Jump Force – Impressions From the Closed Beta

Shonen Jump has been a source of inspiring action manga for many years, that also brought on several types of media from it including songs, animes, movies and even games. Today we bring our attention to Jump Force, which was announced to be released sometime next year. We’ve been given access to the closed beta and while there’s definitely a lot more to be added into the game it’s definitely enough for us to chew on to have an idea of what it’ll be like. So let’s get down to it.

Looks

Definitely the game looks and animates better than I expected. Despite coming from various illustration styles, they were able to bring them together in 3D in a rather palatable way (well except maybe Freiza). While there’s an obvious performance issue when too many models in one place, this only happens in the central hub, which I’ll get back to later.

The game looks good in a sense that combat is flashy without being too complicated with the information on-screen. Attacks and animations also make use of popular moves found in their respective series.

In general, this department of the game looks good.

 

Play

It’s pretty difficult to get into detail about the mechanics when there’s nothing around to actually tell you the finer points of how things work, but I’ll go ahead and share what I have observed.

You form a party of 3 where you’ll all have a collective lifebar instead of 3 separate ones. This would mean that nobody is likely to have more or less life than the other, and that the three characters are more or less there to build your personal moveset rather than attempt to stand out as separate characters.

Their normal moves and attacks give some level of variation but their special moves make them really stand out for themselves. From your usual ki-blasts and beatdowns are present but there’s also buffs from Gon and Toguro and counter-attacks from other characters. Though admittedly how exactly they work was hard to tell, given the limited access we had to the game.

Combat generally allows you to move around a 3D space while auto-locked onto your opponent. It’s a lot like Shinobi-Striker but with a 3-man tag system. Complete with assists and tag-outs. Though I have to wonder what’s the point of moving in a 3D-space if you’re always auto-locked, your normal attacks are always homing, and your environment is always a flat plane. Sure, it’s possible to evade attacks with jumping in certain directions but you can already achieve that with a 2D setting. I hope they get more creative with it like producing a stage with obstacles or other possible special effects.

 

What’s in it Right Now

There’s about 13 characters available in the current beta, giving us a reasonable variety of playstyles and movesets so we can create several unique combinations in any way we like.

Two things appear in this game that gave me some level of concern. Custom playable avatars and again, the lobby system. Creating a custom avatar makes sense if you’re going to be part of a bigger universe, but Jump Force is going to be a cross-over, a clash of several worlds, and unless there’s a certain level of focus on these worlds, I don’t think it would be necessary to build your own character at all. Then there’s the central lobby, we’ve been seeing this since Dragon Ball FighterZ and it hasn’t exactly gotten better. Now maybe it makes it easier for the developers as they have a working template to use, but I’m worried that they may be making features to the game that may not really add well onto the arcade fighter experience that Jump Force is marketed to be.

But let’s keep ourselves optimistic with this title, I’m certain quite a few fans out there would want to take their favorite characters, whether that be Goku, Ichigo, Toguro or whoever, and try to take on the rest of the jump series.

They’ve managed to tick a good number of boxes in this closed beta on my book and hope that the game continues to make developments that make us excited for the title.

Which character are you hoping to play as to fight rest of Shonen Jump?

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