JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven Review
Extras: online multiplayer (1-4), download content, leaderboards
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is the follow-up fighter to All Star Battle that was released around 2 years ago. The game is the second JoJo game to be developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco and is based off the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga series. Instead of keeping the combat system from All Star Battle, Eyes of Heaven brings us 2v2 battles where fighters can perform unique attacks with their partners. Along with the change in gameplay, Eyes of Heaven also has a unique story that gives both fans and newcomers a new narrative to experience.
Just like All Star Battle, Eyes of Heaven is presented with a cell-shaded style that matches the visuals found in a manga. The game is loaded with Japanese writings and dialogue. Just like in All Star Battle, characters will appear from the sides of menus to speak and give you information about various modes you are about to choose. Every step taken with your character makes a Japanese symbol as your character moves. The entire menu structure and overall game is just like a manga. The music is fantastic and so far the voices. If you're familiar with the Japanese voice-overs from the JoJo anime then you'll recognize those voice actors in the game as well.
The story in Eyes of Heaven takes place over all story arcs of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, so it's best to have played the last game or have an idea of what happened in each story arc of the series. The game does offer a glossary that explains a few plot points, but it's mainly there as a refresher for fans that have already experienced the rest of the series. The game starts out with the popular battle between Jotaro and Dio at the end of the Stardust Crusaders arc. Once Jotaro defeats Dio, he is suddenly attacked by some friends and enemies that have died during the battle with Dio. Jotaro is visited by a Robert EO Speedwagon that tells him of the Saint's Corpse that allows him to travel through time. He restores Jotaro's friends with the corpse and asks Jotaro and his friends to travel through time and help him find the rest of the pieces of the corpse.
Throughout your time travel journeys, you'll recruit new character from past and future story arcs that will fight with your team. Fights take place in 2v2 matches in Eyes of Heaven. The game plays a lot like Power Stone or Naruto where you are free to run around a 3D environment while fighting your opponents. In story mode, you get to choose the main character you control and your partner character from a list of characters that have joined your party so far. Most characters have a standard combo with the light attack, a heavy attack, immediate dash for closing distance, jump, special attack and several unique skills that are mapped to holding the L1 button and pressing one of the other buttons. Skill are unlocked through points collected from battles.
By collecting points through battles, you can open up a menu, that looks much like a FFX sphere grid, and purchase skills and attribute bonuses for each of your characters. All characters level up as you progress through the story, so you don't have to play characters in order to receive points for them. Both of the characters you choose have a Dual Heat Attack and a Dual Combo. The Dual Heat Attack is much like a standard super move that involves both characters. The Dual Combo mode brings up a bar that must be filled by attacking your opponent once the Dual Combo mode has been activated. Once the bar is filled, your characters will perform a super-powered team attack. Both attacks are very flashy per character. Battles in Eyes of Heaven are quite flashy even without super attacks and you'll likely recognize many of the character moves from the manga or the past JoJo games.
To keep your opponent in view, you can lock-on to your opponent and switch between opponents by flicking the right analog in a direction. While this does help with keeping the camera on your opponent, the game's camera still gets blocked by environmental walls or obstacles at times. The mansion that you travel to during the Phantom Blood arch has a hallway and stairway where the camera can often lose your fighter if you choose to travel in that direction. Stages have hazards in them such as spike pits or pitfalls that you can get trapped in and suffer damage from. All stages also have objects that can be picked up and thrown (depending on your character) at your opponents and there are also power-ups to be gained from destroying certain objects as well. In between some stages, you'll get to take control of your main character in an exploration stage. The exploration stages in Eyes of Heaven feel as if they should have more to them. You only get to find a few collectibles, talk to characters, choose from other missions and continue with the main story during each exploration stage. It just seems like there could be much more to do in each exploration stage.
There is an occasional break in the fighting where your team has to fight off a certain amount of lesser enemies but the main focus in Eyes of Heaven are the 2v2 fights. The gameplay can be quite addicting once you gain enough skills with each character and are able to perform more of a variety of attacks. Characters start out very bare bones until you start unlocking their skills, so the starting of the game isn't as fun until you start gaining experience to unlock skills. The dual attacks are very cool to try for and they are unique depending on which team you choose. The quotes and character interactions are different depending on the teams you choose.
Watching characters interact with past ancestors or younger versions of themselves is one of the coolest parts of the story of Eyes of Heaven. The game is fully voiced in Japanese with English subtitles. Unlike All Star Battle, all lines during story cutscenes and interactions are voiced this time. The overall story mode is far longer than it was in All Star Battle. Along with Story mode, there is a Free Battle mode, Customize mode, Gallery mode, Shop mode and Network mode. Free Battle allows you to choose from the full cast of 52 characters to battle against a CPU opponent. You can also watch the CPU fight each other. All characters in Free mode are unlocked from the beginning, so you don't have to worry about unlocking any of them through other modes. Customize mode allows you to choose from a variety of Dual Combo Victory Sets for each fighter - it also a player card to edit or you can view cards exchanged with other players. Shop mode allows you to spend points gained in story mode to buy extra items such as character colors, quotes and support items. All of the purchased items and unlocked items from story mode can be seen in the Gallery mode. The Network mode is the online for Eyes of Heaven which includes Ranked and Player matches. Players matches can be played in 1v1 or 2v2 while Ranked are restricted to 1v1.
If you enjoyed All Star Battle, you'll most likely enjoy JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven just as much. The game has a different combat system, but the craziness and overall eye-pleasing special moves are still all here and they look even better than before. If you're a fan of Power Stone or the Naruto games, you might find something to enjoy in Eyes of Heaven as well. One thing is for sure, JoJo games are quite rare so having a JoJo game that gives us an original story that is separate from the manga is really something to look forward to for all JoJo fans. The game is not perfect, but I think JoJo fans will love this one just as much as I did!
+ Original story
+ 2v2 battles with dual heat combo attacks with partner
+ Many unlockable skills and upgrades per character
- Camera can't always keep up with fighters
- Exploration stages are seriously lacking
Final Rating: 78% - An original story taking place after the events of All Star Battle gives all JoJo fans a new experience to enjoy.