Review – My Hero One’s Justice

I had the opportunity to test the 3D brawler My Hero One’s Justice back at E3 2018. This is the first game based on the My Hero Academia (or Boku no Hero Academia) manga/anime to be released in the west. Back then, wrote about how much I liked stylistic graphics but was worried about the unbalanced and sometimes slow-paced combat. Now that the game is out, all other modes are available, and the combat has been (allegedly) tweaked, I can finally give a complete verdict. My Hero One’s Justice is actually very good, but it’s not without its flaws.

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We’ve all wanted to see our teachers go against each other at least once in our lives.

One thing I need to point out before moving forward is that from the time I played the E3 demo to today, I actually started watching My Hero Academia and became a fan of the anime. Now that I have more relevant knowledge of the series, I had a lot more fun with the combat and the characters than before. Choosing All Might, beating the living hell out of goody two-shoes Iida and hear him thanking me for giving him a lesson is extremely endearing. The entire original voice cast reprised their roles and recorded a colossal ton of well-performed dialogue making it feel just like an extension of the show.

Without a doubt the best thing about My Hero One’s Justice is how gorgeous it looks. It’s not a jaw-dropping as Dragon Ball FighterZ is, but My Hero One’s Justice does a herculean job at making polygonal characters in a 3D environment look exactly like their anime counterparts. The animations are top-notch and the abundance of comic book-esque onomatopoeia is great. The framerate is also pretty high and never stutters. In theory, that would make My Hero One’s Justice a fast-paced fighting game, but that’s still not the case.

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The anime version of Slippy versus Falco.

The combat is flawed. It’s fun, easy to pick, responsive, and relatively balanced, but the combat still feels a bit slow and too simplistic at times. The main offender is how long it takes for a fighter to get up after getting knocked down. For a game centered on a school of superheroes in the making, they’re not very good at doing squats. Another minor gripe I have with the combat revolves around the Plus Ultra gauge bar, as it takes too long for it to fill up to the maximum capacity.

All issues aside, there’s quite a lot to enjoy. I had my concerns regarding how many modes and how much content My Hero One’s Justice would have at launch, and for the most part, those concerns have been addressed. The amount of fighters in this game isn’t the most impressive, clocking at a fair twenty characters, but the amount of game modes and unlockables more than make up for it.

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Keep calling me a nerd. I dare ya.

There’s a story mode that covers one of the later arcs of the anime, spawning two different campaigns: heroes and villains. There’s also a mission mode, an old-school arcade mode, local and online multiplayer, as well as your good old training dojo. No matter what you do in the game, you’re awarded currency that can be spent to unlock fashion accessories for you to customize your character. You can also earn some rare accessories by completing certain objectives and challenges.

While there’s a lot for fans to enjoy in this game, I don’t see My Hero One’s Justice being something that’ll convert people into My Hero Academia fans. The game is extremely accessible in terms of gameplay, but the campaigns and character interactions require you to have preexisting knowledge of the anime’s lore for you to fully comprehend and enjoy them. I’ts not a complaint as this was clearly designed with love for MHA fans, but it should be addressed for those who are just looking for a good arcade fighter. If you want to tackle the game, be sure to watch a few episodes of the show beforehand.

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Young lady, do your parents know this is how dress for school?

My Hero One’s Justice is an excellent 3D fighter that oozes fanservice. While its combat mechanics are flawed, it’s still easy enough for anyone with little experience with fighting games to enjoy. If you’re a fan of the show and/or manga, I really don’t need to recommend this game, as I’m sure you have most likely bought it or even preordered it weeks ago. If you’re not a fan of the show, however, this is not going to convince you of the contrary. This is first and foremost a work of love from fans to other fans.

Graphics: 9.0

Even though the characters are all polygonal, their excellent textures and animations make the game look like a playable anime. By far the best element of My Hero One’s Justice.

Gameplay: 7.5

The combat controls are responsive and easy to learn, but they aren’t deep nor open for creative combos. Characters take too long to get up after falling, drastically slowing down the game’s pace.

Sound: 8.0

The soundtrack is good but not memorable. But all the dialogue is performed by the show’s original voice cast making it a real treat.

Fun Factor: 7.5

While there aren’t that many characters to choose from and there are some minor issues with the combat mechanics, there are lots of modes and an overall amount of content to please My Hero Academia fans.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Reviewed on PS4.
My Hero One’s Justice is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch.

A copy of My Hero One’s Justice was provided by the publisher.