JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R | Review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R | Review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Originally released 8 years ago on PlayStation 3, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle has been a beloved title, both by fans of the fighting game genre and by the most avid connoisseurs of the epic created by Hiroiko Araki. A title that also represented an important turning point for CyberConnect2, the development team that gave birth to the successful Hack series, which with video games based on the Naruto franchise had given new life to the world of licensed video games, making a admirable work, especially if you think of the Ninja Storm series, perhaps the most appreciated and loved by fans.

The Naruto titles maintained a "soft" gameplay, but above all a light approach to fighting, for use and consumption also of particularly young players, proposing themselves as pure fan service for fans of Masashi Kishimoto's ninja. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle instead proposed itself almost as a title of maturation, tracing a more precise, clean and exquisitely aimed at fighting game lovers, a bit like it happened, in an even more admirable way, some time later with Dragon Ball, and with the splendid FighterZ.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, in fact, completely abandoned any exploratory or role-playing ambitions (where instead we had gone with Naruto), opting for a more dry first of all characterized by a two-dimensional combat system, in which the depth of field was all at the service of dodging (but with style), thus following that philosophy whose road had been paved, years before, by the 3D revolution of the Tekken series.| ); }

Gold Experience

In this sense, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle was greeted with the right clamor by fans of the manga, obviously also thanks to the excellent reputation of the development that, as we have said, already with Naruto had really given the best of itself, creating what is perhaps the series of licensed titles, taken from a manga work, the longest and most profitable ever. And it must be said: CyberConnect2 did not leave us very disappointed, and thanks to its pleasantly noisy combat system but, above all, to an unparalleled artistic direction, which - finally - made cell shading an indispensable quality, All-Star Battle bought up a lot of votoni, while hiding, in reality, two or three really important flaws, which prevented him from ascending to the Olympus of professional fighting games.

Obviously, gathering around 40 characters under one roof, the game suffered from the imbalance between the many faces extrapolated from the different series, even more so that most of them came from the central series, in which the Stands were introduced in large quantities, becoming one of the main characteristics of the entire work.

This imbalance, never dammed by the development team, coupled with a senselessly lazy framerate (30 FPS, only achieved when the game was in the grace of God ... Brando) and a pre-war netcode, prevented the real rise of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: A ll-Star Battle, relegating it to a mere divertissement for fans and nothing more.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Having clarified the premise, you will understand well that the question, today, it is only one: since we are talking about remastering, will CyberConnect2 have fixed the problems that, almost 10 years ago, plagued the game? Well the answer is a disappointing "no", so much so that if yesterday All-Star Battle was a title exquisitely designed for fans, today things have not moved far from there.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure : All-Star Battle R, in fact, has substantially only improved the stability of the framerate, now firmly anchored at 60 FPS which, especially if you think about the fighting scene, would be a rule that must always be respected. Yet, beyond this, it is almost disheartening to see that the team has done very little, making JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R almost a disappointment for those who, perhaps, expected something more, if not something new. ("Someone" like whoever writes to you). But let's go step by step.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is basically a three-dimensional fighting game, but with a decidedly two-dimensional soul, whose roster is truly monstrous, and includes most of the well-known faces ( and not) of 7 of the series that make up the work. And mind you, let's say 7 because, as in the original game, the roster of the eighth series, Jojolion, is limited to only the protagonist Josuke Higashikata, so much so that the story chapter dedicated to him does not include any clash of the original narrative, but only of the nonsens “What If”, the last of which is against Baoh, a character extrapolated from the manga of the same name, written and drawn in his youth by Araki himself. Probably only Araki himself knows why, or maybe not even him.

Now, if the choice was understandable then, when Jojolion was still in the pipeline and little or nothing was known about its plot implications, today as today , a year after the conclusion of the series, it is inexplicable that there has been no effort to integrate, at least, some characters taken from the eighth series of Jojo, even more so if this is widely considered one of the best for plot and depth of the characters.

Everything smacks of a wasted opportunity and, given the rest, this is perhaps the only idea that could have given a more concrete meaning to the remastering of the game, since there is not much else to say.

Ball Breaker

Also disappointing to see how the story mode itself has been heavily shredded, removing even the little bit of narrative that included the original game. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle for PS3, in fact, had the ugliest narrative mode ever seen in the history of licensed titles. The game, wanting to concentrate only on the fights, had in fact relegated the entire plot of the manga epic into a few written panels, readable during the uploads between the fights, then leaving the task to the beginning of the fight, said by the fighters themselves in the field. (arduous and impossible) to offer further context.

Such bad stuff that it is hard to understand if it is not a good thing that in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R everything has been completely removed. The player, therefore, is allowed the only "narrative" habit of moving in a series of unlockable "panels", nothing more than static images that foretell the clash and which, once selected, give way to some of the most memorable fights. of the series, plus others that, once again, function as “What If”. The point is that there is no narrative context altogether, and it's unclear - unless you remember the manga - what order you should face the challenges.

all the more paradoxical there are then some parts of the story, such as "Stardust Crusader" (third series, the one starring Jotaro Kujo), which are even divided into several chapters, as if for an unsuspecting or forgetful player it made sense divide the "history clashes" into several parts when there is not even a vague common thread behind them. An embarrassing stuff, which does not do justice to Araki's immense and imaginative work and which, on the contrary, generates a sense of repulsion towards a choice that, on the occasion of a remastering, seems not only senseless, but also sloppy.

Not even the other modes (few, and basically inherited from the original game) offer comfort from the flatness of the narrative mode, and are limited to the most traditional there can be on a fighting game: an arcade mode, a couple of survival modes and a tournament mode, as well as the possibility of being able to slap yourself with a friend locally. Not much.

And the online mode? We would like to cheer you up by telling you that, at least that one, is finally all roses and that - ALLELUJA - the dynasty of the various JoJos is free not only from the wickedness of Dio Brando, but also from a dancing and unsatisfactory netcode, but the reality is that our attempts to connect did not lead us to make even an online match! Nothing, zero, nisba, nada de nada! Even trying at different times, and on different days, the digital rings were perpetually empty, and we didn't even run into some fearful colleague who, like us, was in search of digital truth. A problem that old PS3 players will know well, since even at the time not only was the online section of the game often vacant, but many times it ran into errors, endless waits and in several minutes of "nothing done".

Golden Wind

So what's good about this All-Star Battle R? First of all, there is the number of characters, about 50, that is the whole original roster, plus the various characters added over time as DLC, including some tasty additions, such as Lisa Lisa, Ham and Fish or the very angry Pet Shop. Added to this are also some minor innovations to the combat system, namely the combo breaker, the aerial shots and the possibility of choosing a support character who, summoned through R2, can give us a hand with a hit, a trap or a counter to a limited number of times.

Everything else is the classic All-Star Battle, that is a 3-button fighting game, plus a fourth dedicated to dodging, in which key combinations tend to all look alike, and in which the technique is really seen only for certain characters, even if they all have a minimum of potential to be fun to play, also thanks to the Stands, all extremely different, just as the Arakian tradition wants.

Having said that, the additions are pleasant, and help to rejuvenate a bit the sensations of the 2014 game which, as fans will remember, in its desire to propose itself as a technical choice compared to the past of CyberConnect2, was often undermined by lla poor mobility of some of his characters, while exploding in monstrous combos and various supernatural effects (a hard stuff to explain, but very clear pad in hand). In any case, these are trifles that do not cancel the original imbalance of the roster, still heavily biased in favor of the Stand bearers, and in which there are also at least two or three elements that heavily dominate the remaining characters (Jotaro, Josuke, Day and God, to say the most famous cases, were relieved yesterday, and they are today too).

A general technical cleanliness is also good, with a rejuvenation of the textures and a nice retouch to the voices, and with many new vocal additions also in the menus, originally absent from the 2014 game. is still a really beautiful game to look at, mostly thanks to the beautiful models of its characters, in what is a visual experience that pleasantly favors the dynamic and fluid style of Araki's original work, as well as his weird taste for c colors, clothing, and the general appearance of the various faces introduced in the work.

For the rest, apart from an avalanche of costumes, illustrations and models to be unlocked, almost all of which are left to the shop (and relative ingame currency obtainable from clashes), All-Star Battle R has no great advantages, if not the one already mentioned relating to the framerate and the general remastering of the textures. The rest is all the work originally done by the CyberConnect2 team which, already at the time, stood out for an excellent animation sector, which included not only the very meme "poses", but also and above all the facial animations, capable of giving a great impact not only in the clash, but above all in the continuous exchange of loaded and unloaded shots, accentuated by the "Easy Mode" which, designed for players less accustomed to digital beating, allowed to unload the fury of the various warriors by ringing combos with the pressing a single key (the square). A pleasure that was part of the fortune of the original game, and which is still there today.

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