Developed by: Byking
Published by: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One.
Reviewed on: Playstation 4
In real life, anyone with imagination at some point in their life imagines themselves being a hero, more so if you watch anime. I am no different and that’s why My Hero Academia is noted as my third best anime/manga to date with cliche quotes by my anime friends.
I can’t be a hero to the world if I can’t save even one person
– The power of anime friendships
This game is a form of celebration of how far this series has come to and inspired the many unyielding heroes deep in us to help others as we face adversity challenges. That is where my first impression lies when I first lay my eyes on My Hero One’s Justice 2 with multiple selections of characters to choose from, costumes, flashy and fleshy quirks. And yes this is my first My Hero One’s Justice game I ever played as I have previously missed the first one. The point is did it deliver fun, challenging plus anime goodness? We shall see.
The story can be a mixed bag (Minus Ultra)
Other than the good short opening cinematics; in terms of progress, the game really tries hard to tell all aspects of the story from the Exam Arc and Shie Hassaikai Arc without any form of recap which may cause newcomers unfamiliar with the series to be puzzled and ask themselves “what the hell is going on”. The game delivers most of the storytelling in comic strips and film reels the same way a character called Nighteye as he can read a person’s future in the form of a film reel but it occurs in such sporadic way that sometimes I got myself confused if this is Nighteye’s perspective before he passes or just the game’s sole way to tell the story.
Aside from that, the comic strips scenes were directly cut out from the stills of the anime itself instead of the manga which at first seems to be a good idea. The issue inevitably arises as even though I have a deep sense of love for both the anime and manga, the stills just does not have the same intensity, intense strokes and dramatic angles that the manga strip has so I do wonder why didn’t they draw inspiration from the manga. The only thing that elevates the whole experience together with justice is actually great voice acting from the actors and actresses themselves that seems to carry the whole weight of the storytelling and keep it alive as an actual anime. I hope they are all seeing a chiropractor after this for their superb backups.
Things do pick up at the very end of the story in the form of a few short five to ten seconds 3D cinematics. The game also allowed me to choose the villain campaign of the story after finishing the hero’s arc which makes it feel somewhat longer.
I just wished that the whole story was being told from the villain’s point of view where he (Kai Chisaki) killed our main character (Izuku Midoriya) before Nighteye uses his quirk to look back via film reel – allowing players to play and change Izuku Midoriya’s deadly fate in the hero’s arc because it makes more anime sense this way.
Gameplay (Fair Ultra)
This 3D arena fighter gameplay is actually surprisingly simple with no complicated or varied combos in between to achieve the following:
- A simple four times square button to complete a combo
- Hold directional buttons plus with a square button to use counter-attacks which is basically an unflinching golden glowing attack that stops an enemy attack but can be blocked (R1 button) or dodged via ( R1 + direction button)
- Holding the R1 button plus pressing square will trigger an unblockable guard breaker attack but can be stopped with a simple mash of four times square button
- R2 or L2 button to summon sidekick to disrupt enemies combo
See where this is going? This is basically a Rock, Paper, Scissors type of fighter in essence where both you and the opponents trying to figure out each other’s hand before predicting and executing the moves. Other than that the Triangle and circle buttons were used mostly for one time special attacks alongside L1 to dash away or into enemies; whereas the L2 and R2 buttons allow players to bring out their side characters to do their dirty work alongside R1+ triangle or circle to use your character cinematic super as well as your sidekicks super cinematic (R2 or L2 twice) supers as the Plus Ultra bar fills up. There will be many characters (about 41 of them) to choose from however you will definitely feel either overpowered, faster or even underpowered because the balancing of each character is a huge problem, for example, a spam-able range attack and counters like Nighteye.
However, another issue I found from the gameplay is the Plus Ultra bar fills up really slowly resulting in cinematic powers being displayed only once per fight which is a lackluster experience if I wanted to execute them and feel like a superhero. It is recommended that the bar fills up even faster or automatically as the hero’s/villain’s health is lesser than 40% or in the red zone which will make it even more rewarding in the clutch.
Talk about a character who knows how to break the fourth wall! #MyHeroOnesJustice2
— Bandai Namco US (@BandaiNamcoUS) March 20, 2020
The environments in the levels do break like the floors to fall into another stage however it is not clearly stated which stage has the breakable floor as there are no clear indications like highlighted floor or walls. Besides the fact that you can run on walls after pushing your opponents into the walls; the level designs feel repetitively wide and lifeless to me without any form of background people fleeing, cars driving away and panic in the streets in which villain based characters can attack to fill up the Plus Ultra Bar quickly or be stopped by Hero based characters to fill up theirs instead.
Adding on the aspect of playing as villains in the story mode, your only enemy to fight against is the same generic AI character models that can get pretty repetitive over time.
Lights, Camera, graphics, sounds! (PLUS ULTRA)
Here is the main meat of the game, the graphics and the camera works in combat perfectly that will pan automatically even closer to whoever successfully hit a combo that makes the game immersive; emulating what anime feels like with really flashy moves and combos that make anyone including myself feels kinda good executing it. Aside from that, the main menu screen is littered with fan-favorite characters doing different actions like stabbing you (Himiko Toga) via gallery mode or Midoriya showing off his comic book via main story mode and many more. Other than the flashy graphics, the music in this game appears to be upbeat generic tunes which is actually pretty much ok because it’s not so overpowering against the sound of pummeling action coming out from my thumbs.
What I Liked
- Tons of characters and different moves
- Immersive camera
- Flashy moves
- Good voice actors
- Generic but slightly upbeat soundtracks
- Customizable characters
What I Think Can Be Improved On
- More movements in storytelling, it’s much better in actual manga comic strips rather than cutting it out from the anime as still images.
- Character’s balancing is off the charts
- The combo is flashy but less varied in terms of combo executions
- Things like short cinematics only pick up almost at the end
- Filling up the Plus Ultra super bar ratio is really slow till at some point your opponent dies before you are able to execute one super without getting hit.
- Supers cinematic variety is pretty lacking too.
- Tutorials were just checking a bunch of checklists
- Bad multiplayer and online rank mode, unable to log into a proper match with (Network error) till today.
- Pretty boring mission modes and one-liner arcade mode…
- Repetitively wide level designs and lifeless backgrounds
- Always the same generic AI model for villains to fight against
- Minor mishap of a character disappearing on screen entirely which happens to be a rare bug
Favorite characters to play as
- Midoriya’s – Moves are really flashy
- Nighteye – Looks cool to play as
- Momo Yaoyorozu – Because of her crazy weapons shifting especially the spear
- Gran Torino – For the sheer speed and astonishing combos that attacks non-stop
- Tsuyu Asui – Spammy range tongue attacks~ (spam block + tongue, thank me later)
Most irritating character to play against (Don’t ask)
- Gang Orca – $#%^$&#&^$
My Hero One Justice 2 is generally an immersive 3D fighter game that could really have been better with better storytelling cinematic elements, lively level designs, more varied combos and adding minigames like the exam entrance. The game is best recommended for the anime/manga fans of the series who very much loves the series and the respective characters like myself till the point that they would forgive losing a few key aspects of the game like lacking enemy variety in the Suneaters character debut glory and definitely not for those who have no idea or loosely follow the series who will otherwise treat it as mindless party fun. Overall, even despite the fact of good graphics and immersive camera, I don’t feel like an anime superhero/supervillain while playing this game, more like a sidekick actually showing only a fraction of supers in one fight.