Hirohiko Araki's hit manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has been running on the pages of Jump for over 25 years. The latest adventure, Jojolion, is the eighth in a series of strange sagas of the Joestar family and is currently running in Shueisha's monthly Ultra Jump magazine in Japan. Most fans in the West, however, mostly know of JoJo in the third arc, Stardust Crusaders, which VIZ Media has published (and is currently reprinting!). Aside from this localization, Stardust Crusaders has been given an animated adaptation in the 1990s as well as its own video game for the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Dreamcast. Until recently, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has been a cult hit among the most hardcore of otaku in the West but the new TV anime has reignited JoJo fever and has brought in a slew of new fans. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a celebration of the first 25 years of JoJo as well as an interactive taste of JoJo for fans all over the world.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a fighting game for the PS3 developed by Cyberconnect2, the developers of the Naruto fighting games. However, the gameplay is less like Naruto and more like Street Fighter. But like the Naruto games, CyberConnect2 has given the license some TLC and in turn is one visually impressive game that any JoJo fan would enjoy, with badass one-liners, eye-popping sound effects and of course, lots of flamboyant poses! All Star Battle's Story Mode contains eight parts, one for each chapter of the JoJo saga, and each part of the story is divided into missions and bits of exposition. The main missions play the story straight, with you playing as each chapter's respective JoJo but there are other missions where you can play as the villains. The Story Mode is serviceable and might make you nostalgiac. It is also necessary to unlock new characters. However, there are spoilers so tread carefully if you watch the anime. The game's dialogue is in Japanese but there are English subtitles and while certain character and Stand names have been changed from the original Japanese, this does not affect the gameplay one bit.
The Arcade Mode is pretty standard, with eight stages of increasing difficulty to play through. And there is a Campaign Mode in which you can win medals to customize your fighters with, but playing this mode requires you to be online. Thankfully, every other mode can be played offline if you don't have Internet access for your PS3. Playing through Arcade Mode, Story Mode and Campaign Mode will earn you gold that can be used to buy all sorts of knick-knacks like character models, concept art, music, voice samples and more. There's a lot of neat modes in All Star Battle but the real fun is in Versus Mode. Here, you can play against the CPU, a friend or another player on the Internet. There are over two dozen characters to pick from, each with a unique fighting style that will make these fights intense and bizarre.
If you've ever played Street Fighter, then you'd feel right at home with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle. Basic moves are easy to use and the special moves aren't too hard to master. Hitting and getting hit builds up your specials meter and when it's full, you can unleash an ultimate move that can deal massive damage. Under certain circumstances, using an ultimate move as a finisher results in a Dramatic Finish, which can net you big points. The fighting style of each character differs, with some being Stand users and some being proficient in Hamon techniques and then some. With Stand users, each Stand plays differently and some moves get downright bizarre, living up to the game's namesake. Try to play as every character to get the hang of their weird moves; knowing how they play can either make or break your match. Background gimmicks in every stage can also make or break your match: learn how to use them to your advantage. The controls aren't as tight as Street Fighter, but they are simplified to where anyone can master the big moves in little time. And finally, do not expect to win the match by just mashing buttons. It takes more than a flurry of ORAORAORAs and MUDAMUDAMUDAs to win the match. Plan accordingly and expect the unexpected. Remember, this is a bizarre adventure you're dealing with.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a solid fighting game that should be played by every JoJo fan and fighting game enthusiast alike. It can be bought digitally on the PlayStation Network or if you prefer boxed copies, it's available on Amazon or at Club Namco.
Hint: Play Arcade Mode whenever HARVEST shows up on the main menu. You will earn more gold during that playthrough.
by Ray n. (@themistern), assisted by Jose Lopez (@BlulatinArtist)