My Hero One’s Justice 2, a direct sequel to 2018’s arena fighter from Gunslinger Stratos developer Byking, has arrived. I’ve played it; it’s pretty dope. There are a couple things about the My Hero One’s Justice series that stand out to me, and I was lucky enough to ask questions from the source. I got a chance to exchange some words with Aoba Miyazaki, a producer at Bandai Namco who was part of the My Hero One’s Justice 2 team. This was a cool opportunity to peek behind the curtain a bit, and we hope all you My Hero Academia fans have fun reading.
Lucas White, Siliconera: What’s the core gameplay philosophy for My Hero One’s Justice, now that it’s a series?
Aoba Miyazaki, Producer, Bandai Namco: The core gameplay philosophy for the My Hero One’s Justice series is to enable players to experience the “Quirks” – or superpowers – of their favorite characters and immerse them into the world of My Hero Academia! We also focused on allowing players to experience each character’s own version of “justice” with the Hero and Villain perspectives available in both games.
Byking is a relatively new development company and has mostly worked on arcade games–what led to this partnership for My Hero?
Miyazaki: We were impressed by Byking’s development skills and their passion for creating great games, which can be seen in games such as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (arcade game) – which President Shinichiro Obata developed – and Gunslinger Stratos – which had been developed by Byking.
When My Hero One’s Justice was kicked off, we wanted to create an exceptional anime game. We were looking for a partner that excelled at producing high-quality games and at that moment, our development timing matched up with Byking’s timing, so we asked Byking to develop the game knowing that they were qualified and fulfilled our requirements.
Because of the quality delivered by Byking, the first My Hero One’s Justice game became popular, so we were able to release a serialized game.
What kinds of lessons were learned from the first My Hero One’s Justice that have been a part of the sequel’s development?
Miyazaki: We appreciate the feedback and requests from players of the previous title and have worked on many of those requests. We truly hope players come back to have more fun in My Hero One’s Justice 2 to check out the new improvements!
As for other updated features, we received many requests asking us to improve the loading times on the Nintendo Switch and to improve the network functions, which we have addressed in My Hero One’s Justice 2. This will enable customers to play the game for a longer time and have a smoother experience.
In North America, games based on things like TV shows and movies are often seen as low quality work. Only relatively recently have IP-based video games found both critical and commercial success. Yet, games based on anime and other Japanese IP have had fanbases for a long time, even leading to fans finding ways to get around region locking and other hurdles to play them. Is the perception of this kind of work in Japan significantly different?
Miyakazi: The IP games that [Bandai Namco Entertainment] has recently released are very popular in Japan. We have been improving the quality of IP games by taking the IP more seriously in order to eradicate the negative stigma that IP based games sometimes carry.
We would like to create a game that enables players who don’t know the IP to learn about the IP through playing the game. Our mission is to create a game that all players can enjoy. To achieve this, we would like to create a game that doesn’t excessively rely on the original work’s reputation but simply attracts people with high-quality gameplay. A higher quality game also enables players to further immerse themselves in the world of the original work.
My Hero Academia has all kinds of cool powers, but the characters with the most screen time in action scenes (Deku and All-Might) mostly fight with their bodies. What are some of the best ways to make punches and kicks interesting when making a fighting game?
Miyazaki: We believe that players can truly experience the Quirks (superpowers) of the characters in My Hero Academia in My Hero One’s Justice 2 because of the effort and effects we put into each character through their movements in battle, emotions, and how they confront enemies.
In My Hero One’s Justice 2, there are new stages and characters that mirror the places and characters from the anime story. We look forward to seeing players try out the “Quirks” of each character in conjunction with some of the new elements in My Hero One’s Justice 2, such field destruction, and how it can affect the battle.
I personally recommend players check out the stage modeled after a commercial district in Osaka!
How did you determine who was added as a character in My Hero One’s Justice 2? Was there anyone you wanted in the game, but had to leave out?
Miyazaki: Characters were chosen based on the story, balance between the Heroes and Villians, and customer requests. Among characters, Minoru Mineta and Mina Ashido were chosen because they were highly requested.
As the game sits today, it has all characters we wanted to implement in My Hero One’s Justice 2. Byking has also put tricky Quirks into the game in a very attractive way.
Thanks for your time, Mr. Miyazaki! After enjoying both My Hero One’s Justice games and watching people play Gunslinger Stratos at conventions in a mix of awe and fear, Byking is definitely a studio I’ll be paying attention to.
My Hero One’s Justice 2 is available now for the Nintendo Switch, the PS4, the Xbox One, and the PC.