My Hero One’s Justice 2 (Switch) Review
It might’ve seemed a bit silly last time, but we’re still going with My Hero One’s Justice for an actual game title. Although this time it’s the sequel which means they really dropped the ball by not calling it My Hero Two’s Justice. I didn’t actually play the first one, but I watched the anime series (My Hero Academia) covering it. It turns out I’ve caught up in time to jump right into the follow-up game. I heard middling things about the first game so it was hard to know what to expect, there are way too many anime games that are in the same boat. There was only one way to find out for myself. It was time to don the spandex, do some warm-ups, go full cowl and smash through this game PLUS ULTRA!!
*Ahem* So the story follows the continuing adventures from My Hero Academia, the trials and tribulations of Hero Class 1-A and most importantly the main character Izuku Midoriya (or Deku) as he still strives to be worthy of the All for One ability passed onto him by former number one superhero All Might. If you’re jumping in at this stage I’m going to trust you’re somewhat familiar with the earlier backstory, and the game assumes the same thing. Like the first game, One’s Justice 2 is a 3D arena fighter set in various environments from the MHA world as Heroes and Villains duke it out. You don’t have to be a lone wolf in this fight against evil, you can bring two sidekicks with you to help pummel or stun your enemy with some flashy moves. Even better the announcer is Present Mic, the loudmouth Teacher and often commentator whose voice helps bring a smile to your face here.
Following the massive battle between All Might and All for One, the story mode follows the continuation of the series. It even follows the anime’s progress right up to very recent episodes, following the Provisional Hero License Exam arc up until the conclusion of the Yakuza arc. A lot is going on, even if the game has to stretch story events a little to make it worthy of a fight. The story itself is told through voice-acted motion comic/manga panels before and after fights, some chapters are just dialogue. When you complete the main story chapters, you unlock the Villain chapters. These are alternate fights from the perspective of the series Villains. It effectively doubles the number of chapters and will keep you playing for some time in this mode alone. If you’re familiar with the story then the cutscenes work fine to keep the main parts of the arcs moving along. If you’re coming into this game fresh then there’s going to be a lot of context missing, but then jumping in at this point is a bad idea If you want everything to make sense.
Fights are fast-paced, so fast they feel like they’re over as fast as they began. With each fight only being one round (in Story and Mission at least) it’s over even quicker, I think I spent more time in the story panels that set up the fights. Regardless I did enjoy the super-powered brawls, even with basic attacks it feels like you’re doing something powerful. Initially, it isn’t hard to kick asses without any fancy button combinations, meaning every fight looks exciting but also feels hollow when it’s easy to do. There is building up a Plus Ultra meter to give you some super powerful attacks to unleash, as well as being able to perform a combined attack with your sidekicks. Further into the game, it becomes more important to know some of the deeper mechanics when you add in blocking, unblockable attacks, counter-attacks and Plus Ultra moves and what beats what. You’ll need some skill to get further in the Mission mode, mostly because of but even then it still felt like I could still luck my way through a lot of the game with some well-timed mashing.
If you’re a MHA fan then you’ll be pleased to know that there are just over 40 fighters in this game, bringing back the previous ones while the other half are all-new from the more recent arcs. With the preexisting characters, there is already such a variety in ‘quirks’ and fighting styles, the new characters add even more technical fighting moves. It is a testament to the series that every character can be so different in their moves that only the literal reskins feel similar. While there is more than one Deku, there is no endless Goku parade here. It was also fun to try out the different characters too, on top of just being fun seeing some of my favourite Heroes brawling it out with moves on show. It’s a good reason to try out the arcade mode to try out your faves and see how they translate into a fighting game.
While the Story mode doesn’t put up much of a fight, you’ll find more of a challenge in the Mission mode. Instead of just being a student you’re now in charge of your very own Hero Agency. Starting only with the one hero you’ll need to clear missions to build up some Hero coins and build up a team of your choosing. Each mission presents you with a grid with different fights to choose from, as you try to keep the areas safe from destruction and build up your team. You can’t just rush in and get all roughed up, damage carries over between fights within the mission so you need to be careful.
While there isn’t the same motivation as the story mode to play through a story, the mission mode gives you plenty to do if you just want to enjoy playing as your favourite character and unlock customization options nearly constantly.
Free Battle is exactly that, choose your Hero/Villain and fight it out. If you’re not happy with preselected battles like in Story or simply want to fight whoever you want then this is the mode. You can have a 2v2 battle, where a friend can be your sidekick and assist in the fight. There are some big restrictions on the second player, but it’s just a bit of fun if you don’t want to fight one on one.
Network is where you’ll take the fight to the world, online battles against online players. This is great if you’re tired of CPU and want to take on a real challenger. There isn’t anything special hidden away here, after all the Story and Mission fights I honestly wasn’t in a rush to unleash my mediocre abilities on real people. For those wanting to really get the most out of the game and to enjoy playing as characters from this series, Network mode is an important addition (especially given the current state of things).
There’s also the Arcade and Training modes. Arcade provides a series of fights like a more traditional Arcade game, while Training is where you can practice and master your quirks. Training does provide all kinds of toggles to easily set up your ideal situation, unfortunately, it doesn’t go much further than that. While there is a basic tutorial in the game, it should have done with a more in-depth one to explain the different attacks and how they work against each other better. Arcade is a fun way to muck about with the wide roster, there are several routes for each character to take. If you just want to fight with some very brief amusing dialogue after you win then Arcade mode is also worth a go.
The 3D models do a great job of capturing the look of all the fighters, and even in handheld, it looked pretty decent. There were some framerate issues that brought the game to a crawl every now and then, but the game is largely unaffected by them. The more frustrating performance-based issue I had was the frequency of loading. It was never excessively long, but the frequency you have to sit there at the load screen even for a brief cutscene/dialogue really dragged down the momentum at times. The Switch more than manages to capture the fast-paced super-heroics, as long as you don’t mind waiting for it.
Unfortunately, I haven’t played the original game so I cannot go into what is the same and how much is new. The story is all new if you just want to continue after previous events. I imagine the preexisting characters have changed little, but there are a bunch of new fighters to freshen up the roster. If you have played the first game then you might not find enough to get this at full price (unless you just want the updated roster and the ongoing story). As someone jumping in at this point you’d want to at least be up to date on the recent arcs with the anime so you can easily pick up what’s going on. Personally I had a fun time getting to try out all the different characters and taking part in some flashy super fights, but I could see why people might want more content.
Upfront My Hero’s One Justice 2 had plenty of enjoyable moments. The fighting was fun and if you like MHA it’s a joy getting to see these characters in action. The story and mission modes have hours of fighting before even touching the rest of the game, and the story arcs covered are very recent if you want the most up to date roster (the season pass may help keep it current too). It is still hard to overlook the lack of substance, or more the lack of importance in the fighting mechanics when you can just randomly combo your way to victory.
If you’ve had your fill of heroics with the previous game, this might be a harder sell, if you’re a big MHA fan then the current roster and bombastic brawling might be enough to give the series another go.
+ Captures the look of the anime well
+ Fighting is over the top and quirks are fun to use
+ Story and Mission modes will keep you busy for some time
+ Present Mic!
- Loading screens feel way too frequent
- Deeper fighting mechanics are overshadowed by effective button mashing
- Story mode’s cutscenes feel like the less exciting way to present the MHA story