Review – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
There’s something about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure that just fascinates me. I never know if that anime is the single most ridiculous shonen ever made, intentionally or not. I never know if it’s meant to make fun of the ridiculousness of the genre, or if it’s just oblivious to how unsubtle it is. I am not the biggest shonen fan out there, yet I fell for this dumb series. You can thank Netflix and other streaming services for that, as well as word of mouth. Given the franchise’s resurgence in popularity, it was but a matter of time for Bandai Namco to release a game based on it. They decided to remaster and re-release one of the oddest exclusive games previously available exclusively for the PlayStation 3, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle.
Most people know JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle for being the one odd duck that Famitsu once scored a 40/40, putting it alongside titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Skyrim, Yakuza 5, and Metal Gear Solid 4. Yes, a licensed anime fighter alongside those games. Not a lot of people played the game when it first came out for a handful of reasons, namely the fact JoJo wasn’t as popular as it is today, and the fact the PS4 was already out by then, and if you remember, the damn thing wasn’t backwards compatible with the PS3. Remastering this older title was a smart idea in order to celebrate the manga’s 35th anniversary.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle (R or not) is a pseudo 3D fighting game, where the movement is mostly tied to a 2D plain, but you’re able to dodge attacks and projectiles in a 3D space with the press of a button, in a way that oddly reminded me of Mortal Kombat 4 for the Nintendo 64. It feels quite retro, even though it was released back in the PS3 era of gaming. That might also be one of its biggest issues, as that particular generation wasn’t known for competitive and responsive fighting games. Even though this remaster runs at 60fps without a hassle on weak PC hardware, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is still slow-paced when you’re used to what’s out there nowadays.
It forces you to rethink and unlearn how to play twitch-like fighting games. Thanks to how over-the-top every single animation in this game (and anime) is, attacks take way too long to hit. Whenever you get hit, it takes ages before you can react. This is not a game meant for competitive play. It feels dated for our day and age. You will want to grab it only if you’re a big JoJo fan, because this damn thing is fan service done right for this specific demographic.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R has everything a fan of the franchise needs. Pretty much every single damn character you can think of is playable, from all arcs, whether they’re from the Hamon or Stand eras of the anime. Each one has a completely unique combat scheme and moveset, which is impressive for a game with such a massive roster. They all look pretty good, considering the origins of this game as a PS3 exclusive from 2013, and are all voiced by the original cast of the anime.
There is also a ginormous event mode which comprises every single important battle from every since arc, in a Smash Bros-esque collection of scenarios. The single player modes are the ones you will spend the most time with, as I wasn’t particularly impressed with the game’s online options. Not only were the servers somewhat underpopulated, but the quality of the connection also felt subpar. Again, when you’re used to modern fighting games, going back to 2013 standards can be a bit odd.
Its online modes are bland, and its gameplay is really sluggish for modern fighting game standards, but the sheer amount of content and fan service make JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R a must-have for fans of this utterly ludicrous but endearing franchise. It is not something that will turn into a competitive staple (hell, it would have been better without online MP as a whole), but as something to turn on and enjoy if you want to relive some of the most over-the-top bouts of this over-the-top anime, that’s way too good to ignore.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is a really good-looking anime game for PS3 standards. It does hold up visually, but it’s not jaw-dropping in 2022. The problem lies in its long and elaborate animations, which in return, result in a slower-paced game.
The long and elaborate animations result in a fighting game that isn’t as fast-paced as its competitors. It’s not a game that will become a competitive staple.
All of the voice actors you love from this over-the-top anime are back, reprising their iconic roles. Music ain’t bad, either.
Fun Factor: 7.5
Its online modes are bland and its gameplay is sluggish for modern fighting game standards, but the sheer amount of content and fan service make JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R a must-have for fans of this utterly ludicrous but endearing franchise.
Final Verdict: 7.5
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC and Nintendo Switch. The original version of the game is available on PS3.
Reviewed on PC.
A copy of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R was provided by the publisher.