Jump Force is an ambitious crossover fighting game that includes over 40 fan-favourite characters across many different anime and manga, such as Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia and Bleach, just to name a few. Thrust into a new battleground from their familiar worlds, this game features many beloved characters. With its huge crossover appeal it should have been the new Smash Bros, but reviews from fans, players and critics are fairly split down the middle.
Bandai Namco Entertainment created Jump Force as a 50th anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump, the best-selling manga magazine. Jump Force was meant to be the next best thing in the gaming community, combining all the most beloved anime characters with an intriguing storyline and a challenging yet rewarding combat system. However, many have complained that there are only three playable female characters in this game from such a large roster of characters, representing an utter lack of equality within the game and how it is targeted at a predominantly male audience.
Players and critics alike have also complained about the all-too-weak storyline. This is particularly disappointing considering the potential at hand; these courageous, diligent characters are known for their extravagant fighting styles and their compelling character arcs in manga and anime, and many fans wish that the developers had paid more attention to this, rather than making the game appealing to the eye.
“its combat system is flashy, repetitive, and requires little to no skill as the players resort to button-mashing”
The main aspect players were anticipating was the combat system. From each anime featured in Jump Force comes a different fighting style, with each one competing with the next in over-the-top violent exchanges. Fans were expecting the intricacies of each character’s fighting style, but Jump Force yet again failed to deliver in this respect as its combat system is flashy, repetitive, and requires little to no skill as the players resort to button-mashing. While this may look aesthetically pleasing, it becomes more of a chore to engage in combat rather than for the thrill and excitement of a bitter contest between some of the most powerful beings in anime.
While the game itself may not be living up to expectations, fans have much to look forward to in the future. Jump Force is the first game in video game history to include such a multitude of popular manga characters, and while the game may not be perfect, this can be used as a platform for future games. If Bandai Namco Entertainment regularly update or modify this game in future instalments to facilitate more rewarding combat engagements, diverse characters and an intriguing storyline, then the future of the series will be bright. The loyalty amongst the gaming and anime community is strong, and each would be willing to give Jump Force another chance to prove its potential.