For those who do not know what One Punch Man is or the origin of it: The series started as a webcomic in 2009 by someone under the alias One. The series went viral with over 7 million hits by June of 2012. This sparked a digital manga remake of the series, illustrated by Yusuke Murata. Last year the anime adaption by Madhouse aired its first season in Japan. An English dubbing of the animated series is being done now. Also, news of a 2nd, longer season being released in 2017 has been reported. The series is a hit sensation, easily becoming a favorite of anime fans. Even if you’re not a huge fan of anime, I would recommend trying out this series. The animation is gorgeous, the narrative is fun, and the theme music is amazing.
The story of One Punch Man involves Saitama, a casual Hero. After an incident, he decides to become a hero on a whim. For 3 years, he trained vigorously, even going bald in the process. His physique looks slim, lanky and seemingly weak, but he can finish off all his opponents in one punch. Now he is often left disappointed in his battles with no real challenge to them. The story plays like a satire to the Shonen genre of manga while still being a part of it.
You might have even seen the videos of Let’s Plays where people made Saitama in games like Fall Out or Dark Souls. Their builds and upgrades focusing on strength to be able to kill enemies in One Punch. That was sparked from this series.
So it struck me as a random thought – what if Telltale made a One Punch Man game? They have amazing narratives for their Walking Dead and Game of Thrones games. I heard from more than one person that they enjoy Telltales’ Tales of the Borderlands more than the original Borderlands series. Most of their games have a harsher and darker narrative. I won’t go into more detail for the sake of spoilers. There can be some light joke moments, but they’re usually wrapped in a much more serious plot.
Saitama’s ability to defeat enemies in one punch is the reason I propose this as a Narrative Focused game. When the main character defeats all his opponents in one punch, having a game with focus to the combat would be out of place. It could be entertaining for a time, decimating through foes with one punch. But like Saitama, without a challenge the game would lose enjoyment. To get an interesting game related to this series would mean needing an interesting narrative.
The One Punch series could open up into a different style of narrative for the developers. The established narrative of One Punch Man is light, even the more serious situations have comical endings. As I mentioned before, the series is a bit of a satire to the genre of manga. It still has some big cliffhanger and epic moments that could provide for cliffhangers and issues to be dealt with in game, but the series itself is more character focused, showing how they react to situations and less how the situations alter based on them.
Depending on how Telltale wants to make the game, they could have the main character be Saitama or an original character that has their own story and motivations, that would then get involved with characters from the series. While either could work, a more decisive story-line could be made with an original main character. Due to the fact the One Punch Man series is still on-going, it would allow them to make a clear ending should it end at the one game. The more I think about it the more I want to play it!