One Punch man, the marvellously under achieving super hero just got a new mobile game in the form of One Punch Man: Road to hero 2.0, and we signed on for a superhero landing to check out this new mobile adventure.
Hitting the streets again, One Punch Man’s latest small screen adventures find our most unlikely looking of heroes ready to take on all comers as players Oasis Games revamps their last outing with One Punch Man and attempts to improve upon the mixed reception of One Punch Man: Road to Hero. Road to Hero 2 is yet another RPG that drops players into the world of One Punch Man, allowing them to build a team of awesome superheroes and take on a range of challenges that will likely be familiar to fans of the franchise but will it make it all the way to S rank, or just hang around for a solid B?
Pick up One Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 on iOS or Android and it is instantly obvious who this flashy mobile adventure is made for. Fans of Saitama and his antics will instantly be attracted to this on the go anime tie in. When it initially launched, One Punch Man stood out as one of of the most original subversions of the superhero genre that modern storytelling had on offer. With a source that pleased so many, and continues to on Netflix, Road To Hero 2.0 will surely draw an audience.
When players do turn on Road To hero 2.0, the small screen audience for this title will find a wealth of characters and sideways nods to the established lore that should delight fans. Published by Oasis Games, this One Punch Man adventure title certainly fits the bill as a mobile version of Saitama’s escapades. Like Bleach: Immortal Soul, also from Oasis, Road To Hero 2.0 takes a side on 2D look at the world our characters protect, and a stylised chibi approach to character design.
This 2D animation and brightly approach does work well for fans of the anime series. While I’ m not a fan of the chibi aesthetic, the 50 or so characters that appear to be part of Road to Hero 2.0 are collected as cards. The flock of costumed adventurers out to make a name for themselves are available to collect as part of a familiar gacha style system, and the unique illustrations that decorate each card stand out as one of the high points of the game’s 2D approach. Still, the overall look and feel of Road To Hero 2.0 is likely to be a divisive decision. For many players, the inclusion of around 50 familiar characters and their moves, not even including story villains, will instantly sell the free-to-play title. For others, the 2D game world and still cells that pepper the story will feel old and uninventive compared to fully 3D games like Saint Seiya Awakening.
Come Out Fighting
There are plenty of mobile titles like Brave Nine, that still manage to take a stab at the 2D approach to story telling, unwinding an epic tale while trying to push the boundaries of established combat on the small screen. Road to Hero 2.0, however, sits somewhere nearer to a mid tier hero in this regard. Players jumping into the fray for the first time will find a narrative arc available that certainly exists but feels lacking. Gamers cannot play as the title’s titular One Punch Man. This would clearly be game breaking, but it ultimately proves problematic. Instead of donning a red cape, you’ll spend the games narrative arc following Saitama as he winds his way through a range of situations and defeating villains that vary in importance. What makes this more bizarre is that the story mode seems to be largely based on the One Punch man story, but removing him from having real presence is just disappointing.
If you’re not a huge fan of One Punch Man already then this may be an acceptable way to enjoy the anime story line and combat does feel reasonable for a free to play title. Anybody familiar with turn based mobile games will feel instantly at home with the game’s multi laned combat grid. Teams of odd adventurers are deployed across staged encounters, and the eventual boss fights. As each character gets their turn to kick, punch, or perform some recognisable moves, you’ll notice a few elements that are more than just an afk arena. Similar to titles like Food Fantasy, each of the superpowered characters in Road To Hero 2.0 has a special power that players can activate while combat ticks along on its own. Timing this uber powerful attack can ultimately be the linchpin of any operation and does ensure that players are engaged during battle. An elemental style system also separates hero types into weapon, physical, hi-tech, and psychic. This ensures that there is at least some strategy, with each type of hero preferable against other classes of opponents and providing that critical edge on a reasonably regular occasion
Outside of combat, success on the battlefield largely falls down to the expected power grind. Drawing characters from a gacha style card pot of free and paid for decks, using the trash as upgrade material and spending an array of currency to grab those power upgrades. Much like Oasis Game’s Bleach: Immortal Soul characters can equip loot if your lucky or just chew through the gallons of player EXP that you’ll collect by clearing up the city. While I generally find free to play titles like this problematic due to gating and player gouging, this didn’t really become an issue in One Punch Maon 2.0, but that was because I rarely found myself unable to re-run encounters.
Run The Gauntlet
To get some of the best loot and keep you entertained, One Punch Man is likely to send you on the Road To Hero side mission or ask you to participate in adventures. The Road to Hero tower style quest is a multi-stage battle arena where players run a gauntlet of evildoers and super-powered eccentrics. As each level is completed, our team of wanna be’s and mid-rank characters steadily hit harder and harder roadblocks. The consequence is, of course, better loot. Adventures, likewise, are instanced events that provide a similar concept with a different coat of paint, allowing players to take on a range of challenges that ultimately feel repetitive after a time. Extreme Trials are, fittingly more traumatic due to their repetitive, hands off, nature than the foes encountered. These aren’t the only way to grab loot but it does prove necessary to grab new gear and plenty of the various currencies that float through the game, so be prepared to grind through these side quests. Of all these distractions, the Road To Hero instances feel like the most engaging combat scenarios available in this title, pushing players closer and closer to the limits of their own team’s potential, and providing an occasional strategic buff that might make or break the next encounter. It does not, however, make the auto play combat any more engaging. characters.
Unfortunately, Road to HJro 2.0 is ultimately as unrewarding as Saitama’s fights. The game looks, feels, and plays like Bleach: immortal Soul. While this isn’t inherently enabled, this means it lacks some of the nuances of games like Brave Nine, which forces payers to actively consider combat placement and pre fight preparation. It will likely disappoint anime fans that have experienced Honkai Impact 3rd or Saint Seiya, and watching One Punch Man wind his way through a world he has to protect doesn’t feel like it is even as engaging as Immortal Soul. While the gameplay in One Punch Man: Road To Hero 2.0 vastly improves on the original Road to Hero, it is probably never going to get past B rank.
One Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 is a great casual distraction for fans of the anime but if you’re not already invested in the bald superhero then take a look at something a little more challenging. One Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 is out now on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.