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Old 03-12-2019, 07:31 AM   #1
Evil Avatar
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The Evil Avatar Jump Force Review

Title: Jump Force
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

Jump Force Review

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Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Shonen Jump magazine comes a game designed purely for one thing – epic fan service. Bringing together multiple Jump series into one place, mixing the likes of Dragon Ball with One Piece, Fist of the North Star with Naruto, and Bleach with Yu-Gi-Oh! Jump Force is a melting pot of anime series, thrown together into a fighting mash-up that takes more than a little inspiration from other fighters like Dragon Ball Xenoverse.



The story behind this, and the excuse for pitting characters from the various series together is a mysterious force bringing together the 'Jump' worlds of the manga with the real world, which is why the opening sees Frieza of Dragon Ball attacking New York.

An army of brainwashed combatants called Venoms are also attacking the world, and the three main faces of the game – Goku, Naruta, and Luffy are fighting back the evil force when you, a passer by, get caught up in the battle and killed. Luckily, the heroes and their navigator robot bring you back to life by merging you with an Umbras Cube. This strange device gives you super powers, giving you similar abilities as Jump world warriors, and you end up joining the Jump Force, an organisation created to prevent the coming apocalypse caused by this merging of words.



What this means is you have a game very, very similar to DB Xenoverse. Your time is split between the hub world of the Jump Force HQ, where you can advance the story, shop for items, and pick up various missions, both online and off. The rest of the time you'll be fighting in up to 3-on-3 battles. These fights, unlike Xenoverse, are set in simple arenas, and you have a variety of attacks, and supers to utilise to beat your opponents into submission.

The combat, the core of the game, is decent, if very simplistic. You have light and heavy attacks, and these can be strung together into combo moves, which are suitably showy and OTT. You can block, fly around the ground, rushing your foes, and as you take damage, you build up your awoken meter, which can then be used to unleash powerful ultimate attacks, or, at 100%, can put you into a more powerful 'awoken' mode, improving your abilities and making you stronger.



As you fight, you can quickly call on you team mates (up to two) to rush in and attack, Marvel Vs Capcom-style, or you can switch out control to another character. The odd thing here, though, is the shared health bar. Each character in your team shares a single health bar, and so If your Naruto is nearly down, and you bring in Kenshiro to take over, Ken will also be near death. This means switching characters is solely about changing combat moves and strategy, and doesn't keep you in the fight with more health.

Combat is very easy to pick up, thanks to the simplicity of the controls, and being a game based on Shonen Jump, all of the crazy, super powered moves help to create one of the most visually striking fighters around. Characters here can hurl attacks so powerful they create nuclear blast-sized explosions, shake the ground with massive impacts, and burn your eyes with all kinds of flashy pyrotechnics. Yes, it's a looker, and visually, it does the subject material justice, even if the art style of each Jump series is kept in tact and can be more than a little off-putting. For exampe, seeing Luffy, with his huge, glaring eyes next to Kenshiro and his more realistic gaze is more than a little odd.



Sadly, the combat, whilst fun initially, just isn't deep enough. There's not enough variety in combat, with even totally different characters essentially feeling the same, only with a different skin. Gaara, for example, even with his sand-based attacks, feels very similar to Jojo in terms of actual attacks and damage, and ultimate moves don't really do anything different, save for their appearance, and fighting styles are also merely visually different. This means it's not a fighting game with layers or nuances, unlike the Street Fighters, Tekkens, and even Smash Bros of the world. It's just simple, over the top fun, and if you're happy with that, it's all good.

Unfortunately, when out of combat, the game doesn't fare so well. The story is amongst the worst I've seen, both in terms of actual story, and delivery. The dialogue is awful, cut scenes are pitiful, and often there are repeated cut scenes that just aren't needed. Add to this my main gripe about the game, the loading times, and you've got a maddening presentation failure. It's no exaggeration to say you spend more time looking at loading screens in the game than actually fighting, and bearing in mind there are loading screen in between every fight, cut-scene, trip to the hub, and just about all of them are too long, you have a game that, for loading screen issues alone, I simply can't bring myself to play it any more.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7911/...95e626ae_z.jpg

This is a real shame, as Jump Force has some very promising ideas, and with its roster of fighters (40+), with the possibility of even more in future, and the option to create your very own Jump-style avatar, it could have been a winner. As it stands, due to crippling loading problems, and a wafer thin, and instantly forgettable story, the fun combat just can't support the game, even a game with as many fan favourite characters in it as this.



If you loved Xenoverse and its quirks, and you're a major Shonen Jump fan, Jump Force is obviously a game you should consider, but if you're not that into the subject matter, or only know the more famous Jump series like Dragonball and Naruto, then you'll find much better fighting games elsewhere, and should sit this one out.

Score: 3 out of 5



The Good
  • Great, stylised visuals
  • Huge roster
  • fun combat
The Bad
  • Combat is too simple and limited
  • Terrible story and script
The Ugly
  • Just ridiculous amounts of loading screens
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:14 PM   #2
LostToys
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It is a shame how horrible this game turned out when something like Dragon Ball Fighter Z does a substantially better job at replicating that anime/manga feel. Going full 3D just did not work well in this case.
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