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I said that I'd do it...

Hey everyone, I beat a game! Well, finishing the story mode in a sports-simulation game might not count but I'm still feeling mighty proud of myself. Of all the games I've imported over the past five years this one probably has the worst reputation (outside of Children of Mana). But it's a Captain Tsubasa game! It's based on the old TV series and has almost all the original voice actors! To be fair I don't think that this is a bad game at all. For someone who was dissatisfied with the quality of the CT remakes it brought forth tears of nostalgia...;_; Here's what I thought:

Gameplay: When I first started playing I had a hard time with the button timing but once I figured out how to beat down the enemy players and build up enough TP to do the special shots the game became fun and entertaining. You can only control your Captain (Tsubasa in the story mode) but you can interfere with the actions of your A.I teammates and make them pass the ball, shoot, etc. Most of your fodder characters don't ever have enough power to score and at times it was frustrating to pull off Hyper Shots with Kisugi and Taki only to see the enemy GK knock the ball uselessly to the ground.

But that's the way it was in the original series, too.

Luckily all the G.Ks are tanks, including Nankatsu's own Morisaki (whose fear of the ball is legendary)! The only time you need to worry about your goalkeeper letting you down is either when your opponent uses a special shoot (usually as part of a story event) or the enemy manages to fatigue him and that usually doesn't happen. I'm not a fan of sports games and I don't know how much more sophisticated they can be. I'll give this game an 8 for gameplay because I watched an old episode of CT last night and thought after watching a particular play, "I have so had that happen to me!"

Characters: Well, the characters from the junior high chapter and under-16 World Cup are all there and for fans of the old TV series, they're the ones you know and love! Tsubasa was slightly less annoying in the game because he didn't collapse as much. You can replay the games as many times as you want and if you set things up to mimic what happened in the series you can trigger many story events featuring bad graphics and excellent voice acting. I have no idea how someone who wasn't familiar with CT would take the characters but for me it was enough to hear Hyuga-kun have his old seiyuu for the last time, and to hear Tobita Nobuo play Wakashimazu again. Aw, come on! The cast is charming and half the characters are played by women! I'll give the game a 9 for characters because they're the ones from the first TV series, nothing more and nothing less!

Music: Pretty good! I would've liked a wider variety of BGM but the music they play in the Nankatsu vs. Toho and Japan vs. Germany games is really cool. I'll give it an 8 for music because what's there is impressive but there isn't very much of it....

Graphics: ....Ah ha ha ha....here we go! The graphics are god-awful. Some characters (like Jito, Hyuga and Takeshi) look all right but the NPCs (Kira, Katagiri, Mikami, I'm looking at you!) are monstrosities. The end of the game when Tsubasa reunites with Roberto is RUINED by the fact that when Roberto takes off his sunglasses and is hugged by Tsubasa he looks like a soulless paper-mache doll. What can I say? I think Bandai-Namco blew their budget on the voice acting. I'll give the game a 5 for graphics that are hilariously bad. Not all the characters look like crap but Tsubasa is indeed one of them.

Story: Pretty much a copy of what happens in the series, for better or worse. Taken at face value this story is pedestrian but being able to unlock many hidden scenes with nice voice acting is appealing. I have no idea how someone who didn't watch CT to death would figure it out. I have to give the game a 6 for story because there isn't anything new. The game is for nostalgia purposes only.

Fun Factor: For me, an 8. Playing through the story mode and triggering hidden events was fun, as was playing free matches as my favorite team (Toho!). I've only tried versus mode twice and enjoyed it but the My Captain and Another Story options aren't that entertaining. Overall, I think the game was a good purchase for this Captain Tsubasa fan. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't garbage either. I had a lot of fun for about a week but like with most fighting games I did start to grow tired of it. Eventually I plan on going back and trying to trigger more of the story events. I still haven't seen Nitta do the No-Trap Shoot!

My Overall Score: 7.3 I still enjoyed it more than Xenosaga....