One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows – review

One Punch Man arrived in the anime scene without making too much noise but the immediate word of mouth of those who had the opportunity to see it quickly expanded its success all over the world. Thanks to an original plot, which put a decidedly unusual protagonist at the center of the scene, that is a bald boy with a funny face and an obvious lack of muscle. Whose self-denial to training, however, managed to transform him into an invincible being.

A dozen episodes were enough to create a myth, a hero capable of crushing monsters much larger and more powerful than him with a single “normal punch”. The first season has reached absurd peaks of madness, becoming impossible to break away from it before having seen it in one breath. The second unfortunately has dropped in level but has not managed to scratch the curiosity of fans towards Saitama and associates. The arrival of a video game dedicated to him was only a matter of time and in fact here it is.

The title, A Hero Nobody Knows, immediately makes it clear that the protagonist is not the same as the animated series .. On the other hand, impersonating a character who cannot be defeated would have been a difficult opening for an action. Saitama is a support hero, as are Genos, Mumen Rider, Silver Fang, and so on. You will meet them from time to time around the city that is the main scenario of the game and will sometimes appear during the battles to help you out. Your hero will instead be a nobody, a recruit who you will have to customize in the inevitable editor (initially rather thin) and rank up by completing the heroic missions that will be assigned to you.

The game structure is reminiscent of many other action-Anime seen in the past: in large part it can closely resemble Dragon Ball Xenoverse but also has echoes of the excellent Naruto: Rise of a Ninja by Ubisoft Montreal. In fact, we have a central location that opens up more and more by unlocking new internal and external areas, secondary missions almost everywhere entrusted to the protagonist by secondary characters who wander around without a precise destination and a very generous amount of statistics to be raised more and more to enhance your hero.

Each victory yields Reputation and Experience Points that will expand the range of missions available. The progression of your character is constant and allows you to customize it not only in style but also in the special abilities that can be activated in combat. From this point of view, the experience gained by Spike and Chunsoft in licensed action-fighting games has allowed One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows to have a good combat system, quite simple but sufficiently varied and satisfying.

The combos are not many but their intuitiveness allows to give an excellent variety to the clashes. To always keep an eye on is the Stamina, which allows you to take or use special attacks: running out of it on the most beautiful can be dangerous especially in more advanced fights. At the beginning the difficulty level is rather low but going forward it becomes essential to use dodges and parries, in addition to not wasting the Specials available.

Tutorial Man will guide you in the first minutes of the game, directing you to the key places in the city and providing you with valuable information.

The balance of the various classes and their abilities is not flawless: some are excessively more powerful than others and this means that the decisions on the development of the character can very heavily influence the course of the game.

Unfortunately One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows stumbles upon what should be one of its strengths, mission design. Regardless of which mission is to be carried out, the development is always the same, i.e. a fight against one or more opponents that can only vary due to the intervention of external factors (including catastrophic natural and non-natural events) and of characters in the series who decide to give their contribution by transforming the battle into a sort of tag-team. The problem is that from time to time we are faced with some rocks that force an exaggerated grinding, which combined with the chronic repetitiveness of the game contributes not a little to cooling the boils.

The fan-service is quite high, even if we don’t reach the levels of the recent Kakarot. Fortunately, the game also covers the storyline of Saitama and associates, which allows fans to stay in touch with the narrative which is certainly the main reason for buying this game. In support of simple fetch quests and endless fights, we find the possibility not only to customize our character but also the place where he lives with many pieces of furniture and accessories.

By completing missions for certain characters you will increase the level of trust with them and the possibility of having them as support.

A small drift “to Animal Crossing” that manages to give a minimum of variety to the game formula. The adventure has a variable duration that depends a lot on your degree of tolerance of its repetitiveness, we go from 15 hours to over 20 in case you are addicted to completeness.

In support of the main mode we find the classic Versus, free and classified, in which you can decide to fight using your hero (with consequent change of his rank in the Association) or the classic stars of the series, provided that these have entered to make part of the roster when you met them in the adventure. During our tests we found no problems in the stability of the online experience, both in terms of server stability and matchmaking. Sure, we’re not talking about the deepest and funniest online fighting game around, but you already knew that.

Large quantity but little quality from a playful point of view, therefore. Fortunately to see One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is really valuable, with the cel-shading used for the polygonal models that gives us protagonists and villains practically identical to those of the animated series. Too bad for the woody animations and the scenarios not exactly full of details: with a little more work and attention we could have had one of the most aesthetically valuable titles of the year in front of us.

During the match, external events can come into play that can also radically change the result.

We are then in the presence of a product addressed almost exclusively to fans of the series: if you fall into this category, you can easily add a generous point to our evaluation and proceed with the purchase.