There’s a new One Punch Man fighting game on the way from Bandai Namco and Spike Chunsoft, and if you’re at all familiar with the anime (or its manga source material), that phrase should throw up an immediate red flag. Saitama’s whole deal is that he can beat anything with a single punch! That’s the whole show! How do you make a fighting game around that without A) making a game that is laughably easy/unbalanced, or B) betraying the most basic concept of the series?
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows aims to get around this problem by being even more faithful to the source material. Saitama retains his indomitable strength, but as is the case in the anime, his general malaise and boredom with hero work balance things out. If you’ve got Saitama on your team, your other two characters will have to hold off the enemy fighters long enough for Saitama to arrive, at which point he effortlessly decimates the opposing team. Saitama’s arrival timer can be shortened by performing cool combos, or by successfully activating a “Perfect Guard,” which the below trailer doesn’t really explain.
With the information currently available, it’s hard to tell if Saitama is available in whatever multiplayer modes this game ends up having. The video’s Youtube description calls this “Free Battle Mode,” but doesn’t specify if the player is fighting against the CPU, or another human. It would be highly unconventional — and hilarious — to make a gimmick character as powerful as Saitama legal in versus modes, so I really, really hope that’s the case.
And with all due respect to Spike Chunsoft, I don’t think anyone is expecting One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows to be a serious fighting game for serious fighting game people, destined for the main stage at EVO 2020 or whatever. Spike Chunsoft’s development history is extremely diverse, and while it does include fighting game-adjacent titles like Jump Force and Fire Pro Wrestling World, people don’t think of Spike Chunsoft the same way they think of, say, Dragon Ball FighterZ developer Arc System Works. And besides, this is One Punch Man we’re talking about. Having an unstoppable joke character like Saitama is kinda the whole point, right?
Of the other characters on offer, 12 have been announced, though the final figure remains uncertain. Saitama’s S-Class protege Genos (aka Demon Cyborg) is present an accounted for, as are other S-Class heroes, such as Kamikaze (aka Atomic Samurai), Tatsumaki (aka Terrible Tornado), and Bang (aka Silver Fang). Tatsumaki’s little sister Fubuki (aka Hellish Blizzard) is the roster’s only B-Class member, while bicycle-based C-Class hero Mumen Rider rounds out the bottom.
The rest of the list, at least for now, is populated by villains from the show’s first season: Vaccine Man, Deep Sea King, Carnage Kabuto, Mosquito Girl, and Boros. As the big baddie of One Punch Man‘s first (and best) season, Boros has yet to be shown in a playable form, but he does appear in all of the game’s marketing.
Here’s hoping that the series’ very best non-Saitama hero, Watchdog Man, makes some kind of appearance.