Publisher: Namco Bandai Games;
Platforms: PlayStation 3;
Anime and Manga has been entering and exiting my life for awhile now. But recently, decided to set up camp and I feel like it’s not really going anywhere, anytime soon. It’s even gone so far as signing up for a membership on Crunchyroll.com (SPONSOR! not really.) Which I wouldn’t normally do but I think my anime addiction has been building up. Well into this addiction,I began watching the anime and I purchased a collectors edition of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle (The Gold Experience Edition). Knowing very well the US was getting an English release of the game. But as a new fan of the series I got excited over anything I could get my hands on that involved my “new love”. So of course this was the first thing I decided to try and boy was it an experience(
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a 3D fighting game where you can fight using characters taken from all eight current story arcs from Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga series. Aswell as fighting in areas based on locations found in the manga. It’s the classic fighting game logic, fight until either you or your opponent’s health gauge is empty. There are 6 different styles of fighting that you have to choose from: Hamon, Vampirism, Mode, Stand, Mounted, and Baoh Armed Phenomenon. Each character plays completely different,Example: Hamon users can charge up there special meter bar as where stand users can range from having a longer range to attack but leave them open to being hit since their hit box is now bigger. So this leaves you with a variety of options to choose from when it comes to fighting style.
The story mode seems like a very well done refresher course of the JoJo’s Universe. Each fight (for the most part) is a recreation of a fight that at one point happened in the series. Such as Dio and Jonathon’s fight in Part 1 or Dio and Jotaro’s infamous fight in Part III. There are even bonus challenges that you can do, most of them make them closer to the actual fight such as Jonathon using Bruford’s sword against Dio or ending the fight with a super. Doing these unlock rewards as well as PlayStation trophies(After doing a certain amount of them).
Besides the variety of fighting styles, challenges, and such there are a lot of things in this game that make it different from tradition fighting games. Like the inclusion of the stage hazards that are references of events that happened to specific characters. Or having the ability to lower your opponents special meter by doing a taunt while the opponent in on the ground. These are the type of things that make All Star Battle stand out to me as a fighting game. Though I really enjoy this game there are somethings that actually have hindered my experience with the game. Though generally combos are how players show skill in most fight games, you can mash the square button and get a simple but quick combo that deals a decent amount of damage. This leads to many players online just relying on the same combos and quick grapples which leaves you feeling very cheated. It also falls into the same problem that other Anime/Manga games have, which has some characters being blatantly better than others (To follow their skills in the series). It’s a win/lose situation, you get play and see how powerful a character really is but you now know what character is going to mostly be played online and it might stop All Star Battle from being considered a competitive fighting game. I mean recently I played my brother in the game, and though I was having a good time until It was slowly shot when he began picking characters like Jotaro Kujo (He who is poster child for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.Please see banner of review for proof.) and Dio Brando (He who people love to hate and hate to love.)
From a fan of the shows stand point, I appreciate that they would make the game like such. Giving a fan the opportunity to play as their favorite character and letting them experience how powerful they are or how they fight. But from a fighting game player’s stand point, It’s bad and should never factor if you’re wanting to make a competitive fighting game.
The graphics of this game are beautiful. It runs on a engine called “JoJo Shading Requiem” which makes the game look like the various anime openings for the show. The characters all look great and keep their detail in sort of a manga type shading. The backgrounds are very detailed and stay true to the scenes in the Manga that they come from. The game is very cinematic even during matches. The various stage hazards look great and I never experienced clipping or the graphics looking dull at any point in the game. Everything looks incredible, probably the best graphics I’ve seen in a fighting game to date.
The soundtrack is great! It’s filled with over 35 or so fast pace action tracks. With a song for every character serving a theme song. Which does the job perfectly like giving Egyptian tones/vibes for Mohammed Avdol. There is quite a bit of musical references from other artists and such. I mean what would JoJo’s be without the musical references that inspired the characters. For instance, within Otoishi Akira’s theme you can hear the guitar from”Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers since his Stand’s name is “Red Hot Chili Pepper”.
But I can’t leave out the voice acting. The voice acting is great, although in Japanese, still great. They seem to be following through on the voices. Meaning it seems like the voices the characters use in All Star Battle will carry over to the anime series. So the voices all fit the characters perfectly (and if the show continues it means good news for the show).
Overall: Aside from the balance issues, the game is quite enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love it. If you want a fun game that will recap you on major fights from the series, you’ll love it. You want a game that looks and sounds great and somethings to mess around in, this game is for you. But if you want something very competitive and balanced, I would look else where.