My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero – Review

My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero – Review

My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero is a recently released action-RPG, gacha-style mobile game, available on both iOS and Android. The game was originally released globally on the 19th May, 2021, and is being developed by Xin Yuan Studio, while being published by A Plus Japan.

Start of the Game

When you start the game, as to be expected, you’re greeted with a lovely little tutorial after watching the 10 minute intro cutscene. In this tutorial, it teaches you the basics of traversal through the hub area of the world, how to accept and accomplish missions, and of course, the main combat of the game. It will show you how to link your attacks and perform simple combo’s against opponents to teach you literally everything you could ever need to play the game from beginning to end.

Now, the main issue with this tutorial is that it lasts around 30 minutes before you are given the freedom to play the game at your leisure. The issue has nothing to do with loading screens or anything like that, but it’s more the fact that you need to tap through so much dialogue before you can even get through to the next tutorial mission. What makes this worse is that for every 2 minutes of actual gameplay you get to enjoy, you have about 5 minutes of dialogue to go through again. 

Thankfully, though, as you play through the tutorial and get through the first few sets of missions, you unlock 2 extra characters to add to your roster. While the characters you acquire definitely aren’t the highest-tier heroes available to you, they each have their own unique play-style in comparison to one another, which manages to keeps things fresh and unique for a while. On top of this, you’ll be rewarded with a few food items to help level-up your characters to a stronger level.

Free-to-Play or Pay-to-Play?

Now, while My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero does have a strong emphasis on what you can purchase in-game with micro-transactions; it doesn’t necessarily have to be the priority. For the most part, unless you’re looking to get the very best characters in the game, you won’t need to fork out any cash to enjoy yourself. One of the best F2P characters in the game is literally the character you start with: Deku and providing you enjoy his play-style, you’ve already got a great character to start with.

Unfortunately, though, there is definitely a pay-wall that gets hit after a little while. The main issue is the stamina system. This system is your standard affair, but when there is so much to choose from in terms of what you want to do, you end up only being able to do so much without having paid. 

On top of this, there’s also constant offers going on throughout the game and I don’t just mean event banners that rotate regularly. You will regularly be reminded of daily deals, weekly bonuses, and monthly bonuses, all of which can be purchased with real money. While the deals are easy enough to ignore, there are just so many that it can be a bit tedious to look at all of the time.

In terms of how it feels from a F2P perspective is not that great. The minute-to-minute gameplay of the combat has no issues with this, but the second you’ve ran out of stamina or come across some content that’s just a tiny bit too hard for you, the game will push its monetary packages your way to make life easier.

Overall Gameplay

MHA: The Strongest Hero has a pretty standard stamina system, which will require you to use a set amount with everything you do in the game. You’re allowed to explore the hub area of the city for free, but that’s not how you’re going to acquire any new upgrade materials for your favourite heroes. Whenever you level up it will reset the stamina amount to max, thankfully, so in the early game, you don’t have much to worry about, but it will become a problem eventuall.

In terms of stability, the game feels fantastic. There’s an option to choose between 30 or 60 FPS and different graphical settings, depending on how well you want the game to run on your chosen mobile device. It makes the game feel that much better to play, especially during the combat. 

One big problem with the game is the connectivity issues, though, involving PVP. From what I can tell, PVP is easily one of the best parts of the game, but it works so sporadically that it’s hardly worth the effort sometimes. It never feels consistently smooth, regardless of how good or bad your connection is.

When it comes to the visuals and sound design, the developers certainly did a great job with this one. The game looks fantastic, it sounds even better, and at no point did the My Hero Academia style and theme get overlooked.

The reward structure for the majority of the game is through simply playing the main story, collecting achievements, and grinding out the current events that pertain to your character’s progression. Unsurprisingly, though, gacha pulls will also help to build your character much quicker in terms of upgrades.

Game Modes

There are several game modes to pick and choose from in the game to keep things interesting, each with their own respective rewards:

  • PVP Arena: In PVP, you take a team of 3 characters and pit them up against another player’s team of 3 in a real-time PVP setting. The first to beat all 3 characters is considered the victor and as a result, will move up in rank on the PVP ladder.
  • Peacekeeping: Peacekeeping is your standard PVE gameplay, where you have to go to a certain area during a mission, beat up some enemies, and then defeat a final boss enemy, which is pretty much how all of the story missions go.
  • Agency Assessment: You and a team of 2 other players take on a floor of enemies, which progressively get harder the further up you get. Each week the buffs and debuffs for the floor change as well, to ensure nothing is ever that simple and is easily one of the best ways to get higher-tier gear.
  • Joint Operation: In joint operation, you team up with 2 other players in real time to defeat a standard operation mission, similar to peacekeeping, but with co-op. 
  • Super Co-Op Battle: With super co-op battle, you pick a team of 3 heroes and 3 characters to support them if you can, and watch as your team goes up against another players set team of 3. This is purely done through the AI, so the strongest collective team of 3 and their respective synergies are the winners.
  • Warzone Co-Op: In this one, it’s very similar to super co-op battle, except instead of just one team of 3 fighting just the once; you instead have a best 2 out of 3 scenario to see who has the best team. This game mode is only available at certain times of the month, however, and is not always available.
  • Boss Raid: With boss raid, you’re pitted up against a standard boss that has thousands upon thousands of health bars to whittle your way through. Depending on how much damage you manage to do and where you end up on the leaderboard, you will acquire higher rewards.

There are many different game modes to pick and choose from, many of which stem around the solid combat and gameplay you’re going to be sticking around for.

Personal Opinion

In my personal opinion, MHA: The Strongest Hero has a really strong and capable combat system, that is somewhat overshadowed by the heavy push of micro-transactions. This is partly in response to the energy system. Energy systems always result in the same problem of gate-keeping how much you can get out of the game at any one time, unless you plan on paying to refill your stamina. With this in mind, the game feels as if you should only play it in short bursts, just to ensure that you don’t tire yourself out with it quickly and get bored. 

In an ideal world, the energy system would either be removed or revamped so that you had more to do throughout the day. With just how limiting it feels, it really takes away from some of the enjoyment from the game, due to just how little you can play whenever you really want to. 

If they could fix that and update the intro so it didn’t feel as if my hand was being held through 30 minutes of dialogue, the game would have a much more welcoming intro and long-term longevity as a result. 

My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero has such a strong and entertaining gameplay loop with its collection of game modes and overall combat, which sadly gets bogged down by the unfortunate time-gating of the energy system. If they could find a way to rework it, MHA: The Strongest Hero would be one of the biggest contenders on mobile devices right now and would become a much easier game to recommend than where it stands right now.