All game developers at some point in their career strive towards creating games under one single category; unique.
Capcom’s depiction of Hirohiko Araki’s Manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure definitely falls under this category with great ease.
The very same team who brought us the Street Fighter 3 games created this little gem and it shows in its 2D one on one fighting gameplay, and cartoony graphics.
This version of the game is a straight port of the same game released for the PlayStation and Sega Dreamcast, however with a significant graphical upgrade and the inclusion of online multiplayer.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure main storyline follows Japanese teenager Jotaro Kujo who develops a bizarre supernatural ability known as the “Stand”, which enables him to summon and control a powerful magical entity with its own abilities to assist him in his battles.
Jotaro’s grandfather Joseph Joestar tells Jotaro of his connection between his family and that of the evil vampire Dio Brando and learns that Jotaro’s mother’s life is in danger because she is unable to control her own “Stand”.
Knowing this, Jotaro embarks on a journey to defeat Dio and save his mother.
It’s a generic story of good versus evil and other characters you choose have their own story to uncover giving this game a generous degree of depth.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is definitely bizarre with its weird and wonderful cast of characters, 22 in all to choose from.
Using Street Fighter 3’s unique art style, this game looks great with its cartoony character design and bright colour palette choice, keeping faithful to the Manga cartoon. Each character looks superb with new high definition sharp visuals which is maintained during each characters fighting animations, and backgrounds are also finely detailed previously unseen due to the limited graphic prowess that the PlayStation and Dreamcast could offer.
The characters’ super combos are nothing more than screen filled masses of amazing looking flashy graphics mixed with a fast pacing that is over in less than a second but a joy to pull off.
Stories are pushed forward by a brief storyboard and text with no voice acting present, which is reminiscent of the 2D fighting genre that were dominant back in the year 2000 when this game was first released.
These storyboards are beautifully drawn pictures and minor animations designed to give each character personality, which works perfectly.
Even though this game appears bizarre, the way the game plays is very standard yet familiar to average 2d fighting game fans.
It’s hard not to think of games like Darkstalkers and Street Fighter when playing this game as it plays identical to both of these, however with a more simple control scheme.
You basically have 3 attacks consisting of light medium and heavy and also a button which activates and deactivates your characters “Stand”.
Special moves are deployed by pressing a certain combination of buttons pretty much ripped straight from the Street Fighter games.
The learning curve was easily overcome and I found myself whipping out the super combos almost instantly, however this game is super fast paced, and the computer AI was very difficult to play against.
Even at its lowest difficulty setting I found myself getting my butt kicked which led to serious frustrations.
Even though the special moves are easy to pull off, the CPU always finds a way to overcome them and counter attack extremely easily.
Onscreen, there is your health bar above, “Super” bar below with a maximum of 3 levels, which increases as you deal damage to your opponent and also a Stand bar, which depletes whenever you’re Stand, when activated, takes damage. When your Stand is defeated, you will suffer a Stand crash which renders you’re Stand unplayable, momentarily leaving your character completely vulnerable.
It’s all familiar stuff that is easy to pick up being a Street Fighter fan, however I was easily put off playing by the unrelenting difficulty.
The sound is something you just have to listen to to believe, it’s awful!
The Japanese voice snippets and tinny music and retro style sound effects make it easy to play this game without sound.
It does nothing to compliment the onscreen art at all and is extremely forgettable. If your updating a game visually, why not update it audibly? This was a devastating disappointment.
The 2D one on one fighting genre is rich with brilliantly designed yet easily accessible games; Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure HD is brilliantly designed but not very accessible due to its unforgiving difficulty. Whilst great to play with friends, this relentless difficulty makes the story mode very tough to play through. Capcom should have updated its sound as well as its visuals to give this game any chance of standing out however the simple game play mechanic and unique game design makes it easy to forgive them. This game is definitely for the 2D fighting game veterans and experts. Newbies steer clear.
I score Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure HD 7.5/10.
Story – 6/10
Gameplay – 8/10
Graphics – 8/10
Overall – 7.5/10
Jo Jo`s Bizzare adventure
Release date: 21st August 2012