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Game review: Anime characters join in Jump Force
Wed, 20th Feb 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

To celebrate 50 years of the manga series Weekly Shonen Jump, Bandai Namco has now released Jump Force which sees all your favourite anime/manga characters all featured in one big fighting game.

The first thing you will notice about Jump Forceis the impressive roster of over 42 playable characters for you to select. The many characters come from properties such as Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach and many more.

A lot of the characters will be recognisable to most people as it features the likes of Goku, Vegeta, Frieza, Naruto, Monkey D. Luffy and a host of various others.

The only disappointing thing about the roster is that it's a male dominated video game. For some reason or another, developer Spike Chunsoft failed to include a wide range of female characters to the Jump Force roster. That being said, additional characters are to be added in the future via DLC so maybe more females will be added by then.

Since Jump Force is a big crossover fighting video game, the most impressive thing about the title is its lengthy and interesting storyline. The main single player mode is broken up into nine chapters where the real world has fused with the Shonen universes.

The Earth is invaded by an army of villains called “Venoms” and many of the hero anime characters are also here. They have to fight off the invading enemies as well as find a way to put the Earth and the Shonen universes back to where they belong again.

As aforementioned, the single player story mode is quite lengthy, although I do admire the fact that the plot has many twists and turns. The story mode also allows you to create your own character to be the main hero, although they will have to team up with the other good guy characters to fight off the evil ones.

The only thing I found disappointing about the main story mode is that all of the missions start to feel repetitive and boring after a while. Every mission feels exactly the same and there's no variety on the tasks that you have to do. The main thing you'll be doing is fighting off the enemies and that's it.

The only reason I wanted variety in the story mode is because there is a lack of game modes that are available in the entire Jump Force video game itself. Outside of the story, the only other modes you can play are exhibition matches and training.

There's no other stipulations added like in other fighting games such as Arcade, Time Attack or Survival or anything like that. Once you finish the story mode, the game is kind of barebones after that.

The game is also disappointing because its tag-team combat system is flawed. This is because you choose three fighters in each team, but every character shares the same life bar! The fact that everyone shares the same life bar means the tag-team feature is redundant because you can just play the game as one person and it won't make a difference in the outcome.

It's annoying because this game could have had the same fast paced action as other tag-team style fighting games such as Marvel vs. Capcom or Dragon Ball FighterZ. I pretty much played through the entire game just using one character because tagging someone else didn't feel necessary.

Another disappointing thing about the game is the long loading times and lack of English voice acting. However, Spike Chunsoft did say the loading times will be improved with a future update patch so hopefully that issue is addressed soon.

While the tag-team fights are disappointing, the actual gameplay is fine if you get used to the game's controls. Each fighter pretty much has four special moves in their arsenal and every character has the same controls. It's an easy game to learn thanks to the simplistic control scheme, plus veterans of the game can make good use of the dodging and blocking mechanics.

Outside of the gameplay, the graphics and level design in Jump Force is very impressive. Two of my favourite levels in the game are Times Square in New York City as well as a stage set in humble old New Zealand. New Zealand rarely features in video games so it was a nice surprise to see our country represented in a Japanese developed fighting game.

Anyway, Jump Forceis an okay fighting game but its lack of proper tag-team mechanics and repetitive gameplay can make the game feel tiresome. The actual gameplay is fine and the graphics are nice to look at as well, but its huge flaws prevent it from being a must have fighting game for anime/manga fans.

Verdict: 6.5/10