In manga and anime through the ages, there have always been standout sagas that everyone held in the highest regard. Through the '90s and early 2000's titans like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach took their places in books, on screens, and in video game consoles. Now with so many of these series spinning off or finishing decade long runs, we're seeing the rise of new series eager to stand in the spotlight. It's difficult to find a series that isn't getting as much traction in recent years as My Hero Academia. Like its predecessors, we're seeing games like My Hero One's Justice 2 seeking to give players a chance to relive their favorite moments from the series.
My Hero One's Justice 2 picks up at the beginning of the Provisional Hero License Exam Arc and carries forward to the end of the Shie Hassaikai Arc. The game gets broken up into individual missions, while most of these are battles there are some that are merely cutscenes. The story gets delivered to players in the form of motion comics, fully voiced by the cast of the anime. The plot begins with Sir Nighteye's premonition of Deku and Overdrive's fight, while we get that brief glimpse of the games ending we flashback to the students moving into the UA High dorms. The game expects that any player is up to at least that point in the series. Knowing that, the story focuses on the bigger story beats for each arc more as a recap than trying to actually tell the story to anyone. The comics style is a fun way to fast forward' through the story effect without having jumpy cutscenes or using visual novel-style storytelling.
After the completion of My Hero One's Justice 2's hero story mode, the second side of the story will unlock. This story focuses on the villains but follows the same journey. Where you were Deku fighting Himiko now you get a cutscene of Himiko's intentions and a fight against Deku. This perspective shift is a lot of fun, though even if you 'win' the battle the story will continue on the same path. This is a good way of maximizing exposure to each of the games playable characters and adding a bit more length to the story.
My Hero One's Justice 2 roster has plenty to work with
Fights consist of a standard 1v1 battle with two characters you can summon as sidekicks. The roster of characters in the game is quite substantial with many returning characters from the earlier arcs in the series. You'll see returning villains like Hero Killer Stain and One For All. In cases like Deku or Overdrive where a character has multiple entries the differences between each version are enough to be distinct. Combat is fast-paced and very faithful to the source material. Characters can speed around the arena launching all kinds of punches, kicks, and the occasional frog tongue.
Combat itself is quite simplistic, alternating between beginning light attack combos before working in an attack with your quirk. There isn't too much of an opportunity to create a large chain but it's also not unheard of for a light attack combo to be 20 hits. There's an easy combo setting in the game too for inexperienced players where the light attacks will automatically chain into bigger attacks. This allows players to maximize damage while simply mashing one button repeatedly. This kind of approach does give technical players some familiarity but when the overall system is so simple there isn't too much enjoyment. The spectacle of the fight, big hits, and flashy particle effects, are the most enjoyable part of combat in My Hero One's Justice 2.
Flashy finishing moves in My Hero One's Justice 2
Each character's Quirk, their in-universe superpower, is cleverly represented in-game, ensuring that each character's combat style is unique. It's not just the strong characters like All Might doing heavy damage that you'll get to see either. Mineta's Quirk in the series, Pop Off, allows him to throw adhesive balls to try to hinder his opponents. In My Hero One's Justice 2 instead of attempting to turn it into an offensive move on contact with the opponent their speed is drastically reduced. If you're aware of who the character is from the manga then you can predict how that character will play. The detail in how each character uses their quirk is something that is consistently impressive.
Combat takes place in a variety of arenas from throughout the series. Each has its own unique flair from Gran Torino's apartment to a normal city street but the differences are purely cosmetic. All the same size and any pillars or buildings in the way act like cardboard when a character gets sent through them. That's not to say it isn't appealing to throw Bakugo's smug face through a pylon or two though.
Mission Mode in My Hero One's Justice 2
One of My Hero One's Justice 2's interesting options is the Mission Mode. Here you're tasked with creating your own Hero Agency and running support on premade missions. To begin you'll only have Deku Shoot-Style, but by spending Hero Coins you can expand your company. The more you play with each character the stronger they'll get, while you can swap characters at any time it's worth investing early in your favorites.
After selecting a mission you're presented with a grid of enemies and items. You and the enemies will take turns to traverse the board and fight to stop an area from getting destroyed. The player can only choose to engage with an enemy, or move a single spot on their turn. Each enemy will do a set amount of damage to the area. Your character's health persists in battles, this forces the players to plan their movements not only to protect the city but their fighters. You've got to prioritize each encounter, protect each area, and navigate to items effectively to give yourself the best chance in this mode.
Each successful board clear will reward you with items to customize your team further and more Hero Coins. Items give your team bonuses, such as regaining health or raising the rate your special gauge fills. By leveling your characters, pairing them with other characters they work well with, and earning better items it all compounds allowing you to take on tougher missions. Even the early missions can mean certain failure if you're not prepared. Those looking for a challenge might find that this mode is just what they're craving.
My Hero One's Justice 2 Combat Screens
Aside from the above, the rest is mostly what you'd expect from a fighting game. Training mode allows you to take the time to work on each character and get your skills up. Online mode lets you take on online opponents in a variety of rulesets. The last new addition to My Hero One's Justice 2 comes in the 2v2 mode present in Free Play. Unlike normal matches, you can have a friend pick up the controller and join in the action as the sidekick. There are some restrictions to playing as the sidekick though. You'll have limited health, share the Plus Ultra gauge, and the hero has to be the one to deal the final blow. It's an interesting take not only on team combat in a 3D fighting game but also on the Hero/Sidekick dynamic of the source material.
Overall, My Hero One's Justice 2 does a great job of giving the players a My Hero Academia experience. The storyline not only covers the arcs close to the current anime arc but also delivers the flip side of fighting against the villains. The combat itself isn't exactly deep and you shouldn't be expecting a game like this to be showing at any fighting game tournaments but it's flashy and fun. The care taken in adapting quirks to the characters gives each one such a unique charm it's hard to not enjoy yourself. Mission mode adds a lot of meat to the game and an interesting gimmick promoting replayability and specializing. Will this be a game that you'll be telling your friends that they need to get? Probably not, but it's an enjoyable anime fighting experience nonetheless.
TechRaptor reviewed My Hero One's Justice 2 on Xbox One with a code provided by the developer.
- Flashy Combat...
- Story Mode Recaps Highlights...
- Mission Mode Adds Replayability
- ...But Extremely Shallow
- ...But Doesn't Cover Much Ground