Friends, it’s been over two weeks since the release of Jump Force. It’s been played, laughed at, and forgotten. For good reason, as well. An incredibly simple reason, in all actuality.
The game sucks. Really badly.
The character models all look like absolute crap, as if they were plastic action figures sold by Chinese bootleg companies. The animations in the story mode are non-existent, with characters sliding around with no effort put behind it. The combat is an unholy combination of the Naruto: Ninja Storm games (which are good) and the Dragonball Xenoverse games (which are fun, but not very good) that quickly devolves into a mind numbing repetitive mess. It does have it’s upsides, like the hilarious character creator and genuinely nice particle effects, but all in all, the game is completely inept.
But the question is: was it doomed to fail from the beginning? No, of course not. Any idea has the potential to work when done well. Hell, we’ve had good Shounen Jump cross-over games in the past.
Well, Japan got ’em. We never got any of the good ones over here in the States. I’m not sure if anyone else did, though.
So how do we fix it? How do we take the Jump Force that we have now and make it better? Well, there are quite a few options available to us. In fact, it’s actually not to hard a fix, at least in theory.
This is one of the more obvious fixes, I know. But it needs to be said regardless.
The main issue (among many) is the lack of style each model has. Each character from different series is drawn in the totally different styles of the unique mangaka behind their stories. None of these styles blend well to the art style chosen in this game. So how do we make it work?
Simple. Instead of trying to put everyone in the same style, let’s construct each model in their own style. One that would better fit the series from which they came. For example. the Naruto characters could like as they do in the Storm games, and the Dragon Ball characters could be made in a similar style to their counterparts in Fighterz.
Would this take a lot of time, effort and money? Oh, fuck yeah! But the effort would be well worth it. It would give each character more identity, help them stand out among the crowd, and better represent the work of the creator behind that character. This would also help endear the fans to their beloved characters within this game, as well as possibly create interest for characters they aren’t familiar with.
Animate the damn thing. Moving on.
Number of Moves
One of the main things people want out of a game like this is to be able to do their favorite moves with their own character. This was one of Xenoverse’s strongest features. Almost any move in the series could be given to your character for your own use. And Jump Force offers a fair amount of moves to the player.
But the balance of them between the different series is horribly skewed. There are tons of moves from Dragon Ball, Naruto and the other old and long lasting series. But the more obscure series has far less available to the player. For example, one of the characters fights using guns. Can you use these guns to fight?
Nope. Fuck you. You can’t beat the hell out of Goku with a shotgun with your own dude. That’d only be too much fun.
Here’s the simple fix. If a character in the game can do a move, make it available to the player character. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense. No one cares about it making sense or not. By it’s very design, this game doesn’t make any sense.
Let me build my Ninja-Saiyan-Clown man. Then let me fight using One For All, the Gum-Gum Fruit and guns. Give the player complete and almost unrestricted control of what their character can do.
Players love having control of what they can do. Why do you think open world games are so huge? Or modding? Or just straight up hacking? There’s a reason Dungeons and Dragons is the most beloved tabletop game of all time! People love having as much freedom within the game as they can. Don’t try to fight it! Embrace it, and let them do what they want!
I have a hard time even being sad about Jump Force. Despite how I wanted to love this game, I couldn’t help but be skeptical right up until the release date. There’s enough there for people to like it, but not enough to make the game truly great. At the very least, it could have been a very fun and stupid cross over game.
Still, I have some hope for the future. If we were to get a follow up to this game, it could become something truly great. At least by Shounen Jump cross-over games standards.
If you love it, more power to ya. If you’ve already forgotten about it, I can’t blame you. Personally, I won’t be looking back on this game any time soon.
Especially since Devil May Cry 5 is only a few days away.