The Anime-Football players are back

Review: Captain Tsubasa for PS4 and PC

Sports Games
Captain Tsubasa Rise of New Champions

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions aims to delight fans of the anime. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Are you also one of those who loved the anime series Captain Tsubasa in their childhood? The eponymous midfielder and his friends are now playing on PlayStation 4 and PC. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions takes the plunge. How good is the arcade soccer?

Captain Tsubasa or the Kickers - which anime soccer series did you like better as a child? Tsubasa Ohzora and his friends are now also available as a video game, which we take a closer look at for the Captain Tsubasa test for PS4 and PC. What does Rise of New Champions have to offer?

Quick Facts about Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions:

  • Developer: Tamsoft
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Genre: Sports Game
  • Release: August 28, 2020

Video credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment America via YouTube

Captain Tsubasa Test: Return of the Anime Footballers

Captain Tsubasa is already incredible. After all, the manga and anime series has been on the market for about 40 years (the first manga was published in the Weekly Sh┼Źnen Jump in 1981). Since 2018 there is also a new edition of the TV series.

With Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, the Japanese football players are now also celebrating their debut on PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch. The arcade soccer game is based on the original, so we can look forward to action-packed soccer matches and a dramatic story. That alone is a nice change from the FIFAs and Pro Evos of this world, isn't it? Graphically, the game implementation strongly reminds of the cult anime series from the 1990s, only this time in HD. We're playing in our favorite series from our childhood days ourselves, how cool is that?

Captain tsubasa rise of new champions genzo

Genzo Wakabayashi is of course also involved. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The Story of the Captain Tsubasa Game

At the heart of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is the story mode, which contains not one, but two campaigns. However, the game doesn't tell a new story, as fans of the series already know the events.

In Episode: Tsubasa, we slip into the skin of the title hero to compete against other schools in a nationwide tournament. Episode: New hero is much more extensive. Here we create our own footballer and fight for the Youth World Cup.

However, the two campaigns hardly differ from each other in terms of play. The events on the pitch are supplemented by extensive story cutscenes including decision-making options. During the ongoing game, an injury during a defensive attempt affects our hero throughout the entire tournament. This provides something different and a fresh feeling of play in the genre of sports games. Fortunately, the story sequences occur only sporadically and do not have a negative effect on the game flow of the anime soccer.

Video credit: PlayStation via YouTube

The Truth Lies in the Field

Story? Fair enough but after all, we are here to play soccer. Surprise: This is also possible in Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions. Even if a little bit different from what we are used to from FIFA and PES. Halftimes, for example, only last 30 minutes, and due to a lack of referees, we are allowed to bring down our opponents unfairly by means of blood slides or body checks. Captain Tsubasa is an arcade soccer game and puts the fun of the game into focus.

Is the game fun though? In a way, yes, even if the gameplay reminds more of a beat-em-up than a soccer game. Using the will bar, our players perform special maneuvers like dribbling or super shots, which are displayed in fancy animations. Unfortunately, there is one problem - scoring goals in Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a miracle. That's not just because of the somewhat imprecise controls, which hardly allow any targeted attacks, but the overview is also scarce in places, especially when there are many players on the screen.

Captain tsubasa anime gameplay

Due to the lack of a referee, the gameplay sometimes reminds of a beat-em-up. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Goal! Oh no, Not That!

The goalkeepers also have a will indicator, which needs to be emptied before we can even let the ball flicker in the net, and so most of the attacks in the game are always the same.

Storm up, hit the goal, secure the rebound, and start again from the front. Only when the keepers are tired you'll be able to score for the team. What a pity. Captain Tsubasa is unfortunately too predictable from a gameplay perspective and offers little variety. Among them, unfortunately, long-term motivation.

Online it's more fun, but even there we know within a few games what to expect. No varied building game, no tempo runs over the wings. This all works quite well in itself, but in the long run, the arcade soccer fails to keep your attention.

Video credit: IGN via YouTube


In theory, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a rock-solid arcade soccer game that should appeal to fans of the series. The presentation could have originated directly from the cult anime, while both careers let us join in the excitement with the soccer stars thanks to chic cutscenes full of drama.

On the pitch, however, things don't look quite so rosy. The mixture of arcade game and beat-em-up unfolds a certain charm, but the gameplay is noticeably lacking in variety. After two or three games at most, you've had enough of the same animations. What remains after that is an everlasting battle against the opposing goalkeeper. Nice to watch but not very captivating in terms of gameplay.

You can read more gaming news, reviews, and guides here, on EarlyGame. Have you already tried the new NBA 2K21 demo?

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