HORA HORA HORA everyone! By now you should know that here at That Damn Pixel we’re not that fond of reviews, also considering our non-interest in scores, but sometime, some games, are worthy to be discussed a little further and this is the case of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle, released last year on PlayStation 3 and exclusively for the Japanese (and Asian) market.
The game is developed by CyberConnect2 (well known for basically all the Naruto games released in the last decade) and published by Bandai Namco Games, that announced few months ago that will publish the title also in Europe and North America next year.
But for now we’re gonna talk about the Japanese version, so the title will be JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken Ōru Sutā Batoru (or, if you’re familiar with the Japanese language ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 オールスターバトル). But, given the long name, we’ll refer to it with just JJASB from now on.
First things first, we’re going to analyse a fighting game, but more than that a game that is a tie-in of a manga series. This should be a warning for everyone not fond of the original work by Hirohiko Araki, because, dispite JJASB being a good game, the target audience is someone that already knows the story and the characters to fully appreciate the game.
Said so, JJASB is a 2.5D fighting game. What the hell is 2.5D? Ok we made that up, but the explaination is rather easy, it is something in the middle between a 2D and a 3D fighting game. Because you can actually move the character on the Y-axis (the 3rd dimension), but just with little dashes, so for the most of the time the game acts like a plain 2D. Let’s say Street Fighter 4 with a bit (a tiny one) of Tekken 6.
We didn’t mention SF4 randomly, in fact the guys at CyberConnect2 made a game that, yes still not completely grown, but has the possibility to become very competitive and be together with other tournament approved titles, such as SSF4, UMvC3 and SFxT.
But without going too much into tech details, JJASB is a solid fighting game, with fast-paced and really technical gameplay, yet with a strong Japanese and manga-esque taste in it. And talking about Japan, the game is abviously in Japanese language only, but it’s quite understandable even if you don’t speak it, so don’t worry.
The game itself features three main modes.
The classic Story Mode that offer a brief recap of all the eight series from the manga, but don’t expect too much from this. It’s really just an excuse to let you familiarise with the controls and unlock the complete roaster of the game, with no cutscene at all and very few lines of (japanese) text explaining the plot.
Then you have the Campaign Mode, that is the very core of the title. It basically is a series of almost endless matches against the downloaded ghosts of other players, called visuals, that’ll let you unlock alternate costumes for your characters to use. This mode is structured as a social game, with an energy bar that will lead your matches and needs to recharge. Once it’s empty, you need to wait to proceed. Guess what? You can buy (with real money) extra energy bars to continue playing without a stop, and that’s a bit too F2P for a full price retail game. But still, you don’t have to, even if it’s the mode in which you’re gonna spend most of your time.
The last mode it’s simply the Versus, both local and online. A special mention for the latter is needed since we’re experiencing a really annoying lag during the matches. Now, we don’t really know if it’s because the shitty NetCoding or just because PSN sucks, but the issue really kills the fun. We also noticed that the lag occurs mostly if you play against Japanese players (up to 3 seconds!), but if you play against Europeans (we’re based in the UK) it runs way smoother.
And this is pretty much everything you need to know about the game. JJASB is a crazy great game, with tons of style, insane combos and way over the top characters, sure unique in its own genre. As usual, we’re not gonna give a review score, because it’s just useless, but we can warmly suggest to buy the game to every die-hard fan of the JoJo series and pretty much every fighting game maniac out there, because this is your next big title!
And if our (sort of) review wasn’t enough, here’s the game’s trailer!