This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available for Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
If it wasn’t already apparent from some of my other reviews, I am, unashamedly, a giant nerd. I also really, really love anime. Growing up on stuff like Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, and other entry level stuff, and then, now, enjoying shows like JoJo, Overlord, and manga like Berserk and Goblin Slayer, I’ve never stopped my appreciation of these media forms short. My Hero Academia has not been an exception; I love the show to death, and every aspect of it takes the tropes of a typical Shonen to new heights, and occasionally even manages to subvert expectations. So, naturally, I was very much excited to play the new game based around the series, My Hero One’s Justice, and while the game doesn’t exactly live up to the greatness of the anime, it is, nonetheless, a pretty solid arena fighter.
So, for those of you who are unaware, let me give some background. My Hero One’s Justice is a game based on the anime My Hero Academia, a story about a young boy, Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a society where superpowers, known as quirks, are common. His dream is to be a hero, as there are many heros to protect society from those who use their quirks for evil, but his issue lies in his lack of a quirk. Then, the number one hero, All Might, chooses him to be his successor as he starts school at UA High, a school that teaches kids how to be heroes. The resulting story is one of heartwarming character arcs and intense, superpowered action, spanning a large number of arcs, and bringing along a diverse cast of individually developed characters. This game is based in that story, and is an arena fighter similar to the Ultimate Ninja Storm series.
So, with that geekiness done, let’s talk gameplay. To be blunt, it isn’t really anything new. You have a few single button combos, two special attacks to throw into the mix, two assists based on which characters you choose as sidekicks, and 3 special moves, one of which is the “Plus Ultra” version of the first level super, which throws your sidekicks into the attack. From there, it’s simple; beat the hell out of your opponent. There’s a local mode where you can fight friends or the CPU, a story mode which I’ll talk more in depth on shortly, a training mode which is self explanatory, and missions mode, which lets you do special challenges to unlock gear and currency which can be used to buy more gear. The gameplay doesn’t really change anything from a standard arena fighter, other than the large variation in the movesets and playstyles between each character; I really feel like each character does feel unique and like they control differently, and you have to develop different strategies between each in order to fight effectively. Take note, however, that this isn’t like the phenomenal FighterZ, in that you can’t switch to your sidekicks. They are there solely as assist characters. Regardless, overall, the gameplay here is fun and enticing if you’re into the series, or into arena fighters, though it doesn’t innovate all that much.
Now, for the story, which is really the major downfall of My Hero One’s Justice. No, it’s not that it’s bad or anything, but rather that it’s a direct adaptation of the anime story thus far, and it doesn’t deviate from that at all. While FighterZ, (and I know I’m comparing these two a lot here, but they’re the two most recently released anime-based games,) had a not-so-great story, it was, at least, original. This is not, and more importantly, as a result of it being mostly focused on having you play the iconic battles from the series, it loses a lot of the charm and emotional tone that the series gives it. This is half because it’s subbed, (and yeah, I really enjoy the dub,) and half because the line delivery just doesn’t pack the same intensity, nor does this even include all the lines; it just grazes over the key points of the story so far. It’s not really interesting to play, as I’m all caught up in the series, and it’s also not that interesting for anyone new, because it leaves a lot of story details out, thus, eliminating the development of the characters. It honestly feels wholly unnecessary altogether.
Outside of that, there’s not much else to talk about. There’s an online mode that lets you fight other players, and you can purchase or unlock gear to customize the appearance of each character, but that’s really it. There are some DLC characters coming, namely the Shoot Style variation of Deku, and Endeavor, the number two pro hero, but otherwise, I’ve covered it all. So, with that, what’s the verdict? The game is solid; it plays well, it controls well, and while the combat is of course shallow, it’s fun with friends, and each character does a good job of feeling unique, one of the core points of the series itself. The story, while a direct copy and paste of the main points of the anime, is obviously decent, as it’s adapted from the show. It lacks the emotional depth and development of the show, but you do get to fight the big fights, like Deku vs. Bakugo, All Might vs. All for One, etc. So, if you’re a fan of the series, I’d totally pick it up, as it’s super satisfying to knock people around as All Might, Deku and the rest of the cast. If you like arena fighters, this one’s a solid entry in the genre, and it holds its own even if you aren’t a fan. Outside of that, if you wanna get into the series, or into the genre, you can totally start here. I will however recommend one thing; if you really want to go PLUUUUUS ULTRAAAAA, then watch the show. Oh, and also, Dabi is cheap as hell. Stay away from him.