Some anime series can make a huge impact on the world of games. They find an audience, people identify with the characters and, the next thing you know, a company like Bandai Namco is releasing titles based on it. My Hero Academia is pretty much already stepping into that role. Some games have been released. Bandai Namco is on it. They’re even being localized! Which means now is the perfect time to start learning about this new breed of superheroes.
What is My Hero Academia about?
You know how, overseas, we grew up with Marvel’s X-Men? People read about the school for gifted youngsters, where various people were mutants with all kinds of special powers? Except there were also opposite groups of mutants with their own abilities and agendas?
Well, keeping that concept in mind will help you start to get the gist of what’s going on in My Hero Academia. Except, instead of people with superpowers being rare, they’re very commonplace. Supposedly about 80% of the population has a “Quirk.” This means the government began regulating Quirks, and only people schooled and classified as Pro Heroes are able to use their abilities to aid in certain situations and officially fight people classified as villains.
My Hero Academia follows the life of a young man named Izuku Midoriya. He doesn’t have a Quirk, but always wanted to be a hero. When he risks his own life to save someone who had bullied him, Katsuki Bakugo, from a supervillain, the hero All Might passed his Quirk, All for One, onto him. Now that he does have a special ability, Izuku takes on the moniker Deku and attends U.A. High School in the hopes of becoming a Pro Hero. Antics ensue. The anime and manga are available worldwide.
So there are My Hero Academia games out now?
Yup! There are a few major games available, though only one has been released outside of Japan. You can also find characters from the series in a crossover fighter. China also has two new mobile games on the way, My Hero Academia Mobile and My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero.
My Hero Academia: Clash! Heroes Battle (Arcade, 2016)
Here’s a game that, well, you’ll probably never get to play. This is one of those collectible card arcade games that require people to pick up physical cards for different characters from the series, bring them to an arcade and use them on the cabinet to form teams of three to face off. It’s a neat idea and definitely capitalizes on there being lots of different characters with multiple variants, but is not at all import-friendly.
My Hero Academia: Battle for All (3DS, 2016)
On the other end of the spectrum, we have My Hero Academia: Battle for All! This is a much better option to play outside of Japan, provided you have a Japanese 3DS! It is a fighting game that covers up through the series’ fifth story arc, which involves the Sports Festival. If you have a general familiarity with the series, you should be fine. If you don’t, well, maybe you’ll just enjoy fighting as colorful superheroes? There are 14 playable characters.
My Hero Academia: Smash Tap (Mobile, 2017)
This is a Japanese mobile game that has you playing as different Pro Heroes in the making, where you tap it out against enemies to become stronger and complete objectives. Initially, it had action-RPG elements and longer battles.
In 2018, Bandai Namco issued a major update that completely changed the game. As such, it was renamed My Hero Academia: Smash Rising. The action-RPG elements aren’t really there, it’s more about quickly tapping through battles and there’s a relationship system to encourage you to use certain characters. It is still only available in Japan.
My Hero One’s Justice (PS4, Switch, Xbox One and PC, 2018)
Here’s the game every region got to play. My Hero One’s Justice has story modes for both the hero and villain sides, a mission mode and an arcade mode. It almost feels like it is designed to complement the 3DS game, as it only offers a brief overview of the early portion of the story, before picking up from the series’ sixth arc against the Hero Killer. It has 20 playable characters immediately available.
Jump Force (PS4, Xbox One and PC, 2019)
Jump Force is weird. It’s an odd crossover fighter where heroes from lots of Shonen Jump series all come to face off against a greater evil. The base game only has Deku representing My Hero Academia. However, DLC has brought All Might and Katsuki into the fight. Datamining suggests Ochaco Uraraka could end up being added to the roster too.
What about other My Hero Academia games?
You don’t have to have a console, handheld or phone to play My Hero Academia. The series has also received a card game! Which, well, is only available in Japan. But, My Hero Academia: Tag Card Game is out there. You play different characters in the battle area as your main characters and supports, then battle out to see who is the strongest and best. Starter decks focus on certain characters, like Izuru and Katsuki.