One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows Game Poster Image
Fun but flawed cartoon brawler based on anime series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Based on One Punch Man anime series. You fight against enemies in this cartoon brawler, but there are no real messages shared.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You get to customize your male or female character in a myriad of ways, but missions and combat are the same regardless. Not much backstory. You're looking to become a superhero to fight against evil -- which isn't bad -- but you use violence to accomplish goals.

Ease of Play

Game is easy to control and doesn't have a steep learning curve. It will take some practice to master chained attacks and combos to be successful in fights.

Violence

With focus on combat, this game lets players punch, kick, and use weapons (like swords and energy blasts) to deplete an opponent's life meter. Blood appears in two cutscene sequences -- a bloody nose, and green liquid coming out of alien villain -- but no blood during combat, no gore.

Sex

Some insect-like enemies have exaggerated-size breasts and/or outfits that expose large amounts of cleavage. Some sexually suggestive comments like "There's more than a French kiss in store for you" and "This is all that pervert's fault."

Language

Words like "ass" and "bastard" can be heard in dialogue.

Consumerism

No cross-promotion, but game is based on One Punch Man animated television series and manga webcomic. There is also a "Season Pass" DLC (downloadable content), with extra content and bonus characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is an action and fighting game based on the Japanese anime and manga series for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players customize a character and engage in tag-team fights against villains in 3D arena-style environments. There's a lot of violence, as players will use fists and feet to defeat enemies, as well as weapons (like swords) and magic blasts. Some blood can be seen in some cutscenes. The game has some female (but nonhuman) characters with exaggerated breasts (or very revealing outfits) and some mild profanity (words like "ass" and "bastard").

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What's it about?

Based on the manga webcomic and popular anime television series, ONE PUNCH MAN: A HERO NOBODY KNOWS is a 3-on-3 action-fighting game hybrid, where players form teams to take on an opposing team. If they choose to play as Saitama -- the main superhero from the One Punch Man universe who can defeat any opponent with a single punch -- the other characters must survive long enough against enemies for Saitama to arrive through the Hero Arrival mechanic. Many other familiar characters are in the game, as well, including Hellish Blizzard, Vaccine Man, Mosquito Girl,Terrible Tornado, and more. But you spend most of your time playing as a custom character (with a variety of choices in face, body, and clothing options) who wants to become a superhero. Depending on your character's abilities, you'll use melee weapons (like a bat or sword), magic attacks (like energy blasts), and, of course, punches and kicks, to defeat human and nonhuman enemies in a variety of locations. As you'd expect, your goal is to deplete the life meter of enemies -- especially through chained moves and combo attacks -- and finish them with a knock-out move in slow motion for dramatic effect.

Is it any good?

This somewhat fun (and funny) game excels in some areas and falls short in others. Only major fans of the franchise will appreciate the faithful attention to detail present in One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows. The combat is fun and has some depth to it: Button-mashing will only get you so far. You'll enjoy the wide selection of characters to choose from, along with nine different fighting styles (called "Battle Modes"). In light RPG (role-playing game) fashion, these fighting styles can be upgraded during normal missions, along with extra quests you'll unlock. It's cool to try to stave off tough opponents until you see your backup help arrive, running to the scene in a picture-in-picture window with a countdown timer.

But most of the noncombat elements of this third-person game are somewhat lame, like roaming around town, talking to characters, and unraveling more of the story. It's also repetitive. The only exception, perhaps, is decorating your own apartment, which is fun. As you can tell, this game is a bit of a mixed bag. Same goes for the graphics: The fighting scenes are nicely animated, and overall the cel-shaded graphics looks very close to the television show, but the cutscenes look dated, with awkward or stiff animation. There's also a multiplayer mode, for both local play and online, with several options, but this game's mostly focused on the single-player story mode, which should last you 10 to 12 hours. If you're a huge fan of the anime series and are looking for a decent brawler to pass the time, you might get something out of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows. But for everyone else, there are simply much better action and fighting games to consider.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows affected by the inclusion of blood in some cutscenes? Is this necessary for the story, or could it have been left out?

  • Would One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows be any less desirable if it didn't have female characters with disproportionately large breasts? Why include that in the game? Is this more accurate to the anime series? Why do you think characters are shown like this?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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