General rule of thumb; if there’s a popular anime/manga series taking the world by storm, Bandai are never usually too far behind with a licensed game based on that material. It’s hard not to appreciate the love, but that’s not to say that anything with Bandai stamped on it is particularly good. Sure, for the most part they release absolute crackers. Though, I think we can all agree that the odd turd sits between the roses from time to time. With that in mind, here we sit with My Hero One’s Justice, but at what side of the spectrum does it sit?
There’s a fair bit of weight riding on this release, given that it’s the first console game to pull from the My Hero Academia universe, and let me tell you (time wasting aside), if you’re a fan of the series, this is right up your street. The core identity of the show is a story of good and evil, so it seems fitting to see a game based on that material falling into the fighting genre. My Hero One’s Justice offers a multitude of options to select from, though the most standout mode to select from is the game’s campaign; split into two separate story modes.
These two stories focus on both the hero’s side and the villain’s side, roughly equating to around forty fights per-whack with some cutscenes thrown in to carry the pace along. There’s a few fights that veer off the beaten path, but they’re totally optional. The hero’s story follows the young Izuku Midoriya; successor of All Might himself, the strongest hero there is. Taking into account that Midoriya was born without quirks (magical powers to you and me) All Might gives Midoriya some of his own power, as well as opting to train him.
Players will work through the adventures of hero school, learning all about the nefarious villains and how they want to destroy everything. Straightforward stuff, but very much interesting and faithful to the source material. Furthermore, the game does a good job at feeding you different characters to play as, giving you some firm grasps over the varying quirks and fighting styles. The same can be said about the villain’s story, which walks a similar concept to the hero’s story, only here, you’re in the footsteps of All For One.
Tomura Shigaraki is the chap you’ll follow on his quest to rid the world of All Might and the rest of the heroes. Once again, the plot is fairly easy to digest, even for those of you that are not familiar with My Hero Academia. Personally, as a fan of the counterpart, I have to commend the developer for their efforts here. Both of the stories within remain intriguing from the outset, dishing up some excellent scenarios that will excite both like-minded fans and newcomers. It’s a bonus, of course, that everything is laid out well and fluidly structured.
Playing either campaign will see you earning a rank at the conclusion of each match. The points you earn will transfer into in-game currency, which can then be spent on customizing your player. Don’t have enough coins gathered? You’re free to play the story mode in an attempt to earn three items per-match; if you meet the pre-specific requirements. In regards to the character customization there’s enough depth here to keep players engaged for a while, affording you the means to add all sorts of items and outfits to your characters.
When you’re through with the story mode, there’s plenty of other modes to keep you busy in the meantime; Missions, Arcade and Online. In Missions, you’ll select one main character and two side-kick characters. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a choice of several missions to take on – with consecutive missions unlocking once previous missions have been completed. These missions play out like a long line of fights that get progressively difficult the further you dive in. There’s also some special rules that get added to spice things up.
For instance, your opponents may get increased recovery, you might find a power decrease applied to your team, and so forth. Safe to say that matches can get pretty tough in the blink of an eye. Not only will you be working to simply fulfill the missions, but to obtain that fabled S-rank too, which will reward you with some exotic customization items. Outside of this, the Arcade mode offers old-school ladder matches. Here, you’ll select your team from a roster of twenty fighters and will then fight through six matches to win the mode overall.
There’s no difficulty settings to tweak per se, making this more about raw skill than anything else. Like in Missions, you’ll earn rewards for running Arcade through; albeit it one per-character. Multiplayer is pretty self explanatory and doesn’t exceed any expectation. Still, that being said, it achieves everything it sets out to accomplish; allowing you to take your creations online/local and put them to the test. So, we’ve spoke generously about the game’s content, but what about the most important aspect, the games handling?
In general, My Hero One’s Justice’s combat is really fluid and holds together quite well. Each and every character has their own set of unique quirks; tethered to both the Y and the B button. Simple taps will unleash some powerful moves and as you keeping fighting and dishing out damage, your special bar will begin to fill up. As standard, the better your combos and the more frequent your attacks, the faster the bar will fill. The bar will fill up to level three, each level offering a special move that can be unleashed at any given time.
It’s a simple yet effective combat system that rewards competent fighters, but never really alienates those starting out. I found that, on occasion, some of my commands failed to register in the midst of the chaos, but nevertheless, the flow of combat is oftentimes on point and hella empowering. It helps that the combat is fairly accessible. The destructible environments sit really well with the game’s 3D design, making for some heavily action-packed moments as you seamlessly bash your opposition through buildings, trees and even the ground.
In regards to the visual and audio design, My Hero One’s Justice does a good job. Being based on its anime counterpart, there’s a broad palette of colors on display here. The character models are well detailed and the environments equally as such. The audio goes hand in glove with that, collectively setting a foundation that’ll stay with you long after you put down the controller. The bottom line? My Hero One’s Justice is a game that does its source material proud, and certainly one of Bandai’s better offerings in recent memory.
My Hero One’s Justice uses its source material well. There’s minor and infrequent issues with the game’s combat, being that some commands go unnoticed in the heat of the chaos, but in the face of everything that the game gets right, this is easy to overlook. There’s plenty of exciting content to work through here. Content that, for the most part, remains stunning, empowering and diverse from the get-go.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.