Do you love anime? Well, we surely do! And when you mix beautiful anime visuals with cool game mechanics you may get an amazing game. That’s exactly what we’re looking for in this list, where we present you ten or so upcoming games that are bound to please every anime fan. Let’s begin the countdown!
10: MYSTIC FIGHTER ONLINE
Clearly hailing from the school of Dungeon Fighter, Mystic Fighter Online is an old-school, over the top side-scrolling game that will remind you of the times that you spent all your coins at the local arcade playing Double Dragon. Well, some of you, at least, since others probably never even heard of that game. Anyway, Mystic Fighter looks like a true arcade game and includes some crazy scenarios – you’ll fight on top of a falling piece of concrete next to a skyscraper that looks like it has 1.000 floors or something. It’s crazy, but the good kind of crazy, like Korean studios know how to do.
9: ECHO OF SOUL | EOS ONLINE
Echo of Soul, or EOS Online, is the kind of MMORPG that will divide players. Some are going to appreciate it for its sincere approach; others will hate it for its obvious lack of innovation or ambition. Echo of Soul doesn’t bring anything new to the table and is just happy to offer classic point and click combat and everything you could expect from an old school MMO, only with extreme polish and some really nice anime visuals that will remind you of Tera or Aion. Two more bits of info for you: classes are gender locked and it’s from Korean studio Nvius.
8: DUNGEON STRIKER
Dungeon Striker is a hack and slash game that some players are calling the free-to-play chibi version of Diablo 3. It’s also a great thing that it’s developed by Eyedentity Games, the same studio that created the acclaimed MMORPG Dragon Nest. Dungeon Striker looks really good and is extremely playable and exciting. Open beta in Korea started in May 2013 and there’s still no news on an English release.
7: AURA KINGDOM
One of the few games in this top that actually has a western release pinned down, Aura Kingdom, aka Fantasy Frontier Online is getting many players excited by its impressive anime visuals. Coming from the studio that developed Grand Fantasia and Eden Eternal, they definitely know their work and it shows. Aura Kingdom looks amazing and while combat isn’t of the true action kind, it’s still more exciting and flashy than your average MMORPG. Aeria Games is working on the English version and we hope that the closed beta begins before the end of 2013.
6: KRITIKA ONLINE
Kritika Online is a badass action MMO game set to give Vindictus and Dragon Nest a challenge. However, this game includes very flashy combos that remind us of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. It is quite a success in South Korea, where it was released as free-to-play, but as we all know, many great games fail to make it to North America and Europe, so let’s hope someone actually decides to pick this one up.
5: SOUL WORKER
Soul Worker, or how to create quite an uproar with a single trailer and then disappear of the face of the earth. The beautiful cel-shaded anime graphics left every fan of the genre anxious for more of this game but they didn’t get anything more. The last bit of news mentions the use of the Havok Vision Engine, which is used in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, for example. Soul Worker looks like a mix of Rusty Hearts and Vindictus and apparently is now expected to launch in Korea in 2014.
4: PROJECT NT
Thingsoft is working on Project NT, a highly anticipated cel-shaded anime MMORPG with a few tricks up its sleeve, even if the Pokemon-inspired battle system isn’t particularly original. Players will be able to capture the monsters they defeat and then use them in battle, more specifically the skill a monster possesses. Other cool touch is how towns are handled – if a town is very populated it will grow bigger, while towns with fewer players will get smaller until they eventually disappear entirely. Finally, there’s a content creator where players may even create their own cutscenes.
3: CLOSERS: DIMENSION CONFLICT
Closers: Dimension Conflict is a side-scrolling action MMO that proves the genre doesn’t have to be limited to technically average games. It brings all the flashy action of Dungeon Fighter but updates it to today’s standards, with visuals so good that it looks like the best anime you’ll ever see. Action is set in New Seoul, with some real locations to appear in the game. Gamers play as a closer, a student with special powers that will try to put an end to a monster invasion. Besides PvE, there are other modes such as survival, guild wars and siege wars. The Korean closed beta is scheduled for next December, so sadly you shouldn’t expect news on a Western version soon.
2: PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2
Is Phantasy Star Online 2 still an upcoming game, after all these months of complete silence from Sega? Well, this worrying uncertainty doesn’t make this sci-fi anime MMO game any less appealing. The amazing character creation is the first step to enter this addicting world where the action combat is fast-paced and feels just right. 2013, 2014, or never, that is the question.
1: BLADE & SOUL
It seems like Blade & Soul is out there for so long, right? Well, not quite, since NCsoft is still working on the Western version and updates are in very short supply. So what’s left to say about Blade & Soul at this point? This is a beautiful martial arts MMORPG featuring impressive anime characters that look like they’ve been oiled up and sport extremely long legs. There’s a slight chance that you’re part of the few that don’t like the look of it, but to us, this is the work of a genius – and by that we mean Hyung-Tae Kim, the acclaimed artist responsible for this distinctive visual style. Perhaps one day we’ll get to play this game…
HONORABLE MENTION: GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX
There’s not much right now on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, but this is surely a game that will get a lot of attention. What we know so far is that it’s a free-to-play shooter developed by Neople, makers of Dungeon Fighter. It will feature fierce hacking battles between cyborgs fighting over strategic resources and the release is supposedly scheduled for the first half of 2014. We’ll keep an eye on this one.
And there you go, our first Top 10 most anticipated anime MMO games. Let us know in the comments what you think of our choices and which games you would add to this list. We’re pretty sure there are more great F2P anime MMOs incoming, so let’s hear from you!