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Jump Force Review - We Kinda Liked It

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: AB
The World Famous characters of Shonen Jump have leapt off the pages and…into a basket full of bad press. But did our heroes really screw the pooch this time, or should we believe in them like they believe in their nakama?

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The World Famous characters of Shonen Jump have leapt off the pages and…into a basket full of bad press. But did our heroes really screw the pooch this time, or should we believe in them like they believe in their nakama?

I’m Ashley with MojoPlays, and this is our review for Jump Force.

That’s right, manga’s finest from series like Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and so on, have all come together for one big tussle, and if you’ve dabbled in J-Stars Victory or Jump Ultimate Stars, this is not exactly a new concept. That said, like the series it lifts from there is a definite power-creep to be seen here.

But before we get to the meat of it, lets all address the disgustingly, hyper-realistic elephant in the room – the art direction. Jump Force is a direct attack on anyone who ever had the audacity to say “I wish my waifu was real”. Oh really, you do? Well then this is what it would look like. Still want her? Thought not, you shallow bastard.

Yes, indeed the hyperrealism is a hard pill to swallow, but the fluidity of the combat animation should lubricate your gullet just enough to get it down.

The exception being Deku, because no matter how long I look at him he still invokes the direst sense of uncanny valley.

These, at first off-putting visuals actually serve very well in complimenting the real world locations these battles take place in, which, combined with the incredibly easy to understand gameplay and jaw-dropping attack animations, culminate into what can be an endlessly fun party-fighter to play with your pals or simply against the CPU.

All the characters play very similarly, but there’s just enough nuances to their super moves to make each battle feel unique. For example, I get asked a lot “how the hell does Yugi fight?” Well, like this: [SB showing Yugi] and honestly, its fun as hell.

As great as the actual fighting is, some bouts are plagued at first with some frame-rate drops which can pull you out a bit.

One of the main critiques I’ve seen online is, of course, the story. You’ve seen the gifs on twitter or the clickbaity youtube thumbnails with TRASH written across it in yellow caps, but is it honestly that bad? Yeah, it’s its pretty awful. It’s a kind of thrown-together, last minute load of tosh that doesn’t have the polish of Dragon Ball FighterZ story, nor does it reach the level of the cheesy-but-endearing campaign of the xenoverse series. To me this seems really weird, because we’re dealing with an ensemble cast of some of the most colorful and beloved fictional characters in human history, and placing them in these boring, uninspired predicaments – with interactions that lack any spice whatsoever. Spike Chunsoft have brought us countless games that innovated the concept of storytelling from Danganronpa to the Zero Escape series. So why did they phone this in so hard when all the tools were there?

One of the plus sides is that they got most of the original Japanese voice actors for each character…but for some reason Ryuk’s lines are completely silent…

It’s very easy to get upset at this whole fiasco… However, you have to take a step back for a moment and ask yourself, did you really come here for a story? Or did you come here to beat up Sasuke players online as Asta?

Think of it as a bonus. A little something you can tap into when you feel like it, or just never touch at all.

If you really want to get upset at something, focus your anger on the weird imbalance of the roster. Part of me feels that they spent too long working on the character models for the bigger series, got too close to their release deadline, panicked, and left most of your favourite Shonen Jump fellas on the cutting room floor.

As in, there are some major omissions like Gintoki from Gintama, Suguru from Kinnikuman, Korosensei from Assasination Classroom, Saiki from Saiki K, Tsuna from Hitman Reborn, and Allen Walker from D. Gray-Man. All of which could’ve quite easily taken the place of a character from a series that already has enough representatives like Dragon Ball, Naruto or One piece. There is the promise of DLC, but as a full-priced game, this 40 character line-up really does leave you expecting more – with series like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and Yu-Gi-Oh only having one character to their name.

You can play as Cell, Gaara, and Boa Hancock in a ton of different games, and while they are great, left-field character inclusions like Dai from Dragon Quest prove that a little diversity could’ve made this game far more interesting. I know I’ve gone on about the roster for a good chunk of this video, but its honestly the game’s greatest flaw.

I mentioned Xenoverse before, and this game quite obviously borrows from it a lot. From its yucky hub-world, to its deviant-art tier character customization, this is essentially another entry in the xeno-genre. Personally, I absolutely love sinking hours upon hours into those, customizing my dude-guy and then buying all the ridiculous clothing I can get my hands on – so if you’re into those, absolutely play this one.

The key here is to understand what you want from a Shonen Jump fighting game. Do you want a rich, intriguing storyline with memorable moments and hilarious character interactions? Well, maybe not here.

Do you want one of the tightest anime fighters to date that you can sink time into and sweat profusely while kicking people’s arses online? This is the game for you.

It’s not perfect, far from it, but does it really have to be?

I’m Ashley for Mojo Plays and this has been my pitch for why you should read Black Clover…uhh I mean, play Jump Force.


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