My Hero One’s Justice Review
It’s fine now. Why? My review of My Hero One’s Justice is here!
I am frankly gobsmacked that no one has started their My Hero review with this line. GOBSMACKED.
My Hero One’s Justice (MHOJ) is a 3D arena fighting game based on the extremely popular anime My Hero Academia. The franchise premise follows the journey of Midoriya Izuku, a hero-in-training in a world where 80% of the population have superpowers called quirks.
Bandai Namco has brought MHOJ to New Zealand two months after its Japanese release, for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. Did Bandai Namco go beyond and reach Plus Ultra? I took MHOJ for a spin on PS4 to find out.
A fighting game with quirks
For the most part, MHOJ plays exactly how you would expect. You’ve seen these features before – a destructible environment; assist features; building up a meter to unleash cut-scene moves (the “Plus Ultra”). The cel-shading look also does a commendable job at bringing the anime to life, but again, nothing we haven’t seen before.
But you’re not here for any old kicks or punches – you’re here for the quirks. My friend, you won’t be disappointed.
Use explosions to dash with Bakugo, electrocute with Kaminari, create cannons to pulverise your enemies with Momo, lick people with Asui – each character has a distinctive play style that feels authentic to each (you’re the best Asui, never change). MHOJ even manages to make All Might feel over-powered, as he should be, without actually being the most powerful character.
Personal highlight? All Might’s emphatic mutter of “HOLY SHEEEET” in English when he loses. Couldn’t have said it better myself, All Might.
You, too… can become a hero
With a cast as varied as that in My Hero Academia, the roster was always going to be make or break. I’m pleased to report that although we are missing “Navel Laser” Yuga, most players will be very happy with the wide range of both heroes and villains on offer.
As at time of writing, Bandai Namco have already added several new characters as paid DLC, including Endeavour and Gale Force, so if your favourite hero (or villain) isn’t available, there’s a chance they’ll show up in future. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for Navel Laser – but I’ll understand if the creators wish to prioritise actually interesting mechanics over, uh, navel lasers.
Bored of how the characters look? Practically every action you take results in a new customisation option. So if you want Uraraka to strut around in Bakugo’s grenade-gauntlets, go for gold.
I also feel obligated to let you know that there is no English dub in this game, which I know will be a real sticking point for some. Subbers can rejoice, however, for the original Japanese voice actors are here and they are magnificent.
Plus Ultra effort not required
The feeling of variety is even more impressive considering the shallowness of the combat. “Normal” mode allows you to spam a button to auto-combo, with a level of efficiency that renders the manual mode almost meaningless. There’s no deep end of the pool here – it only takes a match or two to scope each character’s style, and consistently achieving “S” rank isn’t a huge challenge.
While these design choices do mean that seasoned fighting game veterans will hit their head on the skill ceiling early on, it does lead to a broadly accessible game. MHOJ is easy for you and any My Hero Academia loving friends to pick up for a friendly match and actually feel like you know what you’re doing (that said, who doesn’t love the odd blind button-mash in these games?).
The longest recap episode you’ve ever seen
Full disclosure, I’m a card-carrying My Hero Academia fan. My assumption is that most of you who pick up this game will also be. Odds are you’re also after the emotional punch the show delivers on a weekly basis. Unfortunately you won’t find that here.
MHOJ story-mode begins at Episode 26 of the anime, when Midoriya briefly interns with Gran Torino. If your first thought was “What a jarring entry-point for both newcomers and fans alike”, well, dear reader, I completely agree.
What follows is a re-telling of the series from both the heroes and villains’ point of view, expressed via comic-strips with the odd animated scene at moments of high tension. While it plays out like a series recap, this game practically assumes you have seen every episode. It’s a paradox that feels both too fast, too slow, too explanatory but not explanatory enough.
If you haven’t seen the show, you might struggle to understand what-in-the-name-of-All-Might is going on.
Where I assume most single-players will get bang for buck is Mission Mode. Here you pick a few characters which level up and retain their health through a series of increasingly difficult matches with special conditions. This provides the far more interesting challenge, outside of playing local matches or online.
Level cleared – but not S rank
To do its source material justice, there were three things that I wanted MHOJ to pull off. A decent character roster, crazy-quirk action, and the emotional pull My Hero Academia is famed for. MHOJ more than succeeds on the first two. For fans hoping to feel new feelings, MHOJ won’t scratch that itch.
For most however, the satisfying and accessible combat starring your favourite Hero Academia characters will be enough to save the day