It’s fair to say that Jump Force had a pretty mixed reaction when it originally launched last year. Bringing together the worlds of Jump staples like Dragon Ball, Naruto and One Piece sounds like an awesome prospect but the repetitive gameplay, boring missions and lack of depth left a lot to be desired. There were some pretty cool fan service and some fun to be had with the character creator but that’s all that really made Jump Force: Deluxe Edition worth checking out.
With the Nintendo Switch port of Jump Force: Deluxe Edition all of that still stands true but it now plays and looks a little worse. For the Jump Force naysayers, this isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but for those who liked the original release, there’s definitely a novelty to seeing it all on a portable screen.
Jump Force: Deluxe Edition has you playing as a custom-created character who revived with an Umbras cube after an attack from Frieza and told that you’re now part of the Jump Force. From here the story is pretty uninteresting save from some of the genuinely funny interactions between the Jump heroes and villains. There are some moments where the promise of these characters coming together actually does shine through and for manga fans like myself, there are some things here that’ll make you smile. Beyond some of those little moments, the actual story here is really not worth talking about and is mostly told through exposition and text boxes.
The story is held together by your custom character and that’s arguably one of the best aspects of Jump Force: Deluxe Edition. The amount of customisation is pretty decent between the equippable gear and moves, but I wish that the base combos weren’t just the same as some of the main roster. It’s a decent enough custom character system but it pales in comparison to something like Xenoverse 2.
Whilst we’re on the topic of characters, let’s talk about the roster here. Jump Force: Deluxe Edition is a collection of over 40 different characters from the Jump universe and the selection here is genuinely impressive. You’ve got all of the usual characters like Goku and Naruto, but you’ve also got some of the JoJo cast and Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh. The only problem with these characters comes with the attempt at realistic designs which can make everything look like weird clay action figures.
Although the design has always been considered controversial, the Switch version does nothing to help the issues. The frame-rate always feels like it’s chugging, especially when you’re in the main hub area and when playing handheld I found everything looked incredibly blurry. Battles are made up of particle effects and large explosions which the Switch can’t really handle. Jump Force: Deluxe Edition is functional here but only just.
The technical issues would be fine if Jump Force: Deluxe Edition’s gameplay was really fun but unfortunately it’s very one-note and mindless. Combat has you using simple combo attacks and special moves to take on your opponents and besides how flashy it can look that’s all there really is to it. For the first few hours of play it can be fun, but that fun slowly turns to repetition as you complete the really uninteresting missions and do the same thing over and over again.
There’s simply not enough depth here and arguably the most unique thing is the shared health bar between each team. If you’re a big fan of these characters and upgrading your custom character then you might be able to look past the repetitive design but for everyone else there’s not a lot of reason to keep playing.
The pure spectacle of seeing all of the Jump characters together is cool for fans and the customisable characters and combat can be good fun at times but the repetition and boring missions means there’s simply not enough depth here to make continued play worth it.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment