I’m not a die-hard fan of anime. In fact, there are only a select few I will take time to watch. The ones I have seen are Death Note, One Punch Man, My Hero Academia, and Dragon Ball Super.
I have nothing against anime. But while there are many other anime shows I would like to check out, they are plagued with an overload of filler! Anime like One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach would take me a life-time to get caught up because the main story keeps getting muffled by unnecessary side quests. There is a cure to this plague, however: I simply play the video game adaptations.
Video game anime adaptations are a good remedy for avoiding fillers. No filler, just the anime’s plot, most of the time. The Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Storm franchise is a personal favorite of mine because of that. It only gives you the main plot of the anime, while offering a fun casual fighting game.
Now, I’m completely caught up on the Naruto Shippuden series. Except for the recent Boruto series. Which honestly I have no intention of seeing anyway. However, like any good medicine, there is always a side effect: the majority of them are incredibly forgettable.
The Default Anime Game
You know how game companies turn popular franchises like Terminator and 007 into generic first-person shooters like Terminator: Salvation and 007 Legends? The same principle is applied here. This time, however, it’s not a first-person shooter – it’s a 3D battle arena. They make a generic 3D battle arena, then slap whatever anime they want in it. Guilty culprits are My Hero’s One Justice, Jump Force, and the upcoming One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows. They all play the same. Just mash one button, then the game does all the flashy moves without any effort. It’s boring, lazy and repetitive.
I see the appeal of a 3D battle arena. The 3D space allows more room for traversal and strategy. Some anime games do this very well like the Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Storm and Dragon Ball: Xenoverse franchise. They still can suffer from the same fatigue as other default anime games, but they add enough to not be labeled as generic. The Naruto Shippuden games are fun casual fighting games with a little bit of strategy thrown into the mix. Deciding when to charge your chakra, counter dodge, which item to use, or the perfect time to call for support.
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse games are 3D battle arenas, however, the twist is that it’s an RPG, too. So, you have to think carefully what stats to upgrade, pick from a variety of special moves and decide which armor to equip. Both franchises are good examples of how to do a 3D battle arena right, but do we really want all of them to be that?
Change It Up
The default anime game is like cheese pizza. By itself, it’s good – but only good for the first few slices. You can throw on different toppings to help shake things up, but that cheese taste will forever linger and dominate. That’s why you try to change it up once and while by trying something else.
Each anime game adaptation could bring its own flavor. Bleach could have been a really neat hack n’ slasher RPG like Devil May Cry. My Hero’s One Justice could have been an open-world sandbox, allowing to pick your favorite character as they traveled the world your way. Instead of a One Punch Man 3D battle arena, why not scrap that entirely and have PlatinumGames create an over-the-top action-adventure staring Genos? Sure, he’s not the main character, but he is a fan-favorite and a game starring him would be stellar.
Upcoming anime games like Dragon Ball Z: Kararot and Granblue Fantasy: Relink prove to be very promising. Dragon Ball Z: Kararot looks to be a 3D battle arena, but adds open world and RPG elements. It essentially combines the best aspects of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Xenoverse, and Budokai 3.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink is going to be an action-adventure JRPG using real-time combat and it looks outstanding. Both could have easily been the default anime game, but they choose to try something else and that makes me really happy. I’d never even heard of Granblue Fantasy. Perhaps the developers, PlatinumGames, could transform me into a fan.
What do you guys think? Are you tired of the default anime games? What suggestions do you have for anime game adaptations? Leave your thoughts down below in the comment section.