In Japan, comics about teenage athletes are incredibly popular: boxers, tennis players, volleyball players, baseball players ... Usually the central character is a young talent, he is tempered in matches, acquires a bunch of loyal comrades and arrogant, but terribly talented opponents. The younger generation reading such a manga is inspired by a vivid example and goes to the sports sections. Captain Tsubasa (1981–1988) is believed to have awakened the love of football in Japanese boys. So much so that since 1998 the national team of the island nation has invariably made it to the final stage of the World Cup. The games in the series have not been released on serious platforms for a long time, and Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions corrects this omission.

14 year old captain

Captain Tsubasa manga by Yoichi Takahashi tells, in fact, about Tsubas Ozor. He shines in the primary school of the fictional city of Nankatsu, then in the secondary school, then leaves for Brazil, then fights for a place at the base of Barcelona ... In general, the football genius has a rich career, and his main goal is to excel at the World Cup.

In Rise of New Champions, 14-year-old Tsubasa has a more modest task - to win for the third time in a row in the Japanese High School Championship. Rather, this is the task of the Episode: Tsubasa mode. They are allowed to create their own hero in Episode: New Hero (about him below).

Episode: Tsubasa serves as a kind of tutorial. You will be taught how to play pass, strike from the air, feint, stop other forwards and, of course, score goals. Since Rise of New Champions is not a simulator, but an arcade, the controls are simplified here. There is no need to memorize dozens of combinations of buttons and arrows. A side effect is the austere gameplay.

Schoolchildren collect huge stadiums, but they play according to sparing rules - two halves of 30 minutes each. When faced with an enemy, you can either circle him or dodge the slide. Dribbling against a slide will not work, as well as dash against a firmly standing enemy. The system is easy to understand. Actions such as feints and sprints consume a "spiritual" scale. The larger it is, the faster you fill the shock scale and, accordingly, launch the projectile into the target.

The goalkeeper also has a "spiritual" streak. She is responsible for whether he stops the next shot or not. Therefore, it is required to methodically bomb the penalty area until the indicator dries up. After that, you can score some ridiculous goal even from the central circle. The abundance of scales refers to fighting games. For good reason: Rise of New Champions was developed by Tamsoft, responsible for the Battle Arena Toshinden and Senran Kagura. Due to the routine shelling of the gate, the element of surprise disappears. Unexpected goals after a nimble rally still happen, but rather as an exception.

The story is presented as in visual novels: we look at lazily changing screensavers, we read meaningless dialogues. If you don't look at the tactical tab between fights, it's okay - the coach in the locker room will outline the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. The matches are interrupted by scenes when the leaders of the teams want to show off to each other, and you cannot skip them. Substitutions are possible during the break, but whether they are needed is a big question, because the characteristics of the substitutes are worse than those of those who are in the main team. The top parameters, of course, belong to the well-rounded Tsubasa. He will ship the lion's share of the heads, especially when he opens the super strike. The midfielder is highlighted on the mini-map - they say, do not forget to pass.


Non-childish football

Episode: New Hero is reminiscent of a familiar career in a sports simulator. You create an athlete, earn experience points and upgrade characteristics, buy sets with player cards and amplifiers ...

Unlike the Tsubasa campaign, they allow you to choose a team and role. I sculpted a forward in the editor and sent him to the Toho Academy (Tokyo) under the leadership of Kojiro Hyuga, Tsubasa's longtime enemy. According to the plot, teams from different parts of Japan fight in a special tournament, and the best athletes receive a call to the national team and a ticket to the United States for international competitions.


Career diluted with conversations with teammates and not only. They are allowed to choose answers. There are no wrong ones, but some options affect the plot (trigger additional scenes). Why else would you interact with the characters? For special attacks and skills. The hero can borrow the signature Drive Shot from Tsubasa, or maybe the Tiger Shot from Hyuga. In order to expand your list of friends, buy cards with football players for in-game currency. She's getting pissed off for achievements like "get five hat-tricks" and "win 10 duels."

Episode: New Hero looks more interesting than Episode: Tsubasa, but it doesn't help the situation. The arcade charm of Rise of New Champions both attracts and gives up on it. The game brings to mind the comedy film Killing Football (2001). It is not football players who rush on the lawn - circus performers, capable, for example, of using the crossbar as a springboard. And how bodies fly off after a successful selection! Nobody punishes for rough play. There are no yellow / red cards and no free throws in Rise of New Champions. Penalties are exclusively post-match.

The impressions of the arcade frenzy are spoiled by the mocking AI. If you are supposed to start a scene where you will be scored a goal, you can be sure that it will start, despite the fact that you control the ball. Super strikes of enemy forwards, as a rule, penetrate the goalkeeper, yours - from the third or fourth time. Yes, you can burn one more scale and, at the cost of it, force the goalkeeper to perform a "super save" or order the defender to brake the projectile with his head, but these are piece tools. It is possible that at the last minute the enemy will fire from a cannon, and at your fingertips - neither the first nor the second.

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions has taken over the drama from the original source. The plot is captivating, like the broadcast of an important sporting event. Gameplay - unfortunately not.

Pros: to play, you don't have to read manga and watch anime - the story is available; the voice acting is on top, as is customary in Japanese games.

Cons: Limited gameplay: Supernatural soccer fizzles out quickly; AI freaks out: it tightly controls the center of the field, then it gets lost and does not know where to send players; the graphics balance on a fine line between "modest" and "failure" (cute animations save from failure).

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