Earth, Wind, and Fire
Never in my life would I expect Bandai to port Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure All-Star Battle R (JBAASBR) to our current gen platforms but here we are. As a massive Jojo fan, I had to pick this game up and experience something that was only exclusive to the PlayStation 3 at the time. I also really love music so seeing an entire series having references to music is definitely something that I myself enjoy. Although to say that this is a polished fighting game is definitely an overstatement.
I should give a warning out to anyone who has only seen a little bit of Jojo, that this game does contain a bunch of spoilers for future parts. If you wish to avoid them, then I recommend not playing this game till further notice. This review will also contain some spoilers as well, so you may want to avoid this review as well. Unless you don’t care, then you are free to play the game and read the review, but I should at least give the warning out.
Pros and Cons
- All the characters have their charm and appeal
- Some of the character's voices were updated to match their current ones
- Fun Jojo-style gameplay that any fan of the series can enjoy
- Interesting, fun, and unique gimmicks that some characters have
- The art style and animation are really well done
- This fighting game is not exactly polished in terms of certain character moves
- There is no rollback netcode
JBAASBR takes place in a 3D arena fighter, however, in a 2D setting. If you want more of a complete example, think of the game the same way Soul Calibur and Tekken do it. There are a total of 50 characters for you to play as and they all have their charm and appeal from the Jojo universe. Some of the characters even had their voices updated to match the ones from Part 6, or at least the ones that have been included so far.
Now, if I were to talk about the gameplay of this game, there is a lot to explain in terms of mechanics and gimmicks. Some characters have their own quirks that make them special or unique. Although all characters do have the special gauge, or the Heart Heat Gauge (HHG), where you can perform special attacks or activate other special abilities. One stock of Heart Heat will perform an attack but two of them will perform a stringer attack called Great Heat Attack. Some characters will have certain gimmicks with certain special moves, like Rohan using Heaven’s Door to make the opponent not attack him for a few seconds.
There are a total of seven battle style types in the game that certain characters will use, like Ripple/Hamon, Vampirism, Mode, Stand, mounted, Baoh Armed Phenomenon, and Ogre Street. Each character has one of these battle types, with only three exceptions, that being Old Joseph who has Ripple/Stand, while Dio and Vanilla Ice who have Stands and Vampirism.
Characters who have Stands can summon them to pull off different attacks, however, their Stand can get attacked by characters if it gets too far out of the Stand User. Most characters have Stands that can be summoned like Jotaro's Star Platinum, which is of course done with the style button, but some characters have their Stand active by default. Some examples include Hol Horse and Guido Mista, as they have guns. There are a few other examples that are like this as well but there are not many.
There are also instances where some characters will have special attributes or abilities. A few examples are Guido Mista, who will lose HHG if he has four bullets in his chamber (unlucky number 4). Hol Horse receives a decrease in offensive power and a boost in HHG when fighting female characters (Hol Horse loves the ladies). The most interesting one in my eyes is when Johnny Joestar, Gyro Zeppeli, and Funny Valentine collect Holy Corpse Parts for special abilities and bonus stats. Gyro will gain a new attack for each part collected called Scan, and Valentine can activate D4C Love Train, which will reduce damage and nullifies most projectiles. Johnny just gets a faster charge ability for his HHG
Some Stands on certain users can even evolve and turn more powerful when used, like Giorno who is able to make his Stand Gold Experience into Gold Experience Requiem. Others have powerful abilities they can activate, like Jotaro or Dio who can stop time for a few seconds. Stages also have hazards so be on the lookout for them when they activate.
Another thing you can do is a stylish dodge which can be performed by blocking the attack the instant it lands, and the character can completely evade it. They will even do one of the signature poses while moving clockwise or counterclockwise. Time is stopped too for a split second, guess Dio and Jotaro are not the only ones who can stop time. There is also another thing you can do where you can taunt the enemy and remove one meter of their HHG.
Although in terms of balance or polish, JBAASBR does not really live up to that regard. Some characters have moves or move sets that are just outright better than others. You can actually do a 50-hit combo with Dio and almost deplete your opponent's health instantly. Mind you, I am not the greatest at fighting games and it does go down to skill for the most part but it's kind of crazy on how it’s even feasible.
Another issue I have and well, pretty much everyone has, is the fact that the online game sucks for the most part. There is no rollback netcode so I don’t know how long this game will last in terms of online play. It will most likely stick around for some time, given the fact that it is one of the only Jojo games out there that we can play.
The graphics for the game fit very well with the art style for Jojo, the animation is also another thing that is done very well, and I love how the characters look. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while I was playing it and it ran at 60 FPS
Made In Heaven
If you are a fan of Jojo and are looking for a fun fighting game then this game is honestly pretty good for you to pick up, note though, that this game is mainly meant for fans. They are even adding in more characters soon as DLC so who knows what they will add next. I mean if they were able to create a move set for Mariah then they can do one for Pocoloco and his Stand Hey Ya.