The Anime Fan (see: The “That Time I Thought I Almost Died and Though I’m Glad I Lived I Think It Would Have Kind of Been Cool if I Did Die if it Meant I’d Get Transferred Into an Isekai” Person)
Do you have someone in your life who is just absolutely obsessed with Japanese culture and media? Do they have extensive knowledge on at least five different flavors of Kit Kat and Gundam? Do they have statues of half naked, inhumanly proportioned women because they “love their character development and wanted a physical representation of their admiration and, honestly, it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re dressed that way but what are you going to do?” Have you gotten them to go into a long LONG debate of why “subbed is superior to dubbed” merely because you asked them if they wanted something to drink? Here’s a fantastic list of suggestions for the weeb in your life.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
While it’s not the latest Fire Emblem game for the Switch it is, in this humble writers opinion, the best. Fire Emblem is a tactical role playing game (think chess but every piece is alive and in this case objectively attractive) where you are playing the role of a fighter inexplicably put in charge of running a class of students in a private school for young soldiers to be.
This game honestly has so much to do in it. When you’re not out in the field with your students casting spells and assaulting opposing armies with a litany of combat types, you’re back at school where you’re doing everything from having meals, putting together class schedules for the week, fishing, and running errands all while getting to know your students and coworkers.
You can also romance one of your students which, on one hand is SUPER unethical the more you think about it, but on the other hand creates a really powerful character when you eventually marry them. You can also get your other students to hook up by having them fight side by side on the battlefield which can often create really interesting story-lines where their unique personalities play off each other.
All of this is set dressing for a bigger story about invading armies, political shenanigans, and your classic reawakened evil dragon scenario which I promise your anime fan is VERY familiar with.
Oh, and when they’ve beaten the game they can play it two more times (three if they got the add-on content) and play through the game again but in charge of a different house with a slightly different story and MANY different characters to get to know.
Persona 5 Royal
Depending on who you ask, Persona 5 Royal is either one of the most beautiful RPGs in recent history or it’s the video game equivalent of doffing a fedora, tipping it ever so slightly, and gently muttering “m’lady”. Luckily for you, I’m in the first camp because I think this game is stunning.
You play a high schooler who attempts to stop a high ranking official from forcing himself on a woman (it’s not for youngins) and ends up getting wrongfully arrested, expelled, and forced to start over in a new city.
From there your character’s experience of “justice” awakens him to a supernatural world where him and his school friends can enter the minds of some of the worst people in Tokyo via their “mind palace” which takes the form of a dungeon, and mess them up so bad from inside their subconscious that it breaks the villains to the point of turning themselves in and confessing to every terrible thing they’ve ever done.
Any while it does feel ironic to force yourself into the mind of someone and force them to see differently to stop them from forcing themselves onto people, the victims of the crimes seem to be pretty damn happy that their assailant gets what’s coming to them.
Story aside, this game is gorgeous. I’m not kidding, even the various menus in the game are prettier than some games as a whole. The music is also just fantastic, able to fill your home with absolutely unforgettable songs. Wait till you get Shapeshifter stuck in your head, just saying.
3) Astral Chain
Okay, so the last two games were kind of slow paced roleplaying games. Maybe the person you’re buying for is more action oriented. They want something they can get into, jump around in, and just beat up enemies without worrying about turn taking or item usage. They wanna button mash. Don’t worry, Astral Chain is here for you.
Sure, playing a cop in 2023 feels a little weird, but luckily these are special cops that only fight supernatural creatures hellbent on destruction. Which, despite what the off duty cop hanging around the gas station in his pickup adorned with Punisher stickers will tell you, is NOT the same thing as what regular cops do.
In Astral Chain not only do you get to go into battle against crazy monsters with a wide variety of attack methods and special weapons, there’s also several points in the game where you can use the “astral chain” item to capture a beast and have it fight along side you. This adds multiple layers to the battle that I’ve never seen in other games.
Firstly, you can control your partner easily while also keeping control of your character. But you can also move your partner at the same time as you meaning that, with enough practice, you can do the thing my dog does whenever I take him for walks, and run the chain around an enemy trapping them and preventing them from moving until they untangle themselves.
Astral Chain is a really fun action game set in a bizarre world filled with just about every anime trope your gamer could want.
Games to Avoid:
Anime games can be fun but they’re also famous for having some absolute stinkers. Here’s some to watch out for.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance
- Whether you believe Avatar is anime or not is debatable, what isn’t debatable, however, is the fact that this game is stinky.
- Almost anything based off a popular anime
- Unless they are a SUPER fan of one particular anime, most games based off anime shows themselves tend to be fairly lackluster.
- ANYTHING with Hentai in the title
- If you don’t know what the word means, that’s fine, don’t Google it. But trust me that in this one case, if they’re asking to get a digital purchase of one of the surprising amount of Nintendo Switch digital games that has the word in the title, just don’t do it. Thank me later when you find out the hard way what that word means.
Now, read on to see what you should get the competitive sports fan in your life! And keep reading on for even more bespoke shopping lists!