'My Hero One's Justice' Review: Captures Anime's Heart, Not Execution

7/10 (PS4)

My Hero Academia is one of the biggest anime out now, so it's no surprise that we'd get a fighting game based on the show about superheroes and villains. But does My Hero One's Justice bring the best of the anime and the fighting game genre together? Not really, but the game does try.

On the surface, the gameplay is shallow. There is some complexity to the fighting but My Hero One's Justice suffers from an identity crisis. It captures the spirit of the anime, but doesn't really execute it in a way that is completely fulfilling to either fans of the series or fans of fighting games.

my hero ones justice box art
The box art for 'My Hero One's Justice' Bandai Namco

GAMEPLAY

Fighting in My Hero One's Justice is a mixed bag. Every character has three variations of their attack (quick, counter and unblockable) that acts like a rock, paper scissors situation in battle. Quick attacks seem like the way to go, as they can stop your opponent's attacks when well-timed, but there doesn't feel like there's any skill unique to your fighting — especially when you're on auto combo mode.

Auto combos allow players to tap the same button over and over to perform combos, and while the manual option does offer more skillful depth to the fighting, there really isn't any incentive to play under manual.

The rest of the combat puts two characters in a 3D arena where you can dash, jump and evade all over the stage. The environments themselves don't factor into battles, but there is a cool feature that lets players send their opponent into a building, where they'll get stuck. This allows you to run up the building and attack your opponent without repercussion. It's not easy to actually do this, but when it's done it adds that "cool" factor to battle.

Where the gameplay in One's Justice really shines is in how it uses each character's quirks. Every roster member has two quirk attacks that are perfectly represented in My Hero One's Justice. Each character's quirk attacks feels and play differently. This is where One's Justice becomes very fun.

For example, playing as Todoroki you'll summon walls of ice or blast streams of fire at your opponent. Or if you're Eraser Head you'll be able to turn off your opponent's quirks and attack with a flurry of punches and kicks.

Characters with non-battle quirks like Uraraka, Tsuyu or Yaoyorozu are a bit harder to fight with but each of their powers are used in unique and effective ways. Yaoyorozu can manifest certain items from her body, but players can control what emerges by how long they hold down the quirk button. That's just an example of some of the little nuances that make trying out each character something to look forward to.

Characters like All Might that should be OP, or larger than life, feel exactly that. It's hard to describe, but when you go up against All Might or other pro heroes they feel harder to take down.

GAME MODES

There are a few things players can do in My Hero One's Justice. The story mode is where you'll want to dive in and learn the ropes, and while it's a great place to do so (outside of the training mode, of course) it's pretty shallow in its presentation.

The story begins around the midpoint of Season 2 of the anime and stops somewhere in the middle of Season 3, all fully voiced by the original Japanese cast. However, it's weird that One's Justice just tosses players into the middle of a season without any background on these characters. Sure, this game is likely for fans of the anime but if they were looking to capture the casual fighting game audience this won't help.

my hero ones justice story
The story mode of 'My Hero One's Justice' is mostly screens of the anime Bandai Namco

Also, each chapter is either screenshots from the anime or 3D representations of certain scenes mixed in between the fights. There's nothing new to offer outside of some "what if" moments that aren't expanded upon.

The Missions mode is where players get the most fun. In this mode, players select three characters and try to make it through one of six maps, each one with more battles than the last. The name of the game is to make it through the map without losing your whole team.Your health carries over from battle to battle so you'll need to switch characters to preserve your health. There are items that can recover health or boost stats, but your overall score loses points if you use them.

An Arcade mode will be available on launch day, which is your standard ladder, and there will be an online mode that wasn't available during the review period.

There's also a customization mode that allows players to earn items and various equipment from the cast of characters through the story mode or by purchasing them with in-game currency. You can use these items to personalize your favorite fighters but there's nothing more than that.

my hero ones justice customize
You can customize your characters in 'My Hero One's Justice' Bandai Namco

VERDICT

My Hero One's Justice has the core of a good anime fighting game but just misses the mark in its execution. While the fighting is basic, each character feels unique with their use of quirks that really made me want to try each and every one of them out.

The story mode is nothing more than a re-telling of the anime, while the missions mode is where players will likely spend most of their playtime. If you're a fan of the anime you'll enjoy the nuances within the fighting, but if you're looking for a more substantial fighting game experience there are other options out there.

'My Hero One's Justice' Review: Captures Anime's Heart, Not Execution | Tech & Science