Catching Up with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle Catching Up with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle
You might have noticed over the last year or so that there’s been a lot of discussion about a new game based on JoJo’s... Catching Up with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle

You might have noticed over the last year or so that there’s been a lot of discussion about a new game based on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. You may also recall another title based on the series, developed by Capcom and released on the much lauded CPS3 arcade architecture. It was also ported to the PlayStation and Dreamcast, and recently received an HD rerelease on current consoles.

Aside from being based off the same source material, these are two very different beasts. Nevertheless, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle has been gaining a lot of steam since its announcement back in February. While the game may not share the exact DNA of its CPS3 counterpart, it certainly has a few tricks of its own to make it stand out as something promising.

Here are a few things you should know about JJBA:ASB (wow, that’s a long acronym) if you haven’t been keeping up with the deluge of news.

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IT’S BEING DEVELOPED BY CYBERCONNECT2

If you’ve ever played the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, you’ll know who these guys are. They’ve been in charge of Naruto fighting games since time immemorial. But in 2009, they flipped a lot of expectations around with Ultimate Ninja Storm—a new approach to the franchise with highly-polished, expressive graphics as well as a revamped combat system. It’s worked, and the series has pushed big numbers along with some strong review scores ever since.

The strength of those Naruto games lied in the understanding of the source material’s aesthetic. Say what you want about CyberConnect 2, but they certainly understand how to represent a series faithfully. Hirohiko Araki’s striking art style pops fluidly onto the screen in All Star Battle, and the characters come to life quite vibrantly. And while CyberConnect completely threw out the traditional fighting game rulebook to work on those Naruto games, they’ve stuck to it a little more closely with Jojo…which brings us to—

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IT’S (MOSTLY) A 2D FIGHTER

That’s probably the most important distinction to make here. All Star Battle’s fights may play out on full 3D environments, but most of the action is still locked to a 2D plane. There’s no denying that a large number of fighting game fans ears perked up when a new JoJo game was announced, and it seems that there’s an effort to try to evoke at least a little bit of that memory. But again, these are two games with very different audiences in mind.

The layout is simple for the most part. You have your traditional health bar, as well as super meter (dubbed the Heart Heat gauge). The game has full 360 degree movement, but nothing as loose as the Ninja Storm games—more akin to a mix of Street Fighter IV and Virtua Fighter or Tekken. Unlike the latter titles, however, where you sidestep by moving the joystick towards or away from you, All Star Battle features a single-button sidestep with X. A solo press will sidestep into the background, and down+X will move your character towards the foreground.

The square, triangle, and circle buttons comprise your general weak/medium/strong attacks, while R1 lets you dismiss/attack with your Stand (supernatural powers within the JJBA universe). Characters without Stands use the button for different things, such as summoning a horse or Ripple powers.

Stages include gimmicks, like a weather report causing rain or poison arrow frogs on a prison stage. There’s also a clash system in which both players have to mash the square button to see who comes out on top of an exchange. It’s a common “flashy” addition to anime games, but it’s represented well here.

The mechanics of All Star Battle are a step towards traditional fighters, while still retaining a lot of flashy anime features CC2 has come to be known for. You’re won’t be getting insanely technical, though it’s not wholly without merit either. It’s a fighter aimed at fans of the franchise, first and foremost, with a bit of depth and familiarity to keep others entertained.

More detailed gameplay information can be found in Siliconera’s extensive hands-on article.

IT’S GOT A BIG ROSTER

Thirty-four characters (with more coming as downloadable content) step into the All Star Battle ring, ranging from fan favorite Joe Joestar to Josuke Higashikate from Jojolion. Initially, no characters really seem like clones, and there appears to be a very conscious effort to make sure that the roster focuses on a variety of play styles (as opposed to having one that mashes square differently).

WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD.

Part 1 – Phantom Blood

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Jonathan Joestar (voiced by Kazuyuki Okitsu)

  • The son of the wealthy George Joestar. A good and honest person who’s life seems to always mix with tragic circumstances. The main protagonist of Part 1.
  • Battle Style: Ripple

Will A. Zeppeli (voiced by Yoku Shioya)

  • Jonathan Joestar’s ally and mentor. Teaches him the “ripple” style of martial arts.
  • Battle Style: Ripple

Dio Brando (voiced by Takehito Koyasu)

  • The major antagonist of Part 1 and Part 3. He’s also considered the main antagonist of the series as a whole due to his far reaching influence.
  • Battle Style: Vampirism

Part 2 – Battle Tendency

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Joseph Joestar (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita)

  • A hotheaded impetuous hero, also the main character of Part 2.
  • Battle Style: Ripple

Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli (voiced by Takuya Satō)

  • One of Joseph’s allies, with high strength and proficiency for hand-to-hand combat.
  • Battle Style: Ripple

Esidisi (voiced by Keiji Fujiwara)

  • One of the “Pillar Men” (ancient humans similar to vampires, trapped in giant pillars and resurrected by Nazis), and a major antagonist in Part 2.
  • Battle Style: Heat Mode

Wamuu (voiced by Akio Ōtsuka)

  • Another Pillar man.
  • Battle Style: Wind Mode

Kars (voiced by Kazuhiko Inoue)

  • Leader of the Pillar men. Intelligent, ruthless, and single-minded. Main atagonist of Part 2.
  • Battle Style: Light Mode/Ultimate Being

Part 3 – Stardust Crusaders

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Jotaro Kujo (voiced by Daisuke Ono)

  • The most popular character of the series. First JoJo to be introduced with a Stand.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Star Platinum)

Muhammad Avdol (voiced by Masashi Ebara)

  • Friend of Joseph Jotaro, strong source of knowledge on stand users.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Magician’s Red)

Noriaki Kakyoin (voiced by Kōji Yusa)

  • A warm and loyal fighter who joins Jotaro after being freed from Dio’s control.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Hierophant Green)

Jean Pierre Polnareff (voiced by Hiroaki Hirata)

  • An ally who joins Jotaro’s group to find a man with two right hands who raped and murdered his sister.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Silver Chariot)

Hol Horse (voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka)

  • Initially seen as an antagonist, becomes more of a comic relief in the series.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Emperor)

DIO (voiced by Takehito Koyasu)

  • Same Dio from Part 1, only more shadowy and evil.
  • Battle Style: Stand (The World)

Part 4 – Diamond Is Unbreakable

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Josuke Higashikata (voiced by Wataru Hatano)

  • Starts the series as a high school freshman, with Jotaro looking for him. The illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Crazy Diamond)

Okuyasu Nijimura (voiced by Wataru Takagi)

  • Introduced as an antagonist, he quickly becomes Josuke’s best friend.
  • Battle Style: Stand (The Hand)

Koichi Hirose (voiced by Romi Park)

  • First year high school student saved by Josuke and a major character of Part 4.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Echoes)

Rohan Kishibe (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya)

  • A successful cartoonist, and thinly-veiled representation of Araki himself.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Heaven’s Door)

Akira Otoishi (voiced by Showtaro Morikubo)

  • A major antagonist in Part 4. A rock star with the stand Red Hot Chili Pepper.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Red Hot Chili Pepper)

Kosaku Kawajiri (Yoshikage Kira) (voiced by Rikiya Koyama)

  • Character with the same body type and looks as Kira Yoshikage.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Killer Queen: Bites the Dust with Stray Cat)

Part 5 – Vento Aureo

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Giorno Giovanna (voiced by Daisuke Namikawa)

  • The biological son of both Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Gold Experience)

Bruno Buccellati (voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama)

  • A moral and loyal man who leads the Buccellati gang.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Sticky Fingers)

Narancia Ghirga (voiced by Yuuko Sanpei)

  • A member of the Buccellati gang.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Aerosmith)

Guido Mista (voiced by Kenji Akabane)

  • Another member of Buccellati’s gang.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Sex Pistols [voiced by Asami Imai])

Diavolo (voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa) / Doppio (voiced by Akira Ishida)

  • The main antagonist of Part 5. A mafia boss.
  • Battle Style: Stand (King Crimson)

Part 6 – Stone Ocean

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Jolyne Cujoh (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro)

  • The daughter of Jotaro Kujo.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Stone Free)

Hermes Costello (voiced by Chizu Yonemoto)

  • One of Jolyne Cujoh’s greatest allies.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Kiss)

Enrico Pucci (voiced by Shō Hayami)

  • A Catholic Priest who works at the Green Dolphin Street Prison.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Whitesnake [voice Takuya Kirimoto]/C-Moon [voice Takuya Kirimoto]/Made In Heaven)

Part 7 – Steel Ball Run

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Johnny Joestar (voiced by Yūki Kaji)

  • The protagonist of Steel Ball Run. The series takes place in an alternate reality.
  • Battle Style: Horse Riding (Slow Dancer)/Stand (Tusk)

Gyro Zeppeli (voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki)

  • Most likely the counterpart of Caesar Zeppeli.
  • Battle Style: Horse Riding (Valkyrie)/Rotation/Stand (Ball Breaker)

Funny Valentine (voiced by Yasuyuki Kase)

  • Former soldier, discharged after being tortured.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)

Part 8 – JoJolion

Josuke Higashikata (Gappy)

Josuke Higashikata (Gappy)

Josuke Higashikata (voiced by Mitsuaki Madono)

  • Main character of the latest JoJo series.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Soft & Wet)

Downloadable Characters

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Iggy

  • A Boston Terrier from Part 3 who possesses a unique Stand in The Fool.
  • Battle Style: Stand (The Fool)

Shigekiyo “Shigechi” Yangu

  • Friends with Josuke and Okuyasu in Part 4. Commonly referred to as “Fatty.”
  • Battle Style: Stand (Harvest)

Yoshikage Kira (voiced by Rikiya Koyama)

  • The major antagonist of Part 4.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Killer Queen: Sheer Heart Attack)

Pannacotta Fugo (voiced by Hisafumi Oda)

  • Another member of Bruno Bucellati’s gang in Part 5.
  • Battle Style: Stand (Purple Haze)

Additional Characters

Baoh

Baoh

Baoh

The eponymous main character of another Hirohiko Araki manga series that predates his work on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. He was revealed at the end of the game’s latest trailer (included in the playlist below), but it’s still unknown if he will be included as an unlockable or downloadable character.

There’s also a small amount of character customization options, where players can change attributes from character colors to different taunts.

IT’S JAPAN ONLY

If All Star Battle seems like a kind of game worth pursuing, you’re going to have to go the import route. It’s very rare that JoJo games make it outside of Japan, and this will most likely stick to that trend. Due to the PlayStation 3’s architecture, however, the game is perfectly playable on consoles outside of its home country, as there’s no region-locking implemented.

While you wait, feel free to take a look at the various trailers that Namco Bandai has released since the game’s initial announcement in the playlist below.

A CALCULATED RISK

Look, don’t expect a King of Fighters level of technical detail in the mechanics of All Star Battle—it’s not that. It’s not trying to be that. The goal of All Star Battle is simple—offer a fun flashy tribute to one of the most prolific Japanese franchises of all time. That being said, any game with enough support can break past the initial barrier to find that endless rabbit hole of depth.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle was released today in Japan, exclusively on PlayStation 3.

(Images courtesy of Famitsu and the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Wiki)

  • xybur

    My copy is on the way. I’ve been waiting for this FOR MONTHS. Too excited.

  • While some of the characters poses are very dope, others are kind..of..questionable

    • martin rush

      they too faboulous? do you even pose?

  • Johnathon Otero

    that roster looks like a pride parade.

    • Ben

      JJBA is too fabulous for you.

  • ネックロー

    Its taking a lot of willpower for me to wait on getting a copy. I really want some more in-depth reviews other than just the siliconera review (though their review is really informative). Also want to know how easy it is for a 95% illiterate in Japanese like myself to navigate the menus successfully.

    • Ben
      • Freakmasta

        Famitsu will give a perfect score to a prostitute who gives a lot of money.

        • syrup16g

          I know what you are trying to say but what? Grammar.

          Anyway yeah Famitsu perfect scores don’t mean anything, they have been unreliable for many years and will give good reviews to companies who pay up.

  • Tan Tan

    JoJo has always looked quite flamboyant, but don’t let it fool you. The storyline for JoJo is amazing. Also, does anyone know if this is on the Japanese PSN or if it will be?

    • EA575

      It’s on PSN for 7,980 yen and includes OG Kira

      • Tan Tan

        Finally! Been waiting all week for it. Thanks for the update. Downloading it NAO!

  • Ben

    It was from almost a year ago, but I’m still hoping there’s something behind Namco Bandai securing the “All Star Battle” trademark. http://www.joystiq.com/2012/09/15/namco-trademark-points-to-us-release-for-jojos-bizarre-adventur/

  • Gamegeezer

    Thank you for that write up RedRapper. Truly well deserved!

  • Raegis

    Always good to do a recap once in a while, great idea ! A few notes though :
    « Stages include gimmicks, like a weather report causing rain or poison arrow frogs on a prison stage. » > You meant Weather Report, I believe. He’s a character from part 6, his stand does stuff like that.
    « ranging from fan favorite Joe Joestar to Josuke Higashikate » > Joe ?!
    « DIO – Same Dio from Part 1, only more shadowy and evil. » > Also more stand-ish ?
    « Kosaku Kawajiri – Character with the same body type and looks as Kira Yoshikage. » > He is actually the villain from part 4, Kira, having taken some dude’s (Kosaku) body at this point in the story. The DLC Kira (blond-haired) is the same villain but from the middle of the story (he also has different powers).
    « Giorno Giovanna – The biological son of both Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar. » > SOUNDS SO WRONG ;_;
    « Funny Valentine – Former soldier, discharged after being tortured. » Also the motherfucking president of the united states. Americaaaa !

    • EA575

      Kira just took his face and fingerprints.
      Giorno is the son of DIO who stole Jonathan’s body.
      USA! USA! USA! USA!

  • pootnannies

    i’m really interested in how the gameplay turns out in high level matches. i’ve personally never seen something like this, with half 3d and half 2d mechanics.

  • BlackMasamune

    Damn, I remember watching Baoh as kid, I love that addition.

  • Kenneth Sean Fernandez Jr

    http://www.change.org/petitions/jojo-s-bizarre-adventure-all-star-battle-localize-it-and-bring-it-to-europe-and-america-operationstardust

    petition to get it in the America and europe please support if you want the game to come to the united states.

  • Hunts Rattata

    It would probably be good to mention that most of the stage gimmicks aren’t random, as I’m sure some people would be worried about that. They trigger after a set amount of time or after someone gets a knockdown, and seem to always hit the same part of the stage. Since they’re predictable and consistent, they’re something you can incorporate into your movement and positioning.

    Except maybe the Love Train gimmick, which gives whoever gets it a lots of free meter. I’m not so sure about that one.

  • 6810

    FYI for the non-Japanese readers…

    This game is getting VERY bad reviews by the majority of players in Japan. A quick survey of Amazon (one star) reviews:

    http://www.amazon.co.jp/product-reviews/B00BHAF688/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0

    Key beefs:

    1. DLC is outrageously expensive and works like a smartphone game. You can skip through campaign mode to buy “unlockable” characters. 600yen a pop. That said, from the end of September this price is supposed to fall to 300 yen.

    2. Campaign mode is always online.

    3. Loading times are very long (perhaps because of 2 above?

    4. Balance issues.

    I know I’ll be waiting until the nerd rage subsides and causes a price crash in the second hand market before I buy my used copy.

    I wonder if Famitsu got paid a percentage in future/potential DLC fees…

    Disappointing.

    • hentaiking

      don’t forget the stamina system; playing online or even against the cpu uses stamina that you either have to wait out or buy with recharges

      • 6810

        Yeah, I saw that too, thanks for adding it. I’m so disappointed as I just got into the comics earlier this year, took the ancient PSN download for a spin and liked what I saw… again, waiting for the nerd inspired price crash. On the upside since I won’t be getting this , I’ll be a day one BB:C buyer!

        • Tan Tan

          How many matches can you have online before it runs out because that sounds like bullshit to me.

          • Peter Loney (ピーター)

            As many as you want, only campaign mode is limited by stamina, and campaign mode is only you fighting AI to unlock costumes.

    • Campaign mode is NOT story mode just for the record. It’s basically a mode where you fight ghost of players from around the world. The only downside to it is it’s the only way to unlock extra costumes.

    • Hunts Rattata

      You don’t get characters from Campaign mode, just aesthetic stuff (costumes, taunts, palettes). Having the freemium model in a full-priced game is pretty skeevy, but it doesn’t hold hostage anything important.

      And you have the character prices backwards. They’re 300 yen now, and become 600 yen on the 25th.

    • Peter Loney (ピーター)

      Your 1 is wrong and your 2 is misleading, just so you know, but, call me crazy, I don’t think 300 yen for a full character is outrageously expensive…

      • 6810

        Yeah, yeah, weeaboos can justify all they want, reality is this is a speed wagon title. My info may be a bit squiffy… Nevertheless – Can’t wait to pick up my copy for 980円 from the wagon at the local Yamada Denki.

        • 6810

          sho beats paying 6-7k yen new + DLC. Freemium would be the word – if it was free. Pfft. Least they’re patching it. Maybe just in time for a wagon buy during the new year bargain sales.

          • Peter Loney (ピーター)

            Christ you’re salty that your info was wrong.