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One Punch Man: World review – “A world of superhero action!”

One Punch Man started as an obvious joke about how some superheroes are just too strong, with weaknesses so obscure that writers have to dig their way down just to get out of that corner. It reportedly started as doodles on napkins and quickly gained popularity to be commissioned as an official manga series, which was then turned into a popular action-packed comedy anime. It has been taken another step further due to the efforts of Perfect World working with Crunchyroll, bringing us One Punch Man: World. Here, you can experience the 3D world of One Punch Man, where you can run around as recognizable heroes and fight monsters.

What is One Punch Man: World?

Saitama knocking someone to outer space

The plot of One Punch Man is simple: there are cities continuously ravaged by crime and monsters, and there are government-funded heroes who have to fight against them. The plot of One Punch Man: World is just as simple, deviating a bit from the main storyline seen in the show. Although Saitama (the titular One Punch Man) is the main and playable character, the game focuses more on the heroes who aren’t capable of killing world-ending threats in one punch. It follows their attempts to get stronger by working in teams, going on patrols to protect the city, and participating in hyper-realistic training simulators against powerful monsters. It’s time to one-punch in for your shift.

A whole One Punch Man World to see

Girl holding a nunchaku

Even if you’ve never so much as gazed upon an image of One Punch Man, the content is easily digestible. One Punch Man: World introduces the key elements of the title right from the start and in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming. This is impressive considering the sheer scale of the game. This is a full 3D action-adventure game that is split into three main areas: The Hub, the Cities, and the Battles. It might sound like little, but it’s how you interact with these areas that make them feel big. A lot of effort has gone into rendering all of the areas down to the smallest details, which help immerse you into the (One Punch Man) World (hah).


Now, we’ve got to talk about the combat. This is a game about heroes fighting evil, so the combat is going to play a big role. First off, the details translate well from the exploration scenes to the combat scenes without dips in quality. You could say that the battle scenes are even more detailed with all the flashy attack animations and hit effects to bring across that over-the-top anime flair. It feels good to hit targets, but the game commits to the lore of the universe in that many of the big villains barely register your heroes as a nuisance. This drives you to master all the moves and combos so that you make a real impact on the enemy.

This brings up the amount of work that’s gone into making each hero feel different. Other hero-based mobile games have so many interchangeable heroes it’s like they’re all copying off each other’s exams. But this game not only introduces some of the most recognizable heroes from the series, but also brings their unique talents into combat. Every hero controls differently, with their unique skills influencing how they interpret the standard actions of attack and dodge. You also get access to a training mode so that you can master your favourites should they ever need to step up to the plate.

A One Punch Man World of difference

Knee punch in One Punch Man World

This is a pretty huge game and it would take quite a long time to cover everything in it, but some problems can be seen right from the start of One Punch Man: World. The biggest one is that there is so much meta-content that you’re going to need a planner just to keep track of it all. The moment you get something new (which can happen every few minutes), make sure you take a moment to memorize its appearance and name so that you can try to figure out what its form is, whether you want it, and how hard it is to get it. There are so many UI screens – it’s like wading through a warehouse of Marvel-movie floating holograms.

Then there’s the issue of how combat plays out. There are times when you have just one target to worry about, and this is the golden hour. With one target, you can focus wholeheartedly on being fancy and creative with your combos while your teammates act as distraction fodder. When multiple enemies are introduced, button-mashing becomes the norm and earns a nomination for dominant strategy. As long as you can dodge and counterattack, you’re guaranteed to win while also playing it safe – not to mention that the timing of certain combos can be a bit too precise, while the particle effects make you wonder if you’re actually hitting the target or just swiping at their breath.

The One Punch Man World Tour

Three characters moving towards a flashy light

One Punch Man: World is a 3D action-adventure mobile game about training a team of Heroes for the Heroes Association to be a better team and better individuals. It has a lot of content and will throw you into flashy fights with gangs, along with huge bosses where you can flex the different skills of all the heroes in your roster. Of course, the flashy effects of button-mashing for safety can obscure the awesome nature of it all, while scrolling through the basic UI will make your head spin. But hey, no one said being a hero was easy, and it’s worth the effort so that you can keep fighting for this world…of One Punch Man.


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