Beginning life as a manga series that later on ventured into the world of anime, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure boasts the premise of generations-spanning adventures as the Joestar family grapples with the plots of one Dio Brando, and occasionally, events in an alternate universe. With so much to keep track of, it makes sense then for a modern reimagination in the video game space to bring everything together, something which Bandai Namco and CyberConnect2‘s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R will attempt to do.
An upcoming remaster of the stylish 3D fighting game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle that launched in 2013, this remaster will launch on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch on 1 September, as well as on the PC on 2 September. Presented with the chance to preview an early demo, we prepared our Stands for battle, taking to Dio’s Castle for some practice bouts with Jonathan Joestar, Dio Brando, Jotaro Kujo, and Jolyne Cujoh — the only playable characters that were available then.
Straight from the off, the art style instantly grabs the attention, with visuals authentic to Hirohiko Araki’s creations, and the four fighters move and fight as they should. Fighting game fans will undoubtedly hope for something deep, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R does have some inkling of that below the impressive-looking surface.
Beyond the light, medium, and heavy attacks, each character moves differently in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R and can count on various special commands to unleash a variety of attacks. Jonathan Joestar can hit hard on the ground, but is also great at anti-air defence, while Jolyne Cujoh makes use of traps and counters to fight effectively against others. The characters’ fighting styles are very much in line with that of their anime counterparts — in the series, for instance, the latter’s Stone Free unravels her body into a large amount of strings, which can be used to trap foes.
You can pull off attacks using a combination of directional inputs and the corresponding attack buttons, which is the standard for fighting games at this point. However, movesets are also expanded by the fact that you can summon your Stand to fight alongside you, with more commands paving the way to other attacks. This allows for more styles in which a player can approach an upcoming fight. Flashy combos can be pulled off quite easily, and they make for wonderful references for fans of the manga/anime,
That said, our time spent in the preview definitely displayed a level of uniformity between the fighters, with Dio Brando being the obvious exception, and hopefully, once the full roster of over 50 characters becomes available, things get more varied. Characters can also be equipped as assists, so you can count on them to lend a hand when you need them most.
It might be just us, but JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R seems to have trouble allowing for different moves to link together. Fighters can feel light and not exactly grounded, and the range at which effective attacks can be executed seems to be really short. While we may not be seasoned fighting game experts, this feels like something that needs to be adjusted.
However, it is clear that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is made for the fans, especially with the visuals, the overall style, and the use of voice actors that have worked on the anime adaptation. Having over 50 characters could be hell for balancing, but it also gives players the chance to engage in iconic battles or fantasy matchups. Whether the game has the legs to stand on its own, especially for invested fighting game fans, remains to be seen, but for fans, it is a no-brainer.
Of course, players will have the opportunity to find out themselves just how they feel about the game in just a week’s time. The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R demo will arrive on 16 June and will last until 22 June. The same four fighters can be chosen, and there will be support for online multiplayer.