eSports for indie | E4i

E4i ESPORTS Championships Signups

sign up to our free esports events every time registrations open


This Bandai Namco Entertainment arena fighter has a theme – heroes! Specifically, the cast of the popular manga and anime series My Hero Academia. Developed by Byking Inc, MHOJ combines an interesting and varied cast with solid mechanics in an all-out battle between good and evil.

Starting in the middle

A little confusing perhaps, the story mode of the game doesn’t actually start at the beginning of the anime or manga – it starts partway through the story and thus assumes quite a bit of background knowledge from the player, at least when it comes to the identities (and abilities) of the playable characters.

The story itself is presented in a pretty book-mode, featuring panels and segments much like you would find in a comic book. In between arena fights, there are story-elements and text sequences. For the fights in story mode, you either have to play with a predetermined character or get to pick between up to three different heroes and their unique abilities to try and beat the level.

Going over to the dark side

One of the interesting features of this title is the fact that you can play the story mode twice – once as a hero and once as the villain. Both hero and villain characters are playable and can be customised and used. In regards to customisation, new items such as hats, backpacks and the like are unlocked through gameplay – while not all characters can wear all items, there is a great variety of customisation options that can lead to some...interesting-looking character designs.

There is quite a bit of variety between the characters too – their abilities are truly unique, and, of course, based on the powers and skills seen in My Hero Academia. While not all characters are present, many fan-favourites are. There are plenty of characters to allow for interesting combinations and teams, and though not all characters are well-balanced (some are notably stronger than others), overall, this isn’t too big an issue.

A hero by any other name

In addition to the story mode, MHOJ features several other modes. One of them is, of course, the multiplayer arena that lets you play against others. There is both a ranked and unranked mode, as well as the option for local matches. Then there is the mission mode where you select a team of three fighters to use throughout various mission scenarios.

These scenarios are, of course, battles – the enemy (and their team) change from mission to mission, so picking the right heroes to start with is crucial. All in all, the amount and variety of available game modes sets MHOJ a league above many similar titles, as does the variety of the characters and their abilities, be it hero or villain.

The good, the bad and the disappointing

Despite all of its positives, there are some negatives to mention as well. Those not familiar with the story of the anime may have some trouble following the story mode, and since there is little if any introduction given to each character’s individual powers, figuring out how to combine and effectively use them can take some time.

In fact, the lack of a guided tutorial makes the game seem a little overwhelming at first. While there are tutorial sections for most of the different elements and even for the customisation screens, it feels a little like the emphasis of the tutorials was placed in the wrong spots. Several pages explain how to customise a character’s outfit, for example, whereas the online play mode has no instructions at all, for example on how to change the team line-up.

Setting the scene

One thing MHOJ does exceedingly well is its arenas. There is a good variety of locations, from forests to construction sites...and the best thing about them is that they can be destroyed. Crashing an enemy into the side of a building, for example, will shatter the windows or even collapse the wall entirely. Pillars can be toppled, things can be knocked over – destroying the environment can be almost as fun as getting a good combo against your opponent.

Graphics-wise, MHOJ is pretty solid – it does a very good job of imitating the familiar style of the anime, and with smooth animations and interesting attacks and attack combos, there is nothing to complain about here. The same goes for the sounds – Japanese voice acting with English subtitles makes for an enjoyable if typical experience in that regard.

MHOJ is a well-made arena battler that borrows its characters, abilities, and locations from popular anime and manga series My Hero Academia. The title offers a lot of content but assumes a little bit of background knowledge from the player. Between the colourful variety of characters and the possibility to experience the story as the villain(s), there is a lot here that sets this one apart from similar arena battlers.


The Verdict: Good

Though it is not without its flaws, MHOJ has plenty of appeal both for fans of My Hero Academia and for fans of the genre. All in all well-rounded, the characters and abilities encountered during play compliment each other well and though there are some notably stronger and weaker characters, the fact that you can almost always choose from a selection makes it easy to avoid the not-so-great ones.

Mel Hawthorne
Written by
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 09:00
Published in Action



Image Gallery

Image Gallery

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

Read 1860 times