- Developer: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
- Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
- Release Date: 28/08/2020
- Price: £44.99 / $49.99
- Review code provided by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Introducing: Jump Force Deluxe Edition Switch Review
Crossovers can be so hit or miss. Marvel Vs Capcom has such a huge cult following whereas Mortal Kombat Vs DC quickly fell out of the spotlight. For the matter at hand, the worlds of Shonen Jump are no strangers to big crossovers. There were several titles released on the DS that never made it out of Japan that received critical reception. In the west we received J-Stars Victory VS+ and it was an interesting game, to say the least, and now we have its pseudo sequel, JUMP FORCE Deluxe Edition! Is this newest crossover worth the investment? Continue forward true believers and we shall enlighten you!
Citizens of the Universe, Lend Me Your Energy!
Forewarning: I will be mentioning a ton of different anime characters without explaining their origins, as it would take more time! Thank you in advance for understanding!
JUMP FORCE opens with a giant battle in our world. Frieza is wrecking Tokyo and no one is there to stop him. Suddenly, the cavalry appears! Goku, Naruto and Luffy emerge from places unknown to stop his sinister plans. Unfortunately for you, some civilians were caught in the crossfire. On the brink of death, Trunks appears and asks if you want to live as a super being? Death as a human or life as a hero? After accepting, your character is reborn with power to keep up with the likes of Goku and All-Might.
After gaining near limitless power, you are escorted to the Umbras Base, which is located between worlds. The director, think Nick Fury minus the eye patch, explains that the real world and the worlds of Jump have been merged by an organization called the Venoms. It is up to you and the rest of JUMP FORCE to save the collective worlds! Saving the world involves recruiting more teammates from the Jump worlds and crushing venoms, it’s pretty simple actually!
Story segments are presented between Key Missions which usually involve saving an ally, or defeating a villain such as Toguro, Blackbeard, etc. The meat of the story feels like fanfiction for better or worse. It never truly pushed for character development and the behind the scenes evil doers rarely felt like their motivation was understood. If a deep or compelling story is what you are looking for, it’s not here.
JUMP FORCE is an arena fighting game with simplistic controls which means most anyone can jump into the action, regardless of age or skill. Each character has a standard and heavy attack. Both can be used in succession to make combos or end with a special move. These are a breeze to pull off as they can be used by holding ZR and hitting any of the face buttons (Y,X,B,A). These flashy moves look terrific in motion. Sadly, since they are limited, it can get old if you are using the same set of characters over again.
One important aspect I forgot to mention is this game is tag-based, meaning you select up to three characters to play as. With 52 characters available, you will have no shortage for choices! They all share the same health bar, so switching them out isn’t necessary for self-preservation. It does add some nuance to the fighting system. Dodges and counters also make things more complicated and chaotic. Half the time, I felt I could pull off a dodge/counter and other moments I felt like it was a true gamble.
I Love Heroes, But I Don’t Want to Be One
For content, JUMP FORCE has a pretty hefty single player section which features many different types of missions. Key missions make up the story and side stories. Extra missions, free missions, and tutorial missions are also available. Extra missions are vital for upgrading your created character as an upgrade fight appears whenever they are close to reaching levels in multiples of 20 (20,40,60…etc.). Free missions give other items used for your avatar, such as skills, abilities, and items.
For a huge fan of anime, there is a massive amount of content here. So many items, fights, and extra content are available for those who seek it out. This doesn’t even scratch the online modes. Testing out both ranked and unranked modes, I was able to quickly find matches. Playing online felt very fluid and I only noticed a slight lag in matches, which is normal for fighting games. Overall, I was very impressed with this experience, but only time will tell if the community stays active.
The Visuals are Already Dead
When JUMP FORCE was announced, I have never been more confused with an artstyle choice than what was present in this game. Seeing anime and manga characters in a semi-realistic style was, and still is, off putting. Certain characters like Goku, Ichigo and Yusuke feel more at home as they feature normal proportions. Luffy looks very odd in this style and he gives me the chills anytime I see him. When the action starts, the choice isn’t bad. The characters are very fluid, and the action is fast, which disguises the oddly human anime characters.
The music in JUMP FORCE felt more in line with what you would hear in the Marvel Cinematic movies. It isn’t bad, but I was not really listening to the OST thinking, “I’ll totally jam this later”. The only exception is the main hub world theme. Imagine a goofy coming of age anime mixed with the jazzy sounds of Persona 5 and that would fit this theme. I loved it, but after hearing it over 50 times, I was ready to hit mute.
We’ll Need A Whole Planet For An Arena
While playing JUMP FORCE in both handheld and docked modes, I definitely preferred the game in docked. The graphics looked more polished and in higher quality. While in handheld, it was easy to tell the graphics took a downgrade. It was still very playable, but much lower fidelity.
JUMP FORCE is an interesting product. On paper it sounds like a dream: huge roster of characters, detailed story mode with many side quests and decent online play. While these boxes are all checked, they don’t make a grade A game. The combat can be overly simplistic at times and the AI can go from doornail to killing machine at the drop of a hat. If you can get over these shortcomings, JUMP FORCE delivers en masse. For the anime or manga super fan, this game is a must play. For everyone else, it depends on how you like your fighting games.
- Excess amounts of content
- Flashy combat
- Over 50 characters
- Story isn’t compelling
- Combat can be too simplistic
- Art design
JUMP FORCE Deluxe Edition isn’t perfect, but it delivers on many levels. Anime and manga fans will find plenty of reasons to stay well after the credits roll.