It is so nice that Namco Bandai have decided to unleash the wonderful series that is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure onto the rest of ZA WARUDO. The series haven’t seen exposure since the fighting game released by Capcom in the late 90s, so it’s about time the west got some love from the one true king of shounen manga.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle (PS3)
Developed by CyberConnect 2 – Published by Namco Bandai
If you’ve never heard of JoJo, let me give you a brief history lesson. The series is set during various eras and arcs, the first one starting off in England during the 1800’s and follow the titular bizarre adventures of Jonathan Joestar (hence, JoJo) as he takes on the vampiric powers that Dio Brando acquired through the dangerous stone mask. The series was localized in the west when it came to the third series, Stardust Crusaders, which followed Jotaro Kujo, the third JoJo and this game here is set during all eight arcs that currently exist.
The game is a fightin game, just like the previous game we got in the west, but it doesn’t play like your normal Street Fighter clone. All Star Battle uses one button devoted to light attacks and light combos, it’s a button that you can basically exclusively use if you’re not that used to fighting games but still want to achieve combos and cool specials. It’s simplified, but not in a way that makes the combat itself uneven, as using the others buttons will allow you to play it in a more advanced and very different manner. If anything, it’s a game that seem to make it possible to play it simple or in a very deep manner.
The game uses stage-gimmicks as well, which reminded me somewhat of the PS2-era Mortal Kombat games. You’ll have cars running across streets and other fun things that you can toss your opponents into. While I don’t know if every stage will feature things like that, it’s something that I personally enjoy even if I can see others finding it more annoying. The stages themselves were colorful and well-detailed, much like the rest of the game. It’s absolutely gorgeous and look like it jumped straight out of one of the covers to the manga.
Now, the build we played was in Japanese so all the names were kept in their original form, in the actual localization for next year some characters will have changed names to avoid legal troubles. This is because almost every single character in JoJo is named in reference to something, most often rock ‘n roll bands. But the game will be remain voiced in Japanese for the localization, so the names is where the only big difference in versions will be.
I did not get much time to try out JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, but what I played I liked a lot. I’m hoping the final product will be as good as this short try-out with the game ended up being.