All game developers at some point in their career thrive towards creating games under one single category; unique.
Capcom’s depiction of Hirohiko Araki’s Manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure definitely falls under this category with great ease. It’s wide cast of characters and unique aesthetic is a far cry away from the likes of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat although with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle, developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Namco Bandai, it takes on a similar formula. Gone is the 2 dimensional visual style and in its place, a fully realised 3D take on the popular comic book feel of anime.
The story mode covers eight parts of the manga series merged cleverly into one original story. Playing as the original protagonists in each part, you are required to re-enact each section of each part. It’s cleverly done and is very entertaining however characters have Japanese voices therefore reading the dialogue is forced upon us. Continued success in the story mode opens up Another Battle mode which allows players to play as the opposite character.
The gameplay is similar to Street Fighter 4; players fight one on one in 3D battle arenas. Each character has their own move set and special manoeuvres called Heart Heat moves which they can use once the Heart Heat meter is filled up and these are spectacular to pull off and look amazing. Each character also has a “Style” ability which can switch a character to one of six fighting modes, Hamon, Vampirism, Mode, Stand, Mounted, and Baoh Armed Phenomenon. All of these have unique abilities attached to them such as Stand users can summon their Stand which is a powerful entity usable in battle with a specific move set. These mechanics along with the stage moves which allow players to use a stage specific move against their opponent makes All-Star Battle a deep fighter with a lot of in-battle options to pummel your opponent with.
All-Star Battle is rich in content. It has numerous game modes to play such as Campaign mode which is an online mode where players must fight either a Vision which is a computer controlled opponent customised by another player or a boss character which is a rare tough fight with big rewards. Rewards are in the form of Gold which is used to purchase support items or Campaign Medals used to unlock mannerisms and presets for their already unlocked characters. Campaign mode fights can also have special requirement attached to them such as Ken Oyanagi offering a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors to confirm that the next match will be a Boss match of the player’s choice or Rudol von Stroheim depleting the opponent’s health bar. Versus mode is either offline or online, ranked or unranked matchups and Arcade mode pits players in eight matches one after the other.
With 32 characters to play as 14 of which are unlocked on start-up means there is heaps of variety here and whether you are a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure vet or not, there will be some characters that take your fancy. All-Star Battle takes Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure into 3 dimensions whilst maintaining what makes the manga cartoon so popular. With its bright bold colour palette and sharp detail on both character models and stages, All-Star Battle is beautiful to look at and becomes a full-on assault on the senses once the Heart Heat moves are unleashed.
This is a definite must play for any fighting game or anime fan. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle is a feature rich fighter with a wealth of characters, stages, modes and unlockables to tackle. A highly recommended entry in the fighting genre.
Story – 4/5
Graphics – 5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Overall – 5/5
Version Reviewed – PlayStation 3