JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R (available on PC, Xbox, Playstation and Switch) is not a simple “remastered” of the title released in 2014, as the letter R might suggest, but a real own encyclopedia to allow fans to relive the most iconic battles of all 8 major sagas with their favorite characters. The base was still solid, in fact the homonymous videogame of the last decade was already distinguished by a remarkable graphics sector and a much deeper gameplay than it seemed, even if some problems such as an unstable netcode and the 30 fps limit did not allow the game to fully express its full potential. CyberConnect2 is still a very well-known name for fans of anime-based fighting games and with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R Bandai Namco wants to bring back a title that was perhaps muted at the time but which now can boast of renewed interest thanks above all to the anime series broadcast just recently on Netflix. Stone Ocean has now entered the heart of the action, but the game also includes the next two sagas of the manga, namely Steel Ball Run and JoJolion. For those who watch only the anime there are therefore small “spoilers” of what is to come, even if the story is not exactly the strong point of this new production. In the 2014 game, although it was not made in who knows how thorough, at least a minimum of summary of the main events was also present only in textual form, while in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R the developers decided for a total restyle Adventure mode. Each saga in fact presents a certain number of “pieces” that are divided into Normal, What If and Boss: the former allow us to relive some of the main clashes that really took place in the manga, while the latter, as the name suggests, are battles between characters belonging to to different series that perhaps share a bond, and once a certain number of pieces has been passed, that of the Boss is unlocked, which is the main battle of each saga. Each tile has a different level of difficulty and various modifiers that can alter the rules of the battle, applying for example bonuses and malus, preventing the use of special moves and others. In addition, there are various “secret missions” that ask us to perform certain actions during the fight, and by meeting the requirements you unlock objects and coins useful to customize the outfit of the characters so as to make them even more bizarre. The system itself works, however the narrative sector has been sacrificed even more, and the only hint are very short dialogues before the battle, but if you plan to review the various sagas (or just don’t know them) at the maximum you will be able to find some useful ideas only for those who already know the story well. Too bad because, in our opinion, a minimum of plot would certainly have made it easier for a wider audience to approach. In addition to the adventure mode, in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R you can also try your hand at Arcade mode, which is a classic 8-battle mode of increasing difficulty. Also present “Survival” or, as the name suggests: an infinite series of battles to see how long you can resist and a single elimination tournament mode. Obviously present also the clashes 1 VS 1 or 3 VS 3 in the company of friends locally, against the CPU and online. Online that in addition to casual and ranked battles offers a series of weekly challenges that if completed allow you to unlock exclusive costumes and accessories to show off, and are normally dedicated to a specific saga or character in rotation. The roster of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is significantly expanded compared to the original which included 41 characters (32 basic and 9 via DLC), while in this version the 50 characters are reached and more on the way considering the presence of a Season Pass for post launch support. In addition to all the fighters of the original game, there are 10 other unpublished characters, each with their own fighting style and unique moves.

The combat system of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R has not changed much in its essence compared to the past although very important mechanics have now been introduced. The most obvious is the presence of an Assist character, who will be able to intervene in battle both to attack and to defend. Each Assist will have a different number of uses per round, divided into attack and defense which once exhausted will make it unusable. In attack, the character will enter to continue the combo or to surprise the opponent, while in defense he will interrupt the enemy combo, saving the player from a bad situation. It is therefore essential to use it at the right time, especially in defense, to be able to win a fight. The other big news is the fact that the title now runs at 60 FPS. The old All Star Battle is remembered by all for being a fighting game that barely held up to 30 FPS, greatly penalizing the fluidity of the action. Now from this point of view there are no problems, since the frame rate remains stable in any situation or stage. For the rest, we are faced with a fighting game halfway between a typical anime game and a Street Fighter. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R in fact has a control system based on three attacks, light, medium and strong, with the possibility of sideways dodging attacks, as happens in Tekken. The controls are quite simple and almost all moves are feasible with quarter moon and half turns in the style of Street Fighter; There is also a mode for novices of the genre, called Easybeat, which allows you to make simple combos with the continuous press of a button, a bit like the auto-combo already seen on other titles. The combos are managed with the classic method that allows you to cancel a weak attack in a stronger one and in addition there are special moves that see the consumption of the Heart Heat bar. These are divided into moves that consume only one bar or two or three and are represented by spectacular cutscenes that show the full power of the characters. The Heart Heat bar will also be used for other more advanced actions, such as the ability to cancel attacks to continue a normally impossible combo or for more specific actions related to the type of fighter. In fact, each character is classified according to his fighting style and there are several in the game. Concentric Energy harks back to the characters from Jojo’s first two series, who use a kind of breath-generated energy to attack and inflict more damage on vampire characters. Fighters will be able to charge the Heart Heat bar with the press of a button, and then use some sort of EX move of their normal versions while consuming only half a bar. Stand is the type to which the majority of the game’s fighters belong, as well as Jojo’s trademark. The Stands are alter egos of the characters, composed of psychic energy and with the most varied powers. With the press of a button, the fighter can call his Stand to his side, having a different set of moves depending on whether it is active or not. Stand holders will also be able to sacrifice a Heart Heat bar to act while their stand is performing another move. Then there are On Horseback: the characters of the seventh series, Steel Ball Run, use a horse during the fight and can mount and dismount at will, changing their set of moves a lot. Other styles are also present, such as Mode, linked to the elements for the Men of the Pillar of the second series, Vampirism or other unique styles perhaps dedicated to a single character, such as Baoh.

As we have already mentioned, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R is a fighting game that in the mechanics proves more complex than the classic games based on anime, usually based on simple commands and spectacular actions, and tries to approach the most competitive and technical titles, but without ever reaching that level of complexity. While there are a variety of mechanics and different ways of chaining attacks together, they will never offer such limitless variety and freedom of execution as in a Street Fighter or other similar fighting game. The title also presents some execution and character positioning problems regarding the chaining of some normal attacks into special moves – even after the cancel, limiting even more the attack tools of each fighter. However, we are faced with a good fighting game, which knows how to entertain thanks to the madness of its characters and on the other hand it could not be otherwise given that it is taken from one of the manga with the most absurd fights ever conceived. Fans of the Araki manga will in fact find a title that will satisfy their love for the incredible characters of the work, thanks to the loyalty and fanservice inserted by CyberConnect. The squad, however, has some pretty obvious imbalances – but on the other hand, with over 50 characters present, it was difficult to make everything perfectly balanced, and some fighters with Stands will present significant advantages thanks to their exaggerated powers. From a technical point of view, the main novelty certainly concerns the 60 fps, which as already reiterated go to solve one of the main problems of the original game. Finally you can admire the very rapid discharges of the fists of Star Platinum in all their fluidity, while on a graphic level you can see improvements in the models but not so striking compared to the past, also because the base was already solid with an excellent cell-shading that makes to perfection the style of the manga. Also noteworthy is the presence of the original Japanese voice actors of the anime, especially as regards the characters of Diamond is Unbreakable, Vento Aureo and Stone Ocean which at the time of the original game had not yet been released and therefore had provisional voices. In short, summing up, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is much more than a simple remastered, and the amount of new content and improvements make it an interesting purchase for fans who can indulge themselves with 50 playable characters. The gameplay is more technical and deeper than the average of the genre, and the 60 fps make the action always fluid and pleasant. It is a pity that all these improvements are ruined first of all by the total lack of a plot and secondly by a failed choice at the start with regard to the online component, with an outdated system that fails to do justice to a fighting game in 2022 In fact, the “delay based” netcode is a practice that has now been abandoned by almost all the main titles of the genre in favor of the “rollback” precisely to guarantee the lowest latency in the commands. To see in 2022 a fighting game arrive on the market with such an old system is absurd, and the result in fact are online games at the limit of the unplayable. Of course, some matches especially with European players are saved, but in most of the times when you find players overseas or with poor connections the experience becomes simply frustrating and makes you want to play. So, our advice is: if you want to buy JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R because you are an avid fan of the saga or you are not interested in online, do it with your head down. If, on the other hand, you want a fighting game to test yourself online, then think twice.

GLOBAL JUDGMENT;

Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 7

Longevity: 7

FINAL VOTE: 7.5

Francesco Pellegrino Lise

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R, combo and moves from anime to video game