Jump Force sent shivers down my spine as it exploded anime/manga favorites into real world battles onto the big screen at Xbox’s last E3 presser. Holy shit, did the game look grand. While the actual fighting in the retail version of Jump Force often captures those same feelings with its joyously frantic and epic gameplay, the rest of 3D fighter as a whole is a dud.
Poor writing, cringeworthy dialogue, facial animations that make ME: Andromeda look spectac, bland story, lack of humor, horrific load times, a terrible lobby area that caused me to fall asleep many times in my search for someone with a story mission, weak stage areas just a touch better than My Hero’s One Justice, questionable art choices (your one chance at making an all-star manga game and you chose realism for character models…), and lack of female characters are all elements that made me wish I was watching anime rather than playing it.
Yes, toughguy, I know Jump Force is aimed at fans of Shōnen, but let’s be real here; the originally defined genre of “boys 12-18” aren’t reading anything without an electronic device unless forced by a classroom setting. How many weebs under 30 do you know have interest in this game? Thought so… In the end, Bandai Namco’s Jump Force is a Fairy Tale of two titles — one fun on the gameplay side with some incredible, eye-catching special ability cutscenes, and another, lacking.. everywhere else. If you’re a huge manga reader who doesn’t care to try the game’s seemingly endless and ultra bland story mode (that omits voice acting in arguably its most important scenes) and is OK with the dream 6-man tag scenarios of heroes like Sasuke, Roronoa Zoro & Ichigo vs. Deku, Kenshiro, & Trunks, then this game is for you. Happy 50th, Weekly Shonen Jump! 2.75/5 Bibles.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. If you stopped playing The Division before the major patches and never touched the game again, you’ll be in for a shock. While the core gameplay has not changed (3rd person cover). Everything else has, to how armor works, to your healthbar, to even your abilities and supers. It’s streamlined, intelligent, and — best of all, Bungie — makes sense.
There were many problems that plagued the original Division. Some of which were …
- End Game Activities were basically bulletsponge bosses and higher level gear only found in a PvP mode called The Dark Zone.
- The amount of teamkills and spawn kills, cause of the search for better gear in the Dark Zone.
- The Communication with the Community or lack there of, really hurt the game.
In December of 2017, the company behind The Division (Massive Entertainment) patched a lot of the game. They added many new areas and added new activities. They also fixed a significant portion of the game, but because a lot of the issues were baked into the game engine. They were only able to do so much. But what they did change.. changed the game entirely.
This time, the game is set in Washington DC. It’s not as large as NYC, but the shooting lanes are a lot wider. Which gives the player a lot more options as far as flanking and avoiding certain battles. Also, it’s not set in the dead of Winter (sometime in Spring), so the scenery isn’t bleak and monotone. No, DC is freaking vibrant! Green shrubs abound, water e’rwhere, and something called a Sun. Just like Division 1 … day and night are a thing and so are thunderstorms. Try and have a firefight with a bunch of baddies named Hyenas with a downpour, lightning (REAL LIGHTENING! POWERTHIRST!), and dense fog. Yeah it sucks but awesome at the same time, because they could not see me either.
Can you modify gear? Sure. Can you craft gear? Yes! Is it confusing like Division 1? Unsure. The beta only allowed us to modify the abilities, simplified similar to Destiny 2. At the same time, the changes also felt like you had more options, unlike D2. Four Drones (only allowed to unlock two), three seeker mines (1), and four turrets (2). They also kept the outfit customization. But let’s get to the brass tacks here. The gear itself is like O.G. Division. Randomly rolled, but the perks are way better and show actual percentages (ARE. YOU. FREAKING. LISTENING. BUNGIE!)
Now, if you are in a Dark Zone (PvP area), you can equip it right away; no more extracting it! Only super high level gear will you have to do this (sadly the Beta does not drop the Super High Level). The mods really didn’t mean much, but now? They actually do. they just don’t boost stats, they add perks to the gun; add Mod X for extra damage, etc.
Division 1 just like Destiny 1 had a major overhaul midway through it’s lifecycle. In return, the game improved and gave the fan base hope. But unlike Destiny 2, The Division 2 looks to be building on top of the original and, in fact, fixes a lot of the undercarriage that flawed the first game. 4.75/5 Bibles.