VGCultureHQ was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the closed beta for Bandai Namco’s upcoming Jump Force. While we’ll be having a more comprehensive preview by the end of the week, when playing I focused on playing as two of my favorite anime characters of all time from Bleach, Ichigo and Rukia. What’s great with regards to Rukia and Ichigo is that their Jump Force forms are those post-anime and come from the manga. The attention to detail is spectacular. Ichigo’s Awakened Form Controls The controls for Jump Force are simple, yet sweet. RB is block, LB is dash/follow your opponent, X is a light attack, Y is a heavy attack (if you hold these down you can perform a Smash Attack), you can throw your opponent with B, A is jump, the right trigger charges your energy, and the right trigger plus X, Y, and B allows you to perform a special ability unique to whichever character your playing as. The left trigger allows you to call for an assist, and if you hold it you can switch to one of your other two characters. I actually received messages while playing the beta how to awaken your character (there is a gauge around your character’s image in the right-hand corner which, when filled up, allows you to “awaken” your character to their ultimate form.) You just push down on the right analog stick to accomplish this. It is definitely a game changer and demonstrated in the video below. Rukia and Ichigo: The Perfect Tag Team Ichigo is more of a heavy hitter in the game, which compliments Rukia’s speed and quick attacks. His awakened form (part hollow, part Shinigami) is so cool. His unique moveset comes straight from the source material and it feels authentic, as do all the characters. While playing as Ichigo was a blast, I had the most fun with Rukia. She is my favorite Bleach character and I am ecstatic that she’s partaking in Jump Force. In the Anime Rukia’s Bankai is never revealed, but it’s her ultimate move in Jump Force, which is very cool! While Ichigo is more of a power hitter, Rukia is very quick with her attacks and the two make for a very interesting dynamic (both in the anime and the game!); they are the perfect 1-2 combo, especially when using one as an assist and switching them out from one to the other. Rukia’s Bankai is also very badass, and her speed is what makes her such a fun character to play as. Again, it compliments Ichigo perfectly. The characters of Jump Force are very balanced and while this was just the beta, it’s shaping up to be one of the best and most memorable fighting games of this generation. While I only focused on the characters from Bleach, I can already tell Jump Force will be a game for the ages. The controls aren’t too complicated, but I was lucky not only to have played the game extensively before but have a picture of the controls in front of me. The combat is incredibly fluid and the special moves are every Shonen Jump fan’s dream come true. Spike Chunsoft has outdone themselves with the development of this game, and graphically it looks top-notch. Gameplay Footage The release date was recently revealed to be February 15, 2019, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam, which isn’t too far away but cannot come soon enough! We can’t wait to get our hands on the full game and our comprehensive Jump Force preview is coming soon, so stay tuned! Thank you to Bandai Namco for providing us a code to participate in the Jump Force Beta!