Hello everyone, as many of you might understand the world is in a bit of a mess right now so the reviews came kinda grinding to a halt. Mostly because I currently live by myself so the chores basically don’t end as the usual conveniences of laundromats and food delivery is currently out the window, anyway let’s get to the review.
It’s no surprise that Bandai-Namco is at it again with releasing games of currently popular anime. And since these two came in close not only in terms of release date but also in how they play, I decided to give them a head-to-head review. So is our better game coming from the guy who can only punch but win every time or the kid who punched way too hard and has resorted to kicking instead, and won every time as well?
Let’s have these two games take on each other to find out! One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows vs My Hero Academia One’s Justice 2!
The first thing I’d like to point out is how similar these games appear to be, they both take on the cinematic camera approach like how they did for the Kill La Kill game. I find it hard to see how this’ll work on a two-player mode unless you’re both operating on separate TVs. It actually becomes a bit difficult to judge certain ranges and can get disorienting when there’s a lot of jerky-sudden movement. Both games also employ voices and sound effects that are known to be from their respective animes, so it’s hard to complain about so where do they differ?
OPM – The first thing that I actually noticed about the One Punch Man game is the painful frame drops while playing on PlayStation 4. This mostly happened while venturing through the city area of the game, which showed the game was already pushing the system by having massive amounts of pop-in for other models when going into shops and other areas. And since most of the non-canon models are pretty much based off a character creator, everyone looks generic and animate in pretty in boring ways. Another pain point would be how some voice-overs appear to be done in totally different ways as they stick out like a sore thumb when compared to other rest in-game.
MHA – The models and faces within this game are very expressive to the point that I’m a bit impressed with how much they do with so little. The lack of detail can be attributed to the developers adapting to the style of source material, but we’ve seen 3D anime-style graphics to be executed better. The user-interface could certainly be better as well, as it became a bit difficult to figure out what I could do, when. But I got used to it and had little problems with it after.
While the One Punch Man game tries to make this huge area to wander in, it’s generally uninteresting. You have a bunch of filler characters walking around and generally feel inconsequential to your experience. My Hero Academia tries to keep its best face on showing featuring something attractive to look at even at the menu, capitalizing on what it made good versus what it made badly, like the stages. So for this round, MHA edges out OPM for knowing how to use their assets well.
Both of these games seem to be most similar along their fighting mechanics. as they’re both designed to be 3D brawlers. Relying on a cinematic style of tracking a fight, they forego the traditional input commands you’d see in a 2D fighter, but attempt to carry similar functions in a fight. They both have easy combos, weak and strong attack variants, throws, universal blocks, and their respective reversal mechanics. Even the button mapping is quite similar for both games, so where they branch off from each other is what we’ll look at.
OPM – This title attempts to make the fight feel like part of a bigger world by having random events take place in the midst of battle, these events can be supplies being dropped in by a drone, said drone crashing as a fireball onto where you’re standing, unreasonable meteorological events like thunderstorms or actual meteors, and even heroes or villains dropping in while doing their own fights.
They also have a partner assist system where backup can arrive for either side or be at the ready depending on how the fight is set up. It’s entirely possible for you to take on a gang of 10 grunts in one fight or for you to have two unique heroes ready to back you up, but fights are still ultimately one-on-one.
Finally, how the functions link to one-another feel pretty clunky. Knockdown rules are a bit hard to catch onto, and it’s not clear if a combo will connect or not. I found a pretty easy abuse for grabs but the damage hardly appears to be worth it unless you’re trying to buy time.
MHA – While initial impressions may make you think this is a 3-on-3 battle system, it’s really having one character playable and two others just helping out. It would be cool to be able to switch between characters like how you can in Rival Schools, but that’s not the case. However the utility of the assists are pretty expansive as you can use them anytime, either as a means to escape from being pummeled by your opponent or even use their supers to combine into your combo, that is if you can time it right.
Generally there’s a rock-paper-scissor relationship between attacks, blocks, and guard breaks, but there’s also other functions like step-dashing, and tardy counters that can mix up the meta.
Fighting mechanics feeling much better in a game designed to be an outright fighting game isn’t much of a surprise. Deku nabs a second win.
Both games present characters from their respective series in a way you’d much expect, they also both allow you to play through the story of each anime, however:
OPM – For the One Punch Man game you create a new character and get to experience the event of the story around you, allowing you to get to know the characters on your own terms. Being built like an RPG, things just keep overlapping with each other for things to do, though it’s mostly grinding. Grinding your city contribution, your hero rank, your stats, or even your style proficiency. On top of this, you can customize how you look, where I just attempted to add as many shades as possible onto my character. Coming up with some pretty crazy ideas is a welcome thing in this game. You can also opt to customize the look of your living space, though I’m not sure if it does anything else other than look how you want it. But hey, if you wanna grind it out, there’s no shortage of fetch or fight quests, that is if you don’t mind the repetitive nature of everything.
MHA – Most of the interesting content is in the characters themselves, as they have unique gimmicks to each of them. Kaminari can create zone that his opponent shouldn’t cross, Yaoyorozu can upgrade her weapon mid-fight, and Mineta can slow or even stun his victims if he’s able to stick enough balls on ‘em. There are other more-direct combat types as well that simply have different move sets, but in general each of them have something new to bring to the table. And that’s plenty considering there’s more than 30 characters to this game. That being said, not everyone’s going to be thrilled to be trying out every character to see what they’re capable of. Apart from that there’s a mission mode where you try to develop your own hero agency but is poorly executed and a story mode which is generally underwhelming.
Both games also have annoyingly poor AI, what I mean by this is that I don’t really feel like I’m fighting a character. Rather just something that quickly picks up and reacts to my button presses, I’ve annoyingly found myself getting attacked the moment I release the guard button or quickly grabbed if I hold it a second too long. I’ve found multiple ways of abusing the AI’s reaction method and generally make the game one of attrition. Which is annoying.
By right of having things other than fighting to do in the game, One Punch Man’s game takes the round for this field.
Both games generally accomplish what’s run-of-the-mill stuff for your online features. You can match online, which actually have limited features. They also have a gallery feature where you can check out other characters and odds and ends featured within the universe
So in this case, it’s a draw for both games.
It should be pretty obvious right now that I prefer My Hero Academia: One’s Justice 2 compared to playing One Punch Man: A Hero That Nobody Knows.
However, I’d like to point out that I don’t think I would play the MHA game for very long, as it plays like a firework, flashy, impressionable, fast, and well, not long-lasting. Its charm quickly runs out especially if you’re playing solo. There’s not a lot to learn and not a lot of variety of what you can do after. It can be rather fun playing with friends.
The OPM game in the other hand serves you a lot of activities that are more or less time sinks, so I’d suggest you pick your poison.
Quite honestly I’d rate both of them at around a 2.5 / 5.
Both games are available on PS4, PC, X1. But only My Hero One’s Justice 2 is available on Switch.