Sitrep: Wherefore art thou, anime-based shooters?


By on February 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Confession time: I am an anime fan. Not quite otaku, but if I didn’t have to afford cans of salmon, I would probably live in a cargo container on top of a Tokyo apartment block and have a comfort pillow in the likeness of Rei Ayanami.

Speaking of, I’ve been rewatching Neon Genesis Evangelion lately and something occurred to me: Why are there almost no amazing shooters based on anime licenses? You can count them on one hand with most of its fingers amputated because of gangrene or severe boredom.

There was Oni for the PS2. And Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, which came out in 1998. That weird Team Fortress 2 rip-off thing H.A.V.E Online doesn’t count because travesty. There’s been a ton of stuff made out of Neon Genesis that never exited Japan, but they mostly consist of weird dating sims and stupid-awful fighting games:

Shudder. The only other license that has come into close contact with gamingdom is Ghost in the Shell. The first time, it was a fustercluck of weirdness where you just rolled around as one of those robots and had a terrible time. When Cavia gamified Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex into a third-person shooter for the PS2 in ‘04, though, the results rocked even though they were kinda repetitive:

It’d be a good example of how to go about this kind of thing if you could find it anywhere. G-artists (Who? Exactly) picked up the license again for the PSP the following year and made it a first-person shooter, but uh, yeah:

In any event, it’s not brain surgery while studying rocket science: anime is full of uniquely stylised violence, has a heady foothold in geek culture already, and there are a million and one awesome ideas just waiting to be used as a sweet excuse to kill everything in an excessive way. Akira springs immediately to mind. I never thought I’d say this but a part of me kind of wishes they’d made that live-action movie if only because it’d bring this bad-boy to the cultural fore again and we could roam Neo-Tokyo destroying everything with psychic migraines TETSUUUOOOOO! Surely we can do better than this:

Haha, what even is that. Gaming in the ‘80s, kill it with fire. Cowboy Bebop cries out to become more than a last-rate Star Fox rip. Hellsing would rip ass. Are vampires still, like, so in right now? Guns always are. It’s maybe-win. Full Metal Panic, let’s have it. Trigun sort of speaks for itself. This all seems like a no-brainer.

Is anime just too whacky for the West now that Japanese development is a little out of favour at the mo? All these things seemed to turn up during Sony’s console heyday and now, not so much. Okay. Some massaging is required. Here’s another reason we ought to have game-ine: games love girls. Capable (and overtly sexualised) girls who kill things. Like Bayonetta, say, or Jack and her belt-bra. It is here where, gosh darn, Japan has got you covered, kids. End the dominant sausage-fest paradigm. Ever seen Ergo Proxy? Cyberpunk is back, you know. What about Black Lagoon? Gantz? That’s right, off you go.

40 comments (Leave your own)

I agree. I would love some decent anime shooters.


This is all horribly, horribly true. A Black Lagoon shooter would be epic (I still think the boat torpedo into the cockpit of the Hind is the best moment of that show, purely for Rock’s line and middle finger as it happens). But Ghost in The Shell just has so much raw -potential- for this sort of thing, as do a lot of the others mentioned here.

I’d like to see a Western Studio get their hands on it. That way, the plot might be somewhat more cohesive. But still, in some shape, way or form, we -need- this. It could be the shot in the arm that both anime and Japanese gaming really, REALLY needs right now.


Yup would love to see a rise in them, along with the awesome special effects that they generally have in animes. (They seriously shit all over anything in movies/other cartoons/tv shows.)

For now i’ll have to stick to my JRPG’s/beat’em’ups :D

Toby McCasker


Discovered God Hand in a bargain bin last year. NEVER LOOKED BACK.


I really am sick of the constant fighting games. Franchises like Naruto, Inuyasha, Bleach etc would make epic open world 3rd person action games but nah, we need Naruto Fighter 82 instead.

I knew of that PSP GitS game but it’s a shooter on PSP, just can’t work with one stick. Was cool to hear the voices (except the droid at the beginning) are the same as the show.



There’s Bleach: Soul Ressureccion which is amazing, (Dynasty warriors style but set in the bleach universe) put around 80 hours into it.

But I agree, would love to see a proper open world 3rd person action game. They just need to make B:SR 2 and make it open world, create your own Zanpakuto, go on missions around the world/soul society and the rukon districts, would be awesome, but alas, it’ll probably never happen.

Fighting games get old fast, especially if you generally game online with your friends who are likely to not have the game.

Toby McCasker,

I saw TB do a video on this, it looks awesome, I never got to play it though and don’t have a PS2 anymore. ;(

Toby McCasker


You can pur-chase it on the PSN store, if you do the PS3 thing (OKAY MASTER RACE SETTLE DOWN NOW JUST TRYING TO HELP A MAN).


Bleachs world isn’t fleshed out enough for a true open world game imo because honestly, where’d you go? There’s not really many interesting places to go. There’s Soul Society (every street looks the same), Rukon Districts (bunch of houses), Hueco Mundo (giant desert), Karakura Town (random unimportant town) and maybe the Zero Division castles (seem a tad focused in the story to be expanded on). Contrast that with Naruto which has fleshed out its world with dozens of very unique locations and factions.


Oh for sure, it’s not a fleshed out world, but it doesn’t really need to be. If you’re a fan of the universe you’re gonna love to be able to go to all those places (They could also incorporate Hell from Hell Verse movie, also the forest underneath Hueco Mundo, and above the canopy) But then again, I love the Bleach universe so I may be a little biased. :P It’s why i’ve put so much time into B:SR purely because I love the universe, and love the effect style of special moves.

I’m currently watching Naruto, watching the first series first (before shippuden) and at episode 103, I gotta say, all I see is forests everywhere. :P And this very well might change as I go more into (and i’m going to assume it does, as I think not many people bother with the series before shippuden right?)


Naruto is weird in that it gets better as the series progresses unlike Bleach which has just gotten worse and worse (the intro to the recent arc was insultingly bad, it’s probably why they decided to stop animating the series). Also I think the anime for Naruto isn’t that good, it drags immensely and feels like it goes nowhere. I read some of the manga and it seems so much better than where i’ve left the anime off from.

Also you’d need a properly fleshed out world to make an open world game imo otherwise it’ll just be empty and lifeless, Bleach could make a good linear action game but not really open world, or maybe very limited open world like Darksiders.


It seems that way with alot of the mainstream manga -> Anime conversions. I heard bleach added alot of filler (Still watched it all though), which it did, and it just doesn’t flow the same as the manga, I guess cos they don’t have to drag it out for a 30min episode like they need to for anime (or ~21mins as it usually is.

Honestly i’d just like either a bleach/naruto/one piece semi/open-world RPG where I can just go around as anyone I want from those manga/animes.

I can’t really comment on any of the shooting animes as I generally don’t watch them (just a personal choice really, much rather a sword/katana or martial arts.)


Speaking of btw, new One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is coming out soon in Japan, and should be here summer 2013 (US Summer)

second gameplay footage


I thought that Bleach was well paced though I stopped watching the anime (I read the manga now) before they got to the stage where there’d be a 5minute “last time on Bleach!” opening. And for filler I only saw the Bount Arc which was pretty ok imo and the Zanpaktou Rebellion arc which was very well done. Naruto filler should be avoided like the plague, they’re of an abnormally low quality imo.


Hehe, tbh there was only a couple episodes of bleach I skipped (filler of course), that was mostly because I wanted to know what happened next, not that the filler was bad or anything (but again, i’m a fan so yeah) I liked all the filler arcs as well, the Zanpakuto arc was definitely well done though.

Probably should stop hijacking this article now. >>


I’ve been watching Bleach over the last year, buying the collection from Madman. Apart from “The New Captain Amagai” story arc, I’ve quite enjoyed the series.

Would be cool to see a full game set in some of the anime universes. I’ve always thought a “Cowboy Bebop” game where you play a bounty hunter chasing bounties across the system would be kind of cool. And I certainly would like to see some Evangelion licensed stuff released in English too. One can wish I guess.


Dear Tobes,

Sire, please stop.

Firstly, I had just finished watching the newly fresh remakes of evangelion followed by the original TV series on DVD then the awesome movie that is EoE/D&R with my own dear lady friend… only to learn from these internets that you had absorbed yourself in William Gibsons works…. now that i have just finished my gibson collection, i now learn you have just finish treading the path of evangelion…

please sirs, HOW AWESOME IS IT?

a GITS game along the lines of human revolution+watch dogs would make me poor because i would be throwing cash at it like a mad man. Second what i would LOVE to see is BERSERK picked up by cdprojektred…
Or Claymore…

So far the best of the gaming/anime cross overs i have come across would be the fate/stay series… worth the look in for both imo.

some kinda fighting game based around Tengen Toppa or Code Geass would be rad but, or better yet combine them….

Nemesis_22: I’d like to see a Western Studio get their hands on it. That way, the plot might be somewhat more cohesive


go to amazon, buy the manga, spooge. Or rewatch the series or watch the OVA’s which single out the stories then go back and watch the series… the man can write…

Toby McCasker


You are hardwire surfing the crystalline neural pathways of my DAMN good taste. I could’ve used men like you when I flew Screaming Fist over Russian and they were ready, Steve, they were ready.



There was actually a PS2 Cowboy Bebop 3rd person shooter released in Japan, it was being ported to the west but for whatever reason they stopped.


I was considering going on another Ghost in the Shell pilgrimage… but i’m doubting my love for its awesomeness verses ALL THE PRETTY LADIES….

Brother, this plan will lead us to our instrumentality. Tobes, join with me, and together we will make our own humanity…

Also, along the Bleach lines of this conversation, some of the ds/psp games were ok but grindy, but i think it would be a pretty sweet open world, especially if they kept the animation styles… been a fan of it for a while, the manga’s gotten a bit epic again of late, and i think i missed the last 10 or so episodes… lol, <3


Evangelion 3.0 aussie release when ;_;

To go less mainstream, I wouldn’t mind a Muv Luv shooter. It could be set in an alternate universe with you and three other like-minded dudes in a squad pushing back the invasion of europe… then again chances are everyone would just be wiped out in 2 seconds flat as soon as the BETA came. Yeah, actually, that’d be no fun at all.

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