One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review

After playing this, you'll want to punch yourself... probably more than once.

  • System: PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft
  • Release Date: Feb 27, 2020

ONE PUNCH MAN: A HERO NOBODY KNOWS - Launch Trailer

Who it Caters to

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review
As it always happens with video games like this, the target audience of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is every other person who enjoys and loves the One Punch Man manga and anime. Sure, you can still play it if you’re new to Saitama’s adventures, and some may see it as an interesting entry point to the saga, but there are a lot of little details and jokes that only the most hardcore fans will understand.

A Hero Nobody Knows is a game that relies a lot (maybe too much) on its huge cast of weird characters, although it's up to you to decide if that's reason enough to keep you hooked. To be honest, if you don't really care about One Punch Man, you'll soon find a lot of reasons to stop playing and do something better with your life... and there's nothing the gameplay or story can do to convince you otherwise.

What to Expect

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Mixing RPG elements and arena-fighting mechanics, as apparently almost all video games based on a popular anime/manga franchise do right now, this game puts you in the shoes of a novice superhero who just joined the Hero Association.

Basically, there are two sides to A Hero Nobody Knows: the offline mode is all about doing quests, customizing your character, and learning new moves while you train yourself to become the best hero ever; if you go online though, you can brag about your rocambolesque costume and secondary identity while testing your power and skills against other players in 3v3 tag battles.


Visuals

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A Hero Nobody Knows relies on the same graphic style that other anime games present, and that's not a bad thing. Combining 3D models with cel-shading is the new recipe for success, so there's really no point in changing that just because. In fact, this game's graphics are one of the things we really like; everything is so colorful when it comes to superheroes, so it makes perfect sense to go for a vibrant palette and 3D backgrounds. However, there are indeed some problems with the visuals...

Something you'll notice sooner than later is how hard it is to navigate the menus. There are just too many options, and not everything here is intuitive either, so you'll need some time to remember where every option is. All in all, the graphics are OK for a game like this, but we can't deny that we would have loved to see some improvements.

Souund,Music

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review
As for the soundtrack, we have mixed feelings, so we'll try to explain it simple enough. When you're in a fight, there are indeed different background tracks, just like you would expect from any other fighting game. The thing is that most of the other sections in the game have only one background track, so you get bored pretty soon.

It's just annoying when you're always listening to the same cuts, just because you entered a different area of the city or you're navigating the menu again. It gets worse when you know all quests are just as repetitive too, but we'll get to that in the gameplay analysis. What we need to highlight is the voice acting in the cutscenes. Although awkward sometimes, it's nice to see that all voices come from the same voice actors you hear in the anime, right?

Gameplay

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows' offline mode is boring as hell... there, we said it! Sure, we get it; you need to help the Heroes Association if you want to unlock new things, and you need to train your character if you want to survive against stronger foes, but why does everything have to feel so generic and soulless? Nothing is interesting about the city, and on top of that, all quests and sidequests are repetitive and boring: there's a new monster in town, so you need to fight it... and maybe if it's too powerful for you, you need to survive a certain amount of time until Saitama—who tends to be at the supermarket—arrives. There are other missions, however, in which you just have to go from one place to another, talking with random people or some secondary characters in the anime and manga. Is that your idea of fun?

If you're OK with grinding a lot, you can just play until you unlock the costume you want or the hero you desire for the online modes. There's also a housing system so you can grind to buy different things to decorate your personal room, but as much as we love housing in RPG games, it really makes no sense in a game like this. You don't even need to visit your house!

Another problem with this game is that you spend more time watching the loading screen than actually playing. You want to talk to a character? You'll have to wait a few seconds. You want to accept that quest? There's a loading screen. You say you just finished that cutscene explaining the quest? One more loading screen. You just beat those monsters trying to wreak havoc? Another loading screen! We'll ask this one more time: is that your idea of fun?

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review
Even if you're the #1 fan of One Punch Man, there are just too many things wrong with this video game. It's not about the quality of the graphics, it's not really about the story, which ultimately follows the lore, and it's not about the repetitiveness of the soundtrack, which we could easily overlook. It's about how annoying everything feels when you're trying to have fun becoming the next Saitama and spending time with all the superheroes you love and admire.

Spending hours upon hours in this messy RPG just so you can go online and fight against other people using your favorite One Punch Man characters is not our idea of quality gameplay, especially when there are a lot of useless mechanics that fail to keep you entertained.

The fighting is OK, simple enough to make it accessible to everyone but nothing otherwordly when compared to other similar games. You can block, you can dash, you can jump, and you can chain some punches and kicks for a nice combo. When it comes to special attacks, you only need to press 2 buttons to unleash a "devastating" move, the same you can spam to beat every other enemy once you're good enough to run away and charge your special meter without being hit. To be fair, customizing your character's fighting style and killer moves is a nice touch, but that's not really groundbreaking.


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review
While some battles are really enjoyable and challenging, some others are just too easy. The RPG segments, however, feel like an experiment to test your patience, with the most tedious and shallow gameplay mechanics. For us, the biggest problem with One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is that the game does nothing to make you love the characters, and more often than not, you'll want to fight on your own and forget about the rest.

At first, making you fight—and survive— against seemingly invulnerable monsters until Saitama arrives, feels like an unusual gimmick... but that's it. The more enjoyable fights are the ones that you can actually win using your character, even if you need to play really well to stand a chance. After more than a hundred hours with the game, it's nice to finally go online with our fine-tuned hero and our favorite characters from the anime and manga... but how long will it be before we get bored? Only time will tell!

Honey's Pros:

  • From the legendary Saitama to the most random heroes and villains, all your favorite characters from the manga and anime are here!
  • A lot of customization options, and even a housing feature, because why not?

Honey's Cons:

  • Lackluster gameplay mechanics.
  • A lot of quests are too short, or too repetitive.
  • Welcome to the Hero Association. We hope you like loading screens!

Honey's Final Verdict:

You really, really, really must love One Punch Man if you’re willing to spend 60 bucks on this game… otherwise, stay away from it. There are better RPG games, and more importantly, a lot better fighting games!
one_punch_man_game_splash-560x315 One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows - PC (Steam) Review

Editor/Writer

Author: Rod Locksley

Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...

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