They say ‘Jump,’ you say ‘How many anime boys?’
In this fighter featuring only the most prime cuts of anime nonsense, you can pit your favourite Shonen series protagonists (or villains) against one another. In our hands-on we enjoy several bustups between ninjas from Naruto, pirates from One Piece, and a selection of Super Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z – and it’s recently been announced that the cast of Bleach will also join the fray. Like in any good Shonen showdown you can pelt the opposition clear across a stage and send them sailing through the air into a completely new area.
To challenge Naruto’s power over the tailed beast and Luffy’s Gum-Gum powers, Bleach’s cast bring their own edge to fights. Ichigo, a teen in possession of the powers of a death god, packs a punch, and his comrade Rukia can put the opposition on ice with her chilling blade. The pair are joined by the mysterious Aizen, a formidable antagonist in the anime and not to be taken lightly.
You’ll have to show some restraint as each team member in the 3v3 matches shares the same health bar. If things aren’t going your way, it’s best to switch out or try for a sweet support attack.
Sharing many characteristics with its PS3 predecessor J-Stars Victory VS, the follow-up appears to be set in the real world, with the two 3D arena stages we batter our way through being New York and Matterhorn, the latter including generally bad dude Frieza’s crashed spaceship. Hong Kong has also now been announced and, for the sake of consistency with these real-worldinspired arenas, your fighty boys have ditched the cel-shaded aesthetic you might expect in favour of strangely semi-realistic textures.
J-Stars Victory VS included an impressively exhaustive roster. Aside from the main players, the full list of characters for Jump Force has yet to be released, and it remains to be seen whether it’ll be anywhere near as comprehensive. However, the presence of Light and Ryuk from Death Note in early trailers suggests there’ll be a fair few familiar faces from series outside of the Big Three we’ve seen so far, even if the pair have already been confirmed to only play a role in the game’s story rather than the fights themselves. We look forward to tracing the strings to whatever puppet-mastering is in store from Ryuk next year.
“RUKIA CAN PUT THE OPPOSITION ON ICE WITH HER CHILLING BLADE.”
Here to settle the score are Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki, a pair full of surprises.
Above It’s Hong Kong but not as you know it, with Blackbeard’s ship crashed in the middle.