What to Do When the J.League Season Is Over?!

The end of the J.League 2019 season is just around the corner. It has been a thrilling campaign, particularly at the top of J1, with Kashima Antlers, Yokohama F. Marinos and FC Tokyo still with a shot of the crown with five games to go... but soon the exciting story lines will conclude, leaving a need to be entertained and to compete until the top division of Japanese football gets underway once again.

In the modern day, the go-to source for entertainment is gaming, but despite the dedicated fan base for football in Japan, the licensed video games aren’t among the best sellers. It was found that FIFA 19 on the PlayStation 4 was only the 49th best-selling game of last year, with the Nintendo Switch – the console of choice – version of FIFA 18 and FIFA 19 sitting back at 73rd and 78th – likely due to the lackluster porting efforts of publisher Electronic Arts. So here, we’ll be looking into a few different gaming options that provide the excitement of football, whether the competition is in a huge virtual stadium or simply through the thrills of engaging with game-play features.

Battle in huge football-themed stadiums


One of the biggest releases of the year, if not the biggest, is going to be Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Finally boasting real open-world game-play and featuring on a home console, the Nintendo Switch, everyone is hyped for the newest game. Based in Great Britain, Sword and Shield will bring in a new wave of Pokémon, new ways to interact, and new activities to enjoy. The  developers, Game Freak, have gone all-out to invoke as many elements from their theme as possible, which includes drawing from Britain’s insatiable love of football.

Instead of battling gym leaders in their own building, away from prying eyes, major battles in Pokemon Sword and Shield take place in packed stadiums filled with cheering fans. Game Freak wanted to add as much gravitas to the occasion as possible, so they’ve also included the giant Pokémon feature of Dynamaxing. On top of this, certain Pokémon can Gigantamax, which alters their appearance and moves with specific monsters, such as Charizard, Corviknight, Drednaw, and Pikachu.

Seeking football thrills elsewhere


If you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, or prefer more adult and sophisticated games, one of the best hubs for entertainment online is the casino. Manekichi is specifically built for Japanese gamers, offering a diverse range of games that includes some features that will immerse you in football once again. The pick of the bunch is Mundial Fever as it features Diego Maradona, Pele, Zinedine Zidane, and even a penalty shoot-out feature.

Baseball and rugby games are, understandably, dominating the mobile gaming charts in Japan right now, per SimilarWeb, but Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer app is still the best mobile football game going. Adapted from the console game with a massive mobile audience, the updated app of eFootball PES 2020 now boasts the licenses for Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and, exclusively, Juventus, among others.

The J.League season may be reaching its concluding chapter for 2019, but there are plenty of games ready and waiting to give you your football fix, during the off season.


 

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J1 Standings

 

. Team Pts W D L GF GA G.Dif.
1 Marinos 70 22 4 8 68 38 +30
2 FCTokyo 64 19 7 8 46 29 +17
3 Antlers 63 18 9 7 54 30 +24
4 Frontale 60 16 12 6 57 34 +23
5 Cerezo 59 18 5 11 39 25 +14
6 Sanfrecce 55 15 10 9 45 29 +16
7 Gamba 47 12 11 11 54 48 +6
8 Vissel 47 14 5 15 61 59 +2
9 Trinita 47 12 11 11 35 35 0
10 Consadole 46 13 7 14 54 49 +5
11 Vegalta 41 12 5 17 38 45 -7
12 S-Pulse 39 11 6 17 45 69 -24
13 Grampus 37 9 10 15 45 50 -5
14 Reds 37 9 10 15 34 50 -16
15 Sagan 36 10 6 18 32 53 -21
16 Bellmare 36 10 6 18 40 63 -23
17 Yamaga 31 6 13 15 21 40 -19
18 Jubilo 31 8 7 19 29 51 -22

J2 Standings

. Team Pts W D L GF GA G.Dif.
1 Reysol 84 25 9 8 85 33 +52
2 Yoko FC 79 23 10 9 66 40 +26
4 Vortis 73 21 10 11 67 45 +22
3 Ardija 75 20 15 7 62 40 +22
5 Ventforet 71 20 11 11 64 40 +24
6 Montedio 70 20 10 12 59 40 +19
7 Hollyhock 70 19 13 10 56 37 +19
8 Sanga 68 19 11 12 59 56 +3
9 Fagiano 65 18 11 13 49 47 +2
10 Albirex 62 17 11 14 71 52 +19
11 Zweigen 61 15 16 11 58 46 +12
12 VVaren 56 17 5 20 57 61 -4
13 Verdy 55 14 13 15 59 59 0
14 FCRyukyu 49 13 10 19 57 80 -23
15 Renofa 47 13 8 21 54 70 -16
16 Avispa 44 12 8 22 39 62 -23
17 JEF United 43 10 13 19 46 64 -18
18 Zelvia 43 9 16 17 36 59 -23
19 Ehime FC 42 12 6 24 46 62 -16
20 Tochigi SC 40 8 16 18 33 53 -20
21 Kagoshima 40 11 7 24 41 73 -32
22 FCGifu 30 7 9 26 33 78 -45

J3 Standings

. Team Pts W D L GF GA G.Dif.
1 Giravanz 66 19 9 6 51 27 +24
2 Thespa 63 18 9 7 59 34 +25
3 Fujieda 63 18 9 7 42 31 +11
4 Kataller 58 16 10 8 54 31 23
5 Roasso 57 16 9 9 45 39 +6
6 Cerezo U23 52 16 4 14 49 56 -7
7 Gainare 50 14 8 12 49 59 -10
8 Blaublitz 49 13 10 11 45 35 +10
9 Parceiro 49 13 10 11 35 34 +1
10 Vanuraure 48 14 6 14 49 42 +7
11 Fukushima 43 13 4 17 45 53 -8
12 AzulClaro 39 11 6 17 35 43 -8
13 YSCC 39 12 3 19 53 65 -12
14 Kamatamare 39 10 9 15 33 49 -16
15 Sagamihara 38 10 8 16 36 45 -9
16 FCTokyo U23 36 9 9 16 43 52 -9
17 Gamba U23 35 9 8 17 54 55 -1
18 Grulla 26 7 5 22 36 63 -27