Jump Force Deluxe Edition recently launched on the Nintendo Switch. Bandai Namco was kind enough to send me a copy of the game to review and it’s been interesting. This was my first time playing Jump Force and I’d heard it wasn’t the best game around. I finally got to test what I’d heard. The Deluxe Edition of Jump Force includes the first Character Pass DLC and a brand new 3v3 mode for the Nintendo Switch that lets up to 6 friends play together. Sadly, due to COVID-19 and social distancing, but it sounds like a lot of fun. All of that out of the way, lets get on with the review.
Jump Force is not my favorite game. I do enjoy the idea behind the game of having characters from various manga and anime team up to face off against evil forces. It’s a great premise and will definitely be enough for some fans. The selection of characters is pretty good, too with staples like Naruto, Ichigo, Goku, etc. Plus, new characters are still being added. Another aspect I did like was the character creation. I really did enjoy creating my own character to fight alongside my favorite characters.
The actual fighting part of this game is pretty good. I’m not a huge fan of 3rd-person fighters, but in a single-player experience, it’s not too bad. The controls are fairly simple to grasp and can easily be picked up by button mashers. However, there is some depth for people who want to play the game competitively. That being said, I felt like it was too easy to get decently long combo strings that can’t be blocked. If you land one fast strike, your opponent can’t guard or anything until you stop attacking or until after you land about 7-8 hits. That’s a little long in my opinion to be locked out of doing anything. I’m going to chalk this complaint up to personal taste, but it’s not my favorite fighting system.
Let’s talk multiplayer briefly. This is a 3rd-person fighter which always poses unique challenges to multiplayer. I’ve typically seen this met with a split-screen approach. Jump Force doesn’t do that though. This means that one person (it changes over the course of the battle) is always near and the other player can be pretty far making it a little difficult for that player to keep track of what’s going on, especially when bigger attacks are in play. Also, it’s annoying that there aren’t alternative costumes for characters for when you and your opponent use the same character. This can add some confusion to the game that easily could’ve been avoided with simply adding one additional costume. It doesn’t have to be crazy. Just a slight color change would be nice.
I have two final complaints that I’m sure aren’t new. First, I really wish you could change the audio to English. I don’t like the Japanese voices for certain characters and it’d be nice to not need to read subtitles all the time. This is of course a matter of taste.
Finally, the graphics are not great. If you want a great looking game, I wouldn’t recommend Jump Force on the Switch. The backgrounds typically look fine. However, character models and textures aren’t very crisp. Plus, there appeared to be framerate issues This is all docked. I pulled my Switch into handheld mode and it was bad. Even my wife, who doesn’t usually care about how good games look, commented on how bad it looked. This isn’t even my dislike for the art style. That’s a whole other thing. I think it’s weird how they wanted to make these anime characters look “realistic” but without changing their designs. It looks really weird and not my thing.
Is Jump Force a great game? I would say no. However, it can still be fun to play with friends who are also anime fans and you can finally answer the question of which anime character is the best. I also really wish I could’ve tried the 3v3 format, but it’s offline only and was unable to do so. I think that would possibly be the best way to play though. It’s not my favorite, but if an anime friend came over we’d probably play at least a few rounds.