Far too often, many great video games don’t make it across the ocean for one reason or another. Fortunately, Bandai Namco has decided that Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions won’t be one of those titles as revealed by the company’s director of brand marketing.
“When we evaluated the game, we realized that it was a really fun game. So even if they don’t know Tsubasa and the characters, soccer fans and fans of arcade-style sports games can have a really good time playing it. Because of that, we decided that we couldn’t just release it in Latin America.” -Dennis Lee, director of brand marketing for Bandai Namco
Similar to Dragon Ball, the Captain Tsubasa series has a relatively rich video game history dating back to the Famicom. Interestingly enough, the very first Captain Tsubasa game, known simply in Japan as Captain Tsubasa and his full name being Tsubasa Ozora, was localized for Western audiences back in September of 1992. Par for the course at the time, any likeness to the anime was stripped, likely due to American audiences not having caught the anime bug just yet. Dubbed Tecmo Cup Soccer (yes, the same Tecmo that brought us the ball-busting difficult Ninja Gaiden trilogy as well as the legendary Tecmo Bowl), the game introduced RPG elements and cinematic shots to the arcade soccer genre, the latter of which would become a staple of soccer games to follow.
Even in anime Captain Tsubasa is the greatest soccer sports franchise ever!
Above: A longplay of the localized Captain Tsubasa game for NES. Similar to their work with the iconic Ninja Gaiden series, Tecmo didn’t sleep on providing a cinematic experience despite hardware limitations at the time.
Lee stated in an interview with USGamer that, this time around, there will be a bit less emphasis on the RPG elements in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience.
“While there are tactics games that do really well in Japan, and especially in countries where the strategy of the sport is something they really want to focus on, the development team wanted to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible,”
Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions is expected to release sometime this year for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam. The game boasts 1-4 offline and online players for a real party. Take Tsubasa through the various leagues whether in story mode, versus, or online versus. If the MSRPs of Bandai Namco’s most recent anime adaptations are anything to go by, we should be looking at a price of around USD 40-60 once it arrives.