In 2000, the Playstation 2 was released, and anime in North America became even more popular. Iconic series like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z paved the way for more series to be officially licensed and brought over to the West. Lots of different genres of anime become popular at this time, not just action-packed series. This also made other media for different anime series more widely available, like video games.
While many official games for popular media properties were brought over, not all of them made the cut. For example, series like Bleach and Neon Genesis Evangelion that have a large cult following don’t even have any Games that are available outside of Japan.
Evangelion: Jo is a PS2 game that was only available in Japan. It follows the story of the movie Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone and the original anime series. The game allows players to experience the events from the movie and original anime through 3D cutscenes.
There are three different types of gameplay: 3D battles, which have the player piloting Eva Unit 01 to fight Angels; Quick-Time events; and relationship building. In the final mode, players can interact with various characters in order to determine one of several endings for the game depending on Shinji’s relationship status.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra
Many of the games based on the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, which is quite popular in the West, have not been translated into English. One such game is Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra for the PS2.
Rumble Mode is a platform fighting game for up to four players, similar in style to Super Smash Bros. In the game, players can select from various Eva Units and Angels as their characters. Each character has two unique and powerful special attacks.
Eyeshield 21: AmeFoot Yarouze! Ya! Ha!
There is plenty of sports anime series, but Eyeshield 21 is the only one about American Football. The series follows Sena Kobayakawa as he becomes the running back for an American Football club. There have been several games released for the series in Japan, but none were ever released outside of the country.
The PlayStation 2 game, “Eyeshield 21: Amefoot Yarouze! Ya! Ha!” is both a visual novel and a sports game
. It is played in three dimensions; however, on eyeflatscreen two-dimensional televisions. Players must journey through the playing field while avoiding being tackled by members of the opposing team and attempting to score touchdowns.
Busou Renkin: Welcome To Papillon Park
Buso Renkin is a supernatural/action series about a high schooler named Kazuki Muto. After saving a girl from a monster, he becomes the user of a Buso Renkin (an alchemistic device), which is used to destroy monsters called homunculi. The series has one game on the PS2 called Busou Renkin: Welcome to Papillon Park.
This game is a hack-and-slash style that takes place after the events of the anime. Players fight through hordes of enemies in different stages, similar to games like Dynasty Warriors. At first, only Kazuki Muto and Tokiko Tsumura are available as playable characters.
Bleach: Blade Battlers
The original anime series Bleach was immensely popular, and with the release of its sequel, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, it has only gotten more so. There have been a number of games released that were based on Bleach in North America; however,
there are still some Japanese exclusives.
Bleach: Blade Battlers is a fighting game for the PS2 with several modes, most notably a Story Mode containing five original tales for characters Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Sado “Chad” and Uryu. The first installment in the series has 23 playable combatants while its sequel – Bleach: Blade Battlers 2 – boasts 36.
Flame of Recca: Final Burning
The Flame of Recca series follows the story of a boy named Recca who aspires to be a ninja. After he meets a girl with healing powers named Yanagi, he realizes that he too has latent abilities involving fire control. Eventually, he learns that his father is the leader of a powerful and secretive Ninja clan called the Hokage.
So far, there have only been two games created for the series– Flame of Recca: Final Burning being the most recent one intended for Playstation 2. It follows closely the SODOM arc storyline and is an adventure fighting game that allows players to the perspective of the main characters in the story, such as Recca, Domon, and Kurei.
Blood + One Night Kiss
Blood+ One Night Kiss is particularly interesting for fans of both the anime and SUDA51, as it was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture. The game design is reminiscent of killer7 with its cel-shaded style. As players explore the town of Shikishi, they get to play as both the main protagonist Saya and a character original to the game – a detective named Kou Aoyama. On their own, both characters fight Chiropterans as they try to figure out why they’ve shown up in town.
Soul Eater: Battle Resonance
The popular series Soul Eater features warriors called “meisters” who wield weapons that are actually humans with the ability to transform into weapons. The PS2 game Soul Eater: Battle Resonance is the only video game for the series.
In this 3D fighting game, players step into the shoes of their favorite meister/demon weapon teams and battle them against others. Gamers will get to play through the first 24 episodes of the anime as they experience firsthand the battles that Maka, Soul, and all the other characters went through.
Meitantei Conan: Daiei Teikoku No Isan
Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed for us North Americans, is a show about a juvenile high schooler who was transformed into a kid by the syndicate he was investigating. He continues to crack cases under an alias and makes it appear as if other people are solving the crimes.
Conan: Daiei Teikoku no Isa is the latest installment in the hit Meitantei Conan series. The game features 3D graphics and puzzle-solving gameplay, as players travel with Conan to England to crack a murder case. Utilizing all of his detective skills, special gadgets, and intelligence, players must help Conan uncover all the mysteries surrounding him.
Cowboy Bebop: Tsuioku No Serenade
The cult classic space-western anime, Cowboy Bebop is well-known for its iconic use of jazz and blues music. While only two official games have been made, neither was released outside of Japan. However, fans can enjoy the action beat-em-up game on PS2 that features an original story entitled: Cowboy Bebop: Tsuioku no Serenade.
The Bebop crew is searching for bounties on outlaws when they find themselves in the middle of a search for space pirate treasure. They are opposed by a mysterious organization, and a song called “Diamonds” seems to be connected to it all. Players can choose to play as Faye, Jet, or Spike during the hand-to-hand and shooting parts of the game, and they get to pilot different spacecraft.
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