Bounce Drive ought to, in concept, be a slam dunk. Launched to have fun the 50th anniversary of Japan’s legendary Weekly Shonen Bounce journal, and bringing collectively over 40 of probably the most beloved manga and anime characters in historical past in a single grand crossover, this ought to be an occasion on par with Tremendous Smash Bros. The place else will you see Deku, Naruto, Goku, and JoJo all share the display? However there are some shocking ways in which Bounce Drive finally ends up faltering, and squandering its potential. There’s a very nice recreation buried someplace in right here—however Bounce Pressure isn’t it.
The first drawback is the story within the marketing campaign. This was all the time going to be tough—the narrative must justify all these extraordinary people from so many discrete universes all coming collectively in a single story, whereas respecting the principles that govern every character, whereas arising with a compelling cause for the participant to stay invested within the narrative and its motion as soon as the novelty of the crossover wore off, whereas by some means being coherent. Leap Drive is less than the duty of assembly all of these necessities and expectations. The story itself finally ends up being a reasonably generic one, with an bizarre youngster thrust right into a world the place all of those universes have collided, and slowly rising their very own powers to attempt to uncover the evil that’s behind this collision of worlds.
Past being generic, the story suffers enormously from being, in the long run, a narrative for a preventing recreation. Thus, it must provide you with contrivances for all of its forged to interact in brawls all too typically, and finally ends up having extremely odd pacing, together with an entire part close to the center the place actually nothing appears to occur. The precise story is the tropes of shonen tales made manifest, and whereas that is sensible given the sport and its supply materials, it doesn’t really feel like an homage as a lot because it feels lazy and predictable—particularly given the wealthy array of prospects that Bandai Namco might have provided given the canvas they’re working with.
“The one space the story does rather well, and this can be sufficient for lots of followers of the varied IP represented on this recreation to leap in, is the character interactions.”
The one space the story does rather well, and this can be sufficient for lots of followers of the varied IP represented on this recreation to leap in, is the character interactions. Bandai Namco have maintained the spirit and essence of every of the characters terribly properly, and their interactions really feel real and genuine, and extremely satisfying for very long time followers to see unfold. It’s only a disgrace that they’re typically shoved apart to make room for the subsequent generic contrivance to justify the subsequent battle.
The precise preventing system, opposite to the story, is extremely enjoyable, and arguably the sport’s largest power. Fight is extraordinarily straightforward to select up, however nuanced sufficient to maintain gamers engaged, and versatile sufficient to accommodate the extraordinary powers for each character on the roster. Each character comes with primary mild and heavy assaults (which you’ll be able to principally string collectively for auto-combos), in addition to 4 particular and distinctive strikes that you would be able to entry at any time by urgent the appropriate set off. Each character additionally will get dodges, dashes, grabs, and blocks, which can be utilized defensively to maneuver out of an incoming assault, or aggressively to bait the opponent into supplying you with a gap.
The entire system feels extremely nicely balanced, and also you get as a lot out of it as you set into it—theoretically, it’s potential to principally persist with your primary assaults and do properly (a minimum of in singleplayer; multiplayer does demand a greater grasp of the sport’s numerous mechanics), however the true pleasure of the sport, mechanically and aesthetically, comes from getting a grip over every character’s distinctive assaults, and becoming a member of them into a fantastic, unstoppable flowing dance of destruction that you simply dish out to opponents. In and of itself, the varied mechanics and checks positioned to stop abuse of every can really feel like sufficient to maintain every battle thrilling (and it’s), however the recreation goes one step additional by making every battle a 3v3 affair, throwing tag workforce mechanics into the combination. Understanding, then, simply tips on how to leverage the character switches, and help maneuvers, to your benefit, can add yet one more layer to think about into proceedings.
“The precise preventing system, opposite to the story, is extremely enjoyable, and arguably the sport’s largest power.”
The enjoyment of this technique is within the fan-service offered right here—it’s unimaginable to see a personality launch a combo, then change out and have one other favourite take their place and carry out a flashy signature assault, then change out and have a 3rd one end the match in fashion. Thus, even in single participant video games, the place you don’t have to truly leverage the complete vary of mechanics the sport offers you with, you are feeling incentivized to truly do it—it’s the most effective little bit of fan service within the recreation, notably given the disappointing of the story.
As disappointing because the story is is simply how it’s informed. For what must be a grand crossover affair, issues really feel distinctly low price range. A lot of the cutscenes lack voice appearing, and certainly, any character in any way, with characters simply standing there awkwardly and… speaking. Thei characters’ expressions by no means correspond to what’s happening, both, and whereas that is more likely to be some extent that may hassle only a few followers, there’s solely a Japanese dub out there.
What’s even worse is how the sport appears. I don’t fairly know what Namco or builders Spike Chunsoft have been considering right here, however the entire recreation appears extraordinarily discomfiting, with a 3D artwork fashion that merely doesn’t land, and makes every character veer uncomfortable near uncanny valley. The bizarre plasticky look ruins the central attraction of the sport, which is to see all these iconic characters come collectively and work together.
I perceive the problem confronted by the builders right here—One Piece, Dying Notice, Kenshin, Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Naruto, JoJo’s Weird Journey, Bleach, Yu-Go-Oh, and extra, all have very totally different and distinct artwork types, and making an attempt to juggle all of them collectively and match them in a single recreation whereas not making any of it conflict is a really troublesome, if not virtually unimaginable, ask of anybody. However whereas I don’t know what the right reply to the query is, I can very confidently state it’s not the one this recreation proposes—the one the place the life and distinct aesthetic of every property’s artwork type is sucked out, after which the whole lot is thrown right into a creepy, plasticky uncanny valley aesthetic that nearly evokes the Unreal Engine fan tasks that make the rounds on the web so typically, and often provoke nothing however unease from their viewers.
“The look of this recreation is a particularly necessary a part of its attraction—the entire level is seeing these iconic universes and characters collide and work together. When Leap Drive fails so basically at one thing so intrinsic to its core attraction, it undermines its very conceit.”
The look of this recreation is a particularly necessary a part of its attraction—the entire level is seeing these iconic universes and characters collide and work together. You need to see Goku preventing Ryuk, and also you need each to feel and appear like Goku and Ryuk. When Bounce Pressure fails so basically at one thing so intrinsic to its core attraction, it undermines its very conceit.
It’s an unimaginable disgrace that the sport fails so completely on the non-game elements, as a result of the precise enjoying half it has down so properly. It’s even jam full of numerous content material. There’s the aforementioned (and completely criticized) story mode, mission modes that put you in fights with stacked rulesets, and aggressive modes that may be performed singleplayer, regionally, and on-line. On-line play holds up extremely properly, with a ranked and unranked choice out there, and the precise netcode by no means failing to maintain up with the motion on display.
Like I stated proper originally, there was potential for Bounce Pressure to be actually nice. It might have been a serious crossover occasion that celebrated the historical past of its characters and the media they spawn from, and transcended its core attraction. As an alternative, it’s a really flawed recreation that fails at a few of the most elementary fundamentals, however nonetheless manages to be nice enjoyable, and supply sufficient worth and fanservice that followers of the varied properties from Shonen Bounce represented inside it can discover sufficient cause to get it. And that’s positive—I simply can’t assist however marvel if it couldn’t have been, you already know, extra.
This recreation was reviewed on the PlayStation four.
The preventing is extremely enjoyable, extremely diversified, and manages to offer plenty of fan service; character interactions within the recreation are nice; there’s an entire lot of worth within the recreation, with a variety of modes and characters on supply
The story mode is a dismal failure, feeling extraordinarily generic and contrived unexpectedly; the graphics of the sport are an uncomfortable tour into uncanny valley; storytelling falls brief, and feels distinctly low price range; no English dub (although this probably gained’t hassle most individuals who can be enjoying this recreation)
Bounce Pressure is a really flawed recreation that fails at a few of the most elementary fundamentals, however nonetheless manages to be nice enjoyable, and supply sufficient worth and fanservice that followers of the varied properties from Shonen Bounce represented inside it can discover sufficient cause to get it.
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