Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions review: The show returns in style

The spectacle on the field is back and it has done so in style. Who would have imagined that one day we would be the ones to break the laws of physics and finish off the game tiger style? A gaming experience not at all comparable to others in the same category. And in case you are wondering, the field is of standard size.

Nostalgia as the protagonist

We have two different story modes, the so-called Tsubasa Episode, where we will make our way through the adventure of Tsubasa Ozora -or better known as Oliver Atom- and the New Hero Episode, where we will be able to create a character and live our own story.

In the Tsubasa Episode we will start as part of the Japan national team and we will play the final against Germany. Thanks to the flashbacks, we will jump in time and we will return to be part of the Nankatsu high school team, where we will compete in the national high school tournament and other matches that we will not reveal.

Our actions during the match will allow us to unlock different animations and unique scenes that leave no one indifferent. And not only that, but also in the customization of the teams we can change the lineup of our players to get more potential or perform unexpected combos to beat our opponents

The hero is you

Although it seems to lag a little behind, the hero mode deserves a special mention as the character editor is very complete and can be expanded as we progress through the game. In addition, we will create our own character and we will have the possibility to choose which team we want to join: Toho, Musashi or Furano; and, of course, the position in which we will play is also free to choose.

While some parts of the original plot are maintained, we will embark on an alternate history where the World Youth Championship in France is canceled and held in the United States. In this way and as a newcomer to the team, we will have to prove our worth to qualify for the starting position, level up, learn new techniques and perfect our skills.

On the other hand, the rewards in this mode will be very important, as they will allow us to unlock, among other things, points to exchange for envelopes. In them we will find player cards, stat improvements or other aspects necessary to continue advancing in our story. Although for now they can only be acquired with game points (since there is no option to pay with real money), their cost is not high compared to the amount of points that we will be able to accumulate after winning several matches

Your enemy is your friend

As you may have noticed, this is a game that relies more on strategy than skill and is not governed by the usual rules of soccer games. The gameplay is far from what we are used to and that's what makes it so appealing

While we focus on a frenetic match flow, we will be forced to learn to identify when it is better to perform one action or another. In addition, players have an energy bar that is consumed after the use of our movements and will be decisive in order to score goals.

Despite having to be very aware of our mechanics and their cost, after performing several dribbles in a row or a correct defense, the V zone will be activated, motivating the team to play with more impetus and activating special moves of our Captain (as well as refilling our energy again). However, our goalkeeper will never recover the energy spent in each save, so if we want to win, it will not be enough just to attack and score goals

The existence of energy and exhaustion generates that the allocation of points of the players' statistics is done with sense and we do not turn everything to attack. The learning capacity of each player will vary according to the position in which he plays.

The links with the characters acquired in the packs are of tremendous importance, since after finishing a match with or against him, we will increase our degree of friendship by acquiring the ability to learn all his moves. The amount of techniques and passive skills that we can learn is unimaginable and all of them have their special properties, creating a huge range of configuration and customization for our player

In this way, we will be able to recreate the different shots we saw in the series, from the spinning shot to the tiger shot. In addition, the difficulty is so well achieved that despite having 3 different levels of gameplay, it offers hours of fun. Making passes, crosses, dribbles or shots on goal has never been so entertaining.

Of course, we have a training mode, which will allow us to practice all our techniques and skills, as well as dribbling, passing and shots on goal.

game or Series?

As we have said before, one of the strong points of the game is to transport us to those years we spent watching the series. Thus, it combines very well the nostalgia with the new mechanics within the sports games, highlighting both the atmosphere in the sound section, as well as the visual part. If you are a fan of the anime, you will be pleased to know that you have the voices in Japanese and the texts in Spanish.

One of the great surprises of the game, without a doubt, is its great immersion capacity. The unique environmental sound (shouts on the field, whistles, drumming, etc.) along with the epicness of the sound in our actions, takes you to the stadium that we have enjoyed so much over the years

In addition, the graphics, in the sequences of special shots or other unique movements, offers us a better animation and show even better than we saw in the series and increasing the excitement of each game. Something that undoubtedly makes us remember the series in a more updated way, surpassing our expectations considering how the series was in the 80s.

Online or competitive mode

The game offers us a complete experience with the last modes we had yet to see: Versus and Versus Online.

On the one hand, in Versus mode we can play quick matches, penalty shootouts, tournaments and leagues between friends or against the AI. On the other hand, the Versus Online mode allows us to create our own team, customize it (shield, equipment, alignments, etc) and compete in different leagues depending on our victories and the level of our players. As we win, we will go up in the scoreboards and we will face stronger rivals

As a curiosity, this section promises to incorporate new features in the future to become a competitive scenario


What we are sure of is that the game is not only fan service and nostalgia for all those fans of the series, but also offer us a gaming experience that we can not find in other titles and, undoubtedly, it is spectacular.

We hope that in time they will offer several updates both for the Versus Online mode and for the story that has captivated us so much.

The Best

  • The ability to create nostalgia through its connection to the series.
  • The wide variety of techniques and skills, including iconic characters.
  • Different experiences in the story modes.
  • Frenetic gameplay and immersive environment

The Worst

  • Visual or aesthetic flaws during the story mode.
  • Some errors in the operation of the AI.
  • Dependence on certain players for strategies or combos.

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is now available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows. We have made this analysis thanks to a download code provided by Bandai Namco.

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