One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is an arena fighter based on the popular anime of the same name which happens to be one of my personal favourites. The game is developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Bandai Namco. Is this game worth your time? Let’s find out in our One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows review.
Game reviewed for PlayStation 4.
Graphics, Performance & Sound
Graphics-wise, this game looks pretty decent with the character models being cell-shaded. Locations and the hub-world also look good. Performance-wise, the game runs at 60FPS in battles though the performance in the hub-world seems to be a bit spotty in some ways as I have noticed some slow-downs whilst playing. Sound-wise, the OST is pretty good and the voice acting is also pretty well done. The most surprising thing being that this game features dual audio between the Japanese and English dubs of the game which I haven’t seen a lot in anime games published by Bandai Namco that aren’t based on Naruto or Dragon Ball as of late.
While I may be more familiar with the Japanese audio through watching the anime subbed having the english dub is a really welcome option for fans who have seen the show dubbed in english. Also I do want to give a mention to the games opening theme called “Freaking Out” which is really hype as heck and of course provided by the amazing band known as JAM Project that also did the opening themes for both anime seasons.
Another real neat thing is that your created character actually has intro and victory dialogues and in a step up from Spike Chunsoft’s prior game with avatars, your created character even has their own portrait now.
The Story of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is primarily focused on Season 1 of the anime, however, you will experience the story through the perspective of your own original character that you create and customise at the start of the game in a variety of ways. These include Gender, Outfit, Hairstyle, Face, Accessories and Colours. Options at first may be limited, however, you can unlock more as you progress through the game. Also at the start of the game, you’ll be given a Hero name which can be edited if you don’t like the name you are assigned at the start!
The story unfolds itself through the various missions that you do for the Hero Association as your goal is to rise up the ranks. You’ll start off as a C Rank Hero and meet the cast of the anime along the way. These missions are replayable too in case you need to grind your characters level up or clear additional conditions you haven’t cleared yet. You also have side-quests that are given to you by people throughout the various locations of the hub-world – these aren’t replayable but they do vary from small errands to fights with other characters.
It is also through doing the Story missions and side quests that you unlock the various locked playable characters that are part of the 28 character base roster (That of course includes characters like Saitama, Genos, Tatsumaki(Terrible Tornado) and Fubuki(Hellish Blizzard) but also features a lot of odd picks like Spring Mustachio and Crablante for instance that to me fit the roster for a OPM game).
The dialogue of the game is hilarious at times which is really fitting as the anime the game is based on is very satirical in nature. But don’t expect a fully-voiced experience. The way that this story functions reminds me a lot of the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games which I have enjoyed a lot in the past so that is of course a plus.
This game reminds me a lot of Spike Chunsoft’s earlier arena fighters in particular One Piece Burning Blood, which isn’t a bad thing. You have your normal attacks, strong attacks, and Special attacks known as Killer Moves, along with Mode Change which allows you to use your ultimate attack known as a Super Killer Move. In terms of mobility, you can jump and dash around the battlefield. You can also block attacks and when timed correctly you get a Perfect Guard which lets you teleport behind an opponent to punish them. The game is pretty fun to play however it can feel a bit clunky at times.
In Local Battles the game is 3 vs 3 in teams. You can pick your characters and depending on the rule-set you have selected, random stage events can occur. These include a hero entering the battlefield to attack you, getting struck down by meteors and more; these of course can be turned off. You can also set up if you want Saitama to be selectable or not in these fights. (This is not applicable to Saitama’s dream version who is an early unlock as a Pre-order bonus.)
If you allow Saitama to be used and pick him to be one of your three characters you are going to be stuck with two characters in your team as Saitama will take time to arrive on the spot which generally takes about 268 seconds. However the arrival time can be shortened by performing combos as well as Perfect Guard’s and when he arrives it’s basically game over for the opponent’s team or vice versa.
Your custom character can learn the various Killer Moves of the anime characters by befriending them and raising their social strength. Various fighting styles can also be learnt, which need to be levelled up separately from your characters level which adds extra attacks, the ability to change modes that allows you to activate Super Killer Moves (You can even use a whole different look when you use Mode Change with your custom character) and slots to equip Killer Blows to.
This is really interesting as I haven’t seen other anime games with created characters that had a progression system like this. You can also set skills to your character that have various passive effects if that’s your thing.
Weapon fighting styles allow you to equip various weapons that fit that specific fighting style, I haven’t seen this in a licensed anime arena fighter as of yet and it’s a definite improvement over the whole Energy Sword stuff Spike Chunsoft did in Jump Force.
And of course like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1 & 2 ,and similar games, you can also level up your character’s stats by using growth points which you gain as you progress.
You can also decorate the room you have in the Abandoned Area and visit shops that offer a lot of things from parts for your created character, skills and items that have various effects during the Missions you take as you go through story mode. These include gaining more Gold and EXP, having faster meter gain, increasing the odds of having more character events pop up during fights and so on.
In terms of Online modes you have various options such as an Avatar Ranked Battle mode, a Team Ranked Battle mode that excludes Saitama and Free Battle mode which works as your standard online battle mode. There are also slated to be various online events that will be held throughout the games life-cycle.
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GlennShiraishi is a freelance writer for Rice Digital and a YouTuber who enjoys games, anime and manga.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows Review Verdict
Despite the weird performance hitches in some spots and the game feeling a bit clunky at times, I am having one hell of a good time with the game. It’s a very good improvement over Jump Force and I’m sure fans of the anime who love playing arena fighters will have a really fun time with the game. It may not be competitive at all, but I see it more as a game for folks who want to have some good fun with their friends and experience the One Punch Man story line from the perspective of their own created characters and that is something the game does really well in my opinion.
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