One of the best things about being a young gamer was finding out there was a game announced based on your favorite anime. The worst part? Waiting for its release!
Fortunately, nowadays we can revisit all these games and we can relive the experience. Thanks to emulators and new releases and re-releases, it becomes an enhanced experience which is almost as good as you remember it!
Here we have the top 5 anime retro games:
5. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (Game Boy Advance)
Release Date: 2003
This Game Boy Advance game was a pleasant surprise for many. As far as Dragon Ball games go, the bar was still fairly low in 2003, with the first Legacy of Goku game being sub-par at best. Most DBZ games were fighting genre only, with some dialogue thrown in to cover the anime story line.
But this game took Dragon Ball Z to the RPG club; the ability to roam, fly around the DBZ world map, and do fun side quests put this game head and shoulders above its predecessor. You can also unlock Hercule (Mr. Satan) as a playable character!
While the game controls took some getting used to, this grew into one of the better DBZ games overtime and was definitely the best Dragon Ball game at the time of its release.
4. Digimon Rumble Arena 2 (PS2/Xbox/Gamecube)
Release Date: 2004
This franchise has had some highs and lows in its video game history. Particularly, the early games seemed to be either a big hit or miss. Although it didn’t drive many sales, Digimon Rumble Arena 2 was a massive hit among the Digimon fan base when it was released.
The game has a mix of many Digimon elements with the fighting style of Super Smash Bros. The result is a very chaotic yet incredibly fun gameplay that can be very challenging and rewarding.
Each battle begins with the basic Digimon. You can earn points by hitting enemies in battle, and when enough are collected, you can digivolve your Digimon into stronger ones. This makes for higher stakes, as getting KO’d means your Digimon will resurrect back into their basic form (losing the final form you worked so hard for!). There are a few playable characters that are already fully evolved (fusion form).
3. Pokemon Yellow (Game Boy)
Release Date: 1998-1999
The Pokemon franchise has been revolutionary for video games. But did you know the game came before the anime? The first Pokemon Game Boy games were commissioned from a manga, which later turned into an anime. The dynamic of Ash (Satoshi in Japan) with the cute yet tough Pikachu was then brought to the video game world in Pokemon Yellow; a remake of the first games (Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue) with Pikachu as the starter Pokemon.
Similar to the Anime, Pikachu follows the player around instead of being confined to a pokeball. It cannot evolve (whenever you try to give it a Thunderstone, it refuses) and Pikachu can now learn the HM Surf. When you Surf with Pikachu, you get a different sprite than usual; this can also be done in Crystal, Silver and Gold when you transfer a Pokemon Yellow Pikachu to those games.
2. Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 (PS2/Gamecube)
This release for PS2 and Gamecube made a lot of waves; the partially turn-based story mode was incredibly innovative, giving players the opportunity to battle popular DBZ villains with different characters. The story mode was also key for unlocking different moves and transformations for your characters, forcing you to play with secondary characters to complete the game 100%.
Not surprisingly, this game has a lot of detractors because of its unique story mode. Unlike other DBZ fighting games, it made you concentrate on more than just fighting; simply following a linear path of battle was not enough for you to unlock all the moves, transformations, and characters. Many people praised the game for this diversifying feature.
For better or worse, Budokai 3 was released the following year with a more linear and simple story mode, making Budokai 2 a true, unique gem of the past.
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Fighting, Turn-base
1. Yu-Gi-Oh! Ultimate Masters: World Championship Tournament 2006 (Game Boy Advance)
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Card game, Turn-based
This was the last Yu-Gi-Oh! game released for the Game Boy Advance, and like all other Yu-Gi-Oh! video games, it came with 3 promo cards: Golden Homunculus, Helios – The Primordial Sun, Helios Duo Megistus.
World Championship Tournament 2006 was incredibly memorable: At the start of the game, you would be given a choice between different ready-made decks which were, at the time, incredibly popular in real life. Some decks were the Magician-Type deck featuring an alternative art Dark Magician and the Warrior Type deck with Gilford the Lightning as the boss monster.
The gameplay focused on a tournament-based mode where you had to defeat lower-tier players a certain amount of times before unlocking higher level challengers. Alternatively, theme duels that followed the anime story-line were also available.
Konami issued an official apology soon after it was discovered that the game had a small bug, which prevented anyone from completing the game 100%.