Fans of manga and anime have been treated to some great video game adaptations of their favorite licenses in recent years. Games like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4, and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 have received excellent reviews for their fidelity and quality.
But back in the 90s, the situation was much less exciting. Many of us dreamed of playing video game adaptations of our favorite anime shows, like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon. It was a dream that seemed far off, especially given the lack of confidence in anime-based games from Western distributors.
I remember the excitement of finding a Dragon Ball game at my local video store. It had just arrived and featured the official Dragon Ball logo on a nice blue box with the Nintendo seal of quality. Little did I know, the process of bringing this game to Spain was unique, owing to the efforts of our French neighbors who translated and marketed the game with the original license.
The game, titled Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo, was released in Japan in 1986, but it didn’t reach Spain until 1993. Despite its archaic appearance and gameplay, it was a novelty to play as our favorite manganime characters in a console game.
This was a rare occurrence, as many anime-based games of that time did not receive proper licensing. For example, the game Tecmo Cup, based on Captain Tsubasa, came to us without the original license. The distributors of that time lacked confidence in manga and anime, leading to adaptations that disappointed fans.
Have you experienced a similar situation with anime-based video games? Do you think we are in a better situation now with the current variety and quality of anime-based games, or is there still work to do? Share your thoughts in the comments.
In the end, it’s clear that the landscape for anime-based video games has changed significantly over the years, and fans are now treated to a wide variety of games that stay true to their beloved licenses.