I’ve been a fan of My Hero Academia ever since I watched the anime last year on Netflix. While I initially thought it was a stupid show, it actually grew on me the longer I watched it. I had the same feeling with My Hero One’s Justice 2…though having never tried the original I wasn’t holding out much hope.
My Hero Academia interested me because it’s premise is an interesting one; a high school where would be heroes are learning on harnessing their powers. Sort of like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but in a more bombastic way.
That and I love All Might.
I didn’t go in My Hero One’s Justice 2 feeling the hype though…After reviewing the lackluster One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, I was keeping my anticipation in check.
I shouldn’t have bothered because the game still blew me away.
What is My Hero One’s Justice 2?
My Hero One’s Justice 2 is a 3D fighting game developed by Byking and published by Bandai Namco. It’s based on the anime/manga series My Hero Academia (Boku No Hiro Akademia).
The game has multiple modes of play including a Story mode, which recounts the events of Season 3 – 4 (beginning right after All Might’s fight with All For One) and a Mission mode, which has you assembling your own team of heroes to fight multiple villains in a survival type mode.
There’s also the Arcade mode (with three different routes), Free Battle modes (VS CPU and local multiplayer) and online fights.
Story Mode is rather bland, since it’s just a rehash of seasons 3 and 4 from the anime told through still images. The presentation is very dry, doing very little justice to the source material. Major events do get their own special animation, though I honestly wish more was done to make the mode more interesting.
There are special match bonus unlockables for each stage, but they mostly just give you customization options for your characters or decorative elements for your player card. The unlockable conditions also lack variety, with them mostly being finishing matches off with a Plus Ultra (what the game calls its specials) or not letting your health bar drop below a certain percent.
Story mode fights are pretty boring for the most part, with the sole exception of the final battle. That fight’s REALLY epic, with its own custom mechanics (such as regenerating health) that makes it incredibly fun. It’s a shame not all the battles in the Story mode are as good as this one.
The longevity of the mode largely depends on the player’s familiarity with the source material. Those who’ve not yet watched the seasons the story’s based on will definitely have a longer playthrough, if they watch the cutscenes.
I like that there’s a Villain campaign that unlocks once you’ve beaten the Hero side. The Villain one has more original material, such as scenes leading up to the Provisional License exam that the anime omitted. It’s still nothing special, but playing through the mode via the Villain side is a tad more entertaining than the Hero version.
That’s not to say the game isn’t fun…it is.
If there’s one thing that the game does incredibly well, it’s the fighting. The fighting system is a bit basic (and unbalanced) but it’s undeniably fun to play AND to watch.
You choose a character, and then have two sidekicks accompany you into battle. You can’t tag them, but you can call them in for assists, to use their own specials or cooperate in a massive three person finishing move. A nice touch; some team makeups have their own special dialogue and cutscenes, a nod to the special relationships the characters have with each other.
There’s a ton of different characters to choose from, including quite a few from the new seasons. Even then, the game’s still missing a decent number (Class 1-A is missing about 6 students) plus a couple of heroes (like Rock Lock, Kamui Woods and Best Jeanist), villains from the Shie Hassaikai, the League of Villains and Gentle Criminal.
The omissions are all bit players though as all the big guns including (three different versions of Midoriya) are present. The major players like All Might, All For One, Gran Torino, Lemillion and Sir Nighteye are all in so it’s not like the roster’s lacking in recognizable faces.
Presentation in the game is top notch; the characters look like their anime/manga counterparts, move like them and even the camera cuts and transitions ape what you see in the anime. It gives the game a personality that’s missing in most licensed fighters.
I hate to trash on another game but this is what One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Know’s fights should have been like.
Punches and kicks send people flying, massive attacks smash up the surrounding, destroying everything in the vicinity. The destruction that can happen is astounding; pristine buildings will be in ruins, roads and floors destroyed…impact craters everywhere.
That’s all before you get to the specials, which are on a whole different level. All Might’s Plus Ultra 2 for example…is INSANE! He punches somebody 300 times, with the last 3 hits launching them out of Japan. That’s the kind of over the top theatrics that I want to see in a game like this.
I honestly love the destructibility of the arenas. As a fan of the anime, it’s also awesome to see familiar locales being used for the fights, from the provisional Hero License exam arenas, to Sir Nighteye’s agency to the UA classrooms. I love the stages set in towns the most because there’s a ton that can be destroyed.
All the fighting serves a purpose too; you get currency for completing fights. You can then use the money in the Mission mode (to hire new characters to use in the mode) or better yet, spend it in the Shop, which allows you to unlock customization options.
There are tons of different items to buy and you’ll no doubt be spending a ton of cash there but I wish there was more depth to changing your character’s looks.
All Might for one has been shown to have a ton of different suits (as seen in the My Hero: Two Heroes movie) but the game only has his normal suit and a version that looks like his Silver Age suit (sans cape though).
Of course, normal players won’t notice but I’m betting that fans of the series are the primary audience for the title and they (like me) would definitely want more.
The only downside for me are the lack of callouts for the special moves.
I especially miss them for All Might and Deku…they never shout out *insert US City/ State here* SMASH! Just once, I’d love to hear All Might scream out UNITED STATES OF SMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH when he does his Plus Ultra 1.
Another minor audio nitpick? Post fight cutscenes aren’t subtitled. It’s fine for All Might (who doesn’t know his infamous ‘It’s fine now. Why? Because I am here!’ line?) but I’d like to know what the others are talking about too.
The bottom line.
Bandai Namco has put out a ton of 3D fighters, but out of all of them, My Hero One’s Justice 2 stands at the top of the pile. Forget Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi or the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series…you want an awesome anime based fighter? This is the game you want.
The fights are bombastic, the moves over the top and the action non-stop. This is a fighter you bust out if you want to everybody to enjoy themselves without being subjected to a steep learning curve. It’ll never make the cut for EVO, but it doesn’t need to.
Sure, some aspects are underwhelming (Story and Mission modes), the customization could use more items to really beef up the offering, but the core component of the title (its fighting engine) more than makes up for any shortcoming in other parts of the title.
My Hero One’s Justice 2 is a magnificent 3D fighter whether you’re a fan of the anime or somebody who loves the genre.
- The visuals.
- The destructible environments.
- Awesome fights.
- Great cast.
- Story and Mission mode disappointing.
- Needs more customization options.
- Missing a decent number of characters.