There was once a time that seeing an anime game released on consoles in the West would only happen if it happened to involved Saiyans or ninja in some form but now that anime has spread far wider than before, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see that a game based on the new biggest shonen manga has headed West. With My Hero Academia being the most popular new franchise from Japan does My Hero One’s Justice warrant a purchase?
My Hero One’s Justice finds itself in a bit of an odd place as the story only presents a small introduction to the world of the series, where human beings have begun to be born with special super powers that have been called Quirks, and to the main character Izuku Midoriya who happens to have been born Quirkless only to be given the gift of One for All by the number one hero in Japan, All Might.
After this the story leaps past a large number of character introductions and interactions as well as many battles to pit players into the Hero Killer arc where Stain serves as the primary antagonist before continuing on for a bit. This makes for a rather poor jumping in point for those who have yet to get into the series as not only do you miss out on the character developments that have happened by this point in the series but also a large number of battles. Even for longtime fans this will disappoint many thanks to the events that were skipped in an effort to try and get into this section of the story to try and include a number of the League of Villains characters into the roster, even if some of their inclusions left other popular hero characters by the wayside.
That being said, the story mode itself is handled decently even if it is told in a vignette style that leaves out plenty of details even once it gets into the main focus and there are even a number of special “What If” scenarios included in the game to help give players a bit of a unique experience that features content not found in the story as they help expand characters that tend to be given less time on the pages compared to the main characters. There is even a bit of the story that is told through the side of the villains though don’t expect anything too special here as it still is mostly a retelling of things we’ve seen before. It is worth noting that Bandai Namco has done a very poor job regarding subtitling this game outside of the story mode as they have opted to not only skip out on subtitling what characters say during fights but any special introduction or winning dialogue has also been left unsubtitled.
One of the first things you’ll notice as you begin to play My Hero One’s Justice is that the game is an arena brawler that allows players to select one character as their primary fighter and two sidekicks that can be called upon on cooldown timers to provide assists in combat. The fighting system appears to be incredibly basic at first as there are only a handful of attack buttons even available in the game with a standard attack as well as two Quirk based special attacks combined with the ability to dash and guard.
That being said, while this may seem like a very basic combat system there is a bit more depth here and learning how each character handles will definitely help your experience here. This is thanks to how unique most characters are thanks to many of their movesets and combos being based around their Quirks and with nineteen characters available at start, My Hero One’s Justice may not contain everyone’s potential hopeful (Mina Ashido) but it does sport a solid roster and it is rather nice to see how much attention to detail the developers paid to keeping various details and elements intact regarding how a character’s Quirks work and how they came up with various unique abilities for characters that haven’t really seen too much combat time like Toga and Asui.
Players also build a “Plus Ultra” gauge while fighting through each round of combat and a few special moves can be unleashed depending on the level of charge and once again these moves tend to be a spectacular way to finish an opponent or turn the tide of battle but your opponent also has this ability so you’ll need to keep an eye out for these specials and their activation. That can be a bit of a difficult thing to do however as the camera in this game does seem to have a bit of trouble keeping track of the action at times as it does not directly follow your character and with stage destruction being in the game players will find it difficult to keep a clear eye of sight to see what is coming their way.
Outside of the core story mode players will find that My Hero One’s Justice sports local match where players can choose to fight against AI opponents or a friend on the couch, Online match where you fight against players online where you’ll truly find your abilities put to the test making the other two modes available great for practicing your with your favorite fighters, Arcade where players battle against fighters in a ladder style progression, and finally a Mission mode that will have specific requirements for each battle and ranks depending on how well you do. Unfortunately, most of these modes are incredibly bland outside of the last one as Mission Mode tends to be where most players will likely find themselves when playing offline as it offers the greatest challenges as players must manage their health between battles and select various boosts for their team while progressing further into each stage of a mission.
While playing these modes players can also unlock and dress up their fights with little cosmetic items and various costumes that give them a different look while fighting. These really don’t add too much to the experience but it is rather interesting to see how unique some characters can turn out and thankfully at least some costume pieces from missing characters are included in this regard.
Visuals & Audio
A lot of attention to detail has been paid by the developers to make sure that the fighting in this game looks as good as possible. The characters are all lovingly recreated from their anime appearances with plenty of fun little customization available thanks to the aforementioned costume pieces and fans of the franchise will be happy to see that the Plus Ultra special moves tend to feature unique stage or character altering effects when used.
It is worth noting that Bandai Namco has released this game with only the original Japanese voice track and while it does retain all of the original voice actors from the anime series, their poor handling of subtitles does detract from the experience here. The soundtrack is similarly disappointing as it features a standard array of generic music with no real standout background music nor any of the songs from the anime making it into the game in any form.
My Hero One’s Justice can feel like a bit of a cash-in on a series’ popularity due to how it skimps on the way almost every story element outside of providing some special “What If” scenes is handled but it does pull itself out of that regard by making sure that the details of the fighters and their Quirks were kept as true to the series as possible while making the game accessible but deep enough for fans to enjoy, especially in regards to its faithful anime style visuals. The poorly implemented subtitles don’t help much in this regard either but in the end we have a brawler that is stylish enough and enjoyable enough that fans of My Hero Academia will find plenty to enjoy here, though newcomers may want to get more familiar with the franchise before trying this one out.