Developed by Spike Chunsoft, One-Punch Man: A hero nobody knows is a 3D fighting game based on the One-Punch Man manga. Rather than play as One-punch man, however, you’ll spend most of your time developing your own custom-made character.
If you’ve played games like My Hero One’s Justice, you’ll know - almost exactly - what to expect. Traverse from fight to fight via a loose, narrative-driven overworld, where you’ll need to combine attacks, blocks, and arena traversal to reduce your opponent’s health bar to zero before yours runs out of pixels.
The actual fighting is accessibly basic, with a single light and heavy attack making up the bulk of your button presses, but combining them cleverly - along with the occasional special move - gives the mechanics some depth, and you’ll need to more than button mash to beat fights later in the game.
The meta-game sees you wandering around, completing missions for random people or tackling core story stuff to advance your reputation and give you access to more quests. They’re all basically the same, however - go to this place, punch that person a bit, collect a reward. Rewards are of the du jour “random object” / currency type that you can then use to layout your apartment for some reason (Animal Crossing this is not). The mode is fine, but it really feels like a tacked-on extra and makes no real sense to me, but if this is your kind of thing, you’ll no doubt be pleased to know you can do it here, too.
The fighting itself is okay - and it gets a bit better as you advance your career and other characters begin to join your roster. Switching between them is easy, and you can make them join with an attack, spicing up the tactical options at your disposal. And yes, you can have One-punch man himself join the fight, but given his invincibility and “one punch wastes anyone” superpower, you’ll need to survive for a couple of minutes of regular fighting before you can call on his services.
Unfortunately, in addition to being a cookie-cutter experience, One-punch man is a relatively poor example of the genre. Fighting is boring, the meta-game is boring, and the only thing worse than the dialogue is the voice acting (oh my god the voice acting). By the time I was done with One-punch man, the generic-ness of the game itself combined with the awfulness of the narrative was so painful to experience I had to actually delete the game from my PS4 before I had the mental strength to write this review.
I hate it, but fans of the series might find enough here to fortify themselves against its shortcomings and general blandness. At least you can one-punch enemies into oblivion - that’s something, right guys?
+ One-punch himself is the depressed, dour, ultra-hero you expect.
- Terrible story.
- Mega-bad voice acting.
- Yet another missed opportunity