Review: My Hero One’s Justice – Smashing, dashing and a heck of a hero

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My Hero One’s Justice is a recently released fighting game set in the world of My Hero Academia and combines some of the best elements of Naruto Shippuden and Dragon Ball Xenoverse into an entirely new series. Find out what we thought of smashing through walls, taking on various challenges and ultimately showing off our hero-based quirks to the world.


Pros:
+Everything feels authentically drawn from inside of My Hero Academia
+
Offers a moderate learning curve when players are looking to master each of the characters
+A 20+ character roster will give you a lot to enjoy as you play the game
+Environmental destruction is an absolute blast to experience

Cons:
-Camera angles can be problematic when running up walls and across them
-Infrequent disconnections can be somewhat irritating a


 

Capes, teen angst, superpowers, and dazzling looks, they’re all the rage in the world of anime. From Fairy Tale to Naruto, we’re used to characters being brash, outrageous and rather colorful in their demeanor. Now, here we are with My Hero One’s Justice, a newly released fighting game from Bandai Namco that once more takes us into one of the worlds within the weekly manga series Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan.

For those unfamiliar with My Hero Academia, ordinary everyday people known as “Quirks” (Kosei in Japanese) live there lives as you and I, but with a catch. They all dream of becoming a hero and some actually make the cut while others turn to the darker side as a villain. For Izuku Midoriya, his dreams of becoming a Hero have come ever closer after losing his childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo from a villain.

Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, he fell short of doing so. somewhere down the road, All Might, the strongest and greatest superhero of them all, bestows a “Quirk” upon Izuku known as “One For All”, and from there, Izuku goes on to become a Hero in training alongside his school duties and attempting to take on the League of Villains.

Now that the stage is set, you may already know that video games that stem from popular anime and manga’s are nothing new. We’ve been getting them for quite some time in the shape of Vampire Hunter DGundam, and even the Dragon Ball series for quite some time. Hell, there’s even almost a yearly release of Naruto games with the recent release of Naruto to Baruto: Shinobi Striker on current-gen consoles.

But it seems quite often that the games come out unpolished, bland, and in dire need of some added content or attention to detail. There are less-than-often times that games like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and the Attack on Titan 2 manage to do things right and give us the games we’ve been waiting for. Some take an unconventional turn and try to do something entirely new and that something doesn’t always seem to work by any means.

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My Hero One’s Justice actually works rather well

Among these few games that actually seems to work rather well comes My Hero One’s Justice, an arcade brawler that blends itself together with gameplay mechanics similar to that of Dragon Ball Xenoverse and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. Byking, the developer behind My Hero One’s Justice is very evidently a fan of My Hero Academia and it works in their favor rather well.

Much like any other well-established fighting franchise, there’s no shortage of things to do. You have six playable modes: story, arcade, mission, training, local battle, and online. There are three other modes as well that you can jump into at any given time such as a profile customization option and even a shop where you can customize each of the characters within the game.

Trust me, 20 characters is a lot to edit and it’s an absolute blast doing so when you aren’t digging around in the gallery mode where you can view cutscenes from the story, enjoy some nifty in-game models, listen to some voice clips and even enjoy some toons when you aren’t checking out the character art.

Jumping straight into story mode is an absolute must. The story itself, if you are wondering where it takes place in the My Hero Academia series takes place between episodes 27 and 49. The story itself is split across two different scenarios: the heroes and the villains, giving you a chance to enjoy each perspective individually.

As you plow your way through the story – something that I did in about five hours total – you’ll find yourself enjoying plenty of story, some hilarious moments and yourself being graded as if you are a rookie hero in a training mission. The higher the score you achieve, the better the rewards are you get for your character customization options – the most I’ve seen is three items total, which must be the maximum amount you can earn per “episode”.

Sadly, the rarest of the items are locked behind objectives, each of them being hidden and requiring you to discover them at your very own leisure. But, combat, may end up being a bit turned off for those of you looking for a Xenoverse-esque experience.

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The combat is still an absolute blast

If you’ve played games like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm or Naruto to Baruto: Shinobi Striker, then you have a decent idea of what to expect from the camera angles, combat, and maneuverability. The only difference here is that the game actually has a moderate amount of depth to it and some decent learning curves depending on the Hero or Villain you choose to be.

While there are two control options, one a slightly more simpler version of the latter, you won’t really need to change up your controls. This game is a complete button masher for those that enjoy a good fighting game that is pedal to the medal fast for fans of arcade-style fighters.

Just like any game of this type, you will be able to dash, block, use combos, earn a Plus Ultra meter, call in support characters and even use special abilities in order to change up the pacing of combat. Unfortunately, the movement system does feel as if it needs work more than attacking, charging up specials and landing combo attacks. Running up walls, attempting ring outs and even throwing opponents feels floaty, light and not as grounded as I would have liked to have seen, but it does bring in a welcomed learning curve to the fighting genre.

After you master running up walls, manipulating your quirks with your basic attacks, then My Hero One’s Justice really begins to shine and become a much different game. Due to the camera angle, which is in a constant “follow” state, you may find yourself a bit lost as you adjust to the game. While it does a great job at keeping up with the action, it does get a bit wonky when moving into the air or up the walls and left me frustrated more-often-than-not due to the camera angles I was getting caught in.

Much like Street Fighter or Soul Calibur, your gauge-based abilities – in this situation Plus Ultra attacks – are absolutely fun to unleash. These things aren’t just some flash attack that goes across the screen in some random manner. The Plus Ultra attacks – if landed – are truly cinematic experiences, giving you a good idea of how the attack would look in an anime-situation.

And both levels of them are absolutely awesome to see thanks to how Byking set things up and completely utilized the power of Unreal Engine 4 for what they intended with the game. Attacks are flashy, they stand out and they truly feel as if were pulled straight from the anime series itself.

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When you aren’t beating the crap out of people, there’s quite a bit to do

One thing that’s always welcomed in fighting games is how much there is to do once you’ve plowed your way through the arcade and story modes the games tend to offer. Thankfully Byking didn’t want things to get dull at any point in time and they wanted to offer players a chance to keep things fresh.

Among the many things available for you to do there are several modes, all of which are explanatory, but I can’t stress the importance of them all. The training mode is an absolute must if you want to master the character(s) of your choice. Due to how much I wanted to master characters such as All Might and Kaminari, I spent a lot of time bouncing between the various modes (primarily Arcade and Local Battle) in order to learn my character’s capabilities, specials, and her timing.

Through each of her six battles, I became more adept at maximizing her damage output, each time getting further and further with less struggle than before. Due to the Arcade Mode not having launched until the day of release, I opted to hold off on releasing our review (which is why it’s just now getting published). Over the course of my time in the Arcade Mode, I found that as the difficulty went up, so did my awareness and readiness to block, kick and punch when needed and dashed if it meant pursuing an opponent.

Once having fought my way through each of my six opponents, I would unlock a special item for Kaminari, allowing me to customize her further. Due to the fact that there are 20 characters, you will need to play through it at least once with each character to obtain all the Arcade Mode’s items it has to offer.

As part of keeping replayability in focus, Byking didn’t hesitate with Missions, a unique set of battles that will take place.  In this mode, my absolute favorite of them all, you will unlock each of the mission maps in order and they do have paths that will branch off from where you managed to progress to. These paths will be filled with several encounters that you will partake in. Unfortunately, if you’re still a bit of a rookie and learning your way through your character, you’ll notice that your health bar doesn’t refill by any means.

Even as modifiers are swapped out between your fights, they will continue getting harder as you progress. As you do have three fighters at your disposal, it’s highly recommended for one to learn the three characters you will plan to use. As you complete each fight you will be given items to use throughout your journey. These items can do things such as heal them or give them a special buff to help in their next encounter. Due to how limited these are, you may want to plan out when and when not to use them. Well, really, that is what you want to do as you progress through the game.

If this very mode had been the story mode itself, I’d have been more ecstatic to experience the story multiple times just for the fact it provides a unique and difficult challenge. Due to how many items there are in the game for customization, I highly recommend this mode so you can unlock as much as you want and show off your characters in the online mode. Speaking of online, let’s talk about it for a second.

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A new challenger approaches!

When it comes to online play for multiplayer games of any type, there are several things you have to consider: connection types, region, netcode (how well it’s optimized) and the possibility of dedicated servers to ensure your player base can enjoy the game with one another without lag – well as little of it as possible – isn’t a hindrance on the players.

Here, you have your typical fighting game, one that uses a peer-to-peer connection to allow fans to game together. You even have the ability to connect directly to a friend of your choice or search for a lobby. The issue is? I’ve run into considerable lag from time to time, laggy enough the matches dropped connection altogether and left me hanging for one more chance to dive back in.

Luckily, the lag wasn’t consistent and it varied from opponent to opponent as I bounced between the various matches. The netcode itself seems pretty stable and tries to match you with people close to your location and server settings. This seems to be a common case for fighting games as it’s also been well noted by Soul Calibur VI fans that matchmaking there also uses peer-to-peer matchmaking systems.

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Graphics and Performance

Among the best of the features within My Hero One’s Justice is the graphics and performance. Sitting at a solid 60fps at 1080p, My Hero One’s Justice is by far one of the best anime-inspired games on the market. Using the exact designs it was inspired by, the game itself serves up a delicate dish of anime-style servings, making it feel as if you are playing the actual anime and manga-style experiences for you to enjoy.

While it’s not unexpected for 60fps to be a targeted performance for the game, it does indeed work and it works rather well in this situation. But it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything that goes on within the game. Walls will break, the damage will show as you beat away at one another and toss each other across the room. Even the ground beneath you and various parts of the arena itself will suffer damage.

You will see street lamps, walls and other pieces of the arena break one at a time. Because of this, the level of immersion has been made even more valuable and something other games could truly learn from in the future. After all, who hasn’t ached for a bit of environmental destruction in their fighting games?

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Fin.

When it comes boiling down to it, My Hero’s One Justice is an absolute blast, one that’s intense, fun and yields a rather strong learning curve for those wanting to truly learn every approach to every encounter. With the added modes, a plethora of collectibles and even a brief, but a spot-on story to experience, you won’t be disappointed in My Hero One’s Justice.

My Hero One’s Justice
Platforms:
Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Version Reviewed: 
PlayStation 4
Developer: 
Byking
Publisher:
Bandai Namco
Release Date: 
Available Now
Cost: 
$59.99

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have collectibles to unlock.


Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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