Yare Yare Daze.
My very first exposure to the JoJo universe was the OVA series that was release in 1993. I saw it many years after its release, most likely around the early 2000s, and it absolutely blew me away with its distinctive animation style and brutal action that also managed to be clever at the same time.
Needless to say, I began looking into the series, and began reading the manga series and learned how vast the JoJo universe was.
When they announced a new JoJo game would be developed by the folks who do an amazing job of bringing the Naruto universe to life, my excitement was palpable.
Platforms: PS3 Exclusive.
Voice Acting: JPN Only.
Multiplayer: Online versus multiplayer.
Demo Availability: Yes, on PSN.
Length: 3-4 hours to finish the story mode.
Unfortunately, while they absolutely nail the distinct style of the series, the rest of the package fares poorly in delivering the true JoJo experience.
The moment I loaded up the game, I was immediately impressed by the graphical transition from 2D character art to the 3D game models.
The bold black lines along with advanced shading effects made the characters look like they were sketched and colored.
Each character plays uniquely, and while many of the commands to do certain moves were the same, their property and specific gimmicks made playing certain characters feel like a different game entirely.
For example, Johnny fights on horseback while shooting his nails like bullets, and the mighty Dio has the power to stop time entirely and summon a powerful “stand” to beat down his enemies in his stead.
If you’re tired of the typical archetypes found in most fighting games, JoJo will show you a whole new world of weird you never knew you wanted.
The modes are standard fare with arcade, story, campaign, practice and the versus modes to round out the package, but the story mode suffers from a distinct lack of focus.
As I mentioned previously, the JoJo series is one that’s been running many decades now, and the story mode attempts to go through all seven story arcs that have been completed.
Unfortunately, the story mode amounts to nothing more than a handful of battles with special handicaps, with little to no exposition in between fights.
It’s condensed down so much that newcomers will have no idea what’s going on, and veterans hoping to relive the epic story will feel nothing but disappointment.
Worse yet, the story mode is required to unlock the majority of the cast, which feels like a chore more than anything else.
Lastly, the netcode for the online multiplayer is HORRENDOUS. Input delay would be bad enough but even on 3+ connections, the matches skipped frames constantly and felt like an absolute mess.
Given the importance of netplay in fighting games in this day and age, to see it implemented so poorly was disheartening.
While JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star absolutely looks the part, it falls short of its potential with its poor implementation of the story mode and online multiplayer.
Fun Tidbit: The first two-story arcs of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures have been recently animated with the third story arc, Stardust Crusaders airing right now so check them out if you haven’t!
Review copy of game provided by publisher.