My Hero Academia has been a smash hit in both manga and anime form for several years now. With its first foray into the mainstream gaming-verse with Bandai-Namco’s My Hero One’s Justice, Midoriya, All Might and most of UA High Schools teachers and students are poised and ready to battle it out in this arena style fighting game. Will this game only appeal to the diehard fans of the anime and manga, or does the gameplay hold enough sway that newcomers to My Hero Academia can enjoy the quirkiness that this arena battler has to offer? This is our My Hero One’s Justice Review.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been a fan of My Hero Academia for years and have watched the Anime multiple times as they plow ahead with their animated take on the hit manga series. My Hero One’s Justice captures the essence of the anime, with skill animations taken directly from the show. As with many Bandai-Namco adaptions of popular anime titles such as Dragon Ball Z and the 7 Deadly Sins game, the format is very similar in both form and function of the gameplay and modes offered. One’s Justice offers several game modes that include a Story Mode, Missions, Online Play and an Arcade Mode.
The Story Mode, as one would imagine, follows the anime of My Hero Academia pretty closely as it begins with a tutorial mission that follows Deku’s training with Gran Torino, and follows it through to the big iconic battle between All Might and All for One. For those of us who are familiar with the Anime, the arena battles are interspersed between comic-style story only levels that loosely depict the storyline of the anime in frame by frame shots, periodically throwing in some in-game cutscenes for effect. After the first several of these cutscenes, I opted to skip them as fast as possible, only truly watching the major plot points that I already knew about and never get tired of seeing, such as the final battle between Deku, Todoroki, Iida and Stain. Where the story deviates somewhat is after you complete the hero side story missions, you can then go through the villain side, which is where the story really curves slightly into the less traveled territory.
Upon completing each battle, players are rewarded based on how well they perform. Rewards are primarily in the form of costume pieces, titles and coins that allow you to purchase more costume pieces. Not every costume piece in My Hero One’s Justice can be worn by every character, but they have a lot of iconic costume items in variant colors so that you could potentially make a very unique character. The customization mode isn’t entirely robust as the limited options may not go as far as some players would like. You can also fill out an ID card and customize that as well, but again, these minor tweaks won’t keep players overly invested for very long.
If found that I spent most of my time in the Mission and Arcade modes. The Arcade mode provides a very simplistic tournament style of gameplay that lets me get in and fight without wading through the plethora of story filler that I’ve already seen. The mission mode adds challenges to the game, as you pick a team and try and complete all of the missions as best you can without losing a match. This gets tougher as characters don’t automatically regain their health after each battle, but you can earn items to aid you, such as a health potion to refill your team’s health, or a potion to increase defense for the next match. With each battle fought, the characters on your team will level up, unlocking new options for players, and earning you coin as well.
With so many similarities to the other Bandai-Namco anime-inspired games, and a story that is basically a scene for scene rehash of events directly from the anime, My Hero One’s Justice feels too similar to really stand out. There is some novelty to the characters, and the mission mode adds replayability that will entertain fans of the series without bashing them over the head with the same story lines they’ve already experienced. New players that have never watched the series before may find the characters and story refreshing. As a solid arena fighter, I would wholly recommend this game for those who enjoy the series, and want to spend a little more time with the beloved characters they’ve seen on screen and read about in the manga’s, but if they were looking for a new tale to be told, this game will surely disappoint.