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Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi continues to define anime-based games: it’s a shame, but it has its explanation

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Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi continues to define anime-based games: it’s a shame, but it has its explanation

The favorite games of each one, sometimes, respond to the tastes of our young age. I mean, how many games have a place in our hearts from playing during a long-cherished childhood or adolescence? Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi generates that feeling in me, but today I use it as a way to channel my “disappointment” before the general trend of anime in the video game. This one does not seem to want to evolve, at least a significant bulk of it, and has been anchored in a few styles of game that are repeated ad nauseam.

Yes, it seems that putting everyone in the same bag may sound extreme, but if we take a look at the most mainstream of the world of anime in the video game, it is not so unreasonable to feel disappointed. dragonball, one piece, Naruto… Even Kimetsu no Yaibaan anime with great narrative potential, searched for a 3D fighting game concept for Hinokami Keppūtan out of the same drawer as any of the aforementioned.

The history of the mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge does not have to stay in a fighting game “a la Dragon Ball” no matter how much this game was nominated for the best of the year at The Game Awards 2021. Now that I have taken it out on part of the anime, I can’t help but think in the possibility of an RPG emulating the virtues of The Witcher 3 either Monster Hunter under a concept of “capturing demons” with some autonomy.

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Although I still have a lot to see from the journey of Tanjirō and Nezuko, my mind has flirted with a game like this without having to resort to tracing the original story as has been done so many times. A focus of open worldwith large sections of search, combat and exploration seems very appealing -and fun- from the point of view of someone in love with the work of Ufotable.

Image Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba Hinokami Keppuutan (CyberConnect2)

I also like to look at the other side of the scale and understand how the video game can, and should, overcome the limitations of the medium. The shōnen anime/manga stands on two clearly differentiated pillars: some set pieces brilliantly choreographed and visually stunning; in addition to a charismatic cast of characters —although with a clear imbalance towards the secondary side, psychologically more interesting than the protagonists. Can that be achieved in a video game? Yes, but it involves some courage on the part of the commissioned study.

Japan is a constantly changing market. The anime situation on the other side of the globe is complex, with new products increasing in popularity every few months, and they fall into oblivion at time. The “Olympus of anime” is a fairly narrow one and rarely do we see programming that really has lasting power and impact on the industry. They are products of their time in a huge industry where not a tiny percentage get a steady stream of seasons and content.

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We rarely see programming that truly has lasting power and impact on the industry.

Right now, the anime scene in the video game goes through a Bandai Namco —which holds control of many shōnen licenses inside and outside of Japan—little interested in experimenting. We are talking about projects that aim at such a limited demographic spectrum —they are not games that aim to sell millions— that these minor developments they excuse themselves under the pretext of “the known bad”; the simplicity of playing it safe. However, if at least these works were more widely accepted, I would see a direct correlation between little interest in looking further and always repeating the same pattern.

Image from Attack on Titan 2 (Omega Force)

I explain. The adaptations of Shingeki no Kyojin, Naruto or One Pice have not stood out even within that hard core of their dedicated community. Attack on Titan barely has 8 games; only 3 made the leap to the multiplatform, and none are remembered today. One Piece, for its part, has had a somewhat more prolific life, but not as remarkable. If we go to Metacritic and use that as a yardstick, the “Captain in the Straw Hat” games just don’t quite make it above “Acceptable.” They seem to have been done without much effort and a still lower economic performance.

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There is already experimentation, but we need more

One Piece: Odyssey, for example, destroys my arguments, and I wish more did. ILCA’s game is committed to a very risky turn-based RPG approach even for its type of player. But then again, I have another problem: experimentation as a reflection of an economic problem. Why does Odyssey exist? One Piece Pirate Warriors 4, just 2 years ago, sold just 137,569 units in Japan in 7 days; a quarter of its first delivery in a country where the Musous They are major genres. The brand clamored for new airs.

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Jump Forces seems to be the quintessence of what I want to expose here today, but on the other side of the scale we can place Dragon Ball FighterZ, where Arc System Works He went back to the classic. Experimenting can also be that, getting rid of the growing wave and betting on something long forgotten. Still, I have it on good authority that not all fans of the anime’s in-game trajectory managed to get comfortable with the 2D approach.

We are not in the golden age of anime, at least not the first, but its strength and power outside of Japan should not be dismissed. With half the world feeling called by oriental animation, I think we can ask for a little more courage and projects less anchored in that time of Budokai Tenkaichi.

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