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Jump Force

Jump Force

Shonen Jump, if they wanted to, could stand up there next to Marvel. Unfortunately not with this game.

I want to get this out of the way – bugs. They happen and I’m usually very forgiving with them, as bugs can get fixed with patches but this game can at times be unplayable for reasons beyond my understanding. My PC is well above recommended specs and yet I seem to be unable to avoid occasional frame drops, despite going to such lengths as lowering all the settings as low as possible and lowering the resolution. Crashes seem to occur for no apparent reason, as the game can crash because you took a step… This is an unoptimised game. Worse yet, it’s a Japanese game and that means you don’t get the options menu until you’re about an hour into it and upon reaching said options menu you’ll find out that the game’s graphics have been set to the max from the get-go, meaning people with weaker computers will get a terrible first impression of the game while approaching the refound time’s limit. That was a stupid decision, but most Japan made games do that, hiding the options from the user… Stupid, stupid design philosophy, especially on PC.

Another thing is the graphics themselves. Set in a realistic looking world it looks amazing, the scenery, costumes, props, weapons all look amazing! And then you see the characters and… the art direction was misguided at best. While designs like Kenshiro, Light Yagami or Cell work perfectly with the style and Piccolo’s model is a thing of beauty… Goku, Vegeta, Trunks and all characters from One Piece are a thing of nightmares. I just don’t know what’s wrong with Goku’s head/neck but I do know that it made me not want to go to bed… ever… again. That and his sausage arms. Seriously. Bad art direction.

But all that is what you see, bugs and even models can be changed, improved, what cannot be changed are two most important parts: story and gameplay.

The story is simple, Shonen Jump characters are from parallel universes, and someone is attacking all of us, while mixing realities, go stop them. Barebones story to set up a crossover. And it would be fine if the writing was good, but it’s not. Most characters lack their character beyond the skin-deep tropes. Goku and Luffy like to eat, the first time it was charming. 24234 time it was not. Those aren’t characters we know and care about, those are puppets that cannot be anything more because every second a new one appears. It’s just bad fan service. But all that can be forgiven because the gameplay is solid, right? Right? It’s solid, right?

Ever played Xenoverse? Maybe those Naruto games or the My Hero Academia one? They all play the same and here it’s even more basic due to the variety of skills from mismatched universes that simply weren’t designed to work alongside each other. Unless you’re trying to tell me that City Hunter protagonist can survive Goku’s punch and that his bullets are more than enough to damage Goku. Goku, who as a child got shot by Bulma and had a small scratch. Even if you suspend your disbelief the gameplay is the same old Xenoverse variant, only more limiting as you can’t fly and all these heroes have the stamina of a chainsmoking obese man. The combat looks really nice but plays predictably and is boring…

There’s a character creator and it’s limiting beyond reason. I wasn’t able to recreate myself, I wasn’t able to recreate any anime character that I felt was missing from the game. There are 5 or 6 maps that are reused all the time. The lack of English voice acting is yet another thing… And those things just add up to a subpar game. Sadly, I can’t recommend this game to anyone. Yet, not even Shonen Jump readers should pick this game up.

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