JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle Review
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has to be one of the craziest anime and manga series around. Packed to the brim with vampires, rock and roll homages, effeminate poses, and more than 20 years of action-packed fighting, you’d think that it is the perfect recipe for a killer video game, right? The folks behind JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle sure think so.
Created in collaboration between the folks at CyberConnect2 and Bandai Namco, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle combines all eight parts of the anime and manga series and condenses it into a fighting game complete with super moves (dubbed “Great Heart Attacks”), quarter-circle motions, and multi-hit combos.
Is it the deepest system around? Not really. Despite having a 41-character roster, most moves boil down to whacking your opponent before they whack you. Timing windows are much more lenient and fights rely on dial-a-combos with one of three attack buttons. Momentum is also wonky, with almost every running attack ending in a standing animation.
But don’t mistake its casual nature for an incompetent system — JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle still has a solid fighting game system that puts the spotlight on its over-the-top action. Stage gimmicks ripped straight from the series add character to environments, while the exceptionally hearty health bars make each battle last longer. Put simply, it’s the checkers to the fighting game community’s chess.
And then there’s the other camp: the fans. And fanservice you shall get. What really drives JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle home is the attention-to-detail each stage and character has. The dialog and taunts change depending on the scenario, as do other minute factors. The artstyle in place is true to form, managing to look even better than the recent anime adaptation — no small feat.
Tying JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle together is a story mode covering all parts. Though most major scenes are covered, the walls of text and brisk pace will leave newcomers confused. Even veterans will be somewhat confused with the numerous changes made, likely done to avoid any potential lawsuits.
Rounding out the package is your typical array of fighting game modes, from Arcade to Practice to Online Versus. Most work as they should, though the network play has the odd bout of lag. This may very well be fixed in a future patch, but battles fluctuate from silky smooth one minute to unbelievably choppy the next.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle is a worthwhile experience for fighting game fans, JoJo fans, and fighting game JoJo fans. It’s not the deepest or most cohesive package around, but it doesn’t need to be — it was crafted with the fans in mind.