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Jump Force Review (PS4)

by on February 28, 2019
Details
 
Release Date

Available Now

Developer

Spike Chunsoft

 

Previously, I wrote about my experience playing the Jump Force Beta. I gave my first impressions from that with high hopes for the finished product. Jump force did not disappoint!

Jump Force is meant to be a celebration of the many legendary anime and manga series. And to its credit, this anime/manga mashup fighting game certainly looks the part. The flashy combat and a roster of 40 characters hailing from 16 different series offer a perfect mix.

Jump Force certainly starts on a high note as it drops you right into the middle of a battle in Times Square between Shonen Jump heroes and mind-controlled villains. You play a random victim caught in the line of fire during a battle between Goku and Frieza. But once you’re recruited into the Jump Force, the story takes a painfully long time to get going again. You are forced to do the tutorial while you explore the base, meet with Goku, Luffy, and Naruto and pick which of their teams you’d like to join.

Now I’m not sure about the rest of you but I can only speak for myself on this. When it comes to fighting games, I’m not really expecting a great story with the exception of maybe Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat. With that being said though, I can understand the headache a lot of other reviewers have had with the lackluster story.

To be honest, Jump Force’s plot tries too hard and misses out on a huge opportunity for some fun interactions between beloved characters that would otherwise never have a chance to meet. The bland story doesn’t help. Most of the cut-scenes are devoid of voice acting. Which would be a nice addition. The scenes remind me of old kung-fu movies with bad lip-syncing and mostly frozen facial expressions.

I will say that the strong points for the game are the combat and character customization. To paint the picture, when you start you could easily spend hours just choosing what your avatar looks like. It’s reminiscent of playing a WWE game nowadays and their in-depth customization experience.

One could easily make their version of their favorite manga/anime character with all of the options. Players can also on the same note make their own ideal anime character decked out in their favorite attire from the different franchises. The “icing on the cake” is the ability to give your avatar special moves from the game’s roster of characters. For instance, players could do Kamehameha (from DBZ)  or even the Gum Gum Punch (from One Piece). 

Nice little segue into the combat experience. Characters come with four special moves, performed by holding the right trigger and pressing one of the face buttons. Finding the right combination of attacks to use can be the deciding factor in each battle. Nothing more rewarding then pummeling your opponent and then knowing which special move to the most damage with.

Blocking and knowing when to counter can be the difference between and a victory or loss. Spike Chunsoft did an admirable job of making sure that everything in Jump Force has some sort of counter. Players can use the emergency escape button that allows you to get out of a combo while you’re getting hit, at the expense of your mobility meter.

The 3v3 tag system is interesting. Your teams can switch in and out during combat, but they all share the same life bar. I for one found this challenging. It allows the battle to end quickly and the felt more thought out. The load times for getting into a match feel longer than any other fighting game out there.

Gameplay as a whole wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst for a fighting game. The developers did their job in regards to bringing characters together that we otherwise wouldn’t see together. Players can experience what it’s like being these characters and they battle and almost jump out of the screen. Visuals and the power of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements play their role in the total experience.

Fighting game enthusiasts should get their feel with this game. The over the top special moves and not too overly complicated fighting system help. I would recommend this game to those players that just want a fun experience.

Editor’s Note:  Review completed with a purchased copy of the game. 

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Positives

Impressive roster
Fast-paced fighting
Over the top special moves

Negatives

Long load times
No English dubbed options
Unable to skip cut scenes

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
A

 
Graphics
A+

 
Story
C+

 
Replay Value
A

Total Score
A-

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Bottom Line
 

If you’ve got anime fans who are down to button mash and watch the sparks fly, Jump Force’s fighting system allows for good fun. Alas, don't go into this game expecting a story driven gaming experience.

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