As an anime fan, I’ve read many issues of Shonen Jump and watched the anime that spawned from it. Dragonball Z, Naruto (and Shippuden), Rurouni Kenshin, and many others provided my after school entertainment during my middle school and high school years, and since then. Many games have come out featuring several of these different anime, but there has never been a crossover game. That is until now, with Jump Force.
WARNING: Minor Spoilers Ahead
Jump Force is a crossover anime fighting game that incorporates many fan favorite Shonen Anime. It focuses heavily on three of the biggest, and longest running anime: Dragonball Z, One Piece, and Naruto. The major characters from these series have formed an alliance to stop a villain who is merging multiple worlds together for an unknown reason (at least at the beginning). The villain is accomplishing their goals with an army of humans turned into anime villains called Venoms.
The game begins with you as a random citizen walking through New York City when Goku, Luffy, and Naruto are engaged in a fight with Frieza and an army of Venoms. Frieza fires off a death beam (The one he kills Vegeta with in the series), and kills you. In response, Trunks (DBZ) infuses you with something called an Umbras cube. The cube infuses life into you and you are reborn as an anime character. With your rebirth come powers and abilities regular humans only dream of, and you join an elite team known as Jump Force.
The gameplay for Jump Force is pretty straightforward. Unlike other fighting games such as Mortal Kombat or Tekken, there are not a lot of combos. You can quick hit, heavy hit, guard, and jump. However, as you perform these basic attacks you charge up a gauge under your life bar. Once that gauge has enough juice, you can use it to activate abilities. These abilities, even your avatars, all come from the different shows represented. You are able to perform abilities such as the Rasengan, Kamehameha, or even summon the Dark Magician.
In game, you choose from four mission types, but to follow the storyline you have to follow the Key Missions, which can sometimes be scattered around the base map where the game loads you at. Other missions can be done for money to spend in the shops, so you can even look like your favorite anime characters, or to unlock costumes and abilities.
I look forward to what the game offers in the future though. They only released the game with certain characters on the basic game. (I believe that the deluxe editions came with a few more) However, the Shonen anime world is quite vast and there is plenty of opportunity for DLC to include new characters. In fact, Light Yagami from Death Note is a part of the storyline, but not a playable character. Maybe he will be a future DLC? I’m personally hoping for some Sword Art Online even though they were not Shonen Jump.
Overall Score: 7.5/10