Shonen Jump’s tactical RPG is a great manga crossover
If you haven’t noticed, 2022 has by far become the year of media conglomerates capitalizing on ownership of disparate properties. You can clearly see this in the realm of video games as MultiVersus and the final boss of wacky crossovers, Fortnite. Not to be outdone, popular manga publisher Shonen Jump has also dipped into the video game pool with its own crossplay.
Captain Velvet Meteor: the dimensions of the jump + is a 2D isometric tactical video game developed by Momo-Pi, the creators of the turn-based puzzle game Persephone. You play as Damien, a sweet kid struggling with his family’s recent move from France to Japan. Unfortunately, Damien doesn’t get a chance to air his grievances to his parents because they left him home alone with a list of chores. Luckily for Damien, he has a vivid imagination to help him move faster and combat his nagging anxieties about loneliness. Whenever Damien is overwhelmed, like tending to small talk with a noisy neighbor or calming down his nervous dog, he recontextualizes the scenarios as if he were in a manga. Through this lens, he transforms into the manga’s fearless protagonist, Captain Velvet Meteor.
Captain Velvet Meteorthe fight is similar to live alivetile-centric combat system, albeit much more streamlined. You control Captain Meteor and a character from Shonen Jump as they fight their way through puzzles and turn-based battles. Because characters share a health bar, their positioning plays a major role in how battles unfold. Successfully defeating hordes of enemies rewards you with both a replenished health bar and increased movement points. While the initial levels play like a lively game of checkers, its later levels spice things up by turning into a challenging game of chess. Its climactic final boss fights, which often include dope designs like a giant kaiju dog, are a blitzkrieg of frenetic combat intertwined with traps and waves of enemies.
Where Captain Velvet Meteor shines is that he doesn’t go the easy route by having Damien’s machinations involve heroic teams with well-established Shonen Jump protagonists like Goku from Dragon Ball Zor Naruto Uzumaki’s naruto (they’re probably too busy wreaking havoc on Fortnite). Instead, Damien teams up with newer and moderately lesser-known shonen protagonists:
- Loid Forger’s Spy x Family
- Kafka Hibino by Kaiju #8
- Gabimaru from heaven from hell
- Ushio Kofune from Daylight saving time rendering
- Chloe Love and Kai Iod from Ghost Grim Reaper Girl
- Chromium of Cardiac equipment
- Princess and Ex of It’s time for “torture”, princess
- Slime from Slime Life
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Before playing Captain Velvet MeteorI was only reading Spy x Family, Kaiju #8and heaven from hell and was lost whenever the other 62.5% of Damian’s favorite manga appeared on screen. While most crossplay ignores the premise of its contrasting properties for the novelty of its absurd crossovers, Captain Velvet Meteor avoids this pitfall by crafting an engaging story that respects its manga source material with battles that capture their energy and tell its own story.
To my surprise, the game not only successfully achieved its not-so-subtle marketing goal of sparking my interest in reading other manga properties by providing a rough summary of their stories, but it also weaved together an engaging story where each character gives Damien heartwarming life advice. If that’s not the definition of being a hero, I don’t know what is.
It’s not often that a video game creates a thoughtful story as the basis for its blatant fanservice crossover, but Captain Velvet Meteor has his cake and eats it too. And it’s damn delicious.