JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD
Platforms: XBLA, PSN (Reviewed)
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Price: $19.99/1600 MSP
There are many different types of fighting games out there and in recent years some of these fighting games have begun developing a certain level of oddity about them. However all of these current titles barely hold a candle to a title originally developed and released to arcades by Capcom back in the ‘90s. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure first came to consoles in the year 2000 and brought with it some of the strangest fighting gamers had seen. Now twelve years later, Capcom has brought a digital HD version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to modern day consoles. Does this title still stand up after all these years?
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD doesn’t feature an extensive story mode or anything similar to that, instead it features a standard arcade mode like story that develops as each character makes their way through a number of fights. Each character’s storyline is different, especially the main ones such as Jotaro or Dio which feature more story points than secondary characters.
Unfortunately, considering JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD is based off of a manga of the same name, a lot of the story and some of the fighting aspects themselves will be lost on those who are unfamiliar with the original material as the game does little to introduce the premise. Thankfully, though it takes quite a large amount of playing, most fighters’ story modes blend together into a mildly understandable story,
Visuals & Audio:
Obviously with an HD version of a game coming out, one of the biggest improvements to the game should be the visual section and it is certainly true that the visuals have been smoothed over a bit in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and thankfully the smoothing over of these characters’ appearances didn’t disrupt the title’s art style much. With their sprites smoothed over and their attacks still as flashy and over-the-top as ever this creates a rather good looking fighting game for a title as old as this, though for those who prefer it, the game does provide original sprites without the smoothing filter.
It is also worth noting that Capcom did not attempt to force a widescreen acceptable ratio on the game and instead provided a standard ratio that includes some nice looking artwork of the fighting characters along the sides. These little portraits look much better than a forced ratio increase and add a bit of style to the game as a whole.
As far as soundtracks go, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD seems to have kept the same soundtrack as the original title, though this really doesn’t do it many favors as the background music is mostly forgettable with only a few tracks that may catch players’ interests while the sound effects for the game itself have been given the same treatment as the music, leaving a rather dull impression.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD features a rather large list of characters to choose from, with 22 characters playable right off the bat. This means that any fan of the series will likely be able to pick out their favorite character from the roster. It also worth noting that these characters come in every size and shape imaginable as fighters can even select a little dog called Iggi to fight as. What makes these characters even better is the fact that most of them have a very diverse moveset full of basic as well as very strange attacks.
Players will be using a standard combination of light, medium and heavy attacks to deal damage to their opponents in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD, though there is also a “stand” attack. These stands bring another fighter/creature into the battle which will fight alongside you, these stands can deal out large amounts of damage and can even take damage in the place of the player. These stands provide a lot of variety in fights and players can choose to fight in many different ways while using them, though it is worth noting that some characters do not have a stand.
One thing that is worth noting with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD, it is not one of the easiest titles to pick up and play but thankfully the title does contain a training mode that allows players to practice attack inputs and combinations. This is almost essential actually thanks to the varying movesets between players, oddity of some attacks and difficult enemy AI.
Outside of training mode there is also the aforementioned story mode to choose from, a challenge mode and a brand new online multiplayer aspect. The challenge mode allows players to fight through a number of opponents, with players selecting a small bonus at the end of each successful fight. This challenge mode is rather simplistic and mostly works to show the player’s skill.
Although very little single player wise was added to the game, online multiplayer is something that has been added into this HD release and it provides a rather lag-free arena for players to face off against others from around the world. Unfortunately Capcom provided a bare-bone version of online multiplayer, allowing people to select either player or ranked matches. Players can also upload replay data of their matches if they feel like or allow for online matches to happen during single-player modes, though even with these additions the mode feels very minimalistic.
There is one thing that is quite strange about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD release however and that is the fact that Capcom chose to release the title for $20 which is quite expensive for a digital title. While many would have expected a $10 price range or even a $15 release, this is far too much money to ask for the title thanks to the fact that, while the HD does look good and it now has a bare-bones online mode, nothing was done to make the title better.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD is certainly one of the odder fighting games you could pick up but those who do will find a story with some rather humorous elements and characters. With Capcom’s “HD” improvement to the title the graphics have seen a decent improvement and the online mode will please some despite the fact that it was given a bare-bones treatment.
Unfortunately the company chose poorly by placing a $20 price tag on a title that, ultimately, received barely any additions to keep gamers interested. There are many other, cheaper, fighters out there which improve upon what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was known for, but for what it is worth gamers may find themselves drawn in by the crazy fighting styles and the game’s unique appeal.