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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle (Video Game Review)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a new fighting game from developer CyberConnect2 and publisher Bandai Namco. The developer is known primarily for it releases in the .hack and Naruto series, though JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle takes much more closely after the latter. The series was originally introduced as a 2D Capcom fighting series, while JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle features 3D gameplay with larger and much more detailed characters the developer has been known for over the years. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a manga series that doesn't have nearly as many fans in North America as it does in certain areas around the world, but the new release is still a wacky and fun fighting title that many gamers will want to pick up and play.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle follows very closely to its source material originally created by Hirohiko Araki's work, and the storyline covers a large portion of the entire series with eight different levels and chapters that focus on a different moment for the franchise. The storyline focuses on the Joestar family and their battles against all sorts of powerful fighters. Fans of the series will be thrilled the game sticks closely with its source material, while other gamers will be a bit confused on just what is going on through certain sections of the game. Large walls of text and some cutscenes move the action along, but the narrative featured in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle isn't the best, even for the fighting genre.

There are over 30 different characters included on disc for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, and the cast features some of the strangest and most unique characters seen in any video game. Not all characters are available from the start of the game, but players can play through the story mode to unlock additional characters. In-game gold is also earned through winning fights and progressing through the storyline that can be used to purchase support items that give a variety of benefits to players with equipped items. The added bonuses aren't beneficial enough to break the balance of the game on its own, but they are helpful enough to give players reasons to try and unlock new items and find which work best for their playstyle.

The fighters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle stay true to the characters from the manga they are based upon, but that also means several characters are inherently stronger than others. Some of the special attacks available to the fighters in the game feel a bit too strong and can range to anything from summoning a car to run over an opponent to stopping time or even going back in time to remove and damage incurred over that same period. Players can choose to abuse some of these move and really mess with the balance of the game and in turn affect the amount of fun players will be able to have with the new release.

Campaign mode introduces some unique rules where players will battle against the customized characters from other players' games, or a boss may appear for players to fight instead. Players can earn medals and other prizes for competing well in the game's campaign mode, and characters can then be further customized with aesthetic changes that affects how the fighters look in battle. The mode is pretty fun, though it's the least likely to be played out of the main three modes.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle also includes a versus mode, where players can face off with friends locally or online against random players. The versus mode in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is pretty stripped down and is only a little more than a way for players to fight each other with no real tournament options or lobbies to watch other players while waiting to join a new match. Most players will no doubt still spend most of their time with the game in versus mode, but it's disappointing there wasn't more thought put into the online portion of the game.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a great looking game that runs smoothly despite some impressive looking specials being available for many characters, and the character models and environments look great and are definitely the best either has looked in any video game. The game's controls are good and include basic light, medium and heavy attacks as well as dodge, taunts and special stance changes. There is a deep combat system included in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, but the worst part of the game's presentation has to be the lack of a good tutorial mode to teach players all the finer points of fighting in the game. Players are mostly left to discover things on their own when it comes to the more complex attacks in the game, and that should never happen in a modern fighting game.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a good fighting game that fans of the series will want to pick up immediately. The game doesn't have the best storyline and doesn't have good balance across all characters. Playing online isn't as fun as it should b either, but players are likely to enjoy the main story mode and customizing characters, and playing locally with buddies is always fun with the crazy characters and chaotic fights that are sure to ensue. Look for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle exclusively for PlayStation 3 today.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $29.99 and can be purchased exclusively for PlayStation 3. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is rated T by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-2
  • Story, Campaign and Versus Modes
  • 30+ Characters
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy Support

Game Information:
Developer: CyberConnect2
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Available exclusively for PlayStation 3 (reviewed)
Release Date: April 29, 2014

Score: 7 out of 10
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