If you’ve been playing video games for any period of time, you’ve almost certainly played one of the Street Fighter games. If you’re a fan of fighting games, you’re also likely familiar with Darkstalkers and the various mashup titles in Capcom’s loosely linked “Versus” series. Those of you with encyclopedic knowledge of esoteric arcade titles from the late 90s might even know about Red Earth/Warzard. We’re willing to bet good money though that none of you have ever heard of (let alone played) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Originally released in arcades in 1998, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was a 2D fighting game based on Hirohiko Araki’s famous manga of the same name. Like the aforementioned Red Earth/Warzard, it was built on Capcom’s CPS3 hardware which gave the game utterly gorgeous animation and graphical effects that while not quite as spectacular as the similarly CPS3-powered Street Fighter III’s aesthetics, were far ahead of the curve at the time. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure eventually saw ports for both the PlayStation and Dreamcast, but neither iteration of the title was very well known. The former, like most Capcom fighters on Sony’s first gaming console, suffered greatly due to the system’s lack of onboard memory, while the latter was overshadowed by other, more popular fighting games like Capcom’s own Marvel Vs Capcom 2 and Namco Bandai’s Soul Calibur. The premature death of the Dreamcast certainly didn’t help things either.
The esoteric nature of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is truly a shame, as the title remains a phenomenal fighter. For years it seemed as if the game would go down in history as one of those titles beloved by a small but devoted group of fans, but as of a few hours ago Capcom announced that it had plans to revive the game in the form of a high-definition remake.
Capcom’s Unity blog offers full details:
In a bizarre twist, Capcom announced today that we will be bringing an HD, feature-filled upgrade of 2D fighting classic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to Xbox Live on August 21st and PSN on August 22nd for 1600 MSP and $19.99 respectively, titled JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver.
If you missed out on this game back in the PS1/Dreamcast era, here’s the basic gist. Based on a famous story arc from the hit JUMP manga series of the same name, JoJois a most gorgeous Capcom fighter of the zaniest order. Expect insane combos and a dynamic, over-the-top roster. Each character has the power to unleash a supernatural familiar known as a “Stand,” giving them access to incredible special moves.
The coming version will also include upgraded HD visuals and a robust set of online features comparable to those in Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Unfortunately, beyond that “upgraded HD visuals” and “a robust set of online features” bit, the blog offers scant details on what has been added to HD Ver. that wasn’t already present in the Dreamcast iteration of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. If we are to go by the changes Capcom has made in its previous XBLA/PSN HD remakes, we’d expect to see a gallery of production art from the game, a comprehensive sound test and a surprisingly useful training mode, though beyond that the additions are anyone’s guess. Given the relatively high $20 price tag we would hope for some impressive new features — an HD version of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime movies would be nice — but nothing in Capcom’s recent history leaves us certain that the company has anything truly unexpected planned for this release.
Still, those who played the original version of the game will know that a re-release of this nearly unknown fighter with modern aesthetics is worth the price of entry on its own. It’s an objectively great game, especially for those who consider Street Fighter III to be the pinnacle of virtual pugilism. We’ve given a brief overview of the title above, but for those interested in learning more we’d highly recommend reading through Hardcore Gaming 101′s retrospective. As with all of their articles, the piece covers every important aspect of the game in intensive detail, so unless you harbor an innate hatred of fighters that article should keep you sufficiently psyched for JoJo’s until it hits the XBLA and PSN this August.