Since its inception as a web-comic, One Punch Man has risen in popularity. It now has two anime seasons, and is a hit via Shonen Jump. This led to Bandai Namco Entertainment making a AAA One Punch Man videogame. Having been developed by anime game veterans Spike Chunsoft (Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi series) A Hero Nobody Knows attempts to give us our first foray into the World of Heroes.

The Story attempts to retell Season One of the TV anime series, though you won’t get to play as Saitama unfortunately however, you are forced to create your own superhero. The level of detail is as usual, you choose size, face, clothes, you know the drill. You start at the very bottom of the Hero Association, at Level C and in order to work your way up, you need to complete various missions. These missions come in two types; Main Story (to advance) and Quests (come in handy for levelling-up) you are given a hub where you can freely explore before unlocking other areas, there’s a shopping mall and a backstreet area to name two. At times, you will be prompted to go to Association HQ for big missions from the anime, you’ll face an enemy, be unable to defeat it, and Saitama will turn up to finish it (you do get to play as Saitama here, but it is over in One Punch).

 

While exploring the hub, you will come across other superheroes (playing online, you’ll encounter other players) from the TV anime, and civilians. Accepting a quest or main story mission will put you in a fight (the game is a 3vs3 fighter) with a monster/ enemy there are optional objectives which, upon completion, will earn you more EXP. There are also item drops throughout, but look out, as the enemy can also grab these and the items vary from temporarily giving you an attack boost, or better defence. Action is simplistic, offering a light and strong attack, guard button, dash and special attacks (you can equip up to 4 of these upon unlocking, but start with just two slots available until you reach a higher level), it’s also worth mentioning there are also different types of play style and you need to level up each style, so pick the one you like the most, and focus on just that one.

There are also incidents that can happen during battles, such as meteorites that can completely destroy the stage, and if hit, it can give you, and your opponent significant damage. Finally, as Saitama arrives at the end of all the battles, in order to incorporate this into the gameplay, producer Yasuhiro Yahata introduced the “Hero Arrival System“; this is where a timer appears on screen, with a superhero approaching. The better you perform in the fight; IT will reduce the time remaining.

 

Your audio options are Original Japanese with subtitles, or English voice-over featuring Max Mittelman as Saitama. The BGM is taken from the anime, and that is a rarity in these games, so enjoy! The quality of the acting is as good as the show, and having seen both the Japanese and English dub for the both anime Seasons, I can say this holds up in comparison.

To wrap things up, put it simply, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a fun title. However, being unable to play as the titular character, regardless of how powerful he is, is disappointing. Instead of adapting the TV series, they could have used the dreams Saitama has of being challenged by powerful monsters, who are unable to be defeated with one punch. With this being the first AAA title produced for the series, let’s hope they give us the option in future.  Although you can play as Saitama during multiplayer and battles, creating a character isn’t for everybody, and this is an issue I also have with the WWE games. However, if you can look past being forced to create an avatar instead of playing as one of the many superheroes from the anime during the main campaign, then you will certainly enjoy this game, as there’s a lot of fun to be had levelling-up your character and interacting with the other heroes as you climb the ranks of the Hero Association.



Author

Lee Shellum
Lee Shellum

I've been playing games since the late 80's, started with the Spectrum 48K!. First console was a NES. Used to work for GAME & Gamestation many moons ago. Big anime fan - Dragon Ball & One Piece mainly. I'm also into Manga, Football (Liverpool FC) & WWE. I'm a former Bandai Namco Entertainment Forum moderator and was a part of their J-Patrol team. I love the Yakuza series from SEGA, and most anime games. You can follow me on twitter @Shellum_Lee