JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. Review

Player(s): 1-2
Extra Features: Local Multiplayer (1-2), Online Multiplayer (1-2 players), Leaderboards

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a fighting game developed and published by Capcom. The original game entitled "JoJo's Venture" was released in North American arcades back in the 1990's and then an upgraded version of that fighting game entitled "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" was released for PS1 and Dreamcast later. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is made by the same team that developed Street Fighter III and its many incarnations, so the animation is very fluid. This HD version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is now available on Xbox 360 and PS3 for the asking price of 1600 points or $19.99 respectively.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is based off a Japanese manga of the same name. This long running manga series also spawned a six volume OVA anime series and later a seven volume anime series. The video game fighter focuses mainly on the first OVA series that was released. The main storyline is taken right from that series. The plot of the game deals with the Joestar family's continued struggle against the vampire Dio Brando. Jotaru is the current youngest member of the Joestar family and the main character for the game. Jotaru and all of his allies wield a spiritual apparition known as a "Stand" that they can control and call upon during battle. When Jotaru's mother develops a Stand that feeds on her life force to manifest itself, Jotaru and his friends set out on a quest to find and kill Dio in order to save his mother and the Joestar family.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD has a roster of 22 fighters. The selectable fighters are Jotaro, Avdol, Iggi, Mahrahia, Midler, Joseph, Kakyoin, Dio, Polnareff, Alessy, D'bo, Iced, Hol Horse, Black Polnareff, Petshop, Chaca, Shadow Dio, Kan, New Kakyoin, Hol Horse & Voing, Robber Soul and JoJo (Young Joseph). Each fighter also has five palette swap colors. This version is basically equivalent to the Dreamcast version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The graphics are in full HD this time. The screen can be displayed in a 4:3 or 16:9 ratio. Art from the JoJo manga is displayed on the sides of the screen to cover its borders. There is no way to stretch the screen to cover the borders.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. screenshot 1

Along with a light, medium and heavy attack, there is also a "stand" button in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. This button can be used to control each fighter's stand in various ways. Each fighter has some sort of spiritual presence or attack that can be used with the stand button. Some of the characters are different versions of existing characters, but the majority of the characters are unique in their own way. Black Polnareff is Polnareff possessed by a demon and he plays quite different from the original Polnareff. Characters such as Hol Horse & Voing only change a single super move when compared to the original Hol Horse however, but the majority of the cast has more differences.

JoJo Bizarre Adventure plays much like a Street Fighter game. Some of the characters can separate their stands from their body and actually control their stand from a distance. A character such as D'bo fights while his stand (a demon doll) remains on the ground at all times. Some characters only have an extra attack for their stand such as Shadow Dio who will summon forth a white version of his stand (The World) to charge forth with a few punches before it disappears. Chaca fights with a sword once his stand button is tapped. The majority of the characters that were added after the first version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (upgraded arcade version) don't have a stand like the original few do.

For single player, the game has a story mode, challenge mode and training mode. The story mode allows a player to choose one character then fight through several opponents to see that character's story. The stories for each character are deeper than most fighters since this is based off the manga series. Jotaru along with his friends and a few other characters that are mainly associated with the original JoJo anime are given the most story in the story mode. The challenge mode allows a player to level up while fighting through several opponents. The player can choose to have a certain boosts at the end of each battle. The challenge mode is mainly for ranking purposes based on your achieved level. The training mode is the usual training mode that just about any fighter has where you can practice against another character.

For multiplayer, the game has an in-game fight request that can be turned on in order to challenge other players while playing single player mode. The game also has a ranked and public match option along with a lobby option. All the matches I played online were lag free - and I was fighting Japanese players, which goes to show that the online works really well! Players can record matches and upload their matches to the replay leaderboard. All replays can be viewed and several options such as hit boxes and controller inputs for each player can be displayed in order to see the specifics of each match. The multiplayer is basically the majority of the replay value in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure since the single player is pretty shallow overall. If you don't intend on playing this game online, it will get old very quickly.

The overall graphics for the game look just as good as Street Fighter III in HD for the most part. The game is colorful and very fluid. The game is full of action and a variety of strange stuff from the manga. Dio's blood is still censored just like in the original game. The sounds for the game seem slightly muffled at times when it comes to character sound effects, but the game still sounds great overall. All of the "ORORORORORORORO" and "MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA" of Jotaro and Dio's stands take me back to my arcade days.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. screenshot 2

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of more unique Capcom fighters out there. It will appeal to a fan of the JoJo manga and anime series the most, but it's overall a decent fighter as well. Fans of the JoJo manga will get the most fun out of the game since there are several references to the anime spread throughout the moves for each fighter - such as Dio smashing opponents with a steamroller and New Kakyoin leaping into the background to fire projectiles with his Hierophant Green stand. Overall, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is about as deep as a King of Fighters game. The single player doesn't have much to offer aside from the story of every selectable fighter. All characters and options are available from the start, so there is nothing to unlock. If you want replay value in JoJo, multiplayer is where you will find most of it.

The Good:
+ HD graphics
+ Stand gameplay is very unique
+ Decent cast of selectable fighters for a downloadable game

The Bad:
- Lack of replay value outside of multiplayer
- It's hard to fully appreciate without knowledge of the anime or manga

Final Rating: 75%. JoJo fans can now feel free to stop shouting "Za Warudo" to stop time since JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has finally arrived in HD!


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