Most anime games that come and go tend to be terrible cash-ins that contain gameplay that are below average and can never be as good as other games, because they sell well enough for developers to not give a carp about the quality within those games; you would not believe the amount of times I wanted a Dragon Ball Z fighting game that was good.
How long have games based on anime series existed? What are some of the games that anime fans do not know of? I decided to look for a couple of games that are unknown or at least forgotten among a crowd that are paying attention to games like the recent Dragon Ball Z/Naruto fighting games. . . Ugh. And of course, exposed them to the lime-light. Some of the anime series that got chosen to have a game based on will probably surprise you.
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
We all know Astro Boy, the legendary series that was created by the grandfather of anime/manga, Osamu Tezuka. The results for the Game Boy Advance iteration of Astro Boy surprise many when it first hit the scenes in 2004. A game that's considered as one of the best games to owned for the Game Boy Advance. Sega enlisted well known 2-D developer, Treasure - the same people that are famous for cult hits such as GunStar Heroes and Bangai-O, to grace their talents on this well produce game.
The game is loosely based off the 2003 Astro Boy anime series that once aired on Toonami. Omega Factor does featured every character from the Astro Boy canon. The characters are organized in a octagon grid called the Omega Factor, each character's info about their appearance in the Astro Boy series can be viewed.
One of the crazy bosses of the game.
Dying is the central theme for this game, as Omega Factor will delver some challenging enemy/boss patterns for you to remember. You will be facing waves of enemies at your disposals and it's up to take them down, beat'em up style; though it's not that simple. Punching enemies mindlessly will not progress you through the game, they will counter-attack while Astro is stuck in his attack animations. You need to pay attention to your enemies on screen to let you know when is the right moment to take it easy on the attacks and focus on dodging away. Astro does have a mid-air dash move that will make him invincible from enemy attacks for a short period of time.
Omega Factor is a hybrid of two genres, the one part is beat'em up, as mentioned early, and the second is shoot'em up. Astro will use his jets and his laser in Graduis style shoot'em up levels; bullet-hell is the key word for those levels. flying enemies and a hail storm of bullets will come towards your way while your using Astro laser to bring them down.
Omega Factor is the Ultimate Astro Boy to stick with if you're a die hard fan of the series, or it can be appealing to those who are not a fan.
Okay, I'm a bit of a sucker for sub-par beat'em ups. 8 Man is a short beat'em up that was developed by SNK for the Neo Geo in 1991. The 8 Man series was created by Kazumasa Hirai and Jiro Kuwata in 1963. It was about a police officer that was murdered and brought to life as a cyborg to fight crime. Does that sound familiar? It should, because it was supposedly the inspiration for RoboCop. Since 8 Man's debut, the series would see another anime series and a live action film, I guess this game was released to coincide with the update for the 8 Man series.
8 Man is the pretty standard beat'em up, you move to the right and beat up bad robots, including the Predator. Like many other SNK games, this game presents itself with quite a challenge. Multiple enemies will come out of wood-works making sure you lose your extra life.
The speed section.
Like I said, an enemy that looks like the Predator is in the game. I don't know if that was a character from the 8 Man series, but I have read that the early Neo Geo games had pop culture references in their games, like a Hulk Hogan character appearing in the game Burning Fight.
One of 8 Man's powers is that he can run really fast, so there's some levels that involves 8 Man running fast while encountering enemies. Some nice effects are contained in the running levels, like some flashes of animations coming out of 8 Man, and you'll see enemies running in the background or appearing in front of the screen before they jump out and attack 8 Man.
A fondness for any type of beat'em ups is all it takes to have some fun with 8 Man, even if it's not the greatest. But if you're a fan of 8 Man, and wanted to try your hand at a 8 Man game, well pretty much this is your only option.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Two of the few games to use Capcom's CPS III arcade hardware, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of those hidden gems from Capcom in the arcades in 1999. The series is strictly a manga series that started back in 1987 for Shonen Jump. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was a series that wasn't well known in the States, so it was a bold move for Capcom bring the fighting game over from Japan.
Gameplay provides fast pace frantic action that is reminiscent of a Marvel vs. game, though it's not as simple to get into. Character's can summon out "stands," or a persona, out to perform abilities that a stand alone character can't do, such as double jump. Players mix up hits with the normal character with his or her stand, along with cancelable super moves of course, to perform lengthy devastating combos. Though it's not go to say that combos are easy to pull off like in a Marvel vs. game, they do have a strict timing process to execute. Capcom knows how to make a license fighting game with a good balance of accessibility and depth. The gameplay also includes "Blazing Fist Match," it's when the two personas collide and it's up both players to rapidly hit the attack button to out best one another.
An example of the visual style.
The graphic style is reminiscent of a DarkStalkers game as each of the characters are presented with bold black outlines. And seeing how this is a game based on a manga series, there are tons of comic book style visuals that burst out to capitalizes some of the over the top moments of the game; such as a image of a character that you are playing as will make a brief appearances when a super move is performed, or when a KO is done. To even reference the manga further, the character select screen is a bunch of comic book panels.
Capcom released the two games in one disk on the consoles for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. The copy that I own is the Dreamcast version. The game contains the first game and it's update, JoJo's Venture, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The second adds more moves and characters over the first game.
A third JoJo fighting game was released from Capcom for the PlayStation 2 in Japan, but never sought its release in the States. As for the first two games, they brought exposure for the JoJo Bizarre Adventure series for Western manga fans, and due to the fact that the game was well made, it gave it a bit of a following.