When it comes to video game adaptations of popular manga and anime, there’s always that lingering scent of skepticism if it’s worth diving into. On one end, there’s the kind of games that might be on par if not better to the likes of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. It delivers the faithful recreation of its story elements while also providing a solid foundation to its gameplay mechanics. But on the other, a unique story that may very well be just an excuse to have everyone fight each other. But where does One Punch Man stand in all of this?
To the uninitiated in the world of anime and manga, One Punch Man started as a Japanese superhero webcomic in early 2009 and soon found its way to both a manga and anime adaptation. And One Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a superhero with unyielding power that can beat anyone with a single punch, hence the title, aside from having a shiny bald head and a lacklustre sense to fashion. He’s the gag character of an overly serious cast of superheroes which makes it even more interesting to watch compared to your average battle manga.
However, as a game, it’s as lacking as Saitama’s superhero costume. The game pretty much butchers the story that people had come to know and love, inject it with your own custom character and play out the same story with some minor changes and a lot of its scenes from the anime getting thrown out of the window. While the developer Spike Chunsoft, nails the hilarious nature of its characters there are still some things I wish wasn’t removed from its source material. Its story progression also felt like a sorry excuse to cut corners with most of your time being spent on mindless battles with the same generic monsters and thugs in order to get up to a certain rank before you can unlock the next bit.
Meanwhile, the gameplay follows the traditional 3D arena fighting game format in which 27 playable characters (28 if you include your own custom character) team up to defeat monsters and thugs alike similar to Naruto’s Ultimate Ninja Storm Series or Jump Force. You get two buttons for attacking and initiating combos, a block button that changes into a step if paired with directional input, buttons for switching active characters, a dash and a skilled palette to initiate a character’s killer moves.
Now considering how the story was poorly executed, it only makes you think they did a better job on its gameplay which for the most part is what anyone would be doing anyway right? Sadly, while there is a certain level of fun and frustrations to its early gameplay, most of it went away and only the frustration was left due to how broken enemies can get over the course of the story. Unlike fighting game standards where enemies would just be tougher to beat due to its higher difficulty, One Punch Man and its RPG elements make both generic mobs and boss battles feel like an RPG set to suicide difficulty due to their high health and damage. This makes even the most basic of optional battles feel like a one-way road to rage city due to its clunky gameplay that makes it hard to combo off moves into supers or follow up more hits from a launcher. If you’re looking for a game that would make you rage quit, this is one that I would highly recommend.
Visually, the game looks gorgeous. From its character models to the customization options for your very own custom character, it delivers a very genuine feel to make yourself unique in its world and it is one that I feel very much at home too. Whether you’re making your own version of Vegeta from DBZ or Batman and Joker if you’re more of a western comic fan. Although it doesn’t have the Code Vein or Gundam Breaker level of customization options, it’s a welcomed edition to have some of its elements come to life here. Its environment and hub world does require a bit more of polishing though not to mention the awful frame rate drops in battles especially when enemies are defeated making the game slow down into a crawl. My only gripe with this is its awful lack of voice acting that is only present in certain situations like the few and far in between main story cutscenes which makes more than half of the game pretty much a silent stare at a dialogue box.
The game also offers custom fights between players or AI as well as ranked battles which more often than not is as broken as Saitama’s mechanics. Making most fights a frustrating zoning game with the overused psychic type Fubuki or the fast and agile Sonic in an attempt to prolong the fight until Saitama, an invincible egg head that can beat players in one punch arrives in battle. The game is far from perfect and what’s disappointing here is it’s even far from being balanced. The lack of invincibility during wake up also makes you the perfect target for killer moves with lingering effects or with long animations that can hit you multiple times. This is one of those things that should’ve been addressed way before its release and the lack of action to rectify this only leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows as a game feels something you can never take seriously. It clearly lacks a lot of things from a more fluid and cohesive story progression to the tight and addictive fighting mechanics. While you can find a bit of joy should you lower your expectations quite a bit, this should never be a compromise any fan should be willing to take either way.
Click here (https://www.twitch.tv/miuyumi2121) if you want to follow me on twitch and watch my past broadcasts of the entire game. I mostly stream Monster Hunter World Iceborne while occasionally going from one game to the other depending on the mood or the people that I can play with.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is developed by Spike Chunsoft, Chunsoft and Published by BANDAI NAMCO
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows was reviewed on PlayStation 4
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One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
Dive into a dynamic fighting game experience with beloved characters from One Punch Man! Play as your favorite hero – or become one!
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 49.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut