Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire (PlayStation 3)
We begin our shift to those less fortunate anime games with one of the more heinous launch titles in recent memory.
2006's Crossfire does little to showcase the immense power of the PlayStation 3, with last-gen graphics and sloppy frame rate issues that would rightfully irk anyone who had just dropped $500 on a new piece of hardware. Gundam games are traditionally subpar, but the slow, bland, and difficult-to-control mech action found here make Crossfire just plain aggravating to play. Even the most hardcore of MSG fans would be hard-pressed to find a reason to justify this title's worth.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Decade Duels (Xbox LIVE Arcade)
Look, not all Yu-Gi-Oh! games are all that bad—most are just mediocre, and I even recall enjoying Yu-Gi-Oh! The Eternal Duelist Soul for the GBA way back when. But honestly, there are just too damn many of them by this point. Sometimes you got to say enough is enough to the onslaught of inadequacy.
That's just what we're doing with 2010's Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Decade Duels, which offers virtually nothing new to the already tired card battler franchise. An overly simplified presentation, frustratingly imbalanced enemy A.I., and thousands of missing cards make 5D's Decade Duels the least appealing of the series, so much so that it's not even available to purchase on XBLA anymore.If nothing else, I think we can all agree that it has one of the weirdest names ever for a video game, anime-based or not.
Zatch Bell! Mamodo Fury (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
As you may have noticed by this point in the list, anime and manga tend to translate to the fighting game genre much more than any other. And unlike the aforementioned Budokai 3 or Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, many of those fighters tend to be more knocked-out than knockout.
Case in point: 2006's Zatch Bell! Mamodo Fury, which only seeks to put bits of the beloved Zatch Bell! manga in video game form and then do nothing with them. Generic in both design and graphical quality, Mamodo Fury also suffers from a poor camera, repetitive controls, and a nagging sense of never knowing what the hell it's exactly telling you to do.
Given the often manic nature of the Zatch Bell! anime, Mamodo Fury has no business being this boring.
Eureka Seven vol. 2: The New Vision (PlayStation 2)
Bandai's sequel to the subpar Eureka Seven vol. 1: The New Wave is an especially disappointing entry on this list, since, to some people, it actually tells a decent story. Taking place immediately before the events of the Eureka Seven anime, The New Vision suffers from the simple problem of forgetting to put an acceptable action game alongside its halfway decent plot.
Yes, hardcore fans of the anime will buy this game and probably be cool with it, but for the rest of us, The New Vision is painful to sit through. Even if you do find the tale of mech pilot Sumner Sturgeon and the soul-sucking LFO robots—and you can probably see by the beginning of this sentence how plenty of people would still find the game corny—there's just no excuse for The New Vision's brainless mech combat, pointless "air boarding" sequences, and overly drawn-out cutscenes.
As an interactive anime, The New Vision is serviceable enough for some. But as a video game, it's a wreck.
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (PlayStation)
Remember what I said way back at the beginning of our little journey about most DBZ games ranging from "mediocre to horrid"? Yeah, this is one of those horrid ones. Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 is, to give it to you straight, one of the worst fighting games ever released.
The story behind its 2003 U.S. release—yes, it was released for the PS1 in 2003, two years into the PS2's lifecycle—tells you all you need to know about Ultimate Battle 22: it was a cheap cash-in, nothing more, nothing less. 22 originally launched in Japan in 1995, and was terrible, with the graphical and sonic qualities of a Super Nintendo title, a pathetically low number of playable characters, and simplistic combat of the most uninspired kind.
Yet, a full eight years later, publisher Infogrames decided to dust off the title and ship it over to the States without making any changes whatsoever to it. Even the voice acting, what little of it there is, was still in its original Japanese when the fighting game stumbled its way overseas. So, for Americans, Ultimate Battle 22 is literally an outdated game that couldn't cut it in 1995, and still made you embarrassed to play it a decade later.
If nothing else, let it serve as a lesson to all anime fans: if you'd like to see your favorite characters in a video game one day, please hold the companies that make those games to at least a reasonable standard before you blindly give them your money. My guess is that we'll all be better off for doing so in the end.
Date: July 27, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*