JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle: A GEEK Video Game Review

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is pure pandemonium.

Once you sit down to take in everything that’s occurring on your screen, you’ll be amazed at all the style that this anime fighter exhibits. The biggest issue with this game though is tied to its greatest asset – its style, which lacks just enough substance to raise it above typical anime fighter fare.

Diehard fans of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure know what to expect here – a zany cast of characters that pop off the screen thanks to their exaggerated movements, special moves, super powers and quotable lines. CyberConnect 2 knows how to bring the best of their chosen anime franchises to life (they’ve done some awesome work with past Naruto fighting games). Simply put, this All Star gathering of the series’ most noteworthy heroes and villains is a joy to watch. The cel-shaded visuals look incredible. Everything from the menu presentation to the stages themselves does the manga a ton of justice.

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JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is the type of fighter that’s ready made for casual fans of the genre. You’ll be able to pull off combos and super moves just by tapping one button, but there are some deeper elements to this game that might interest hardcore Fighting Game Community members. Characters can sidestep moves at just the right moment, each fighter comes with a special fighting ability and there’s a move cancel ability that let you tag together several moves for bigger numbers and damage. Some fighters are better than others though, which leads to some apparent character balancing issues. If you’re in control of a fighter who has “Stand” powers, you’ll be able to do away with a fighter who’s connected to a stallion quite easily. The balancing issues keep this fighter from being taken as serious as its contemporaries.

Fighters of this ilk come with the standard story mode option. JoJo’s rendition of this mode is disappointing, though. It basically boils down to simple battles that may task you with special conditions. You’re given the option to play from the side of the baddies once you complete every story scenario, but it essentially plays the same. The Arcade Mode does its job and the standard online, versus and gallery mode bases are all covered here.

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The one standout here is Campaign mode, an experimental attempt at a free-to-play model. While it’s cool to unlock all manners of custom items for your favorite fighter, the mobile game-like F2P mechanics get in the way of the fun. Paying real world cash to cut down the waiting time on a console game still feels out of place, especially in a fighting game. You’ll still find yourself enjoying your time with this mode though, since you’ll bump into boss characters that diehard fans of the anime will appreciate. The fan service here is simply off the charts.

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Namco Bandai handles it’s acquired anime franchises well when it comes to making video games based on them. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is a solid effort in the gameplay department and an amazing visual treat in the graphical department. The game’s uneven character balancing and lame story mode execution hamper the final product, but the fun fights and exciting nature of everything seen onscreen makes this fighter still worth checking out.

Rating: 70%

Image Credits: Namco Bandai, CyberConnect2

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