My Hero One's Justice 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release Date: March 13, 2020


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PS4 Review - 'My Hero One's Justice 2'

by Cody Medellin on March 17, 2020 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

In My Hero One's Justice 2, players can create a team of three fighters from a huge roster of their favorite heroes and villains and face off against rival teams.

Buy My Hero One's Justice 2

Depending on who you talked to, the reaction to My Hero One's Justice was varied. For fans of the anime "My Hero Academia," the fighting game genre was a perfect fit for the world, and the characters were true to their roots. For more discerning fight game fans and critics, the mechanics were simple, but the character imbalance didn't endear it to those who were looking for something more competitive. Nevertheless, the game was successful enough to warrant a sequel, My Hero One's Justice 2.

MHOJ2 is more of an arena fighter, similar to something like the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series or Power Stone, minus any significant interaction with the items in the environment. The arenas are spacious, but most are in enclosed spaces — except one, which has large pits surrounding the battlefield. You have a basic attack and two other attack types ("quirks"), and you can call upon your two partners to come in to extend your combo or break you out of your opponent's combo. Fill up your Plus Ultra meter enough, and you can unleash one of two different super moves, with the level one version being fast and effective and the level two version being dangerous and flashy.

One major change to the fighting system has to do with your partners. If you're willing to spend some of your Plus Ultra meter, you can have them execute their own level one super attack. Fill up the meter to level three, and you can have all three of them execute their level one super attacks at the same time. Aside from feeling like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the new mechanics make you more attentive about which two partners you're going to bring to the fight, especially since some combos are exclusive to certain team makeups.

Other than this, the mechanics are relatively unchanged from the first game, and that is a benefit, since it emphasizes some over-the-top action. Execute a combo in full, and you can push the opponent a long distance in the arena. Get a good enough hit on the opponent, and you can have them stick on the wall for a bit, giving you the chance to run up the wall and fight vertically for a short while before you both fall to the ground below. Walls might be impenetrable, but you can still see them break apart or watch pillars and desks crumble with your attacks. Fight over a pit, and you return to solid ground by dashing way more than expected. In a way, this is the typical anime fighter. It doesn't take much to get a bunch of effective attacks going, and those who are learning the basics of fighting games will immediately be hooked after just one match.

This accessibility comes at the cost of balance. The first game, for example, had guys like Endeavour receive a ton of hate because his basic attacks made him almost untouchable, and getting perfect rounds with his quirks was pretty much guaranteed, even for button-mashers. That is unchanged here, so problematic fighters from the first game remain that way here as well, and it won't take long for players to figure out which new characters are overpowered. If past experience is any indication, expect no rebalancing, so implement your own character bans if you want your skirmishes to be skill-based.

There are a number of modes, with local versus being the mode that most people will gravitate toward if they have a friend nearby. The good news is that the roster has swelled significantly, going from 20 to 40 characters before the DLC. Every character from the first title is present here, so there's no chance of missing your favorites. The only downside is that the environments have barely grown, with only one or two new places to fight. As a result, this can feel like an expansion to the original instead of a new game, since all of the existing environments can leave you with a sense of déjà vu.

Those who'd rather play online will find that MHOJ2 delivers well on that front, at least for the moment. Once you come to grips with the fact that you need to set up your roster for both Ranked and Unranked matches before searching for a fight, you'll find that the matches aren't as laggy as expected. The popularity of the anime has meant that finding matches isn't as laborious as most other anime fighting games, but it remains to be seen how long this will last. Also, with the game's character balance out of whack, expect a majority of players to go with the cheap characters often.

As for the single-player modes, most of them are relatively unchanged from before. Story mode takes place during the anime's fourth season, but the twist here is that you have a few portions to experience the viewpoints of characters who aren't normally the focus. It adds something extra to those who have already seen the fourth season, giving those people some incentive to go through it once more. With that said, the one issue with this mode is that the fights are way too easy, and by the time things ramp up in difficulty and your opponent's desire to finally attack, you'll be one step away from seeing the conclusion.

Mission mode makes a comeback, and like before, this is where you'll spend a ton of time if you're playing solo. It plays like a mix of a survival mode and an RPG; you select which fights you want to partake in and when you want to stop to get a power-up, as you only have one life bar for the entire mission. The big change is that you'll also buy sidekicks, and with the numerous missions on tap here, it will be a good, long while before you wipe out that list. You still need to get fight coins to buy new fighters. The other piece of good news is that the fights tend to be more challenging than Story mode, so trudging through the list is far from easy.

The last major solo mode is Arcade mode, which plays out like you'd expect from other fighting games: pick a character, get through a few fights, beat the boss, and see their specialized non-canon ending. The twist is that each of the 40 characters you can choose from have three distinct paths, so you need to play through the mode 120 times to experience every possible path. This is all before you throw in the DLC characters, so it can become quite a task if you're a completionist.

No matter which modes you choose, MHOJ2 keeps giving you stuff for every little thing you do. That means a ton of artwork for each character and some key scenes in the story. Online profile card pieces — such as borders, images, taglines — are unlocked, and loads of character customization pieces are also released in this manner. Even if you get every unlockable, you can buy everything else with the fight coins, which are generously given per match, so you won't need to grind too much to get everything in the game.

Like the rest of the title, the presentation remains largely unchanged. The sound features the whole cast reprising their roles in the series — but only for Japanese, as there's no English option. The music and effects do a great job of putting you in the mood to fight. Graphically, this is essentially the anime come to life, with no aliasing that's usually seen in the cel-shaded style. The number of effects on display during heated battles almost approaches sensory overload. This is all too much for even a PS4 Pro at 1080p to handle, as some of the fights can produce a large number of frame rate drops. More concerning is the fact that this can also happen in the menus, a real oddity that makes the PC version the superior one in this regard, since a GeForce RTX 2060 and a Ryzen 5 2600 can push this to 1440p without any dropped frames.

As a sequel, My Hero One's Justice 2 does what you would expect it to do. There's an emphasis on more unlockable content and characters, but only a few changes have been made to the overall combat system. It remains a fine game for fans of the first title, and it warrants a purchase, but don't expect anything to tempt you if you weren't already impressed by the first title.

Score: 7.5/10

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