintain its integrity in every possible way, and never robbed you of your gameplay experience. Every single moment was jam packed with fun and excitement, with boss battles feeling exhilarating and the story very captivating.
8. Killer 7
- System/Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, PlayStation 2
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
- Release Date: June 9, 2005
Killer 7 was an action packed FPS title for Nintendo’s Gamecube and Sony’s PlayStation 2, that truly took hacking and slashing to a whole new level. What made Killer 7 stand out from the rest of the other FPS titles at the time was its artistic direction, throwing in a cool and sleek cel shading look that really blended well with the gameplay. It felt like a Tarantino film but in gaming form, taking players on this wild ride full of samurai swords, sub machine guns, and limbs flying all over the place.
One other added mention is that this game is incredibly gruesome which surprised many considering how Nintendo is always known for keeping a very squeaky clean image when it comes to titles released on their systems. Despite that, Killer 7 was truly a killer title and is one classic that we definitely recommend you to go and check out if you haven’t. There’s a lot of variety in gameplay along with its very noir-esque visual appeal to keep you glued to the screen for a long time.
7. Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield
- System/Platform: Arcade
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Bandai Namco Games
- Release Date: November 7, 2006
Anyone who’s a die hard fan of the Gundam series will definitely know about this crazy pod based shooter in Japan. At first glance you’re not really too sure what to expect, because it’s this giant white pod with tinted windows just sitting there and looks like something from out of Dragon Ball Z. However the moment you get inside it you’re totally blown away by this 3D looking Gundam universe and you’re in the cockpit controlling this robot to battle against other fierce opponents around you.
This game is truly an experience that anyone should definitely try if you ever come to Japan because there’s just no other game like it, and the action is so crazy that it actually feels like you’re in the heat of battle with your own Gundam. You’re just surrounded by colors and bullets flying from every direction, while maneuvering around is simply thrilling because you can feel the vibration of every step your Gundam takes in battle. The pod shakes when you’re hit with a missile, which adds an even more realistic feel to everything. In spite of the game being a little pricier than other arcade titles, Bonds of the Battlefield is worth every yen.
- System/Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
- Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
- Developer: Monolith Productions
- Release Date: October 18, 2005 [PC] | October 31, 2006 [Xbox 360] | April 24, 2007 [PS3]
F.E.A.R. has a more realistic feel to it compared to the other titles on our list, but the reason we threw it on the list is because well Dark Horse Comics turned it into a comic. The series was so good that many compared the exhilarating action to classic John Woo films, and the story was golden. F.E.A.R. is a survival horror FPS that really does put fear into your heart because there are so many frightening moments that just about anybody would get creeped out.
The action was really in your face and unforgiving at times, but you can tell there was some Japanese referencing from The Grudge to add a little more thrill to everything. In spite of its incredibly powerful graphic overhaul which led to players having to upgrade their PCs, F.E.A.R. truly felt like a unique experience and no other game is quite like it. If you haven’t had the chance to play this game we definitely recommend trying it, because it’s freaky, challenging and quite honestly very beautiful looking at the highest settings.
5. Time Crisis 4
- System/Platform: Arcade, PlayStation 3
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Developer: Namco
- Release Date: June 20, 2006
Growing up in the 90’s was a defining era for a lot of people because it was during those years that arcades were still relevant in the west. Whether you begged your parents to take you to Chuck-E-Cheese or ran to the local mall, there was always an arcade ready for you. Unfortunately much of that is pretty much all gone and now you can only experience that in Japan. Time Crisis was one of those titles that many kids grew up with, and blew everyone’s minds when they saw it in action for the first time.
We still remember seeing Time Crisis 2 at the arcades and were awestruck by the crazy action and state of the art graphics at the time. Jumping ahead to present day and Time Crisis still continues to shine both on console and the arcades. Time Crisis 4 was the last of the series to be featured on consoles but still had the same wild rapid fire action that we all grew up with. While the control scheme certainly felt different from the typical tap and go setup of the arcades, you still felt immersed in what was happening and didn’t have to spend any yen to enjoy it. With Time Crisis 5 now currently out in arcades here in Japan, you’ll need to jump on a plane to come and experience it but we assure you it’s worth the trip!
4. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online
- System/Platform: Windows
- Publisher: Nexon
- Developer: Neople
- Release Date:July 28, 2016
We spend a good chunk of time with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online over the holidays, and so if you’d like to know more about Nexon’s free to play shooter, be sure to head on over to our game review section at your leisure. First Assault Online is a free to play shooter by South Korean company Nexon, that takes players into the dystopian world filled with futuristic bots and Motoko is trying to eliminate the threats before it’s too late.
Fans of the series will most certainly be happy to dive right in and take part in the fast paced experience, but also those with a love for FPS will have a field day with it as well. First Assault Online takes everything you enjoy from team based shooters like CS:GO and throws in some added features such as being able to control your Tachikoma in battle. With a variety of crazy weapons and constant upgrades, First Assault Online is honestly jam packed and is quite surprising since it’s a free to play title. Of course to take full advantage of the game in game purchases are thrown in, but that doesn’t take away from the experience because you can still enjoy yourself with all the free perks that are available, so long as you grind your way through.
3. Perfect Dark Zero
- System/Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Microsoft Studios
- Developer: Rare
- Release Date: November 22, 2005
Perfect Dark came at a time when the N64 was about to reach its final days and everyone was flocking to the next generation of consoles. Rare made sure that their title would surely surpass that of their previous classic Goldeneye, and boy did it exceed everyone’s expectations. Many consider Goldeneye to be the game that played a pivotal role in the evolution of FPS titles, and we’re on board with that. Perfect Dark however took gameplay to an entirely new level by creating not only a well scripted story, but incredible action to go along with it.
Fast forward to Perfect Dark Zero for the Xbox 360 and much of Rare’s pizzazz is still noticeable despite being on Microsoft’s console. Everything that you enjoyed from the original was still very much in tact, the gameplay, wonderful story and voice acting, along with other features that made the game feel fresh. With upgraded graphics on a next gen system, Joanna never looked more sexier along with all of the addicting multiplayer action that made the original so epic.
2. Metroid Prime
- System/Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Retro Studios | Nintendo
- Release Date: November 17, 2002
One of Nintendo’s most well respected IP’s is none other than the Metroid franchise. Taking off in the early 90’s with the timeless classic Super Metroid, fans of the series simply can’t get enough of Samus Aran. This bodacious bounty hunter has been slaying space pirates for decades and will most certainly do so perhaps on Nintendo’s Switch in the future. Before that however we need to appreciate some of Metroid’s most prized moments, and one of them is Metroid Prime.
The Gamecube wasn’t a major seller by any means, but still made Nintendo a lot of profit due to its pretty good lineup of titles. Metroid Prime was one of those titles, and it truly blew everyone away when it released. Introducing a new way to play Metroid, Metroid Prime took players behind the visor and allowed you to play in first person, all in glorious 3D. This was the first time the series had ever stepped out of the 2D platform and jumped straight into something fantastic. The gameplay, the action, just about everything you can think of was on point in Metroid Prime and even to this day we still go back to play it because it truly reminds us of the daringness Nintendo has to think outside of the box with their titles.
- System/Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: May 23, 2016
Overwatch takes the cake in this one because at this moment, Blizzard’s blockbuster team based shooter is really taking off in popularity. Whether you come from a FPS background or support Blizzard in their endeavors, Overwatch speaks to just about everyone and is remarkably fun with friends or competitively. The fantastic aspect about Overwatch is that it takes two distinctive styles, MOBA and FPS, melds them together and creates this very uniform and thrilling experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
Blizzard knows a lot about multiplayer games that focus on cooperative play, and you can see that in the direction they’ve taken with Overwatch. You can also see some inspiration taken from classic team based shooters like Team Fortress 2 along with Counterstrike, with Blizzard’s own cosmetic upgrades to keep the game looking pristine. Overwatch is a game you honestly can’t put down no matter how hard you try, and the hours just fly by because you’re so involved with the game that everything else gets ignored. The art style combines both an east and western feel pertaining to anime to generate more global appeal, and for that we tip our hat to Blizzard for doing so.
The FPS scene will most definitely continue to flourish for many years to come, as gameplay is constantly refined to provide players with an experience like no other. Other mentionable titles that aren’t necessarily anime but still deserve praise are of course CS:GO, Titanfall 2, and the Battlefield franchise. It’s very hard to find first person shooters with an anime feel to them, but when you do it’s a totally different experience. What FPS anime games have you come across? Let us know in the comments section down below what you thought, and be sure to follow us on twitter for all the sweet tweets!
As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.