Jump Force – Review
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: PS4

Jump Force – Review

Site Score
6.4
Good: Characters, Concept
Bad: Execution, Many flaws, Unbalanced, Basic
User Score
5.2
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.2/10 (5 votes cast)

When Jump Force was originally announced, we imagine a lot of people pretty much lost their shit, when seeing all the different characters that would be clashing in this title. The game features a lot of well-known manga/anime characters from beloved franchises such as Naruto, Bleach and Dragon Ball Z, but also characters from series that might have faded to the background of many people’s memories, such as Samurai X and City Hunter. Bandai Namco doesn’t exactly have a spotless track record when it comes to fighting games, the quality of their games isn’t always on par with other developers/publishers and it seems like Jump Force has also taken a few blows in the development department. Nonetheless, we were quite happy to see what this new game had to offer.

Story

It seems that many different worlds started to merge, right after the appearance of the ‘Venoms’, which bring out the worst in people, turning them into evil soldiers. Due to this, many different worlds came together as one, starting the ‘Jump’ initiative, with fighters from many different universes. Together everyone fights in order to push back the Venoms’ influence.

The story is somewhat like the Xenoverse games, where an evil power has taken over the universe, and now unlikely heroes have to work together in order to save things. The story is being told by many cutscenes, sometimes even too many, often switching between loading time and cutscene, which becomes tedious after a while. The flow is ok, but there’s often not that much depth in what is actually going on.

Graphics

The graphical prowess of Jump Force is actually a very hot mess. The introduction cinematic is splendid, the character design is amazing, even though many characters look like dolls rather than actual playable characters, and the levels are fun to look at. Sadly, the more time you spend with the game, the more things you’ll start to notice that feel underwhelming, unfinished or just like rubbish. The animations of the mouths have been done in a horrible fashion, sometimes even reminding you of the ‘Annoying Orange’ clips on YouTube, and other animations are found lacking as well. When you only lightly flick your stick in battles, you’ll slide over the floor, rather than start walking. This means, that the developers forgot to implement a walking animation, if you only take a short step. Also, when slamming your opponents into the floor during matches, rubble will appear, but there is no damage done to the arena. More than once you’ll see earth shattering moves, yet after a second the rubble disappears and not a single speck of the damage is left. Items like this hamper an otherwise good looking game.

Sound

Jump Force has excellent sound design, ranging from the background music, to the Japanese voice acting, of which there is plenty. It seems that the original voice actors have been cast to voice their respective characters, which is certainly commendable for a project that combines this many different franchises. There’s only one flaw to be noticed and that’s when breaking some of the few objects in an arena, they don’t even make any sound. The destroyed object just disintegrates in utter silence.

Gameplay

Jump Force is a team based fighting game, in which it’s your goal to down the enemy team. Unlike other team based games, you’ll only have one health bar, and while you fight in a 3 vs 3 setting, you can only switch to the team member that’s next in the row, rather than switch freely. The game itself is somewhat built like the Xenoverse games, where you’ll have to create your own character and level it while playing through the storyline. The overall story is okay, but for the most part it’s running back and forth between the mission counter and important characters to progress.

The game has a lot of difficulty spikes where Easy often doesn’t feel easy, and Normal sometimes feels easier than an actual match on the Easy setting. Sometimes you get your ass handed to you in an early mission, only to overpower a crappy programmed AI later on. Overall the game’s strength lies in its simple control scheme, with only two buttons for basic combos, extra buttons for special moves, a switch, and some more advanced abilities, such as your awakening (unlocks your final skill), blocking and dodging. The block sometimes feels a bit overpowered, as your opponent can keep on blocking without your skills ever doing any harm. In other games you can also block, but it will slightly damage your opponents, making sure they can’t just keep pressing the block button if they’re in the lead, waiting for the time to pass and win by default.

You’ll notice that the story missions will either be your thing, or that you simply resort to playing with a buddy in the two player mode, which allows you to pick all the available characters. When playing the story, you’ll gradually unlock more and more characters, giving you something to strive for. The game has an impressive amount of fighters available, but we hope that more will be added in the future, such as a playable version of Light and Ryuk. The game has a lot of untapped potential, in the form of extra characters and perhaps modes based on competitive play, if some balancing issues are patched in the future. Those looking to simply play the story, can mess around with skills and such, to make a character to their liking. There are also many cosmetic upgrades available for your unique character.

Conclusion

Jump Force is an enjoyable brawler, but it has a lot of flaws making it a casual fighting game, rather than a competitive one. The game is full of balancing issues, graphical flaws, a somewhat boring story formula and arenas that feel a bit lifeless. Nonetheless, the massive cast of characters and future DLC options make up for a lot, if the developers patch the game’s current flaws. Worth looking into if you have a soft spot for many of the game’s characters.

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Rating: 5.2/10 (5 votes cast)
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Jump Force - Review, 5.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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