Game Review #488: My Hero One's Justice 2 (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Robert Krause
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Category: 3-D Arena Fighter
Release Date: 3.13.2020
Buy My Hero One’s Justice 2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
U.A. High School's Top Student
Ah young Midoriya, are you ready for another anime arena fighter?
The game is based off My Hero Academia, an anime that follows the story of Izuku Midoriya's rise to become the greatest hero in the world, even if he doesn't have a super power, also known as a Quirk. The anime and manga is outstanding, with deep character development, and at times, tragic storylines.
Building off the foundation of its predecessor from 2018, My Hero One's Justice 2 offers new gameplay options with Arcade, touched-up combat mechanics, and a roster of over 40 playable characters. Unlocking Gallery awards and character customization options with every battle you complete within the numerous game modes provides an incentive to play through them all.
From the 8-hour Story Mode to battling against online opponents, MHOJ2 doesn't suffer from a lack of gameplay options or fun. You'll also have a couple options if you're just wanting to look at the great character artwork styles or listen to the game’s soundtrack and voice acting, which unfortunately is only in Japanese. Combat is fluid, and learning when to counter, block, and use your Plus Ultra attacks is key to winning harder battles. The camera is set to a 3rd-person over-the-shoulder view that follows your opponent as best as possible. During major attacks and quick dashes, you can and will lose track of your opponent while the camera adapts.
Story - Presented as though you're reading a manga, the Story Mode picks up in season 3 of the anime with the heroes in training, working to complete their Provisional Hero Licenses and decide on their hero costumes and ultimate moves. Chapters usually have a few minutes of story panels with Japanese voice acting to build up to the battle at hand. Some chapters also have a Sub option that shows the chapter from another character’s point of view. As the story progresses, you're given tutorials on how to fight and how to use your sidekicks in battle. Sidekicks have a meter under their icons that fills up over time, allowing you to press ZL or ZR to summon one of them to help you. The main fighter also has a Plus Ultra meter that allows you to use devastating combo attacks, especially if you can fill it to level 3 so you can summon your two sidekicks to perform their Plus Ultra moves at the same time. After battle, you'll get your results and score that will give you Hero Coins. All chapters also have bonus objectives, like completing the chapter with more than 50% health, or finishing the fight with a Plus Ultra attack; these unlock gallery awards and character outfit options.
Mission - If you're not feeling very patient, and are just wanting to jump into some action that still provides unlockable awards and characters, Mission is the way you want to go. In this mode, you build teams of three to fight through maps of enemies before they destroy the city, and earn Hero Coins to scout new characters in the process. You can also unlock Skill Symbols that will buff your team for battle.
Free Battle - Challenge the CPU or battle up your friends (from a good social distance away) in round-by-round combat. Up to four players can play this mode, with players 3 and 4 controlling when the sidekicks jump in to help.
Network - Online ranked and unranked matches are also available. Events challenges are scheduled that will provide hero coins and character outfits.
Arcade - MHOJ2's newest mode lets you pick a team of three to battle through three different routes of hidden cards that reveal characters to battle, almost like a tower mode.
Training - Normal practice mode that allows you to pummel a PC character as you build up that sweet, sweet muscle memory.
Audio and Visuals
Like the anime, the animation in the battles is amazing. The game’s destructible surroundings and fast-paced, colorful attack combos are outstanding to watch, and make you want to play every character to see all of their Plus Ultra attacks. The game’s soundtrack is decent, but disappears behind the Japanese voice acting until battle begins, and you get your standard fast-paced rock n roll tune to pump you up.
As a fan of My Hero Academia—and these types of fighting games in general—I was very excited to get to play and review this game. It reminds me of a Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm game that I loved playing to remember and experience parts of the story first hand. If this game had full video cutscenes instead of the comic strips and an English dub, it would be a perfect MHA game for me. Hopefully, once the anime and manga come to a close, we'll get a One's Justice game that follows the whole story in video and English dub, like we have with Dragon Ball Z games. Until then, this is still a very fun game with good combat and gameplay options to keep you entertained. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to unlocking all the outfit options for All Might's big night out.
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*A game code was provided for review purposes