It’s a little depressing that probably the best thing Capcom have done with themselves this generation is revel in their own nostalgia. They re-released a bunch of their best Dreamcast titles with Marvel Vs Capcom 2 and the Power Stone Collection, brushed off their old arcade titles with Street Fighter Third Strike: Online Edition and remade some of their beloved classic titles with Mega Man Powered Up and Bionic Commando Rearmed. Now it’s the Playstation 1 bin that’s being dumped out and given the high def brush with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. The only question remains is when we’re going to get a remake of Little Nemo The Dream Master LOOK IT UP.
JoJo is a 2D fighting game made by Capcom, which means you can already expect it to have lovely sprites and art design with distinct music that only the 90s could produce. The good thing about old fighting games being re-released is we get to hear decent fighting game soundtracks once again, and the tunes JoJo is packing are far preferable to the techno/dubstep stuff that churned out for every other tournament fighter these days. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure also happens to be a manga that this game is based on, and that this reviewer hasn’t heard of or knows anything about so let’s just leave that topic alone.
The game uses a four button combat system, in the simplistic Marvel Vs Capcom 3 style of having light, medium and heavy attacks along with one special. This is often a much more beginner friendly approach to control in fighting games, and is certainly easier to get into than the recent Konami released six button based Skullgirls.
The special move in this case is the inclusion of a “Stand” system, activating this Stand will power up your characters attack and combo ability, but leave you more vulnerable to enemy retaliation giving the otherwise fairly simple mechanics a whole new depth in strategy. It works well which is good because despite some of the special moves being a bit wacky and cool and the general game feel being solid and feel there’s really not that much else unique or special about JoJo.
This port is after all just a HD remake of a PS1 game with a bit of polish and online gameplay. The offline is pretty standard for fighters, a few unlockable bits and pieces, a decent roster size and some awful yet loveable cutscenes in the story/arcade modes. Time will tell how much character balance and such holds up, but the internet is getting irritatingly good at breaking fighting games, especially the older ones. For the more casual player, the roster contains a colourful variety of characters who control and move in distinctively difficult ways with different level of wackiness in their movesets, so there’s a lot of fun and spectacle to be had here even for the least capable of fighting fans.
The online is the real selling point here, and although it’s early days for the game it seems quite lacking. The netcode in matches seems to mostly hold up and is perfectly playable, but it’s unlikely that JoJo will set the world on fire and build a huge online community. A big problem with it is that the game shows how many player points you have from your online matches on matchmaking screens, meaning a lot of skilled players will back out of matches with lower skilled/lesser experienced players and vice versa, meaning it can be difficult to get started. When you get rolling online in JoJo there’s fun to be had, but unfortunately a lot of people frankly won’t make the effort, so this remains a game that you should get friends round to enjoy rather than go it alone.
The biggest problem with JoJo is its price point, £15.99 is far too much for a HD brush up (a nice one, but still) of an old PS1 game when you consider the options. If you don’t care about online play, it is simply impossible to recommend the game when you can buy Street Fighter Alpha 2 off the Playstation Store for half the price, or if you do care about online play then the cheaper and vastly considered superior Third Strike still has an active community.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD is fun, but this is for Capcom hardcores and potentially fans of the manga only. If you’re a big fan of Capcom fighting games then this is another strong showing from their peak era that you will want to add to you digital collection of fighters . It’s not the best around though, and everyone else for this amount of money in a genre with a lot of alternatives from the past and present can do better.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.