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.