This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post. Check out the link right here to get caught up.
Story telling in a video game is hard. Often times, the story and the gameplay tend to clash, rather than work in tandem to create a truly memorable experience. This is especially pertinent in anime-style games. Sometimes, the story is so bad that it feels like it should have been told through another medium. Such as a regular anime.
Which brings us to today’s post. Yesterday, I discussed several anime that should get the video game treatment. Now, I’m going to talk about the inverse. This essay will be all about games that really should have been anime.
I am, of course, only discussing the story for my reasoning. While I do enjoy the gameplay of these games, I do feel that the story would have been done better justice in an anime format. So don’t take this as me saying “This game is bad and there’s nothing good about it!” I enjoy these games quite a bit myself. Just not from a storytelling perspective.
With that said, let us begin. Up first, the game that got this whole train of thought started in the first place:
Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[st]: Why is My Fighting Game a Visual Novel?
First: Jesus actual Christ, that title. Just writing that shit gave me a headache. Who named it that?
Second: UNIBELST (which I am calling it from now on, because it is more fun than just calling it Undernight) is Shounen anime trash at it’s absolute finest. There are a shit ton of characters, all of whom fight (cause… you know… it’s a fighting game) with ridiculous powers, and there are a shit ton of proper nouns that you need to know which make no sense. These include:
- Hollow Nights
- Autonomic Nerves
- Curse Commandment
And I didn’t even mention the different Factions, of which there are six.
In the game, the plot is presented through the Chronicles, which are just really short and boring visual novels, for which each character has at least one, and the subsequent events in Arcade mode, where the actual fighting game is. I resent this. If you want to hope to understand the actual plot (as many casual fans would want to), you need to pour through dozens of long, sleep inducing pages of text, then play through every single character’s Arcade story. Then, you need to wonder “Okay, which one of those was the canon ending to this fucking mess?”
UNIBELST’s story would gain much improvement if it were in anime form. For one, it could help the pacing and keep things interesting through cut-away moments, which would also assist in making the characters feel more closely interwoven with one-another. Two, having the story presented in an animated format would make it far more interesting and engaging, rather than a sleep aide. And three: it can help clear up the confusion and present the ‘true’ story of the game in one concise, easier to digest package.
That way, people wouldn’t need to bother with the Chronicles mode, and they can skip to the actual fun part: the fighting game. Because hot damn is UNIBELST a good fighting game.
*Side note: basically all of these complaints can be applied to other ArcSys original games, such as Blazblue and Guilty Gear. I use UNIBELST because that’s the one I’ve been playing the most recently, and it’s quickly become my favorite ArcSys game. Maybe even my favorite fighting game.
Speaking of Shounen trash, let’s get into my next pick.
Dragon Ball Fighterz Story Mode
I just want Android 21 to be canon, okay? Is that so much to ask? It wouldn’t even be hard, you could just slip her right in there!
The Tales Series: They’re Basically Anime Anyways
Let’s face it: not everyone who loves trashy anime share that love with JRPGs. There are plenty of people who would enjoy the story of a Tales game, but can’t get into them due to the actual gameplay. Even in spite of their fun qualities.
Having anime adaptations of them wouldn’t hurt, should they be executed well. Much like the ArcSys games, they’re basically fantasy Shounen trash anyways. They’d be able to make the leap from game to show pretty easily. In fact, they already have, given the animated movies.
But a movie can’t capture the justice of a forty hour long game’s story. But a full episodic anime would be able to do the trick. Plus, it would be pretty cool to watch some of those fights come to life with more creative choreography than ‘mash the combo that works’.
Though that could be mildly entertaining. In an ironic sense.
There you go. Those are a few of the games that I’d like to see an anime adaptation of.
Now, this is in the context of a clear dream world. One where the adaptation would be genuinely great and highly entertaining. In all actuality, they’d probably be ‘meh’ at best, or ‘Persona 5: The Animation’ at worst.
Which is the last thing I would ever want. I’d take a used, dirty syringe to the eyes over that. Hell, I’d do that any day of the week.