Important Importables: 10 great video games based on anime series

May 9, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: 10 great video games based on anime series

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Consoles, PS1, PS2, PS3, Consoles-Other, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Action, Adventure, Fighting, Role-Playing, Sim

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When animated series are successful enough, video game developers and publishers will try to cash in and create games that fans of the series will enjoy. While many of these games can fall under the shovelware umbrella, a few attempts stand out as truly entertaining and worthwhile endeavors.

This week’s installment of Hot Japanese Imports is devoted to the best of the best, the anime games that were so good, even people who are unfamiliar with the original series seek them out. A few of them may seem incredibly familiar, as they even received worldwide releases. Rest assured though, the following 10 games and series are so good, you’ll enjoy them even if you’ve never even heard of the animes they’re based on.

.hack//Infection, .hack//Mutation, .hack//Outbreak and .hack//Quarantine (PS2): This four part PS2 action-RPG was released in Japan, North America and Europe and was designed to fit in with the ultimate storyline and world of the .hack// anime, manga and novel series. It actually compliments and coincides with the timeline of the animated OVA series .hack//Liminality, and each new copy of these four games came with a DVD featuring one of the four episodes. Each game in the series is designed to mimic the MMO experience, despite being single player, offline games, and follows a series of events in the online game The World which is causing players to fall into comas after being attacked by in-game monsters.

Bleach Heat the Soul 6

Bleach: Heat the Soul series (PSP): If you’re looking for a fantastic fighting game for your PSP, one with decent storylines and huge character rosters, then look no further! The Bleach: Heat the Soul series is the best. There are seven entries available so far, each with their own unique and defining characteristics. Since PSP games are region-free, anyone can enjoy them. Plus, earlier entries tend to become “greatest hits” and are rereleased at a lower price.

Dragon Ball: Origins (DS) If you ever wanted an action-RPG style Dragon Ball game that shows you how it all began, then you need to pick up Dragon Ball: Origins. It shouldn’t be too difficult, as it was released in Japan, North America, Europe, Australia and Korea. It closely follows the original Dragon Ball anime, as Goku and Bulma hunt down the seven dragon balls.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure DreamcastJoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Dreamcast, PS1): JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a fight game based on an anime and manga series. It was made by Capcom, and released in Japan, North America and Europe for both the Dreamcast and PlayStation. In addition, it also appeared in Japanese and North American arcades. The game is based on the “Stardust Crusaders” portion of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures manga and the story mainly follows Jotaro Kujo, a human with Stand abilities, as he goes to fight the vampire Dio Brando and save his mothers. It has one-on-one battles, power gauges and super moves, Stand Mode where players summon stands to perform special moves and over 20 playable fighters.

Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES): I bet you never knew the classic NES game from Capcom was based on an anime, but in a way, it was. It was based on the Japanese animated movie Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, which was based on the American comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay. Capcom made the action game, where players helped Nemo find his way through slumberland with the help of candy loving animals. It was a success in both Japan and North America.

Magic Knight Rayearth (SNES): This Japanese-exclusive, turn-based RPG followed CLAMP’s manga and anime series Magic Knight Rayearth almost exactly and perfectly. Three girls named Hikaru, Fuu and Umi have been summoned to the magical world of Cephiro to save the Princess Emeraude. The Princess is the Pillar of the world, whose will power maintains Cephiro, a land where will can influence reality. However, she’s been captured by Zagato, and the three girls from another land must save her. It’s interesting because the game, like the animated series, has quite a twist. There was also a Sega Saturn Magic Knight Rayearth RPG, which was released in North America.

Naruto Ultimate Ninja StormNaruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm (PS3): There are quite a few good Naruto video games out there, but Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm stands out among the rest. It is a fighting game with some action elements (since players can take missions and follow the storyline of the series) and was released in Japan, North America and Europe. It’s very accessible to players of all skill levels due to its fairly simple controls, looks great and has a roster of 25 characters from the series.

Ouran High School Host Club (DS, PS2): Idea Factory put together a visual novel and dating sim for girls based on the popular shoujo anime series. The Ouran High School Host Club game proceeds in a manner that loosely follows the storyline of the series to accomodate new players who may be unfamiliar with the series, but also adds in new story elements so fans will be pleased as well. Unfortunately, it’s a Japan-exclusive. Fortunately, the DS version is region-free.

Sailor Moon: Another Story (SNES): This RPG was so amazing that it inspired a full fan translation. It’s based on the Sailor Moon anime series, but has an original story that compliments the original works. The standard turn-based battle system works well, players get to follow each Sailor Scout on their own mini-adventure and there are even multiple endings. It’s a shame it was only released in Japan.

Violinist of HamelnViolinist of Hameln (SNES): The Violinist of Hameln (that’s right, Hameln) is a more obscure, Japanese, anime video game, but it’s also quite wonderful. It stars Hamel and his sidekick, Flute, who are on a journey to save the world and Hamel’s mother from demons and disasters, and take down the Demon King Chestra. It’s a typical, 2D, action game that’s quite humorous. See, Hamel doesn’t really like to do too much work, so you’re mainly forcing Flute to do everything. She has a number of costumes, each with special powers, that you can collect and use to make it through each level.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports looks at three amazing, Korean music video game series.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed Ranshima Monogatari: Rare Land Story.

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