Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Neil Flynn 05.02.2020

Review for Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions on PlayStation 4

This long running popular football manga originated in the '80s, and it had its fair share of video game releases for it in the late '80s, '90s and early '00s, but it has been a long 10 years since this obscure, yet approachable, manga and anime series has seen a console instalment released. Despite the popularity of football in Europe, Captain Tsubasa has not necessarily been able to break the UK market, but has found a somewhat cult following in countries such as Italy, Spain and France. Cubed3 recently got the opportunity to sit down with the PlayStation 4 version of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, but will it be knocking FIFA off its perch?

The arcade-style of football games that rose largely in the '90s, including a number of Captain Tsubasa titles, have somewhat faded away in the past decade, instead opting out for more realistic, simulation-based titles such as FIFA and PES. Indie developers have definitely tried to carry on the mantle, especially with titles like Golazo!, but Captain Tsubasa has a long history and lore to pick out from.

Unlike previous entries in the series, which would see a turn-based RPG-esque gameplay loop, the latest entry is played out in real-time. There are now no interruptions, meaning there is a much better ebb and flow to proceedings. Newcomers will definitely be surprised to see the allowance of heavy-handed challenges, which are frustratingly allowed, but also satisfying to execute. Pulling off stylish, one-on-one tricks to bypass opposition, players are vital and encouraged by pressing R1 and R2 to dash past or perform a dash dribble. Alternatively, defenders can press the same buttons to stylishly bully players, and steal the ball, which means that there is a lot of back and forth up and down the pitch.

Screenshot for Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions on PlayStation 4

The camera is pretty close to the action, which can be difficult to see surrounding teammates when running the ball out from defence, especially for those used to a further zoomed out view, or the multiple camera options found in FIFA and PES. This results on lofting the ball forward, hoping a teammate picks it up, using the mini map on the bottom of the screen to locate the closest ally, or going on a marauding run, and hoping for the best.

The novel part of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions are the mechanics of shooting. Despite getting into the box, and getting close enough to pelt it in the net, the opposition's goalkeeper would save everything that would get fired his way. Constantly peppering the goal with shots is not the way to score, instead hoofing it to specific strikers is the best tactic, and this is because holding the shoot button for approximately three seconds will fill a special meter that unleashes an unholy super shot and this can literally be performed anywhere in the attacking half. This doesn't guarantee a goal, though, as the goalkeeper can still get his hands to it, and palm it away.

The AI was also a slightly bit questionable, with some weak shots getting past goalkeepers, or defenders standing off attackers when close to the corner flag, or a few yards off the six yard box, but keep in mind that this is seemingly quite an early build. The demo itself only includes two teams: Nankatsu Middle School, and Toho. There was no pause menu, and there was no way to see the team sheet to get a better understanding of formation or player attributes.

Screenshot for Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

There is still a lot more information to be gleaned from Bandai Namco about Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions. However, from what has already been experienced so far, it is definitely one for football fans to keep their eye on. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is scheduled to release later in 2020 on multiple platforms, including, of course, the PS4.


Bandai Namco


Bandai Namco





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   


I can't wait for this and I can't even give a reason why. I just want it.


It's utterly fantastic, many of the press and pro players were having a wild time with this at the preview event!


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