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One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows Review

Edited by: Jade Swann

This anime/manga-inspired arena fighter borrows from the One Punch Man franchise. For those unfamiliar with it, it features a bizarre alternate world with heroes and monsters. One of these heroes is the titular One Punch Man — he can defeat any enemy with a single hit.

This is true even in One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows. The player doesn’t (usually) play as him, though. Instead, they create their own character that starts as a bottom-of-the-barrel hero. Through missions, side missions, quests, and more, you work your way up through the ranks, all the while meeting heroes and monsters from the main franchise.

Battling bad style

It’s easy to compare this game to, for example, Jump Force or even My Hero One’s Justice, and that’s… not a good thing. Almost every element of the game feels like it’s directly pulled from another IP-bound fighting title. Very little about it feels original.

The main map, the character customization options, the mission systems — we’ve all seen it before. Especially during early gameplay, there are even a few moments that make the player wonder whether they’ve stumbled across a bug or a feature, but that doesn’t take away from the overall experience too much.

Dressing up fancy

Hero customization is a big deal in this game. While it’s not all about looks (it really isn’t!) there are a lot of options for customizing your character’s appearance. In addition to the standard hair, face, and clothing options, there are also a myriad of accessories like glasses, face masks, and boxes. Yes, that’s right, cardboard boxes. To make it even more peculiar, these items can be worn on different locations. While you might expect a party hat to sit on someone’s head, you can also place it on your character’s feet, knees, elbows… you get the idea.

This originally feels odd and unintentional, but coupled with the color options, it allows for some very unique characters. This is in keeping with the franchise — OPM features some extremely “unique” character appearances. Perhaps the creepiest thing about the game, however, is the lack of facial expressions — characters blindly stare ahead, no matter what’s happening. The character options also seem to try and distract from another flaw the game has — the severely limited and boring arenas.

Fighting in the arena

Almost everything you experience in the actual fighting elements are borrowed from the series as well. Skills, abilities, weapons, characters, and more will all be familiar to fans of OPM. This brings with it some serious balance issues. In fact, the entire fighting system is just a little off — the fights are generally incredibly easy; however, it is possible to get stuck in a hit combo that allows an underpowered enemy to simply kill your character.

In the game’s defense, there are alot of different skills, fighting styles, and weapons, and with some balance changes, it could provide quite a satisfying experience for arena fighter fans. It caters to a lot of different playstyles, especially after unlocking some additional skills and abilities, as well as characters.

An aspect that cannot go unmentioned are the continuous disasters that strike during gameplay — random events that impact the outcome of your fights. From the appearance of strong heroes that stop by just to hit your enemy once to meteors or lightning storms that can paralyze you, these events can have a huge impact on the gameplay — in fact, they can make fights outright unwinnable. That means you have to repeat the fight in question.

The same thing can happen with your teammates. While generally you fight alone, the team may or may not assign you other heroes to fight with. In online play, this can be both other players and random characters from the IP. Therein lies the problem — you may get stuck with a newly joined level one character, or even have to fight a 1v3 alone. If so, your only option is to restart until the conditions change in your favor. You cannot choose your teammates, which, again, can throw a wrench into your fights.

A pretty… weird place

Given its IP association, it’s no surprise that most of the characters, events, and places can best be described as “whacky.” Even civilians and NPCs look a little like someone just pressed a randomizer button for some of them, not to speak of the monsters and heroes.

That has its own kind of appeal, and certainly makes for unique aesthetics. However, once the novelty wears off, the gameplay becomes repetitive very quickly. It’s easy to speed run through the story mode without even necessarily meaning to — mission info is conveyed in short conversation sequences and text messages that can be ignored easily.

Heroically wasting time

Beyond that, there are a plethora of extra challenges and missions that are fun, but equally repetitive. Perhaps one of the bigger points of appeal — the PVP aspect of the game — is sadly quite broken at the time of writing this review.

There were not only pretty severe lag issues, but matchmaking itself struggled to even connect at all, leading to a fair bit of waiting. Based on other player reports, these issues seem to be fairly common at the moment, and many have experienced them. This makes the title more of a single-player experience than intended — and it certainly takes away a lot of potential fun to be had.

4

The Verdict: Flawed

Truth be told, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is fun. For a few minutes, for casual play, and for fans of the franchise, there are a good few laughs here. It isn’t what it tries to be, though — a good arena fighter game. Since most of the game feels like a reskin of some copypasta mixed with some randomized fight elements, there isn’t a lot to be praised here. The fun wears off quickly, and this title is definitely not worth its launch price tag.

See About Us to learn how we score

Mel Hawthorne
Written by
Wednesday, 18 March 2020 03:30
Published in Action

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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!

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