Jump Force is an Assault on the Eyes and a Strain on the Fingers

Jump Force is an Assault on the Eyes and a Strain on the Fingers

7
Richard Walker

Jump Force is a fighting game in which you can get by quite easily on persistent button-mashing, its retina-searing action unfolding at a pace that can be fairly difficult to keep up with. You choose your team of three characters, whizz around your opponent, then see which one can hurl the most fireballs to knock the other out. Obviously, there's more to it than that, but if you've played J-Stars or the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games, you'll have a rudimentary idea of what to expect.

The primary difference is that most of the brawling remains firmly rooted on the ground, although the blasts of pyrotechnic destruction play out across the arena of conflict in a similar manner, tearing through the landscape leaving behind huge furrows and craters. It's pretty typical Shonen Jump fare then, but for a fan of the manga books and anime, Jump Force's mash-up of characters ought to prove a dream come true, enabling you to finally determine who would win a fight between Goku and Naruto. Or Luffy and Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Yugi Muto. Or Ichigo and Sasuke. Or... you get the idea.

Cherry-picking the best-known characters from Shonen Jump series like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Hunter X Hunter and the like, Jump Force adopts a somewhat unusual aesthetic for a game of this ilk, eschewing bright colours and bold anime visuals in favour of a slightly more detailed, dare we say, 'realistic' style (as realistic as anime characters can be). During bouts, characters become increasingly grimy and scuffed up as the incessant combos, devastating explosions and fireballs take their toll, and it's an unusual look for characters you're used to seeing in full, blisteringly bright colour.

Despite the sometimes confusing on-screen action, Jump Force is remarkably simple to get to grips with, simple attacks mapped to the face buttons with modifiers on the triggers. Charge your Ki meter to a certain level and you can unleash eye-hurting, screen-filling finishers, while a more subtle meter that surrounds the character portrait by your health bar denotes when you're able to enter 'Awakened' status by clicking in the right stick.

Upon activating your Awakened state, you can unleash special Awakening abilities that tear through your opponent's health bar like nobody's business. It's a case of risk vs. reward, however, as waiting for your Awakening meter to fill can be a gamble, and it's possible to finish the fight with Jump Force's 'conventional' special attacks. And you still get all of the lovely eyeball scorching fireworks, just slightly less so.

While Jump Force is an entirely different proposition to the majority of Shonen Jump brawlers, perhaps the biggest obstacle the game faces is convincing fans to embrace the darker, more 'gritty' art style. Having the characters do battle within real world locations like Times Square in New York or in front of the Matterhorn mountains does look a little incongruous, but should the action prove satisfying enough, these concerns ought to pale into insignificance.

But there's the rub. Are Jump Force's core fighting mechanics reason enough to give an unusual idea a chance? We're not entirely sure that Jump Force is a game that Shonen Jump fans are going to lap up, given how it plays fast and loose with the eclectic cast of characters taken from the manga and anime. Still, as a chance to pit some of your favourite Shonen Jump faces against one another, Jump Force certainly looks like it will at least deliver on that promise. With fireworks.

Jump Force launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in February 2019.

Comments
7
  • Looking like it'll be worse than J Stars honestly, which is saying something. Massive fan of all things Jump and I have zero desire to play this.
  • Looks/Sounds like it's gonna be J-Stars with a different art style, slightly tweaked mechanics, and a different (hopefully larger) roster. Considering how J-Stars wasn't really expansive, but did contain a pretty high replay value, I can see myself playing this for just as long if it's on that same level. Not expecting a game of the year or anything out of this, nor should anybody honestly, but it looks like it'll be something I enjoy while I play through it and will keep close by just so I can pop it in and play some quick matches.
  • "Jump Force's mash-up of characters ought to prove a dream come true, enabling you to finally determine who would win a fight between Goku and Naruto" etc Honestly how can anyone expect to see realistic fights. Who would want to play a game where you just choose goku and beat everyone with one hit. Whats yugi supposed to do against goku, throw a card at him? They HAVE to be put on a level playing field because there is such a massive gap between every single series. If they didn't it would be unplayable.
  • @3 Exactly, no Jump characters outside of DBZ get remotely close to Goku's power, I'd say it's between Naruto and Ichigo for the ones who get the closest, but they don't even get remotely close, they're comparing two who at most could destroy small continents, to someone who is powerful enough to destroy solar systems if he wanted to.
  • @4 There are Toriko (better be in the game) characters that are on gokus level imo plus sage Madara is also goku level, my guy rekt everyone and got to the point where they had to write him off in a bs way
  • Thanks for sharing Clash Royale Hacking
  • I preordered the Japanese version of jstars and loved it so much I bought it again when it released in america, but man does this game look boring.
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