To be completely honest with you, I knew next to nothing about the One-Punch Man manga/anime prior to reviewing this game. All I knew is that the main character is Saitama and that he can beat up people with only one punch!
To base a game on a character that can beat people in one punch is going to be impossible for it to be a challenge. After all, you'll be able to complete the game quickly if you can finish every fight using only one attack…
Thankfully, One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows uses the Saitama character sparingly. The game's main character instead is one that you can create and they have to enter this strange world fighting all of the monsters that like to invade the place.
You have a choice to choose either a male or female character and the options available to you at the beginning of the game are fairly limited. As you progress through the game though, you can roam around the town to buy new clothes and you also have more fighting abilities to use as well.
Unlike Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, which explains its story excellently, the plot in One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows isn't told in a fancy fashion. There aren't many cool and elaborate cutscenes added to this game so it was hard for me to stay invested in the game's main storyline. It just seemed like I was doing quest after quest without being interested in what was going on as I played.
Visually, One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows sadly has average to mediocre-looking graphics. While the character models resemble those of the anime, it's the background details that are severely lacking in many parts.
The levels lack any brightness and aren't very colourful when you compare it to other anime/manga based games out there. It's a huge step down especially after playing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarota few months ago which still looks great.
The draw distance in this game is also pretty awful as it looks like I was playing a PS3 game. Characters and objects don't load up properly unless you move closer to their location. You think the draw distance would be better considering this isn't even a huge open world video game.
While the visuals are bad, the gameplay is also not that great as well. Even though this game shares some similarities with other Bandai Namco published games like Jump Force and the Dragon Ballseries, I found the overall combat to feel clunky and disappointing.
It's hard for me to explain in proper words, but I thought the combat in this game to be stiff and unresponsive for the most part. For example, my character always failed to dodge and block attack most of the time, and I'll just get punished by the CPU because of it. It just felt like this game has poor input lag that never improved each time I played the game.
That being said, the only good thing I can say about the combat is that it's easy to remember all of the controls. You don't have to remember a long laundry list set of moves like in the Tekken series because the controls are simplistic and easy to execute.
Most of your special moves are done when you hold the L2 button on PS4 (the version I tested) and press a face button too. The moves do varying degrees of damage to your opponents. You can also power up like in the Dragon Ball games if you want to use the more powerful moves on the enemies that you have to face.
To make battles more interesting and unpredictable, some characters can join in and help you out in a middle of a match. Saitama usually takes a long time to come when he's unlocked, but he's awesome every time you can use him with his one punch ability.
Other obstacles that can be thrown your way include meteor showers, lightning, other monsters and even random item drops. The meteor showers are probably the worst obstacles to endure in the entire game because they can pretty much damage both you and your opponent by a lot!
In terms of game modes, there aren't too many cool things that you can do in this game. The story mode can get really repetitive because all of the quests start to feel entire all the same. I only thing I really enjoyed was the VS mode where you can face another player or the CPU in fast paced three-on-three tag team matches.
Sadly, One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is not a very good or enjoyable game. The graphics are average and the gameplay is just mediocre. Fans of the anime/manga may find some value in this game, but everyone else should play something else instead.