The adventure genre as of late has seen a lot of popular hits such as The Walking Dead, Grim Fandango, Minecraft and Life is Strange. These notable titles are played worldwide by many and have unforgettable gameplay that still leaves a warm feeling inside after clearing them. We’d love to shed some light on some very popular anime style adventure titles because hey, everybody needs love so why not embrace our inner otaku and talk about what Honey’s Anime knows best: Anime. While a lot of western titles are hitting the mainstream more commonly these days, we simply can’t take our eyes away from the creative genius of Japanese game development and their own take on the genre. So let’s take a closer look at some of the best adventure anime games out there, and shout out some that are quite popular, but didn’t quite make the cut.
10. Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch
- System/Platform: Windows
- Publisher: 07th Expansion
- Developer: 07th Expansion
- Release Date: August 17, 2007
Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch is a murder mystery adventure produced by 07th expansion, that sold out in roughly 30 minutes after being released at Comiket 72 back in 2007. Much of the doujin story focuses on a eighteen people who are situated on a secluded island for two days, while mysterious murders start to unfold around them. It’s now up to you to determine whether the killer is among those on the island, or some bored supernatural being that just felt like killing people for amusement.
Comiket is big business here in Japan and so when you doujin artwork or game gets sold out in thirty minutes, you can’t help but grin from ear to ear as you know you’ve hit the jackpot. What makes Umineko distinct from other visual novels is that it focuses on a sound novel approach, where the player doesn’t need to interact as everything is text dialogue. It’s the ambience and music that truly sets that dark tone, and perhaps that’s what helped it to sell out so fast. If you’re looking for something fresh or perhaps you’re a fan of the popular anime series, then definitely check this one out.
9. Danganronpa 1・2: Reload
- System/Platform: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, PC
- Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
- Developer: Spike Chunsoft
- Release Date: August 2011
Danganronpa 1・2: Reload takes everything you loved from both Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair and puts it into one game for your enjoyment. This is great value because not only do you get two for the price of one, but the fun you’ll experience along the way is priceless.
The hype from number one simmers well in your soul, while Goodbye Despair gets you prepared for the next batch of Danganronpa games that are scheduled to release soon. With newly added modes as well such as School Mode and Island Mode, where you can spend more time getting to know characters, there’s plenty more to get excited about. Speaking of excitement, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony should be arriving on store shelves in Japan next month, so if you’re a hardcore fan of the visual novel adventure series then you’d best get out your wallet and pre order to get your hands on it when it drops.
8. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
- System/Platform: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
- Publisher: Aksys Games | Spike Chunsoft
- Developer: Spike Chunsoft
- Release Date: December 10, 2009
So what do you get when you have nine people trapped on a boat with nine doors to choose from, with only nine hours left to make a decision or else you die? You end up with a lot of difficult puzzles along with numerous endings that could spell the end of you if you’re not careful. You’re forced to play the Nonary Game and you must obey the rules otherwise that small ingested explosive you have lodged in your stomach will turn you into spaghetti sauce.
Personally speaking, being trapped on a boat doesn’t seem all too bad. It’s only when you’re reminded that you only have nine hours to figure your way out of a deadly game that you start to poop yourself a little, and panic sets in. Luckily this is just a game and your underwear will stay stain free, but perhaps the game will make you sweat a little bit because despite having a pretty interesting story with a ton of endings to choose from, you’ll be scratching your head at times as you wrap your head around all the numbers on screen. Patience is the way to go in this one, so take your time and think carefully.
7. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
- System/Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: June 9, 2016
Phoenix is quite the popular character here at Honey’s headquarters, and all the bees here just can’t stop buzzing about him. In the latest installment of the series, much of what you’d expect from Phoenix Wright is all there with some cool surprises that await you in the story mode. What truly separates the Phoenix Wright from any other adventure title is that it incorporates unique elements such as being able to sniff out a lie from witnesses, while observing specific tells when someone seems to be under a lot of stress.
The courtroom can certainly get tense and in Spirit of Justice, it definitely gets quite interesting the further you dive deeper into the story. More weird crimes take place and you must take to the stand as the lead defense attorney to bring these petty criminals into custody, and save society from harm. Using forensic science to gather complex evidence, or screaming out “OBJECTION!” when you feel you’ve got the upper hand never felt more rejuvenating. It’s a wonderful game that definitely deserves all the praise and should not be slept on by any means.
6. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
- System/Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 2, iOS, Android
- Publisher: Nintendo Australia | Square Enix Holdings
- Developer: Level-5
- Release Date: November 7, 2004
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King was one of the better Dragon Quest titles to hit the west because it took advantage of cel shaded graphics while introducing full 3D environments and character models compared to past iterations. Everything else you’d expect from the series remains very much intact, especially the RPG element that cemented Dragon Quest as the biggest RPG title in Japan to date. You must team up with your allies as the mischievous Dhoulmagus has cursed the kingdom of Trodain, leaving it in ruins. Now everything is on the line as you do your best to restore everything back to its original form, and save the king.
The classic Dragon Quest games were always known for their turn based approach to RPG’s and VIII followed that same path. It wasn’t up until perhaps Dragon Quest Heroes that saw the franchise dip its hands into a more real time battle scenario, but for those who are hardcore fans of the traditional style of play then don’t sleep on this critically acclaimed title, known to be one of the best games ever made.
5. Gravity Rush
- System/Platform: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Developer: SIE Japan Studio
- Release Date: February 9, 2012
Gravity Rush came into the race during a time when the PlayStation Vita was still in its infancy, but had it not been for the success of this game perhaps the Vita would’ve had a much slower beginning. Gravity Rush takes place in the cel shaded world of Hekseville where protagonist Kat runs into a mysterious cat known as Dusty, who gives Kat the power to control gravity. With this newly acquired power, Kat must now use it for good will to protect the town from evil creatures known as Nevi who’ve appeared along with a dangerous gravity storm.
What’s so gratifying about Gravity Rush isn’t so much in its graphical prowess, but more so in its ability to allow players to control gravity which in turn affects the entire environment. It was truly a unique experience unlike any other title for the Vita, which took advantage of its motion controls and touch screen capabilities. The PS4 version however is where Gravity Rush truly felt like a rush because not only did it receive a major overhaul in terms of appearance, but the game felt more seamless on the PS4 controls than it did on the Vita. We honestly can’t wait for Gravity Rush 2 to come out so we can control gravity once again and take down the baddies that try to terrorize the town.
4. Shenmue II
- System/Platform: Dreamcast, Xbox
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Sega AM2
- Release Date: September 6, 2001
This top ten list is full of heavy hitters that it truly hurt us to let go of some of our backup picks. However we simply couldn’t ignore Sega’s all time classic that truly opened the door for various other titles to hit the shelves such as the famed Yakuza series. Shenmue II continued where the first left off as Ryo travels to the busy streets of Hong Kong in pursuit of his father’s killer. On his journey he encounters a beautiful young female who now becomes a part of his life, and aids him along towards discovering the truth behind his father’s death.
Shenmue II did what a lot of other games at the time didn’t, all thanks to the god Yu Suzuki. His dedication to creating a theatrical masterpiece really nailed it in many ways, creating an open world adventure unlike any other for its time, featuring a day and night system, and a very life life environment where NPC characters actually stick to schedules. It was truly breathtaking at the time, and looking back at it now Shenmue II was a game truly beyond its time. The story is so emotionally engrossing that you’ll cry once it’s all over, begging for it not to end. Fortunately we can wipe away those tears because Suzuki promised to bring us Shenmue III next year. Glory to the heavens!
- System/Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Clover Studio
- Release Date: April 20, 2006
Okami is yet another memorable title that just can’t seem to leave our minds no matter how hard we try. You command the sun goddess turned dog, Amaterasu, who must now save the world from the evil Yami who’s determined to paint the world in darkness. Now with the celestial brush in hand, you must embark on a mythical journey to repaint the world as it once were, one full of light and prosperity.
Okami is widely considered to be one of the best games ever made by critics around the world, complementing its innovative way of using Japanese folklore and mythology in a very artistic fashion unlike anything anyone has seen in a video game. It took a glorious handful of inspiration from the Zelda title pertaining to its adventure aspects, while throwing in new gameplay elements which overtime became such a staple in future games. Swiping your enemies with the celestial brush felt so satisfying, even more so on the Wii and PlayStation Move. We could go on for days about this all time classic, but then we’d need at least 3 pages or so for that.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- System/Platform: Nintendo Wii
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo Australia | Monolith Soft
- Release Date: November 18, 2011
Skyward Sword was the Nintendo Wii’s Ocarina of Time in many regards, and today is still widely considered to be one of the best Zelda titles in history. Taking everything you’d expect from Ocarina of Time and turning up the voltage well past the maximum, players are thrown into a visually spectacular world where you and Link must fight through a horde of enemies in order to restore peace back to Hyrule, while ensuring Zelda’s safety.
Just one look at Skyward Sword and your salivating at its remarkable graphics, which truly were beyond its time especially on the Wii. While known to be graphically inferior when compared to the likes of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the Wii took their AAA titles and threw some magical dust over them to just blow the minds of fans away. Skyward Sword was majestic in so many ways, from the gripping story to the incredible open world experience that Zelda games are known for. As you slash your way through the powerful narrative, you’re trapped in this splendid fantasy world that feels so real and vivid, yet in the back of your mind it’ll all come to a sad end when you complete it all.
1. Pokemon Sun & Moon
- System/Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: The Pokemon Company | Nintendo
- Developer: Game Freak
- Release Date: November 18, 2016
Call us fanboys if you will but it’s quite apparent to many people in the world that Pokemon is no laughing matter in the sales category, and with Pokemon GO acting as the primer for what’s now a huge explosion from Pokemon Sun & Moon, the series is perhaps the best game of the year hands down. There’s no mistaking the genius behind the craft, as Game Freak has taken what many people know and love about the Pokemon series, throws you on a brand new island with 80 new species along with familiar faces showing up out of the blue, and gameplay that’s sure to last you several months if not years.
We say years because the competitive Pokemon scene is constantly evolving, with new strategies always behind discovered by young prodigies and veterans alike, and new players making their way into the already mammoth community. Since 1996 Game Freak has breathed life back into an industry that was once laughed at by many, and now is swimming in billions of our fanboy/girl dollars. There’s no arguing that Pokemon Sun & Moon have surely made its mark in the handheld market, and with plenty more to catch out there in the wild there’s no telling what to expect next from Nintendo’s biggest franchise.
Many of you who’ve read this far are probably steaming that some of your favorites haven’t made the list, and we totally understand your pain entirely. The world as we know just isn’t that fair sometimes, but lets face it, there’s just so many great adventure titles out there that we’d need to make a top 100 list at some point. With other great titles like Akiba’s Trip, Super Mario, Himawari The Sunflower, Timestalkers and an array of others it’s tough to choose right? In the meantime, let us know what your favorite adventure anime hits are in the comments section down below and be sure to tweet out our articles to keep the community buzzing!
As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.