Anime and the fighting genre go hand in hand. There’s something about anime that works wonderfully as a video game where players beat the crap out of each other. From expansive rosters and creative abilities to various locales, many anime adaptations make sense as a fighting game. Popular anime My Hero Academia seems like the perfect choice for a video game adaptation. With My Hero One’s Justice, fans get to fight as their favorite heroes and villains. But does this game achieve Plus Ultra, or does it crash and burn? Let’s find out.
A somewhat familiar experience
My Hero One’s Justice feels like a generic (but still good) anime adaptation. If you’ve played games like Naruto Shippuden or Dragon Ball Z Budokai, you know what to expect. The story modes are okay, but the main draw is multiplayer. It caters to the fans of the series, but the story doesn’t add anything to the lore. My Hero One’s Justice takes players through the first two seasons of the show. Throughout the 84 levels, (Some are strictly cinematic.) you see the narrative through the hero and villain perspectives. To try and change things up, there are “what if” scenarios that twist specific moments from the show. While an interesting concept, these stages seemed rather lazy. Fans of the show don’t really have a reason to play through the story.
Deceptively intuitive combat
My Hero One’s Justice took a while to get its hooks into me. At first, the combat seemed like a generic system that required button-mashing to win. In fact, while playing against the AI, that strategy works. Fortunately, My Hero One’s Justice features fighting mechanics that will keep players on their toes. There’s a normal attack button and two buttons to use different quirks (superpowers) in battle.
Additionally, there’s a block button, dash button, and two prompts to call in sidekicks. While attacking may feel too easy, two mechanics add some complexity to the mix. Countering and unblockable attacks will make any enemy rethink their strategy. When countering, your character turns yellow and will automatically counter an enemy’s attack. When executing an unblockable, enemies can stop it by landing a successful attack or evading with dash. These attacks are identified by characters that are red. Calling in sidekicks to the battle can throw a wrench into your opponent’s plans. When their meter fills up, you can call them in for a special attack. After learning these abilities, you’ll be able to become an expert in no time.
Light on content
Alongside Story Mode, there’s also a Mission Mode for solo players to experience. In this mode, there are seven stages with various fights that you’ll need to complete. You choose three players, who all level up across stages, that must make it to the end. After completing every fight in a stage, you’ll be graded on a scale from S to E. Failing a fight will decrease your score at the time of grading. Fortunately, completing fights nets players items to strengthen their fighter. These include increasing health, normal attack power, filling the ultra meter, etc., and there are ways to stack the deck in your favor. After completing all of the missions, there’s no reason to play them again unless you want to beat your score. Unfortunately, outside of these two modes, there’s nothing else for solo players to do.
Take the battle online
I spent the majority of my time with My Hero One’s Justice online. This is where the meat and potatoes are. The AI in the game is terrible, often avoiding every attack, or running into walls. I found myself infuriated by how clueless my enemies seemed to be. When I jumped online for the first time, I realized this is how the game was meant to be played. Online matches are intense, unpredictable, and most importantly fun. I played My Hero One’s Justice for 30 hours. Twenty of those were spent solely with the online mode. The competition is fierce online, and I found myself really engaged with the community. You’ll only be able to play ranked or unranked matches, but despite the lack of modes, the gameplay is enough to hold players for hours.
Conclusion: An adaptation that takes some time to enjoy
My Hero One’s Justice is a good game that doesn’t make a great first impression. A barebones story mode, minimalistic mission mode, and abysmal AI make the solo experience a repetitive mess. Fortunately, the combat offers a lot to love when you learn how to execute the mechanics. Playing against other players offline and online are where My Hero One’s Justice truly shines. This is a solid first outing on current generation consoles for the My Hero Academia franchise. The core mechanics are great, and I imagine the next game improving on the groundwork laid here. Fans will appreciate being able to step into the shoes of the franchise’s iconic characters, but they will likely be let down by a story they know all too well. My Hero One’s Justice won’t recruit new people to the franchise, but in terms of anime adaptations, this game is faithful to the source material, and that’s all a fan can really ask for.
A review code was provided by the publisher.