One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows puts you squarely in the center of all the troubles facing heroes in the world of One Punch Man. You’re a hero yourself, perhaps that titular hero nobody knows, eh? It primarily goes through the beats of Season 1 of the anime. It is a game first and foremost, so let’s see how it plays!
At first glance, you can tell they try to mimic the style of the anime. It has its high and low points, however. For one, it gives off a familiar feel as you feel that, ah yes, this is indeed One Punch Man with the crew looking like they do in the animated series. It doesn’t quite flow as smoothly as 3D models compared to 2D animation, so the models can seem a little janky, which can be subjective, I understand.
For wanting to place the player in this world, it seems like a strange decision to not have your character voiced in cutscenes. This isn’t to say your character is mute though: they do have voice lines which they shout in battle.
The customization options in the game are amazing, however. Your hero can be any skin colour you want. Clothes, depending the piece, can have every individual part recoloured. Your hero character can equip up to 8 accessories, and you don’t even need to strictly place like, say, a clown nose on your character’s face. You can dot your character with 8 clown noses if you want!
You can also buy furniture pieces for your little room. Decoration consists of you buying a piece, rotating or placing them on a grid. Furniture nor your makeup escapades affect your hero’s stats or relationship with other characters in any way, so go as wild as you want. New character customization pieces and furniture unlock as you complete more missions and so forth.
The world in Hero Nobody Knows is a little on the compact side, as a nice quick tour of this world populated by equally wacky heroes and villains alike.
You can move around on the overworld, but there’s no option to speed up your running pace, and while you can jump, your character comes to a brief stop when they land. No jumping for speed running strategies here.
It’s marketed as an action fighting game, so if you’re a stranger to fighting games, it might be best for you to enter training mode to figure things out. You can equip up to four super moves. I don’t like the controls much, but it can differ from person to person depending on what you’re used to.
A lot of the game consists of you jogging around town. You can talk to the residents dotted around, and find side missions. Otherwise, you can get them from HQ. The latter Hero missions are the ones that raise your hero rank and are generally story missions. Some later missions do require you to do enough side missions to fulfill certain requirements, so don’t neglect the guys on the street!
However, this does mean the gameplay can get quite repetitive, as you rinse and repeat accepting missions, clearing them, and doing it all over again. Random heroes can come in and you can use them instead, but the controls are basically the same. The heroes that come in seem to be random and may bring in low level heroes from other players, for varying degrees of use. You CAN buy new skills for new options to keep things fresh as you run around town.
You can match with other people online, since it is a fighting game. However, the netcode in place can leave much to be desired if you want to battle and rank up. Avatar Battle, Ranked Battle, Team Battle and Free Battle are available for you to go head to head against another player. Free Battle is where you can just set up a room to fight a friend, with various options for you to tinker around, which can lead into Ranked.
Avatar Battle takes into account your hero stats, so you’d want to avoid that in the beginning. This mode can pull in other player heroes, also randomly. Team Ranked Battle lets you pick a party of three to the ladder. Saitama can be picked here, which might be odd considering how overpowered he is. When you queue up for online battles, it’s unfortunate you’re only allowed to access the training mode while you wait. It would’ve been fun to chat up the NPCs, maybe see them wish you good luck as you go on your way.
Battles in the main game can occasionally have random power-ups you can pick up to change the tide of battle. This can also occur in online battles, which you can turn off if you set up a room.
Speaking of Saitama, he will come fashionably late if you do have him in your team. Once he does arrive, he will take no damage and does defeat regular bosses in one hit. Brush up on your techniques or show Saitama you can defeat the boss without him!
It’s a shame there isn’t more spice to the gameplay, but for fans, you can hear your favourite voice actors reprise their roles in the game to look forward to! Go make the hero of your dreams, and spend some time in a slice of this colourful world.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
A spot of heroic daydreaming
- Customization can go absolutely wild and fun
- Fans can enjoy being a self-insert in a series they like
- Gameplay gets repetitive
- Odd design decisions take away from what could've been an immersive story experience
Not-enough punch man