Be it revised narratives or altered characters, these anime game adaptations deviate considerably from their source, changing the tone altogether.
Video game adaptations are a common aspect of most anime franchises, as these video games allow fans to immerse themselves in their favorite series. Long-running shonen anime tend to have a lot more video game adaptations, with series such as Naruto and Dragon Ball boasting over 40 titles each. The sheer number of adaptations gives way to deviating storylines and altered characters, in turn changing the entire tone of the original.
GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Adaptations of any sort can result in significant changes from the original, and video game adaptations are notorious for being much more demanding in terms of staying true to the source. These deviations could present themselves in the form of modifications to the narrative or alterations in characterizations, resulting in the video games changing the anime’s tone altogether.
5 Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles
Unlike other video game adaptations under the Naruto franchise, Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles takes a novel approach with a free-roaming action concept. Players get to choose between either Naruto or Sasuke as their main playable characters, though the end goal of finding the Mystical Dragon Blade remains unchanged. The storyline featured in the game is unique to it, set somewhere in the middle of the Itachi Pursuit Mission after Sasuke forms Team Hebi.
The plot set in the game is quite incongruous with the actual events in the series, and it takes away the tone of urgency that revolved around this arc in the anime version. Fans and critics have also slammed the video game with negative reviews, although most are based on the faulty mechanics and technical issues with the game. However, the storyline itself isn’t too great either, resulting in an overall subpar experience for players.
4 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the newer Dragon Ball video games, receiving critical acclaim as one of the best video game adaptations in the franchise. The concept of the game revolves around a three-vs-three tag-team situation, with only one fighter taking the battle arena at a time. The storyline is set during the Dragon Ball Super period where Android 21 and her army of clones invade planet Earth.
While the video game stays true to the spirit of Dragon Ball, the tonality is where the adaptation begins to differ. Android 21 resurrects fallen villains from the previous Sagas such as Cell and Frieza using the Dragon Balls. After being defeated, however, these villains fight alongside Team Dragon Ball to fight off the impending threat of Android 21’s army. This adds an element of redemption for the past villains, something that the series doesn’t usually lean towards.
3 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses is a rendition of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, but with a medieval-English touch. The game is loosely based on the Wars of the Roses, a real-world event that took place in England sometime during the 15th century. A new storyline also meant newly-introduced rules, some of that was a bit too complicated and inconsistent.
The players control a Rose Duelist, a character introduced as the main protagonist in the video game. The Rose Duelist is summoned from an unknown period to assist the House of Lancaster in the civil war. While a medieval European touch to the famed card game was certainly a bold move, the game still couldn’t live up to the hype of the original. The difference in tonality and thematics becomes quite apparent as the storyline progresses, as this royal rendition of Yu-Gi-Oh! deviates almost entirely from the original card game.
2 One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival
While most shonen video games feature a conventional fighting game approach, One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival presents a more novel narrative with its party game twist. Offering board game gameplay, players can compete with one another through the game’s 30+ minigames, all while role-playing as the One Piece pirate crew.
Since the adaptation doesn’t quite follow a set storyline and is designed to be a party game, One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival doesn’t exactly follow through with the anime’s tonality and thematics. The game certainly presents the goofy side of the Straw Hats, but that’s just about it. The game lacks any sort of profundity and presents itself as nothing more than a party pastime.
1 Dragon Power
Dragon Power is one of the oldest video game adaptations of the Dragon Ball series, launched way back in the 80s. Since the game was catered to North American audiences, the story underwent several changes and alterations. The actual characterizations weren’t translated into the game as it portrayed Goku as a mere stereotypical martial artist.
The outdated Master Roshi’s inappropriate antics are converted into an odd love for sandwiches, and the names of the main cast members are also ‘Americanized.’ Almost every aspect of the series had to bear the brunt as Dragon Balls were renamed to ‘Crystal Balls’ and the renowned Kamehameha was translated as ‘Wind Wave.’ Overall, the game had lost the essence of the original, portraying nothing but a mere husk of the actual anime.