My Hero Academia is my favorite new anime. There’s not much I don’t like about the show, which made me excited to play its first video game adaptation to make its way to North America. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much fun playing it.
The hands-on demo had nine playable characters available: All Might, Shoto Todoroki, Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo, Ochaco Uraraka, Tomura Shigaraki, Stain, Dabi, and Himiko Toga. I played as Himiko Toga just because I think she is weird as hell. There were six stages available: Gran Torino Residence, U.A. High School Building, U.A. High School Classroom, The Beast’s Forest (Day), Hosu City Urban District (Day), and Hosu City Alleway. I went with Gran Torino Residence, because I liked the idea of fighting in someone’s home.
You can take two characters with you as back up. The hero and villain mix doesn’t matter so I took All Might and Stain with me. The first game I thought of while playing was Power Stone, which may be an exciting comparison for some, but I tired of the combat pretty quickly. The hits lacked a profound sense of impact, which is a big shortcoming considering many of the characters in My Hero Academia will put all of their strength into a single blow. The characters were also too floaty, which didn’t feel great mechanically, and is also at odds with the characters. Seeing Shoto Todoroki float a little bit as he moved in for a hit looked weird because that character doesn’t fly.
Characters are also highly customizable, which I am torn about. Dressing your characters up is always fun, but the costume each hero creates for him or herself is an important element of the anime. They spent a whole episode on it! To see Katsuki Bakugo wearing all kinds of other costume embellishments alongside his signature grenade hands just looks a little weird. If the things you can add to your fighter are dumb enough, though, I supposed I can get on board.
There were some things I liked, like the ability to run along walls, and when you hit someone hard enough, they will slam headfirst into a wall and their legs will awkwardly stick out for a few moments. Maybe more time with My Hero One’s Justice will show more depth in the combat, but my initial impressions left me wanting more.