I’mma be honest with you, I hadn’t heard of this game was when I was sent a copy of it to review. I had a vague idea that it was a fighting game with manga and anime characters in it, which is literally what it is. I’m no expert in manga, but I know enough anime to get by – and that doesn’t just mean what’s on Netflix – so I knew the fisherman from One Piece, Naruto and a few of the Dragon Ball Z guys. Don’t judge me for not knowing their names. I’m trying my best!
The game is a battle royale free-for-all of your favourite characters, such as this weird yellow octopus man in a mortarboard and a guy with a baby on his shoulder (which seems highly irresponsible to me), and Luffy from One Piece’s main story line is a tournament which provides the perfect excuse to fight.
I was assuming it would be a platform side scroller like most other fighting games, but it’s in a 3D environment and you dash after opponents and destroy buildings before you unleash devastating area-wide special attacks. For example, Luffy’s hand becomes a massive wrecking ball and if it lands on your opponent reduces them to quivering messes. Being destructive is so much fun! Like Metropolis at the end of Man of Steel but not depressing.
And when you’re not fighting you traverse the game world in a ship that carries you and your comrades from continent to continent, where you can either take on side missions which include extra training sessions or special item-seeking missions, or carry on with the main story quests. The game has many RPG styling elements as well, like gaining experience points for fighters and the members of your party who join you in battle, and beefing your party out with power ups bought with rewards points gained from winning fights.
The fighter roster is enormous as well! There are 39 playable characters and 13 other supporting characters that provide aid to you from 32 different Jump series – including Beelzebub, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and Hunter x Hunter. You have anime characters with unrealistically flexible limbs and fire ball shooting hands coming out of your ears!
Each character has their own set of moves and special attacks and battle stances and intros, so the sheer amount of work that must have gone into the design and execution of this game blows my mind. All of this whilst still maintaining beautiful and vibrant visuals along with a fun game is not an easy job but Bandai Namco have pulled it off wonderfully!
There’s so much to do in this game and so many fighters to unlock and customise, you’ll be playing it for ages, and the online battles and the amount of characters mean that there is a phenomenal amount of replay value. I’ve been playing this game for about a week and I don’t think I’ve even made anywhere close to a dent in getting everything from the game that I can.
It’s a huge game and it’s hugely enjoyable. It’s now available for PS4, so go get it!