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Jump Force

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Jump Force
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What's the point of having so many famous anime characters when they have so little screen time?
Genre(s): Fighting
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Release: PlayStation 4
JP: February 14, 2019
WW: February 15, 2019

Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
WW: February 15, 2019
Nintendo Switch
JP: August 27, 2020
WW: August 28, 2020
Discontinuation: February 8, 2022
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Developer(s): Spike Chunsoft
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment
Country: Japan
Series: Shōnen Jump
Predecessor: J-Stars Victory VS


Jump Force is a fighting game developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. The game features the characters from various manga series featured in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump anthology in celebration of the magazine's 50th anniversary.

The game was delisted from digital stores on February 8, 2022, only three years since the game came out, and multiplayer servers getting shut down on August 24, 2022.

Bad Qualities

  1. The game's story is an uninspired "resistance saves the world" plot suspiciously similar to that of Sonic Forces. This includes the main villain Prometheus, who even has powers similar to that game's villain Infinite.
    • The game also tries to ape Marvel Studios's Avengers movies, to the point its main theme sounds like a knockoff of Alan Silvestri's "Avengers Theme".
  2. Similar to Sonic '06 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the graphics are an ugly clash of art styles, featuring photorealistic environments against colourful anime characters—who, in turn, are rendered more like action figures.
  3. Jump Force runs at a slow, inconsistent framerate despite running on the same engine as (and being released after) Dragon Ball FighterZ and My Hero One's Justice, which both have higher average framerates and were released on the same systems. Even playing on an enhanced system like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X won't make the game run any better.
    • In fact, this fighting game is capped at 30FPS on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X when 60FPS is the norm for low-budget fighters like Rivals of Aether and Them's Fightin' Herds and even free fighting games like Brawlhalla.
  4. Speaking of framerates, the Nintendo Switch port suffers from an extremely low framerate (it runs at 15 fps).
  5. The story mode cutscenes look unpolished and the character animations are stiff and jerky, like puppets. Some of the characters will directly dash out of the screen while at a standstill[1] or fly straight up into the sky.[2]
  6. The game at launch only had 40 playable characters, but only a couple of them contribute to the game's story while the rest is relegated to side missions. Even Goku, Luffy, and Naruto, who are featured in the cover art, do little more than be team leaders.
  7. Annoying sound design. The fighters scream at the top of their lungs for every action, even taking a small punch.
  8. While Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto (if Boruto counts) got six playable characters each at launch, the others have way less except Hunter X Hunter and Bleach.
  9. Just like the shows in Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers, the manga series My Hero Academia, currently one of Shonen Jump's most popular and well-reviewed franchises, isn't represented well. Outside of a lack of coverage in general, the franchise's main protagonist Izuku "Deku" Midoriya was the only playable character from that series at launch. Another popular series is Demon Slayer, which has no playable characters although this can be excused since this game came out before the anime was released.
  10. Certain franchises like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Gintama, Shaman King, Ninku and Kinnikuman are nowhere to be seen.
    • For the former six at least, their exclusion may be because their comedic nature would clash with the more serious tone the game is trying to go with.
  11. It is too easy to dodge and block Kenshirō's iconic Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken (English: Hundred Crack Fist) move, even when he's performing it at point-blank range.
  12. Although Death Note's Light Yagami prominently appears in the trailers, he is not playable and just uses the Jump Force as a shield while he searches for his Death Note and Ryuk. As a result, the reveal where he betrays the main characters is obvious and pointless. The god complex he had in his home series is nowhere to be seen, which makes his character extremely bland.
  13. No English voice acting, most likely due to the licensing of different American companies of their anime adaptations, like Funimation for Dragon Ball and One Piece, Viz Media for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and 4Kids (now known as Konami Cross Media NY) for Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  14. Although the members of the Jump Force posses umbras cubes, nobody except the hero can see Ryuk.
    • Additionally, they can see Stands too even though Stands are canonically invisible to non-Stand users.
  15. Only six anime locations (Namek and the World Tournament Stage from Dragon Ball Z, the Hidden Leaf Village and the Final Valley from Naruto, and Marineford and Whole Cake Island from One Piece) are available as fighting stages. The rest are real-life locations (apart from the training stage), which is out of place for such a crossover.
  16. Awful facial and body animations to rival Mass Effect: Andromeda and Ride to Hell: Retribution.
  17. Bad first impression. The official cover art makes Naruto, Luffy, and Goku appear like 3D-printed amiibo figurines who have been poorly photoshopped onto a dark San Francisco background.
  18. Apparently, the dark umbras cubes' method of possessing mortal beings is to roll up their legs, and LITERALLY SHOVE THEM UP THEIR ASSHOLES![3]
  19. Kenshiro doesn't even say his iconic catchphrase: "omae wa mou shindeiru" ("you are already dead").
  20. Giorno Giovanna, the protagonist of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo/Golden Wind, got completely screwed over in his titular DLC for the game.
    • Firstly, you can only play as Gold Experience Requiem instead of Gold Experience.
    • A huge chunk of GER's moves are actually GE's moves.
    • Gold Experience Requiem has completely no emotions at all when he communicates.
    • For some stupid reason, whenever GER performs the 7-Page Muda on his opponents, the opponents do not die immediately even though he is punching at machine-gun speeds.
  21. Some characters were rather questionable choices at launch, like having Kaguya Otsusuki (who is utterly despised by western Naruto fans for various reasons) instead of a more popular villain like Orochimaru, Madara, Pain or Itachi and having Toguro but no Kurama, Hiei and Kuwabara.

Good Qualities

  1. The backgrounds can be nice to look at and they have creative destructible environments and Super Moves to perform.
  2. A lot of obscure, forgotten, and neglected Shōnen Jump manga characters finally got coverage. Especially Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!, as they are playable, as are Ryo Saeba from City Hunter and Dai from Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai.
  3. Several characters from series that were unrepresented at launch have been added as downloadable content, including All Might, Katsuki Bakugo and Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia), Uchiha Madara (Naruto) and Hiei (Yu Yu Hakusho).
  4. All characters have their own unique fighting styles, and the player character can be heavily customized.
  5. The PC version has an active modding community, with many mods replacing character models with those of characters from other games (such as Master Chief and Shaggy), adding unrepresented franchises and creating new movesets for unrepresented characters.
  6. This game is slightly improving thanks to updates.
  7. Raid Bosses, a mode that was datamined at launch, have finally been added.
  8. Some characters' personalities are kept consistent with their source material in some manner and have unique pre-battle interactions. For example, Sanji has an entirely different moveset and voice lines when fighting any of the game's female characters and has hearts for eyes for the duration of the match, keeping with his personality trait of refusing to strike a woman no matter what. Sanji even initially confuses Hunter X Hunter character Kurapika for a girl, due to his androgynous appearance.
  9. Despite the annoying screaming, some voice actors represent their roles very well.
  10. Amazing soundtrack. All of the songs in the game are awesome.
  11. The actual gameplay isn't that bad and can be pretty fun at times.
  12. Decent controls.

Reception

Jump Force received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike.

On Metacritic, the Xbox One version has a critic rating of 61/100 ("mixed or average reviews")[4], the PS4 version 56/100 ("mixed or average reviews")[5], the PC version 60/100 ("mixed or average reviews")[6], and the Nintendo Switch version 50/100 ("mixed or average reviews")[7].

GameSpot gave the game a 7/10, praising its characters' unique fighting styles, easy-to-understand combat mechanics, character customization and fightable opponents while criticizing its story, awful animation and lack of playable female characters.[8]

Trivia

  • This is the very first fighting game to have a Dragon Quest universe related character as a fighter, pre-dating Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Hero DLC, which is not a coincidence as the content was released in July 30th, 5 months after Jump Force's launch release and over a year before the Switch port came out.

Videos

Reference

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