Anime fans know all too well how heated discussions over crossover battles can get. Can anyone beat Naruto? Is Goku the strongest Super Saiyan? What would happen if these two iconic characters clash?
While we're often left to our own devices to imagine these things - there's a whole YouTube series on it, even - Bandai Namco is finally making it possible to let you figure it out in video game form. That's thanks to Jump Force, a new fighting game that features popular anime characters from the Weekly Shonen Jump manga publication. Let's jump right into everything you need to know about it!
What's new with Jump Force?
We'll periodically update this article when Bandai Namco reveals new information about Jump Force that we think you'll want to know, so check back every so often to get the full scoop on the upcoming anime fighter.
February 3, 2019 — Full game won't have direct friend invites
The Jump Force beta has wrapped up, and everyone has had a chance to let some elements of the experience settle. One element that has gotten a lot of attention this go around is that it's impossible to invite friends directly into a lobby. In the beta, players had to find their friends in the 3D shared world in order to set up games. This doesn't stop you from playing with your friends, but it does make the process more annoying than it needs to be.
Unfortunately, it appears this is by design, and Bandai Namco is planning to employ this system for the launch of the full game. This system works similarly to the way it works in Dragon Ball FighterZ, where players first have to enter a hub world and then join up with their friends manually by finding custom lobbies in specific servers.
Despite the annoyance, Jump Force seems to be making fairly good impressions on those who have tried the beta. While many pro players aren't confident in its ability to penetrate the competitive scene, it should be a fun overall game that anime fans of all skill levels can enjoy. Look forward to its launch on February 15.
January 23, 2019 — New beta schedule arrives
Bandai Namco has announced the new beta schedule for Jump Force. The company has added one extra session and has also extended each session to five hours. Here's when you can play.
- January 31: 7PM to 12AM Eastern
- February 1: 10AM to 3PM Eastern
- February 1: 11PM to 4AM Eastern
These times cover a good portion of a whole day, so be sure to plan ahead if you're eager to try it out. With that announcement, Bandai Namco has also made a bevy of new character announcements over the past few days, all from the Naruto universe. Look forward to playing as series favorites Boruto, Gaara, Kakashi, and Kaguya, all of whom wield tremendous power.
Jump Force's release date is still on for February 15, and you'll be able to play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
January 11, 2018 — Jump Force open beta announced
The Jump Force beta has been announced! It will run from From January 18, 2019 and concludes Sunday, January 20. As is often the case with Japanese fighting games, the beta period won't be contiguous. It'll instead feature multiple short windows of time, likely so Bandai Namco can get a better idea of how its servers perform under load. Here's the full schedule:
- Friday, January 18th at 4:00am – 7:00am PST
- Friday, January 18th at 9:00pm – 12:00am PST
- Saturday, January 19th at 8:00am – 11:00am PST
- Sunday, January 20th at 12:00pm – 3:00pm PST
There will be 17 playable characters and the action can take place on five different maps, including Mexico, Namek, Matterhorn, Hong Kong, and New York. Thankfully, there are no hoops to jump through (sorry, we had to) in order to play, as this is an open beta. Just wake up on the morning of January 18 ready to play. We'll update this post with a download link once it's been made available.
December 21, 2018 — New characters confirmed, story trailer arrives
A bundle of new info for Jump Force has fallen onto our desk. It starts with a brand new trailer. Dubbed Jump Festa, the trailer's primary focus is to establish the story of this game's universe, as well as give us our first glimpse at the avatar creation feature.
The trailer doesn't reveal too much, but we now know that the "Jump Force" is the name of a collection of heroes from your favorite anime, and their purpose is to fight back against no-gooders looking to invade the human world. Despite being the all-powerful entities they are, they still need help from you. You'll create your own hero complete with a unique look and your favorite fighting moves to fight back against the threat.
With that, the latest addition to the Jump Force roster has also been announced. Look forward to the arrival of Izuku Midoriya, the first character confirmed for the popular manga and anime series My Hero Academia, also known as Boku No Hero in Japan.
Hero fans may know him as Deku, a young student who caught the attention of the legendary hero All Might. Deku was born without a Quirk, something that any legit hero needs to have as a Quirk is essentially the root of their power. Thankfully for him, All Might passed down his quirk One for All, which stores the power of all those who have ever used it.
It'll be interesting to see how his abilities are represented in Jump Force. To see the full updated list of characters, just click here.
July 23, 2018
Surprising no one, everyone's favorite Bleach characters will be jumping into the fray. Bandai Namco has announced that Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, and Sosuke Aizen will be playable characters in Jump Force.
The company also revealed a new Hong Kong stage where these characters will battle it out. These stages are meant to blend locations in the Shonen Jump world with real-world locations. You can get a glimpse of the Hong Kong stage in the screenshot above.
What is Jump Force?
Jump Force is an anime lover's dream. Nostalgic feelings of those Saturday mornings you spent watching Goku charge up his powers for 8 episodes of Dragon Ball Z or Naruto finally getting a handle on his nine-tailed fox rush through your veins. You live for those anime fights.
And until now, those anime fights were mostly contained within their own universes. Now you can bring these characters into the same fighting game and have them battle it out for real.
For now, we know that Jump Force features characters from four popular anime and manga series. Those would be Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Death Note. You'll be able to fight with various popular characters from those series, with Naruto and Sasuke from Naruto, Goku and Frieza from Dragon Ball Z, and Luffy and Zoro from One Piece being confirmed.
Ryuk and Light Yagami from Death Note are confirmed as in-game characters, however, it's noted that they won't be playable. We're not sure what sort of role they'll have in the game. They could be support characters that you call on to help you during battle, but there has been no specific mention of their exact intent.
The characters emerge with a high degree of detail and a mouth-watering graphical art style. It's weird to see some of these characters in 3D for the first time - the 3D version of Luffy, for instance, felt like a big shock - but Bandai Namco has seemingly done an excellent job with character modeling to make each character feel familiar. It's also impressive how cohesive everything looks despite these characters coming from vastly different styles of animation and art.
Jump Force is a 3vs3 Tag Battle fighting game played on a circular 3D plane akin to the Naruto Storm games, meaning you will select an opening fighter and two other characters to be tagged in at any time during a fight. Curiously enough, all three of your fighters share the same health bar, so tagging fighters in is less about extending your health pool and more about allowing you to pull off cool tag team combos or managing matchups.
To that end, Jump Force won't be difficult for anyone to get into. Early gameplay shows that it's an approachable fighting game. You can button mash and pull off some meaty combos if you're not big on learning the intricacies of fighting game mechanics. Each face button on the controller can be mashed to pull off different moves.
That's not to say there won't be an opportunity for more engaging combat, though. Advanced mechanics such as tag juggling and a special meter will give more serious players an edge, though it doesn't look like it'll be so much of an edge that a newcomer will feel oppressed.
Some may write Jump Force off for that reason, and that's fine. But it's clear that Bandai Namco found it important to let even the most casual anime fan enjoy this rare mashup game.
All confirmed characters so far
Jump Force is the dream game for anime and manga enthusiasts who often wonder how certain fights would go between characters from different universes. Here's a full list of the characters confirmed for the game so far.
You'll see names from One Piece, My Hero Academia, Naruto, Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter, Bleach, Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh, Fist of the North Star, City Hunter, Rurouni Kenshin, and Black Clover. Without further ado...
- Monkey D. Luffy
- Roronoa Zoro
- Boa Hancock
- Izuku Midoriya
- Naruto Uzumaki
- Sasuke Uchiha
- Boruto Uzumaki
- Kakashi Hatake
- Kaguya Ōtsutsuki
- Yusuke Urameshi
- Younger Toguro
- Gon Freecss
- Killua Zoldyck
- Hisoka Morow
- Ichigo Kurasaki
- Rukia Kuchiki
- Sosuke Aizen
- Renji Abarai
- Pegasus Seiya
- Dragon Shiryu
- Yugi Moto (With the Duel Monsters Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl and Slifer the Sky Dragon)
- Ryo Saeba
- Himura Kenshin
- Shishio Makoto
When can you play it?
Jump Force is scheduled to launch February 15, 2019. It'll be available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC once it finally arrives. You can pre-order the game at Amazon.com right now for $59.99.
Be sure to keep it tuned here for further updates about the game as we're sure to learn more about the roster, fighting mechanics, and pre-order bonuses as we inch toward release.
Updated February 2019: Added news about Jump Force's controversial lobby system.
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