Japanese animation has molded the childhoods of many people throughout the world, Westerners included, and to this day it continues to do so not only through manga comics and anime series but also in the medium of gaming through anime video games. Throughout the years, there have been countless gaming titles that embraced the beloved anime aesthetics and they managed to please not only life-sworn otakus but casual gamers as well. 2019 was no exception. With this in mind, we invite you to look at what the recent anime gaming titles had to offer and what can we look forward to in the upcoming months!
The beginning of 2019 saw the release of the critically acclaimed Nintendo Switch exclusive and one of the best anime video games in recent memory – Astral Chain. The title was developed by Platinum Games, a studio behind such stylish action-packed titles like Vanquish and NieR: Automata. Once again, the developers justify their reputation with the engaging and eye-pleasing candy that just after its release managed to top the UK charts. Manga artist Masakazu Katsura is mostly responsible for the amazing aesthetic presentation while the gameplay was polished by Takahisa Taura, the lead game designer who’s also the man behind NieR: Automata.
Be prepared for an attractive anime art style, cyberpunk themes, semi-open world segments in a futuristic city of Ark, character customization, cinematic presentation and beautifully animated finishing moves – truly, it’s one of the best anime video games this year! You’ll control one of the male or female cop siblings and a Legion – tamed being from an astral dimension, as you defend the last human city on a post-apocalyptic Earth from Chimeras – aggressive interdimensional beings residing in the astral plane.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
It’s impossible to talk about anime-themed Nintendo Switch exclusives of 2019 without mentioning the infamous Pokémon series which returned this year with two versions of the same game, just like they always do. This year it was the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. The formula of these particular anime video games stayed the same: you travel around a new region of the Pokémon world, catch Pokémon and battle gym leaders, however, Pokémon Sword & Shield introduce fresh gameplay elements as well.
The latest region of the Pokémon world – Galar – is based on Great Britain and features an open-world zone called the Wild Area. Different Pokémon would appear in this zone depending on the weather, as the Wild Area has a dynamic weather system. One of the definitive features of the latest installment in the Pokémon series is the Dynamax effect which temporarily evolves Pokémon to giant size and gives them special attack moves. Fans of anime video games will also enjoy the latest Pokémon title because of the rich character customization menu, meant to really flesh out your unique Pokémon trainer. Got more Pokémon-related questions? Read our Q&A article!
SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays
The wide-scale Gundam franchise is known both to anime fans and beyond. It has been called the Japanese analogue of Star Wars, and no surprise – Gundams often wield lightsabers, after all. Gundam craze started back in 1979 with the anime series called Mobile Suit Gundam, which was inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel “Starship Troopers” (which introduced the idea of power armor) and Star Wars. While there were many Gundam anime video games released on consoles throughout the decades, rarely would they reach PC gamers. The upcoming year will make an exception with the release of SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays.
Different anime series featuring Gundams mostly have no direct relation to each other aside from themes about pacifism and of course – the badass looking, iconic mecha Mobile Suits made from the Gundanium alloy. However, SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays will be a tactical RPG crossover between four Gundam anime series which were often reimagined in different anime video games: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Gundam SEED, Gundam 00 and Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans. The player will need to form a squad of Gundams from different anime series and fight throughout four campaigns based on the respective anime series. The title will play out in a turn-based strategy fashion, but individual characters will level up in an RPG-like manner.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
January of 2020 will see the release of a long-awaited open-world RPG set in the Dragon Ball world. The studio behind the latest Dragon Ball gaming title – CyberConnect2 – also worked behind such notable anime video games like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series and Asura’s Wrath among others. The game will allow players to realize their Super Saiyan power fantasies through fights in battlefields with destructible environments which will without a doubt include the use of various iconic DBZ attacks like Kamehameha, Final Flash, Masenko, Kienzan, and many others.
While the game’s title refers to the Saiyan name of the main character Goku, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will allow the player to get through the campaign as one of the other infamous Z fighters among which are Vegeta, Gohan, Future Trunks, Piccolo and even fusion characters like Gotenks and Vegito. Of course, we had a chance to play as these characters in past anime video games like Dragon Ball FighterZ but now, there are open-world action-adventure RPG gameplay elements in the mix which promise a DBZ game experience richer than anything that was offered before!
Trials of Mana
In the upcoming April, we can expect to see the release of a classical JRPG title called Trials of Mana. Originally, the game was released for the SNES console back in 1995 with the name Seiken Densetsu 3. Initially, the title was not available for western audiences. The developers of these anime video games seek to change all this and make the modern remaster of Trials of Mana available for an English-speaking player base. The game will see an upgrade from 2D to 3D graphics, but the fantasy setting and anime-style will stay intact.
The game is set in a fictional world threatened by the return of Benevodons – ancient deities of destruction which were once defeated by the Goddess of Mana. The player will get to choose to play through the campaign as one of the optional 6 characters along with two additional champions which will form a party. The unfolding of the entire story will in large part depend on the combination of characters which players will be able to choose for their campaign.
Expand your anime video games collection cheaper!
While these anime-themed gaming titles are among the best on the market, there’s a lot more on offer for anime fans and gamers alike – this is not the first anime games review we’ve compiled for you! There are many other great anime games available on Eneba store at a significantly cheaper price and what’s even better, a great number of them are made by the developers of titles included in this list. When you visit our page, don’t forget to check the anime game collection in order to find and enjoy these titles easier!