Review: Jump Force
Jump has been around for fifty years! To celebrate, the studio is releasing an ambitious title that blends the studio's biggest anime into a fighting game with realistic graphics. Is the title ambitious enough or is it one of so many lazy fighters? Read it in our review.
Naruto has the Ninja Storm franchise, Dragon Ball has the Xenoverse franchise, and My Hero Academia has My Hero One's Justice . Other than that, other Jump anime have their own fighting games or even entire series. Jump Force is the game that celebrates all this anime. This is the game that should celebrate the studio's 50th anniversary. Has Bandai Namco managed to bring a game worthy of the anniversary of one of the biggest studios? Watch the trailer below first.
Fifty years, that's twice my age and therefore a number that should also be well celebrated. The first and also the best plus of Jump Force is the characters. The game launches with 40 characters from 16 different anime. actually the number is 42 if you count the two Jump Force unique characters. In upcoming expansions, nine new characters will be added, all from different anime. So you could indeed say that this is an ambitious crossover and you would be completely right. A game like this comes with its pros and cons.
The biggest plus is the graphics in combination with the characters. All characters have their own unique attacks and some basic attacks. There are three fighting styles in the game along with over a hundred unique attacks. The big advantage of having many characters is the variety. The biggest drawback to this, especially with Jump Force, is balance issues. Characters like Luffy ( One Piece ) and Boruto ( Naruto ) are quite difficult to counter and have an advantage in almost every way. This is of course something that Namco can adjust in updates to make the game fairer. I myself like to play with Rukia ( Bleach) because her long-range and short-range attacks are easy to use and work smoothly with her fighting style.
Realistic and flashy
Graphically, the game is top notch. Not everyone agrees with the realistic style that the game has chosen, but most think this is a great initiative. Despite the power of the Unreal Engine, the game didn't take advantage of everything. Cinematic scenes and dialogues look very clumsy and uncomfortable. Other than that, the game looks extremely cool. The blur used when attacking makes for a faster-looking scene and special attacks are over-the-top flashy. That's something I personally really like, but everyone has their own opinion about this too.
The gameplay not only looks flashy, but also plays very quickly and smoothly. The button combinations are easy and so is performing special attacks. Again, there is an advantage and a disadvantage to this. The advantage being that the game allows for simple, fun battles against online players, your friends or the computer. The game can be very challenging, sometimes due to the weird balance between the characters, but the CPU is already quite smart in their movement.
In the online modes you really notice how ridiculously unbalanced the game really is. You can't choose the character you want. If you do this, there is a chance that you will be mowed a lot. One thing the game does well is the net coding. I've hardly ever had any issues with lag or stuttering. The Ninja Storm games from Naruto and the Xenoverse games from Dragon Ball are the only titles I know that handle this so well. Jump Force is also part of that list. The number of characters that can actually be chosen makes up for a lot, too bad they are not all on the same level.
In Jump Force, of course, there is also such a thing as a storyline. Spoiler alert, the story itself sucks. The best part about this whole story is creating your own hero. You can create your character as you envision it. Whether you mix Boruto's hair with Sasuke's outfit and Ichigo's eyes or you completely copy Sakura. Everything is possible in the world of Jump Force! The first few hours of the story are quite interesting. Freeza attacks a large city and you as a normal human are hit by one of Freeza's projectiles. Future Trunks comes to your rescue and from here you enter the screen where you will create your hero or heroine. You have quite a few options and it took me quite some time to get my character exactly the way I envisioned it.
The story is fully narrated in the first two or three hours. The voices sound familiar, good and the humor is good. You end up in a hub city. From the hub you start your story missions or side missions. From that same hub you can go to the shop to buy outfits and other cosmetic items, or to get gear for your next fight. You can unlock attacks for your character and you can level up by playing content. You will soon be given the choice between three teams, each led by Luffy, Goku or Naruto. This team also determines the attacks your character gets at the beginning. Unfortunately, after three hours of playing, your storyline is no longer fully recorded and you have to read through a lot of dialogue. This was a big turn-off for me and the story didn't get any better either.
Jump Force is a fun game in which you can find several hours of linear fun. Unfortunately, it lacks a lot of depth, balance and dialogue. There are also many bugs in it. The cinematics are clunky and the way the characters' lips move is one I can't take seriously. Graphically, the game is over-the-top and I can't complain. The combat, despite the balance, also feels nice and smooth. Jump Force is a game that could just take the throne in its genre in a second part, unfortunately it is not the game that everyone was hoping for. I can recommend the game to people who want a simple and fun game to play with friends or just have a few hours of entertainment!
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