Now I would say that I am a fan of manga and anime, but let’s be honest there is just so much of it out there, that somethings are just going to pass you by and for me one series I’ve never really clicked with is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. That’s all changed the second after I fired up JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R, which is a remaster of a 2013 release – which also has some new content thrown in the mix too.
To be fair it’s a surprise that a series as big as JoJo hasn’t really had many games based on it over the years. But JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R takes the core tale and characters of the series and wraps it all around an arcade feeling fighter skin… think Tekken and you’ll have a good idea. This is a beefy title as there are 50 (yes 50!) fighters you can choose from, which give you an idea of just how big and vast the series is – plus there is DLC on the way on top of that. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R has seen a lot of refinements over its 2013 release, with the biggest being the story mode has been overhauled a fair bit. This is a plus by all accounts, as the original was a bit all over the place at times. It now mirrors a story mode more in kin with modern brawlers with a few interesting options along the way, like taking a partner with you to help out in a pinch, as well as a few new stages.
With JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R being a remaster most work has been done under the hood and its buttery smooth, holding a solid FPS throughout, as well as the character models having a freshen up as well. Gameplay is challenging but fair, as you battle it out with a mix of light, medium and heavy attacks with an overall surprisingly deep move set to master. As well as dodging punches and kicks, you’ll also have to look out for hazards in the stages, which can help or hinder. Combat is fun and always changing thanks to being able to switch your stance, though when things get going the combos don’t really flow as smooth as you hope and are a little stop-start at times.
Visually the game is oozing with style and no mean feat, given its taking a 2D source and putting it into 3D. It honestly looks like the manga has come to life, complete with the series signature heavy black outlines and when you pull off a special move, it’s a joy to watch as the screen explodes in a flood of effects and colour. Where things fall a bit is the online side, which given it’s where you want to be to show-off your skills is a real shame. The net code is rough to say the least and also questionable if it’s been given any work, given the lag and time it takes to find a match. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R feels like a real love letter to the manga that holds it all together offline, but when you go online it stumbles – which is a crying same, as it really is a solid fighter that fans will love and will have newcomers picking up the manga for more.
An Xbox review copy of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R was provided by CyberConnect2’s PR team, and the game is available now on Xbox, Switch, PC and PlayStation for around £30.
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