Shonen Jump has long been home some of the most iconic manga and anime figures, such as One Piece’s Luffy and Dragonball’s Goku. To help ring in its 50th anniversary, Jump Force is packing in as many of these faces that have become synonymous with anime into one big ring. Part of the delight is finding out who’s on the roster and what extra additions make it more than just a mash-up. At this past TGS, Bandai Namco announced new characters alongside an online hub and character creation system. Previous reveals have been the kind of slam-dunk characters that you’d expect, but now we’re starting to get some surprises.
While Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Yugi was recently announced, his combat style is now understood, as he battles with three cards: Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl, and Slifer the Sky Dragon. On top of that, fans of 90s anime will be happy to see two characters from Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke and Toguro. That’s not all that’s newly announced, however, as environments like DBZ’s Planet Namek and Japan’s Himeji Castle are now ripe for battle.
Additionally, a brand new feature debuted at TGS: the online lobby and character creator. Players can helm their own character, created in the style of the various Jump properties, in the story mode as well as an online lobby for interacting with fellow combatants. While details are slim on the story mode, it does feature four characters created from the ground up for Jump Force by the famed Akira Toriyama: J-Force leader Glover, robot assistant Navigator, and the two villains, Galena and Kane. While famous Jump villains are playable, Bandai Namco wanted to have its own, unique antagonists for the story, though not much has been revealed beyond their appearance.
While Bandai Namco was not yet prepared to show the character generator, we did get a look at one of the avatars it created – a young woman who looked much like Luffy, obviously in the One Piece vein. While it was confirmed, you can adjust things like skin tone, gender, and costumes, it’s not yet known if a character’s visual style or gender will have any effect on their combat skills; we hope that we’ll be able to Kamehameha with a character who would fit in with the Bleach cast.
Our hands-on with Jump Force didn’t reveal much that was new – the fast-paced, bombastic combat is still reminiscent of the recent Naruto fighting games, and that’s not a bad thing. Powerful moves abounded and it felt great to take down Sasuke Uchiha as his true arch-rival: Frieza. Additionally, the framerate kept up no matter what was on screen and watching the characters show the damage they’d taken was a nice treat.
This is looking like a huge step up compared to the last Jump crossover, J Stars Victory Vs. February can’t roll around fast enough for anime and manga fans.