After the success of the anime and at a time where Bandai Namco is releasing various videogames based on anime, it was only a matter of time before we get One-Punch Man adaption. Unfortunately, like so many other adaptations, A Hero Nobody Knows doesn’t end up having the quality that does justice to the original material.
One-Punch Man tells the story of a hero named Saitama, who is able to beat his opponents with a single punch. This game represents the first season of the anime and the events of the story are present just as you would expect. However, unlike the series, we don’t play as Saitama because how could a game work where the main character defeats his opponents with just one punch?
The game allows us to create our hero and that’s one of the best aspects of the game. Initially, there aren’t many options available but progressing in the game will help with that. There are hundreds of items to equip, from the most out of the box things, to the most usual. It is possible to put some items in any area of the body and change their color. The possibilities are incredible and this is a good option for those who want to go further in creating something unique.
Besides our hero, our apartment can also be customized with various types of equipment and decorations. Beds, televisions, refrigerators, among many other possibilities, which will unlock with progress and can be purchased in certain shops. In practice, it’s not useful for anything, but taking into account that Saitama’s apartment has some prominence during the first season, the studio did some fan service by including this aspect.
Small “open world”
The game takes place in a small “open world”, where there are several stores to buy items and accept missions. In fact, this open world is essentially just a block from the city. There are just over a dozen streets and some are initially blocked. In this space, we can find several well-known characters from the series, with whom we can interact and accept quests. Besides that, there are only those stores that I mentioned earlier that sell items, clothing and products to decorate our apartment.
Hero Reputation and Rank
One of the goals of the game is to raise the hero rank. To do this, we need to do certain missions, which can increase our level and reputation in the city. These are different situations and to be able to play the main campaign missions, it is essentially the reputation in the city that counts. Outside of campaign, the side quests are basic and funless and unfortunately, necessary to raise our reputation so we can continue to unlock more main quests.
It’s a shame because the game turns out to be a grind and slowly consumes our patience. After a few hours, I found myself skipping the dialogues as they were nothing more than waste of time. Going back to reputation, every time we raise our level, we get some points in order to improve our attack, life bar, among other situations. It turns out to be something positive that allows us, once again, to shape the hero in our image.
It’s during combat that the game gets more interesting. These take place in arenas with a good space to move around, although I got the feeling that the mobility of the characters was not the best. There are four styles of combat, with specific tricks in each one. These styles also level up throughout the game, unlocking new tricks and offering the chance to customize which ones we can use in combat. We can only have three equipped plus one special move. Please note that all of these moves are the same, or mostly the same, as the characters in the series which is great.
It’s also during the combat that random events happen such as meteorites falling from the sky, or the famous mole appearing on the ground to attack us. This is just like the series and both we and the opponent can be hit and harmed. Throughout the battles, heroes appear to help us. Once that happens, they can be used as a second playable character and end up making the combat more dynamic. Obviously when Saitama arrives, the match ends immediately after his first punch. There are also some items that appear on the battlefield that increase our defense or attack, among other things.
Multiplayer with several options
The game can be played online or offline. This has an important change in the game as we end up seeing other people in our city, and we can interact with them for various situations. Let’s say it’s kind of a multiplayer lobby, but in single-player. Besides the story, there are several multiplayer modes with several customization options. It’s even possible to allow or not Saitama to be a playable character, considering its effectiveness in combat…
Visuals and Audio
When it comes to graphics, this is a very common product. There’s nothing in this game that leaves me impressed. The city is well recreated and it’s “cozy”, but that’s all it is. The combat arenas offer some visual diversity, but I have nothing more to add about them and that pretty much says a lot. When it comes to audio, there are the usual dubs in English and Japanese.
Something that bothered me a lot was our hero gesturing without saying a word. Imagine interacting with another character and he talks to us and answers us, as if we were saying something, but we don’t open our mouths… Considering that we can initially choose one of three voices for our character, its use is only for combat, but it’s also just “moans”. When it comes to lines, it’s zero. The soundtrack fits perfectly with the theme of the series, using a very similar sound.
Besides being quite repetitive, another problem I encountered was the frame rate. When walking around the city, the character would stagger several times and NPC’s would also take time to appear in front of us, although we know they are there to give a mission. In terms of combat, I also felt some performance problems, though not as serious as walking around in the city. Considering that the game allows playing online or offline, I tried playing with the console disconnected from the internet and these problems continued, which proves that it is a problem of the game and not the servers.
One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows ended up not achieving the quality I was hoping for. The presence of the initial story of the series is not enough to excite the fans. Although the combat feels good, with all the heroes and their combos, the missions end up being very repetitive and the required grind doesn’t help either. To make matters worse, frame rate problems haunt our walks around the city where, very sporadically, are also felt during combat. Above all, this is clearly a game for the fans and despite the various problems, only they will find some fun in this product.
Amazing customization of our hero
Hero rank system as in the series
Soundtrack very similar to the series
Fun and chaotic fights
Secondary missions are “mandatory” and repetitive
Frame rate problems
Rather vulgar visuals
Some NPC’s take time to appear on the map
Release Date: 27 February 2020
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Action, Fighting
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Review copy provided by Namco Bandai Entertainment. (Playstation 4)