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The moment that I saw this game was being released I was instantly intrigued, I honestly knew nothing about the Anime/Manga however the footage and gameplay I saw was just fun.
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is plainly put an arcade football game, it isn't a sim like FIFA and PES and honestly that's one of the most refreshing things about it.
The actual gameplay is pretty simple with A vs B when it comes to dribbling and tackling (Dash dribble beats slide tackle and Dribble move beats charging/shoulder tackle) and chaining two dodges gives you a boost of spirit meter which basically dictates the ability to perform moves and shots on the field. You charge your shots with a small charge executing a normal shot and a longer hold activating super shots with some players having even stronger shots with a longer charge.
The basic premise of the match is to wear down the keepers spirit bar so you can score, regular shots depending on how close they are taken chip away at the bar whilst the power shots do a sizeable amount of damage to it. The lower the spirit bar the more likely the powered shots are to go in. There is also a power-up called V-Zone which gives your team a boost on their spirit regeneration as well as effects based on which character is captain of the team with various effects.
It's a genuinely fun game which feels a nice change from the humdrum of having the same football games every year which in honesty are hardly flawless. Having more footballing games in the marketplace is a good thing and I've been more than happy with this purchase.
There are plenty of things to unlock with the game having its own in-game currency (yet no micro transactions whatsoever) which is earned by playing the Journey modes, completing achievements and through player events that take place within the "New Hero" Journey. This currency is used to buy player card packs which boost the process of bonding with "friend" players in the story modes allowing you to unlock new shots and abilities associated with them as well as customisation items for created players and teams.
The game is broken up into modes including...
Journey (Episode: Tsubasa and New Hero)
The games Story Mode which is divided into two different paths with Episode Tsubasa following the story of the game's namesake and his Middle School football battles. New Hero is a mode where you can create your own Tsubasa character as a Defender, Midfielder or Forward who plays for one of three schools before eventually leading to national glory with the All-Japan Youth Squad. You develop your player, learn moves and shots with the result being a custom player who is registered for use in other modes.
Online Verses Mode is similar to FIFA's online leagues in how you use one of your created Dream Teams to compete in leagues with promotion and relegation based on performance. You start off vs CPU teams before earning you way up to matches Verses other online players. As you rise through leagues you also gain the ability to field better players in your dream team from the national teams you unlock playing Episode New Hero.
This is pretty much you hub for editing registered players, setting up dream Teams (Kits, Emblems, Players etc) as well as the PP store where you can buy bond cards for different players which speed up your learning of moves when interacting with them in the story modes and parts for create a player and team (hair, boots, emblem parts, kits etc)
There is also a standard exhibition/friendly mode for matches and penalty shootouts and "Collection" which is a gallery of unlocked videos, information and cutscenes along with the achievements page where you can redeem you points and titles which are added to the start of crested teams and player names.
It's a game I've found hard to put down since buying it, it does take a bit of getting used to but the tutorials tell you everything you need to know about the game systems and mechanics. The passing is something that can throw you at first but you quickly figure out how movement and direction works. There are no fouls in this game with the action being thick and fast which again is refreshing...none of that modern football diving rubbish, you either avoid tackles or get sent flying.
On released I faced a couple of bugs but since updates I've encountered no issues lately.
I totally recommend it to people who are sick of the same old footy sims and even folks who'd not normally play football games but love everything Japanese. It's definitely a game that bridges a bit of a gap between two sets of gamers. I went in not expecting a sim or realistic game and have been very happy with what's developed.