It’s official, Byking has made its second foray into the My Hero Academia universe with the release of My Hero One’s Justice 2 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The game is a 3D arena fighter in the vein of its predecessor from 2018. With the plot picking up directly where the first game ended, it’s almost like a new level in the same game. In fact it’s not unreasonable to think of this as My Hero One’s Justice 1.5, because that’s what it really is.
The plot progresses chronologically from the defeat of All for One via the heroes perspective all the way to about episode 77 of the anime. This equates to 48 chapters – Twelve of which are just motion comic segments. Once completed you can also play the campaign from the villain’s viewpoint including few sub stories along the way. This equates to much more content than the previous game and it just so happens to also be of a higher quality as well. This time around the motion comics have more, well, motion. They’re more animated, featuring more effects and style befitting the anime it’s based on. Partnered with voice work seemingly ripped directly from Japanese anime dub and you have a decent recipe for success.
Story aside, the gameplay remains mostly the same as the first game. One’s Justice 2 is a 3 on 3 3D brawler with 2 characters in your team serving as support. It features 40+ characters from the source material, two of which are DLC at the time of writing while some others are just unplayable fluff. The Square button is still your primary attack input on the DualShock 4 with triangle and circle serving as triggers for quirks (corresponding inputs apply for other controllers).
This makes for a fairly simple fighting system which gains its complexity from it’s counter, grab and blocking mechanics. Each serving in a rock, paper, scissors type capacity with counter beating unguardable attacks, unguardables beating blocks and block beating counters. This however doesn’t always work according to plan, but we’ll address that later. During combat, characters can jump, fight midair or briefly on walls. Some characters including; Bakugo and Nejire also have the ability to slowly glide or fly across the arenas.
In addition One’s Justice 2 includes new unique team special attacks for a few characters. These attacks are nicely stylized and work once you’ve included all 3 required characters. The order they’re in doesn’t matter just that they’re all included in your team. This could have been improved further if they included more character combinations along with the ability to use just one or no sidekick for variety. They could even have gone further if it was also possible to switch characters during a fight similar to the likes of games like Dragon Ball FighterZ or Naruto Storm 4. Looking at the very minor improvements Byking has made to the game leaves me thinking that they haven’t learned anything from other anime games. They’ve done the bare minimal and nothing else.
This is even more apparent when you consider that the previously mentioned attack balancing system doesn’t always work as intended. Sometimes the match-up between unguardable attacks and counters just doesn’t work. It makes the game seem better than it’s predecessor but still unfinished when compared to other similar titles.
The first One’s Justice had a very limited customization system and frankly this one is pretty much that with a few additional options. I’m not gonna pull my punches in saying that this is the most basic uninspired implementation they could have gone with. Like it’s predecessor it lacks any special outfits like maybe swimsuits, dresses, suits and other cool outfits that are present in the anime, manga and fan art. What we have is basically 4 to 5 outfits per character with colour swaps and accessories. What makes this even less appealing is that all the characters generally have the same outfits.
One’s justice 2 does however have a few redeeming qualities and top of that list is the variety of modes available to the player. There is of course the aforementioned story mode along with Mission mode, free battle, and online multiplayer. The multiplayer modes have access to most of the characters immediately and also allow for 4 players in a 2v2 fashion. That however is not the highlight of the modes on offer. That honor goes to Mission Mode.
Mission Mode sees the player build their own hero agency. One can use any of the playable characters in the game for their agency once they’ve purchased them through the scout system. Once you sign a hero they can be used in battle for your agency. Winning these battles will result in your heroes leveling up and new missions will unlock. You can also add symbols to your agency to offer buffs to your heroes stats. This all comes together to create a mission system which is both challenging and fun. Missions have a few enemies to defeat on a board which you can challenge in the order you see fit while they incrementally get stronger with each battle.
Visually the game looked and ran great on every platform we were able to test it on. This is especially impressive for the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode since that’s usually where developers cut back when developing. This game however seems to not have any cuts in that regard. It looks and runs buttery smooth no matter how you choose to play it. What’s even more surprising is that it does this while maintaining all the particle effects, beautiful anime styled cel shaded graphics and destructible environments.
If there’s one thing that Bykin has done right with this game it’s their work with visuals and performance.
My Hero One’s Justice 2 improved on the story presentation of the first game as well as slight improvements to every other aspect of the game, but is that enough? If it does will depend on your own individual standards. For me it’s not necessarily a bad game but rather a lazy one. Not that I expected much more than exactly that from Byking. They may have created a beautiful game in motion, but we all know they could have done more given the source material. Instead they chose to do just enough to be serviceable, and nothing more. As such I can only recommend picking this up on sale or as a complete edition.
The copies of My Hero One’s Justice 2 used for this review were provided by their publisher Bandai Namco.