I shouldn’t be shocked about this, but Jump Force is not a good game. The idea of it is brilliant though. For those unaware the word “Jump” in the title is a reference to the brand Shonen Jump. Shonen Jump comes in all varieties in Japan from weekly to monthly volumes. Each set has one chapter in a particular series. These comics are dirt-cheap. You know how you have to buy a single issue of say the latest issue of Spider-Man? The price you pay for one chapter here is equivalent in price to one of these Shonen Jump issues and they have more content. It varies, but let’s say each volume has anywhere from seven or more comics. Again, each with one chapter. Some of the biggest brands started in Shonen Jump like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece.
The only reason I know so much is because my uncle brought me back a few issues on one of his business trips to Tokyo. It was a cheap gift to him, but something unimaginably cool to me even though I couldn’t read it. Anyway, so there’s some history out of the way. Now the collection of characters in this game is pretty great. I still can’t recommend it though, but I’ll delve more into why as I go through my entries. If you don’t care about the faults and plan to buy this, or already did, then I have some key tips to make the experience slightly better. I hope this helps in some way!
24 Be A Swordsman
As I dabbled through the characters, trying them all out, I found out something not that surprising. Most fighters that use a sword have an incredible reach and I was thus able to dominate the ring more successfully. Kenshin, Ichigo, and even Dai were incredible at the start.
This by no means makes them the best heroes in the game. If you find you're having trouble, test out these three and you might be surprised by the results.
23 Play Offline
Here we are entering the sixth year of the Xbox One and PS4 generation and Jump Force looks like it can barely keep up with the systems. It is constantly bugging out with glitches and poor frame rates. So much so you'd think this was a beta. Well, I do have a bit of advice in order to improve your experience. When you want to play the game solo, turn off the online functionality. I found it runs slightly better.
22 Blocked Footage Workarounds
Speaking of the sixth year, Bandai Namco, when are you going to get with the times? I've found that with a few of their games, they like to implement restrictions on both native video and screenshot capture. If you don't stream, or aren't in the press, this probably doesn't matter to you unless seeing constant popups for blocked content annoy you. For someone like me though, it's quite frustrating. Thankfully I do have an external capture device to avoid these problems. If you want to cover it then get a separate device.
When Yugi Muto was announced as a playable character I nearly lost it. Surely this was a joke, but sure enough he is indeed a hero. However, Yugi doesn't fight. That is to say he summons monsters from his cards to do the fighting for him.
Because of this I found him pretty slow. Yes, it was hilarious to hear him mutter something about friendship and duels at the beginning and end of matches, but that didn't make him fun to play.
20 Glitched Hair Gets In The Way
Even though the options in the character customization setup are borrowed from other known characters, it's a pretty robust set of choices. For that, I applaud Bandai Namco. However, I encourage you to make shorthaired boys and girls. I made my character, Ena, with a long braided ponytail and that thing glitched out like crazy even when standing still. The thing had a mind of its own. It doesn't hurt gameplay, but it sure is distracting. In the looks department, it's not the worst offender though.
19 Simple Modes
For those that have not played this game, let me give you a fair warning. Unlike most fighting games, there is no menu at the start screen. Everything you can interact with is in your hub base. Seemingly this is all one big game with a campaign story progressed by missions, but there is a way to get away from that even though they really do a bad job about telling you. In the center of your base there is a console you can just do the normal fighting thing aka player vs computer, or player vs player locally.
18 Abandon Your Created Character
The game begins with a quick cutscene involving Frieza invading what looks like New York City before Goku comes to the rescue. On the ground Trunks finds you, which prompts players to create a character. Even though Jump Force sort of frames you like the main hero and really pushes all of the customization options onto you at the start, you don't have to really worry about any of it if you don't want to. Past the opening tutorial hours, you can tackle missions with your favorite manga heroes and leave your new shell behind. This was a relief.
17 Maps And Fast Travel
Another thing that isn't told to you well is that you can pull out a map to see where you're going in your base, which is necessary because the layout is awful. Why the mini map isn't on default is beyond me. You can also hold Triangle down to pull up a giant map that you can then select destinations to warp to.
Know what's cool about that? There isn't any load times. Trust me, if you knew how many there were, this would be surprising. It loads when you want to change your outfit for crying out loud!
16 Level Progression
Character progress is confusing, which is to say the game explains everything wrong. You see your characters don't level up. When you go into battle you have three slots to fill with whomever you want. Those slots are your levels. Whoever you put in those slots will be at that level. It makes it so you can swap between heroes without having to worry about not being high enough with someone new, which I genuinely think is great. In a game filled with bad ideas, this part is decent.
15 An Easy Life
If you haven't caught on already, I think Jump Force stinks. If you are infatuated with these characters though, and are looking to play them in any way you can, well let me offer you this suggestion. Play the game on Easy. Go on, no one is looking. You have my permission. Why should you waste your time trying to "git gud" on a game that doesn't respect you in the first place? Make Jump Force your punching bag and dominate it!
14 Block Like There’s No Tomorrow
When it comes to video games be it fighters like Jump Force, or shooters, or action games, I’m an aggressive player and I rarely think about defense. Defense in the form of blocking that is. I'm all about that well-placed dodge especially if it slows down time like in Bayonetta.
That said in this game, I found blocking extremely useful. I haven't tested it out on everything, but just hitting R1 at the right time will negate even the biggest of special attacks from enemies. I was stunned.
13 One HP To Rule Them All
Here's something else I thought I should clarify about your three teammates. Unlike other squad-based fighters, like Marvel vs Capcom, your allies don't have their own status bars. Everything is shared, even health. That means switching between characters in the middle of battle is more about building combos than it is about regarding HP when near defeat. I kind of didn't notice that until a few matches in. This may be obvious, but again, I thought it was important enough to point out.
12 Learn To Be Special
On the subject of meters, let me explain this. Your special bar that allows you to pull off all of your sweat moves carries over between rounds. That means if in round one you end with it powered up to the max of five, it will remain at five until you actually spend that meter. On the other hand if you have zero points, you're going to go into the next round hurting. Be wary of the number of rounds and spend that meter wisely.
11 Where Did My Clothes Go?
Another thing that carries between rounds is your team's look. Let's say you're playing with Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia in round one, who gets utterly trounced by Vegeta and thus gets his outfit torn to shreds. That will carry over into the next match.
Unlike other games that do this, losing clothes does not make you weaker. It's just an aesthetic choice and one I think looks pretty cool. They don't go as far as I would like though in some cases...
10 Don’t Buy The Season Pass
Did you already waste your money and time on this game like me? Crud. Well, all is not lost yet. I don't know what the future is going to be like for DLC, but whatever you do; please don't buy the season pass. Giving Bandai Namco $30 on top of $60 for the product they put out is criminal. Right now this pass promises nine new fighters. You know what I'd like more than that? I want Bandai Namco to fix Jump Force, for free! If they actually do it then by all means, spend that money on DLC.
9 Train To Find Your Team
As I said earlier, I'm not saying that sword characters are the best. For me, I found them extremely powerful, but that may be just because I have an aggressive play style. Don't be afraid to test people out in the training areas even before you go into a match, or mission. That is also something you can do, again, which isn't as clearly defined. I'm glad you can warp around, but I would have preferred a menu system. Is that so much to ask?
8 Pass The Time (The Loading Is Loooong)
This game has some incredibly bad loads. They're not just long, but frequent too. It felt like a PS2 game at times. I have no way of telling you how to improve your loads, but I do have some obvious advice to pass the time. Make sure you have your phone handy. No, truly, you're going to want to have it on you. The story is also pretty bland and you can't skip cutscenes, so having your phone handy in those instances is a must too.
7 Become A Manga Master
If you are set on using your player created character throughout the entire adventure then let me remind you of this. Completing missions will unlock new skills taken from different warriors. This means you can equip new skills and swap out old ones when you want from the player menu.
Do you want to have abilities from the three main franchises aka Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and One Piece? You can do it!
After creating your character, you can later buy accessories and new costume pieces to really deck him, or her out. I already acknowledged why this is problematic though. You have to load the game every time you do it. It's not a quick load either. Again, from top to bottom this game is an incredible mess and one I assume is being held together by duct tape. If you can stand the loads though, it is fun to play dress up.
5 Timing Is Everything
Blocking is a lot stronger than I would have guessed. That said there's more to just simply hitting R1. Timing is everything. For example, blocking just before a hit will activate a dodge, positioning you to quickly counter as well. It takes some practice in order to get used to it and because all heroes are different, the timing can vary. That's why having a friend with you on the couch can be a good way to train. If you want to put in the effort that is.
4 Battle Royale
If you really don't care about getting better at the game because you're just as distraught as I am, but want to see action, well, there's a solution for that too. In the middle kiosk you can also have characters fight against each other via the computer.
This is pretty standard for most fighting games. Think of this more like a Shonen Jump fan simulator than an actual game. Who would win in a fight? Let's let the computer decide.
3 L1 Is Your Best Friend
If you don't like using R1 to block, there's another strategy at your fingertips. You can use L1 to not only dodge by warping away, but you can also use it to clear large distances between yourself and your opponent. It works in the same way as warping in Dissidia Final Fantasy. You know if you ever played that fighting game as well. There's a frame of reference for you. Admittedly I never got the hang of blocking so I was fonder of this tactic.
2 Create A Diverse Team
The most fun you can have with Jump Force involves not caring about any of the systems and just picking your favorite characters. That said if you do care, heroes all have varying degrees of strengths. That is to say some are good face to face while others have long reaches, but are weak in melee encounters. All of the stats are listed in the character select screen. That’s another thing to keep in mind. If this game were better I would praise the variety.
1 Bursting With Power
I like fighting games, but I would never call myself good. I was decent as a kid when I had more time to dedicate to the genre like during the height of Street Fighter II.
No matter how much I practiced though I could never get combo moves down. Thankfully in Jump Force all you need to do is build your meter, hit R2, and simply choose an attack just like in a MMO. Now don’t go wasting all of your skills at once. Be strategic about it.