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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jump Force is an anime/manga-based fighting game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. The game features characters from Japan’s long-running Jump manga magazine series, including characters from popular series such as Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and more. Teams of three fight against each other in 3D arenas, battling with a variety of melee and martial arts attacks, weapons, and superhuman/magic abilities. Violence is a focus of the game, with characters taking noticeable damage, including some blood, visible bruises, and rips in clothing. Voiceovers are presented in their original Japanese language with English subtitles. While there's no profanity in the game’s dialogue, the online component could still expose players to offensive language in party chat or player names. There are some revealing outfits, especially for female characters, and some light sexual references in dialogue.
What's it about?
Worlds collide in JUMP FORCE as the stars of Japan’s hit Jump manga anthology series leap off the comic page and strike out in the real world. A mysterious and malevolent villain has set its sights on conquering our world, causing the walls between dimensions begin to weaken and wear away. As our world and those of the Jump mangaverse bleed into each other, it creates a warped mix of fantasy and reality. The stakes have never been higher as the fate of humanity and of the multiverse lie with the courage and the power of the Jump Force, the greatest collection of heroes gathered from the entirety of the Jump manga anthology. It’s an epic team-up of massive proportions, as Dragon Ball Z’s Goku and Vegeta fights side by side with Naruto Uzumaki, and My Hero Academia’s Izuku Midoriya joins forces with Yu-Gi-Oh! Card master, Yugi Mutuo. Players can create their own custom fighter and take their dream team into large scale 3v3 combat in both local and online matches, proving to the world they’ve got what it takes to join the Jump Force and save the world.
Is it any good?
Big crossovers and surprising team-ups are common in the world of comic books, so when a game like this one comes along, it can be a dream come true if it’s done right. Thankfully, while it may not be perfect, Jump Force manages to hit all the main marks sure to satisfy the fandom. It’s got an insanely diverse roster of characters, from instantly recognizable series like Naruto and DragonBallZ to lesser known series like City Hunter or Saint Seiya. The customization option also lets players create their own fighter with moves from their favorite series. It makes the player feel like a part of the world the game has created and gives things a much more personal feel. Admittedly, the various cutscenes in the story can be extremely cheesy, but that’s almost part of the game’s unique charm.
Strip away that fandom and you’re still left with a fairly solid fighting game. The controls are simple enough to learn, but still maintain a degree of complexity thanks to its focus on timing. All of the characters’ moves feel relatively balanced, but still convey a superhuman sense of power. The large arenas can feel a little too spacious at times, with an ocean of empty space separating the fighters. The game also suffers from long loading times. Almost every option the player chooses brings up another loading screen. There’s also, oddly, no way to easily switch between online or offline play, forcing players to exit a game and reload to switch between modes. These are constant frustrations make it difficult to get any sort of flow going, but once the action kicks in, it’s hard to not have some good old-fashioned arcade beat ‘em up fun in Jump Force.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship and teamwork. What are some ways to develop strong and lasting friendships? How can a diversity of skills and talents help when teaming up and what are some of the ways that people of different walks of life can find common ground to work from?
Is the impact of the violence in Jump Force affected by super-powered, over the top violence from the comic books and manga that the game characters come from? How does that impact carry over to video games based on those books? Does it make a difference to see the action taking place in motion?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: February 15, 2019
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.