Captain Tsubasa Zero: Miracle Shot, the review

In its apparent, nostalgic innocence it could be difficult to glimpse, but this title contains at least a couple of trends that define the current videogame era and at the same time also represent disturbing drifts, as we see in this one. Captain Tsubasa Zero: Miracle Shot review. At first glance it is a smartphone game based on Holly and Benji, but on closer inspection it brings with it on the one hand the inevitable need to recover old ideas to fill the gaps of current production, on the other the automation craze. of the gameplay that is becoming almost worrying.

Let's start with the first question: Captain Tsubasa Zero: Miracle Shot is based on a new animated series by David Production which is in effect a remake of the first original series, consisting of 52 episodes and focused on the famous characters of Tsubasa (Holly), Genzo (Benji), Kojiro (Mark) and the others as they face the elementary and middle school soccer championships. Nothing new under the sun, but really a lot of healthy nostalgia that can easily be enough to launch with all good intentions in this new mobile title, the second one dedicated to the series, after Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team, perhaps the most successful game overall. At this point the second question intervenes, that is the total automation of the gameplay, which has now become almost a standard for many mobile titles and which is establishing itself even in the most classic areas, as demonstrated by the success of Auto Chess and the like on PC. Because in fact in Captain Tsubasa Zero we just watch the games and press a button every now and then, to activate tactics or special moves.

A clarification must be made: this is not a soccer game but a sort of role-playing game based on the use of characters and cards, so the normal dynamics of a football simulation are not to be expected. That said, the interaction is so limited, even compared to the rhythms of the game - which in any case forces you to watch entire matches almost as spectators - that it can easily lead to a rejection even before understanding precisely how everything works, since it also requires a certain dedication.

Gameplay: decks of cards and footballers

Captain Tsubasa Zero should therefore be considered as a kind of strategic with RPG elements, almost like a hybrid managerial rather than a standard football game, this is a prerequisite for not running into an otherwise inevitable disappointment. On the front of the character management, the game in fact demonstrates a certain depth, even if everything is always attributable to the typical setting of mobile RPGs with gacha implementations, therefore it is a matter of dedicating oneself to grinding in a rather obsessive way to obtain significant evolutions, after a first period of balance in the balancing. Much of the game therefore takes place in the team preparation: it's about selecting players and upgrading them by applying carte abilities, which allow you to use special moves and techniques in the game and support cards, which instead permanently modify the statistics of the characters. To deepen everything also intervenes the possibility of evolving and enhancing both the cards and the characters themselves, thus arriving at a considerable variety of possible combinations, in terms of special techniques that can be used in the game and different characteristics for each player. Each operation obviously has a cost but the most expensive is the "transfer", which corresponds to the classic evocation of the characters and fully incorporates the traditional gacha dynamic, with the need to invest gems that are rarely collected during the game but can be purchased with real money through in-app purchases (with packages that reach 90 euros in value). It must be said that the need to resort to evolutions is less felt here, from the point of view of gameplay, than other titles that are based on this mechanic, but given the license in question, it is natural that the collecting spirit is triggered a little. of historical characters, therefore the "trap" of the gacha is always ready to shoot.

In comparison with the whole management of the team, the part of the game on the field, in the course of football games real, it is very little, yet it still takes several minutes (despite the possibility of speeding it up) during which we limit ourselves to watching what happens, recalling vague game tactics (concentration on defense or attack or balanced approach) and pressing the key related to the special combos, which are in any case automatic in their performance and are affected by artificial intelligence, so the impression is to be practically cut off from the game during the meetings. This is a problem that unfortunately dominates the scene playing Captain Tsubasa Zero and also recurs within the different modes present.

The presence of various game options manages to enliven the experience a bit by offering interesting alternatives: the mode main is the Story, which traces that of the anime with images and animations taken directly from this and is therefore the best way to approach the game for fans of the series, even if obviously it has the duration limit. To widen the possibilities there are then the asynchronous PvP multiplayer with ranked matches (in which obviously the gap is created between the "free" players and those who pay to get more advanced characters and bonuses) and another mode focused on the story, but in this case with original characters and events and all set to female, a very interesting option.


Tested version Android, iPad 1.6.3 Digital Delivery App Store, Google Play Price Free


Readers (2)


Your vote

The controversies about the almost total automation of the gameplay in the game phases on the field are perfectly valid but almost out of place, if we consider Captain Tsubasa Zero: Miracle Shot as a sort of RPG based on cards and with gacha mechanics, a type which is also very widespread now in mobile scope. The problem is that, even from this point of view, there are some shortcomings, demonstrating that, perhaps, such a structure is badly associated with game mechanics other than the classic turn-based RPG. A rather cumbersome and confused sort of management software thus emerges, which looks good between cutscenes and game phases but forces you to long phases of almost total inactivity and then inevitably runs into the problem of micro-transactions, as often happens. to this kind of free-to-play. The Story mode can still have a good appeal for fans of the series, as long as you make peace with the mechanics of the game.


  • Captain Tsubasa's license alone is worth the price of admission (free)
  • Good graphics between images and animations, even in games
  • Various game modes
  • Rather cumbersome and not very organic in its phases
  • The moments of inactivity are many and break the rhythm
  • Micro-transactions sooner or later make themselves felt

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