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An action-packed soccer experience in a gacha package | Review - CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE

An action-packed soccer experience in a gacha package | Review - CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE

725 View2023-12-05
CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE is a mobile online competitive football / soccer game with gacha elements and real-time gameplay. Players can engage in various modes, such as singleplayer and training matches, seasonal asynchronous PvP, and a real-time 4v4 PvP mode as well.

+Intense Anime-esque presentation
+Variety of game modes: singleplayer, story, async PvP, real-time PvP
+Engaging progression and team building
+Fun to use skills and abilities for each character
-Needs work on its fluidity and player-to-player animations/interactions
-No live commentary from players or announcers during matches

⭐️Score: 7/10
🎨Graphics and Art Style
CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE is presented in a familiar cel-shaded anime art style, showcasing Anime-style character designs and vivid environments. The visual effects are simply dazzling, especially during the cinematic presentation of skill moves such as Drive Shot and Face Block, Although the animations can get repetitive quite easily. The presentation features upbeat style music that fits the tone of the game, but there is no live commentary from players or announcers.

The core gameplay involves controlling the entire team in an arcade-style soccer experience. The game is all about precise passes, powerful shots, and skillful dribbles or tackles that offer a satisfying level of control. Special abilities and their matching animations make simple moves like tackles, passes, and shots more pronounced and satisfying to perform. It successfully showcases intense Anime-esque soccer battles, providing an exciting experience that puts players in the shoes of characters like Tsubasa Oozora and Taro Misaki.

Controls are streamlined to ensure a swift and intuitive experience. The simplicity of the control scheme enables players to execute precise passes, unleash powerful shots, and perform skillful dribbles with ease, designed to provide players with accessibility and engagement. The controls are crafted to be user-friendly, allowing both newcomers and experienced players to quickly grasp it.

While the gameplay and presentation is enjoyable overall,
CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE falls short in terms of fluidity. The game feels and looks clunky in player on player interactions such as tackles or passes. However, when the players are instead locked-in and enters a cinematic style of animation for the special moves, it really looks good and action-packed.

As for the passes, it’s kinda awkward sometimes, as players often come to a complete standstill until the ball reaches them, disrupting the flow of the game. Additionally, the player switching mechanism that I encountered during the CBT is still the same, it could be improved to prioritize the most appropriate defender, preventing frustrating situations where the game switches to a player positioned too far behind from the opponent.

📜Progression and Game Modes
In CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE, unlike other Anime style gacha games, the main anchor of progression is not about advancing the main story, it’s all about increasing your team’s level and just having fun with all the game modes it offers. It immediately comes right after the pretty short but substantial tutorial which should be used by other developers more often, I was basically left to do my own thing, which is liberating. I don’t have to sit through an hour or more long introduction and tutorial before I could finally “play” a game.

Progression includes leveling up or getting new characters, enhancing skills, and altering cosmetics. However, the reliance on gacha mechanics, makes this a pay to win game by technically, impacting competitive fairness. Gacha mechanics are integral, allowing players to collect powerful characters. However, it didn’t let me stop from enjoying the game’s soccer-filled gameplay.

There is a plethora of content to keep players busy, especially for those who truly love the premise and concept. Whether participating in single-player matches like the 'Passionate Journey' levels and the 'Champion’s Journey' story mode; or simply focusing on training your players and farming for gears in various Training and Tactics modes, the game offers a diverse range of activities.

Players can also engage in competitive real-time PvP ranked matches called ‘ Ace Showdown’ and or asynchronous PvP in seasonal matchups called 'Dream League,'The Dream League introduces an asynchronous PvP format where players' teams are matched with those of other players. The unique aspect of this mode is that the opposing teams are controlled by artificial intelligence (AI).  While Ace Showdown is a distinct PvP mode that deviates from the traditional team-based format. In this mode, players assume control of a single character and participate in 4v4 matches. AI goalies assist both sides, adding an extra layer of strategy to individual gameplay.

⚽How does it compare to EA SPORTS FC Tactical or EA SPORTS FC Mobile?
Honestly, it directly compares to both games very well. On paper, CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE is much closer to EA SPORTS FC Mobile, with its real-time player controlled arcade matches, however it’s dazzling cinematic approach to action and animations also feels like EA SPORTS FC Tactical, especially if you activate the Tactical Autopilot mode which basically automatically controls your team.

This tactical mode allows you to let the AI take control of the match, and possibly win by itself, provided that your team and its players are strong enough. It’s not fully turn-based like FC Tactical, but it’s at least as automated and action-packed; and you can always retake control anytime.

CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE takes this feature to another level by introducing a “Fast Track” option for singleplayer matches, which can automatically end the match if all the Star conditions are met; such as scoring two more points, or not allowing more than 3 goals.

CAPTAIN TSUBASA: ACE is a decent soccer game, offering an action-packed soccer experience in a gacha package. I would have given this an 8/10 score easily if only the game was a little more fluid in terms of player-to-player interactions.Still, the game's plethora of game modes and intense presentation can make it a worthwhile choice for Anime and Soccer fans, and is a decent challenger for heavy hitters like EA SPORTS FC Mobile and EA SPORTS FC Tactical.
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