All Might? More Like All Right
Console games, feature films, even officially licensed ramen bowls. The undeniable success of the anime My Hero Academia finally reaches the mobile market. My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero is the latest attempt to convert the smash-world of Honei City’s heroes into an interactive experience. Boasting impressive 3D-rendered scenes from the show and recaps from the show’s plot, this game appears exciting on the surface. Despite this, several critical hang ups prevent it from becoming the virtual adaptation that fans want.
At the most basic level, MHA: The Strongest Hero is an action RPG with light MMO elements. After receiving a recap of significant story events from the anime, players get word from pro-hero All Might that they are now working as Pro Agents. You receive protagonist Midoriya as a starter and learn how to coach him against waves of powered up villains. Action commands are standard for the genre, with assigned taps on the side of the screen. Throughout your playtime you unlock more characters through gacha-style mechanics, powered mostly through microtransactions.
Combat sections are incredibly fun and seem rewarding for the first few chapters of play. Afterwards, though, things start to get stale quickly. Enemies feel extremely similar, even when new types are introduced. While each character does have their own set of moves and combos, they don’t feel incredibly unique after a while. They blend together from of an oversaturation of tutorials, all sounding identical after a time. Put simply: the game feeds too much information into players to give each feature its due. Then, before you know it, you’re asked to implement every piece of it simultaneously at the risk of another abundance of tutorial windows.
More Of the Same
In addition to the sheer number of tutorials, the systems they present also feel meticulously excessive at best. There are several different types of in game currency, all unlocking different things in hard to keep track of menus. The UI in general is a huge mess of notifications and jumbled wording that distracts more than focus and promote activities in-game. For example, when in the training mode, you need separate components to improve specific stats and equipment. Each of these pieces or currencies are found through different daily log-in rewards or play modes. If there was a simplification of these tokens and tickets, the app would be a lot more palatable. Unfortunately, their affluence is just a way to feign actual in-depth gameplay to cover up for the thin combat and online sections.
Regarding MMO elements, any direct online interaction is primarily through whichever server you’re assigned to at initial launch. There is a chat function in the main hub and some other players’ set character will appear around yours where you receive quests. That’s about it. Even your co-op battles are completely automated and require no input from players, other than starting matches with comparable stats. This leaves these sections feeling half-baked and put in to give the impression of variety without actual gameplay influence.
My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero is very promising in its packaging. Its visual and audio appeal to any fans of the hit anime, bringing in players. Still, once you break it open, there is little to do that doesn’t feel like a chore or a memory exercise. Instead of compounding tutorials in a more palatable way, it feels like you’re being turned around intentionally to convince you to spend money on upgrades and heroes to make the experience easier. This feels extremely predatory, especially because of its integration with a well-known property. If you’re looking for a better way to get into the world of My Hero Academia, you’re better off just sticking with the show. Or the ramen bowl.
Is it Hardcore?
My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero plays it safe by putting on the appearance of in-depth content while just feeling repetitive and garbled. The saturation of menus and offers for in-game purchases cover up what could be a much more enjoyable action title. Unfortunately, the actual substance just isn’t enough for extended play.