For fans of the anime and manga One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is an in-depth, immersive experience complete with the trademark quips and quirky emotes you have come to expect from Bandai Namco and titles of similar ilk. For newcomers to the franchise, the game revolves around the players rise from budding hero wannabe to Superhero as well as introducing you to the story of Saitama, a hapless hero wannabe who has incredible strength and is near indestructible. The game itself is a fighting title wrapped in a RPG, wrapped in a MMORPG that results in a game that feels like it has lost its way, offering a multitude of modes but not quite excelling at any of them.
The gameplay mechanics are reminiscent of those released over the years, particularly for those familiar with and have enjoyed anime titles that have been converted into video games. Concepts such as the need to travel through various areas completing missions and quests in order to open up more of the map will seem very familiar to these players as they make their way around Hero Town.
Players are able to customise and accessorise until their hearts are content, with more content being made available as the game progresses. Accessories are a great way to achieve a unique look, from sunglasses on your face, head or knee, the options are endless, actually, the options are limited to 8 accessories at any one time.
Interactions with various Non Playable Characters and other Heroes help familiarise the player with the lore of the franchise, however the dialogue driven interactions can quickly become a burden. Fight summary screens are loaded sequentially and require confirmation after each one, and to exit the scene, a different button is used to exit. For those looking to get on with the game, this quickly becomes infuriating. In addition, the interactions vary from spoken cutscenes, to dialog driven dialogues that can be in the double digits in length. The need to confirm at the end of each dialog quickly wears out its welcome and will have you mashing the controller. There are some instances where you’re able to hold the menu button to skip the entire dialogue, but this isn’t immediately obvious which ones can and cannot be skipped.
Player progression is simple, yet in-depth, with the ability to adjust not only the base stats of health points, attack, killer move power, technique and appeal but the fighting styles, which range from a standard “up close and personal” style to a weaponised style where players can wield various weapons during a battle. The player starts out with the standard style and unlocks the other types through various interactions and completions of quests. With each of the styles comes the ability to level them up from 1 through 5, every level unlocks another ability within the style specialisation tree.
The fighting mechanisms are straight forward, with the ability to launch light and heavy attacks, block and jump. Players are able to launch more powerful attacks through a cycling of “Move Gauge”, as the gauge counter increases, it unlocks more powerful moves. These ‘killer moves’ are unique to each of the styles and can be unlocked as you progress through the story and as you interact with other heroes of that type. The player is limited to a max count of 9 on the ‘move gauge’, which requires time to fill, this means that selection of killer moves needs to be balanced to back up the players fighting style. After the meter reaches 6, players who have levelled up enough, are able to unlock a “Mode Change”, which, when paired with a ’Super Killer Move’ allows the player to unleash a devastating move that is sure to put a dent in any foes heath bar.
To spice up the gameplay, random events occur during the battle. These range from random heroes or villains joining the fray to asteroids smashing into the battle arena and there is even a mole that pops up and drags players underground for a limited time. There are also items dropped into the battle arena by flying droids, which actually look more like flying barbecues, to offer time limited power-ups.
The fun doesn’t stop there, a full “Hero Registry” is available, comprising of all the characters the player has interacted with as well as their relationship with those characters. As the player progresses through the main story, these characters will reveal themselves and can even show up during a fight to lend a hand. Having the ability to hot-swap to one of these Heroes and lay waste to an opponent who had moments earlier been giving the player what for is one of the few fun parts of the fighting mechanic. This is particularly useful when facing a much stronger opponent and things are looking dire.
In addition to the single player story, the game can be played in “Online Mode” where players are able to interact with other online players, having access to their stats and also being able to request to battle them. This week has also seen the in-game announcement of “Online Events” where the player can test their heroes strengths against other budding heroes for special rewards and online infamy.
The game is rather lengthy, with in excess of 200 missions, quests and sub quests on offer the game does feel like a grind after a while. Newcomers to the franchise can leave this one on the shelf however, if you’re a fan of the anime and manga One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a must and is available now in stores and online.
+ Quirky, funny and true to the franchise
+ Able to be played casually and with the kids
+ Ability to customise the look and even hero name of your character
– Information overload, with far too many dialogs
– Extremely repetitive and quite lengthy
– Flat gameplay mechanics with nothing to make it standout
Keg – One More Game
*Please note that this review code was provided for review purposes. All thoughts on this title is that of the reviewer and the OMG team.