My Hero One’s Justice: The popular manga/anime series Boku no Hero Academia/My Hero Academia gets its second game for consoles (after Battle forAll, for Nintendo 3DS), the first released to Xbox One. Developed by Japanese studio Byking Inc and published by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, My Hero One’s Justice is a 3D fighting game that immerses you in this world of heroes vs villains. For those unfamiliar with the series (like me, before this review), Boku no Hero Academia/My Hero Academia is written and illustrated by Kohei Horikosh and have been published in Shonen Jump, the weekly magazine that gave birth to most (if not all) anime series to came to hit the West, since 2014. Two years later, it debuted as an anime in MBS and other affiliate channels from Japan News Network by the hands of Kenji Nagasaki (direction), written by Yosuke Kuroda, drawings from Yoshikiko Umakoshi and music by Yuki Hayashi. It tells the story of Izuku Midoriya, a boy who was born without any special powers in a world where it’s quite common to have them and wishes to become a superhero. After a turn of events, he receives some of the power from the biggest hero, All Might, and starts to take classes to become a hero in the Hero Academia. And here begins our adventure!Choose your side in this battle and follow us into this review to know more about the game!
What is Good?
- Visuals: If you are familiar with BANDAI NAMCO anime-based games, you already know what to expect with My Hero One’s Justice visuals: the game uses beautiful cell-shaded 3D graphics for characters in 3D arenas, where the battles take place. The main difference from other titles like the Ninja Storm series or One Piece is that the arenas are smaller and have an important vertical element. But we’ll discuss it later. There are interesting cutscenes and (colorful) manga-like sequences the tells the story of the anime in story mode.
- Sound: The game presents some great music and sound effects, but the voice acting is simply superb. And it was a surprise for me: voices are available only in Japanese, with the original voice casting from the anime. I’m sorry if you prefer animes dubbed in your home idiom, but that’s the way things should be. And don’t worry about it: there are subtitles in almost everywhere so you won’t be lost.
- Gameplay: The fights happen in teams off three vs three (a trend in fighting games nowadays?), but only your main character really enters the arena, while the other two work as a support/striker with a cooldown time. About the control scheme, you have one attack button, one jump button (double jump by tapping out twice), two gift buttons (your character Technics), a defense button and a dash on the bumpers and the triggers to call your supports (one for each). Though simple, the schematic for controls works perfectly for the combat. And speaking of which…
- Fighting scheme: In the world of My Hero Academia, each character have different Quirks. Think about it like Ryu’s Hadouken or Goku’s Kamehameha. Quirks and attacks vary by pressing the button with the analog stick on a neutral position or being pushed in some direction. Your special attacks, the Plus Ultra, are used by pressing simultaneously defense plus one of the quirk buttons, at the cost of your special bar (one or two, depending on what quirk you used). Using defense plus both quirks unleashes your EX Plus Ultra, a triple special attack in which your supports come on the screen and use their quirk attacks together with your main character at the cost of three special bars. Plus Ultras have very cool visuals, BTW. My only complaint about it is that your special bar fills at a very slow pace: the vast majority of my matches have finished before reaching the third special bar. You are probably going to see a pair of 1-bar Plus Ultra or a single 2-bar by each player. Fights take place in box-like arenas (some don’t have walls, so fighters can be eliminated when hitting the floor) inspired in places from the anime, with many destructible elements. Sometimes, after landing a strong attack or combo, characters are thrown up in the sky or against walls. If the fighter that landed the hit dashes after the enemy, the fight continues on the walls, like if there’s no gravity! An amazing and very original idea, if you ask me.
- Game modes: My Hero One’s Justice has some interesting game modes: you have at your disposal Training, Local matches and Online matches (ranked or not), Missions (where you fight series of battles under special conditions, using items between one and another fight) and the Story Mode, following the steps of Mydoriya as he starts his journey to become a hero. And after you finish the hero story, you gain access to the villain story.
- Customization: The game has a deep level of customization, making it possible for you to change clothes and accessories for each character, creating unique visuals. And for those who enjoy collectibles, there are hundreds of items to unlock or to buy on the in-game store with the game currency (battle points you receive after each fight). Some visuals are very cool, I admit, but this customization thing is a big no for me.
- Endless combos: While playing online, I found three main type of players: those who don’t know what they were doing (myself included!), those who played a defensive style, abusing on counter-attacks (no problem about it) and those who used almost infinite sequences. Apparently, all characters have these sequences and, once the first hit gets you, you can’t stop the beating. Having those combos is cool for pro players but being unable to interrupt or to avoid them is not very welcoming for newcomers.
What is Bad?
- Few characters: Both the anime and the manga have a huge list of characters that could easily be introduced in the game, but the developer delivered only 20 characters from the beginning (and two more already available as DLC). Knowing BANDAI NAMCO, I’m afraid more characters will only become available as paid DLCs. Hope I’m wrong.
My Hero One’s Justice [Score: 80/100]
After reviewing this game, I desperately need to watch the anime. The game successfully represents the captivating universe, bringing with mastery all the action from the screen and putting you in control of it. Astonishing visuals and fierce gameplay will keep you entertained for hours! Now you must choose if you’re fighting One for All or All for One: enter the online lobbies and become the hero (or villain) number one!