Game Review: My Hero One’s Justice (Nintendo Switch)

The popularity of My Hero Academia continues to grow and as such the franchises first video game adaptation arrives in the form of My Hero One’s Justice for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC. What can one expect to receive from this game and more importantly is it PLUS ULTRA on the Nintendo Switch? Let’s find out and take a look!

Title: My Hero One’s Justice
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
Developer: ByKing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Audio: Japanese
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1 – 2
Online Players: 2
Install: YES (3.4GB)

Developed by ByKing and Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment My Hero One’s Justice is the arena fighting styled video game adaptation of the popular Shonen Jump manga and anime series My Hero Academia. You might be thinking; Why the name change? Well it’s not entirely clear but rest assured this is an official My Hero Academia product and it’s a pretty decent one at that.

For those unfamiliar My Hero Academia follows the journey of Midoriya Izuku as he strives to become like has favourite hero All-Might by harnessing his unique quirk and protecting people from villains. You see in this fictional world humans have developed powers known as quirks and some use these quirks for good while others use them for evil.

Those with quirks are able to attend UA High School, an academy set up for teaching students on how to be a hero and what it means to become a professiona hero. Midoriya Izuku is one such student and along with his classmates they attend this academy to become better heroes; but in doing so find themselves not only partaking in rigorous training schemes but also find themselves facing off against notorious villains who are out for vengeance on All Might and the UA High School.

That’s the general concept of My Hero Academia; but in terms of My Hero One’s Justice that story is a little bit different – as the story quickly glances over how Midoriya Izuku obtained his quirk powers – of which is some of great importance – and glances over the UA High School selection. Instead the story starts from Season 2 of the anime and continues to build itself up from there.

In this case the story within My Hero One’s Justice focuses on the battles with Hero Killer Stain and the battles within UA Sports Festival; with comic-strip styled cut-scenes splitting up the actual gameplay content of the game to help deliver its story to players. It’s an interesting concept and plays itself pretty well; but how the story is presented leaves more to be desired.

The Story Mode of My Hero One’s Justice does begin at nice starting point, the training with Gran Torino (which acts as the games tutorial mode), but at the same time we lose out on all of the character development and bonding elements found within Season 1. As such when characters start being injured or defeated in battle the impact it is meant to deliver is lost on the player; as these characters haven’t been properly introduced within the game. Fans of the source material will understand; but for anyone else it can be a jarring experience.

Fortunately, the main selling point of My Hero One’s Justice is not the rather unique story mode – as this story can be played from the perspective of the villians once completed from the Hero’s perspective – but it is the arena-based combat within My Hero Academia characters that it offers. Truth be told some will no doubt mistake My Hero One’s Justice as a Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm clone and while the similarities are uncanny the differences do exist.

First of all this is an arena combat based fighting game whereby characters have full movement on screen and can have up to two support characters to assist them in battle. Regular attacks, of which vary in style in power, can be chained together in combos by using the attack buttons (Y, X and A) while more powerful iconic moves can be performed when combining the R button with a respective attack button. These iconic moves, such as Midoriya Izuku’s SMASH attack will use a gauge bar located under the health bar and this gauge is increased when attacking your opponent. Using support characters a ‘team-based’ special attack can also be achieved for devastating damage.

As per usual the rules of combat are simple; defeat your opponent by knockout and this is achieved by depleting your opponents health bar. Simple. Defending from enemy attacks can be achieved by blocking, dodging and jumping out of enemy attacks. Anyone that has played Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm will instantly feel at home with My Hero One’s justice as the gameplay and combat is similar.

The differences lie within the presentation of how these fights taken place. Naturally different locations exist within My Hero Academia and these have been recreated within this game; but more surprisingly they are fully destructible. Knocking opponents into walls can break the wall and potentially destroy the building; even ceilings can be destroyed.

Sure enough a ‘destruction’ limit exists but compared to other fighters of this kind it is an interesting feature. That’s not all as the flair of each character, be it personal fight style, special moves or just aesthetic of that character, really shines through on this video game adaptation of the popular franchise; even on what some my consider a limited resource device such as the Nintendo Switch. Everything looks and runs smoothly with only minimal frame drops during highly intense scenes when in handheld/table top mode.

Aside from the Story Mode, and the regular inclusions of Training and Online & Offline Multplayer Modes, My Hero One’s Justice also features an Arcade Mode, a Mission Mode and customisation modes for both player profiles and playable characters. Arcade Mode is your traditional Arcade fighter experience with players having to battle through ten stages in order to be crowned the victor.

Mission Mode is another gameplay mode that will take up the wealth of your offline game time and will see players do battle against selective characters with predetermined rule sets. Interestingly in Mission Mode characters can earn experience and rankings that can improve their performance within the gameplay mode.

Completing either Arcade Mode or Mission Mode with different characters will unlock additional customisation options in the customisation mode. New items can also be unlocked through the games Story Mode and the type of content unlocked will vary depending on the grade achieved at the end of each Fight, Mission or Arcade Completion.

In terms of customisation then sadly it’s not as expansive as TEKKEN 7 or SOUL CALIBUR VI but it does allow players to select from numerous options available; be it profile designs (such as titles, banners, backgrounds icons) to character features (such as colour, outfit, Mask, Glasses).

To round-out the My Hero One’s Justice experiences fans are also treated to a Gallery Mode whereby all previously viewed story content can be viewed alongside Music, Voices and Models for each of the nineteen playable characters. Some of this content will be unlocked through natural progression while other content may require specific tasks to be achieved in different gameplay modes. Yet again it’s not as expansive as other games but it does offer that variety one would expect.

To some My Hero One’s Justice may look like a Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm clone and while on the surface it does offer that impression dig deeper and you’ll find a different type of arena brawler that has similar traits. It’s a strong game, visually, but combat wise it is a bit simplistic and a little clumsy – additionally the presentation and pacing of the Story & Mission Modes could have been better implemented. In some instances it feels like the sequel to the game we’ve never had; but at the same time I’m glad that we have a relatively solid My Hero Academia game available on a hybrid console – although long loading times and occasional frame drops do show the limitations of the hardware it is running on.

Score: review-stars-4

My Hero One’s Justice is now Available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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