Jump Force has a lot of potential due to the source material, but remains a bummer due to poor implementation.
For the Jump Force Critics accept Marcel’s invitation to the Weekly Shōnen Jump birthday party.
The Weekly Shōnen Jump is the magazine in which boys’ dreams have come true for fifty years. Several beloved heroes come from the stable of the magazine devoured every week by manga lovers. Its golden age is the reason for having a digital party to which various characters from the worlds of Dragon Ball Z, Hunter x Hunter, Naruto and Fist of the North Star received an invitation. Nothing comes from the party, because Jump Force disappoints in all areas.
With forty recognizable characters from at least sixteen different manga, Jump Force is full of possibilities to tell an interesting epic. However, developer Spike Chunsoft uses the real world as the setting for a soulless and uninspired story. In Times Square, Frieza and his lackeys fight against Goku, creating a sustainable environment. You will be killed as a spectator and the only way to save yourself is to revive as a hero. Then join the Jump Force hero group to stop the chaos once and for all. However, the missions you get are repetitive and contain almost no storylines. You defeat most of the iconic Corrupted Jump characters and then recruit them. The story never takes an interesting turn, which makes it hard to care what happens. It’s such a shame, as the source material can trigger a lot of interesting interactions, as the super special Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z collaboration clearly shows. It’s not really hard to create special and memorable moments. with the characters of Jump.
It also doesn’t help that Jump Force doesn’t look good outside of combat. Everyone is weirdly animated and also appears to be plastic. In addition, during the cut scenes, the characters remain motionless like wooden klaas and only move their lips up and down. It creates dissonance and you constantly have the idea that you are playing a fan project instead of a full-fledged production. The hub itself, which serves as a visual menu, also suffers from dropped frames and unnecessarily long distances between different NPCs. Additionally, there are long load times for almost all interactions. The hub is therefore anything but useful. At the end of the day, it’s mostly a way to show off your unlocked outfits, hairstyles, accessories, and emotes to other players, though in the end it’s nothing more than a nice extra. At the end of the day, you just want to fight against a good piece of rubber.
The issues with Jump Force don’t end there, as these battles have no strategic basis. In teams of three, you face the most diverse characters in the Weekly Shōnen Jump. For that, you have two attacks, four special attacks and one Awakening or transformation available. The two fairly straightforward attacks can easily be converted into combos or a hard smash, and then deal a lot of damage with a special attack. The path to victory is clear quickly, so in battles against AI you mostly rely on keys. There is therefore no question of strategy.
Plus, the life bar you share with the three ensures that you don’t switch between characters and only use them to help you. No matter who you fight with, due to the simple combat system, all the characters are too similar. Only special attacks provide a breath of fresh air. Watch Fist of the North Star’s Kenshiro fight the legendary “At-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!” It is a magical experience to say if Goku will attack your opponent with a gigantic Spirit Bomb.
Jump Force doesn’t make a smooth jump to consoles. The uninspired story doesn’t impress at all, and the eerie animations of Jump’s many characters regularly cause dissonance with the realistically designed world. In addition, the technical faults of the hub provide an unpleasant experience. The fights themselves are simple in design, so the bashing button is lurking around the corner. Even online modes and the many iconic characters fail to save Jump Force. Jump Force feels forced and disappoints in almost everything.
For the Jump Force review, Marcel played on PlayStation 4.