While Street Fighter 6 was the talk of the show floor at Summer Game Fest Play Days, another fighting game also managed to impress me at the event. That title was JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R, a fighting game based on the popular and heavily-memed anime and manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The original JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle was first released in Japan in 2013, scoring a rare perfect score from the popular Japanese outlet Famitsu. Anime fighting games vary wildly in quality, but this was considered one of the better ones thanks to its thoughtful and rewarding gameplay.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R continues that game’s legacy as an enhanced remaster that does more than visually update the game and turn servers back. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R adds in new characters, voice acting, and gameplay tweaks that almost make it feel like a different game. In the years since the 2013 game this is based on came out, both JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and the fighting game genre got a lot more popular. Thankfully, my demo showed that this fighting game has only gotten better with age.
To be continued
Although JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R didn’t get a remake-level visual overhaul, fans should still appreciate many of the graphical tweaks and just how pretty this game is. Even though I was playing a PS4, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R was one of the best-looking games at Summer Game Fest Play Days. The anime already has an extremely distinct art style and features a cast of overly-muscular characters, so it transitions to a fighting game almost perfectly. Pulling off special moves that you’ve seen in the manga and anime or calling out a stand yourself is super satisfying, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R will show them in all of their extremely detailed glory.
Even the voiceovers and character models got updates to match the voice acting and styles fans will remember from the anime. We don’t get many video games based on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so it’s nice to see this one put in extra care to respect the source material and improve upon the original release. That said, graphics will only get you so far in a fighting game. It’s the gameplay mechanics that really ensure a fighting game lives or dies.
Thankfully, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R is a lot of fun to play.
The 2013 original was a 3D fighting game that plays more like Virtua Fighter than Jump Force. The standard attacks, combo, block, and dodge moves to be expected from fighting games are here, but characters can also summon their stands and basically get a second fighter to attack and zone with. Fights also have some other cute oddities, like having an assist character to strengthen some of your attacks or being able to taunt the other player when they are knocked down to take away some of their special meter gauges. That taunt feature specifically is not only hilarious but feels very JoJo and adds palpable benefits to what’s usually just a visual gag in fighting games.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R does add a couple of new gameplay additions that players will definitely notice, including hit stops and jump dashes that give that game more competitive depth, as well as flash cancels that let players quickly cancel their current combo if they don’t want to change their approach or the moves they are using
I didn’t have enough time to kit out and learn combos and how to string them together, but I can clearly recognize just how these features will positively deepen JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R’s meta. With auto combos for new players and revitalized online play too, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R hopefully won’t have a problem attracting new JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure fans to this fighting game. Whether you enjoyed the original release or want to see what a good JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure game looks like, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R should be on your radar.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R launches for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch on September 2. If you want to try it before then, a demo is available on PS4 and PS5 until June 21.
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