Review of “Captain Tsubasa: Rise of the New Champions”

Jonathan Melancon, Reporter

Soccer and anime fans have a winner on their hands with Tamsoft Corporation’s latest game that features a heartfelt story, anime-style graphics, and easy-to-learn controls.

“Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions” is an anime soccer game developed by Tamsoft Corporation and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was released worldwide on August 28, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. “Captain Tsubasa: Rise of the New Champions” is based on the popular manga series “Captain Tsubasa,” created in 1981 by Yōichi Takahashi

What’s the story?

“Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions” is about an aspiring soccer superstar Tsubasa Ozora as he leads his teammates on a journey of grit and glory on the field through the ranks of multiple soccer leagues. The game has two different story modes. 

The first story follows Tsubasa Ozora and his teammates of the Nankatsu middle school. This middle school’s team has been the best team in the Japanese middle school division for soccer for the past two seasons and Tsubasa wants to repeat the success. Along the way, he must defeat other rivals in Japan like Kojiro Hyuga and Ken Wakashimazu of Toho Academy. Can Nankatsu succeed in acquiring their third championship in a row?

The second story allows the player to create their own avatar and compete against the world’s best middle school soccer players as part of team Japan. The player will be competing against players from Germany, Argentina, Italy, The Netherlands, and more. Team Japan will feature the player, Tsubasa, and the strongest players that Japan can assemble. The world tournament awaits a champion.

How’s the gameplay?

The gameplay is solid. Every player features a stamina bar called the spirit gauge. The spirit gauge is essential because it allows us to see how much the controlled player is capable of. The gauge will deplete on a full sprint, a slide to attack the ball, a tackle, a shot, or a dribble. Whenever the gauge is completely empty players will be left vulnerable to steals or disengage from pursuing the ball. The gauge is important to monitor, especially for goalkeepers. Once their gauges are depleted then they become vulnerable to allowing shots.  Dribbling moves consume stamina but consistent moves will give players a boost of power. A powerful kick means a higher chance at scoring goals. Each character has their own over-the-top animation so players will not get bored so easily.

How are the graphics?

The graphics gives off the “Dragonball: Kakorot” type of appeal. The frames are smooth as each sequence transitions into different phases of the game. The game’s physics are more from a fantasy perspective. Players move swiftly like gazelles in a forest whenever they are not pursuing the ball handler, but they can become more aggressive when attempting to intercept. The ball becomes more realistic when it gets away from the players, so if you’re expecting a FIFA experience then you may not find it. However, what the game lacks in physics, it more than makes up for in dramatic one-on-ones, lighting with shot and dribble moves, goal diving saves, and defensive blocks.


Captain Tsubabsa; Rise of the New Champions is an amazing game. If you’re not a fan of soccer but still enjoy anime, then it will keep you entertained. For fans of the FIFA game series, it is a little bit different due to penalties not existing, but that may be what’s most appealing. The story mode is fine, but there is too much dialogue in between matches. The development of created characters is a bit complex regarding how players can increase the attributes of their avatars, but it still works.

Spinnaker rates this game 4 out of 5 sails.


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