Jump Force Review (PS4)

Bandai Namco isn’t new to making crossover games, but with Jump Force, they’re attempting one with some of Japans biggest entertainment properties. Just how well does the game fare? Read on for the full lowdown.

Developed by Spike Chunsoft; the folks behind the Danganronpa, J-Stars, and Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon games; Jump Force is a 1v1 fighting title that plays similar to the Dragon Ball: Xenoverse games. So similar that those who put in ample time in Xenoverse games, will immediately recognize what Bandai Namco tried to do but we’ll go in detail on that later.

Jump Force Review (PS4)

The game, which runs on Unreal Engine 4, was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Japans highest selling Manga magazine. The magazine is home to some of the most recognized characters and franchises including Dragon Ball, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto and many more. There’s been huge hype for the game ever since its announcement at E3 2018 but with the game finally here, there’s a lot to be said about what went wrong.

Jump Force features a whopping 42 character roster, with 9 more already announced to be added via the Character Pass. The roster was a huge part of why people are excited about the game and the first place to see most of them in action is the story mode, which also is the only mode available to play, unfortunately.

Jump Force Review (PS4)

The game starts off with a short briefer of what’s going on and then jumps to Frieza and his lackeys attacking a city in the real world. Goku then swoops in to stop him but a stray laser from Frieza hits an innocent civilian gravely injuring them, this person is you. Trunks fly in giving you the option to be reborn as a Hero, accepting the offer takes you to a character creation screen. The character creator itself is nothing really special and you can’t personalize your character to extents which game like Soulcalibur 6 offer, but it can certainly help you knock up a Jump-style character with a wacky hairdo.

After the initial tutorials and briefings are complete, you’ll be asked to join one of three teams; Alpha led by Goku, Beta led by Luffy and Gamma led by Naruto. Each team has different specialties and progression. Unfortunately, you can’t change your team later on, which the game does a poor job of explaining, so be careful when you start the game.

Jump Force Review (PS4)

Jump Force’s game design focuses around a Hub World, like the Dragon Ball: Xenoverse games. I had to say this but Jump Force feels like Bandai Namco basically reworked the successful Xenoverse formula to include their other Jump franchises without much thought. Even the fight system is similar, more on that in a bit. After you’ve done all the prerequisites are done and you’ve selected your team, you can choose to go on missions. Missions have certain objectives to complete that if you manage to complete get extra bonuses, but in the end, they’re the usual a beat the opponent missions.

The game uses a realistic art style mixing the Anime or Manga style with photo-realistic graphics. It does make sense if you keep the game’s plot in mind, which has characters from the Jump World appear in the Real World but to be honest it doesn’t work. The art-style doesn’t compliment the characters and their designs at all, with the familiar stages like Namek from Dragon Ball looking downright ugly. There’s also the fact that the game’s animations are broken, with cutscenes making me chuckle when I consider how bad the character’s faces are animated. You’ll just see the character’s mouth move with no movements on their eyebrows, etc. This is certainly an aspect the developers should have put in more time into, especially considering how long most of the cutscenes are. Did I also mention that you can’t even skip the aforementioned cutscenes?

Jump Force Review (PS4)

As with every fighting game, the gameplay is the most important aspect, however, Jump Force here too disappoints. Jump Force has modified Xenoverse-style gameplay with the standard weak and strong attacks and “Ki” system. In short, the gameplay consists of knocking your enemy around and gathering enough Ki to use an “Ultimate Attack”. The game needs little to no skill to play and feels like it was catered fighting game newbies when you consider how button mashy the game is. Fighting game mechanics like the block command are broken as there’s no penalty to constantly having your block up. Some attacks and strategies become apparent really early on that help you cheese through the game, making it a really boring experience.

Jump Force Review (PS4)

Jump Force was a game I was really looking forward to playing this year. Being a huge fan of the Xenoverse games like you may have guessed already judging by the number of times I mentioned them, Jump Force takes that formula and tries to fit the square peg in a round hole.

Jump Force Review (PS4)
Jump Force Review (PS4)

Game Reviewed on: PS4

Game description: Create your own avatar to fight alongside the most powerful Manga heroes in an original Story Mode, or head to the Online Lobby to challenge other players and discover lots of modes and activities.

  • Final Score - 5/10
    5/10

Summary

Jump Force was a game I was really looking forward to playing this year. Being a huge fan of the Xenoverse games like you may have guessed already judging by the number of times I mentioned them, Jump Force takes that formula and tries to fit the square peg in a round hole.

5.0/10

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
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