It feels like this should have been a thing well before, but as it was announced out of E3 this year, we have Jump Force coming at us on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC from Spike Chunsoft. All to add into the crazy games and style that Bandai Namco has been known to bring us when it comes to the anime-style titles out there. This one aims to bring all of your favorites into one battle arena here and finally have us hash out those epic fights we all speculate on. The only difference is that Jump Force will be based on your skill and not how they are written. Something that can be easier said than done based on what I was able to get my hands on out at E3 this year.
Right from the jump, pun intended, Jump Force looks and feels like a standard fighting game. The mode I was able to play had us selecting three different characters from the announced roster and then an area to fight and thus destroy in the wake of it all. You cannot get more standard than that. This, of course, is not a bad thing as why should we fix what is not broken in the franchise. Even if you are not a fan of the "tag based" fighting game, it works and leads us right into the matches pretty easy. At least if you can ignore the lengthy loading times that seemed to come along with Jump Force at this point. I will let this be blamed on it being the earlier stages of the game, but it did seem to take too long to get into a match. I am talking able to check a few emails while waiting kind of long.
Jump Force — Unite To Fight
Once in the match, things seemed to move back into the 3D fighting game style where you were always targeting the opponent in the match. There were the basic Light, Heavy, and Kicking options on the controls with a nice dash to try and close the gaps in Jump Force. This became a needed option in the game as most of the hits in the game would send the opponent flying to the other side of the map and running would take way too long to close in. Especially when some of the characters do not have the traditional modes of flight and speed based on the character in their respective shows or franchises. It did seem to take you out of that mindset every now and then, but it worked as a gameplay feature in Jump Force.
What seemed to be a bit odd to me as a gameplay feature for Jump Force was the fact that there were not any special controls to fire off special moves or ultimate attacks. These just became options by holding down the right trigger in the match and then pressing the secondary buttons (X, Y, A, B) to select which attack you wanted to fire off. All it took was a bit of time for them to be "charged up," but it never seemed to take too long for that to happen. There seemed to be no reason to use any of the other controls at one point, but nothing too game breaking. It just seemed more repetitive than actually requiring any real skill. This could also be the fact that I was facing off against an AI enemy and not a live one though.
Jump Force — Goku, Naruto, Luffy VS Frieza
This also builds into the odd aspect that Jump Force seems to deviate from the traditional "tag team" fighting style that you only need to defeat one of the characters on the team to win the match. At least in the mode that I was playing on the floor at the Bandai Namco booth here. One would have thought that you would need to take down each of the three different characters to win, but that was not that case at all. In some instances, the matches were over well before I had a chance to even try the full breadth of what a character was offering for Jump Force. I am hoping that this was just something in this build of the game and that it will be hammered out and altered for the final build. I know I would like to have full matches and not a three on one dogpile each time.
All of that said, Jump Force has some great potential and is looking to give fans something that they have wanted for a while. There are a lot of weird options that the team opted to go with in terms of mechanics, but that could have been the modes presented on the show floor. If that is the case, I can get behind Jump Force and look forward to being able to have all of my favorite anime characters facing off. If not, it could get easily repetitive and boring with a three on one fight when there should be a three on three fight. I guess we will see in the coming months as it gets ironed out and finalized.
Jump Force — Gameplay Mash-up