JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. review
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure debuted on the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation in the year 2000. For the manga’s 25th anniversary, Capcom decided to re-release the game and give it the HD treatment for PSN and Xbox Live. Does the game ring its nostalgia bell and make fans want to download this gem once again? Not so much.
Capcom has described this game as an “HD remake” but it certainly doesn’t look HD. In fact, the announcement trailer shows the original game running alongside the HD footage and both look fairly identical. Games like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 that came out the same year looked remarkably better, especially with the up-scaling in the HD remake. The game certainly looks like a Dreamcast game, which of course isn't the worst thing, but in no way is it up to par with other HD fighting game remakes.
Graphics, however, should be one of the last thing you should be worrying about in a fighting game, and thankfully, JoJo's delivers. Gameplay feels solid and not as combo heavy as modern day games as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Street Fighter X Tekken. The game runs like an older Street Fighter game, with precise button presses being the key to victory. If you’re a fan of old arcade one on one fighters, JoJo's should be already be on your radar. If you enjoy crazy combo gameplay or don’t enjoy Japanese manga, you’ll definitely want to pass.
The game's roster comes unlocked from the start and features 16 playable characters. Each fighter comes with their own unique abilities and movelists. If you like ranged combat, a charater like Holhorse would be perfect for you with his gun combat. Certain characters rely on "Stands" like Black Polnareff which are like summoned helpers. For Black Polnareff, I was able to use a Samurai that would randomly appear on different attacks to help increase the damage on certain moves. This is probably common knowledge if you're a fan of the manga, but for newcomers like me, this was confusing at first. The roster is certainly impressive for an older game, and when you add in the Stands, you have a dynamic character list.
The various game modes include a single player story, challenge, and training modes while the multiplayer has an online versus mode and an offline versus mode. For those that like to study their opponents or sharpen their skills, a replay function is available for both online and offline modes. The addition of online gameplay will no doubt help the longevity of the game and offers a feature not available on the older versions of the game.
In the matches I played, I experienced lag-free gameplay which is they key to an online fighting game. Fans of the manga or the original game will find themselves right at home with this “HD” version of the game. Not being limited to local play (arcade or older console release) will surely be a deciding factor for previous owners of the game. Of course, in this day and age, I would expect no less of a fighting game re-release.
Pricing is very important on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network models, which is a place that JoJo’s fails. 1600 Microsoft Points or $20 dollars on PSN is simply too high for the product you are receiving. Never mind that the game is extremely niche, $20 is usually reserved for the highest quality digital games, like Minecraft. If Capcom priced this at $10 they would have longtime fans of the series and general fighting games fans checking it out. At $20, only the the most hardcore of fans of the series will pick the game up. How is this relevant to you if you’re buying the game? The online community of course. Without people to play against, the biggest feature (the online gameplay) is meaningless.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure had a chance to shine for its 25th anniversary. Unfortunately the exorbitant price combined with the niche market appeal will doom it from the start. Although the gameplay is nearly untouched from the Dreamcast version, only huge fans of the manga will likely pick this game up.