Originally released on PS3, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R takes one of the best games based on the long-running manga series and enhances it.
More than a simple remaster, while JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R benefits from improvements such as an increased framerate and subtly upgraded visuals, other changes are much more meaningful. For one, there’s the fact that the roster of fighters has been expanded. The original JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle already had a generous roster, which was then bolstered by DLC. This remaster goes one step further, offering a whopping 51 fighters. They’re all unlocked from the outset, too.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other new features include battle system adjustments, tweaks to modes, and even new voice recordings to make the package feel more authentic and complete. Needless to say, for a JoJo fan, the prospect of getting to grips with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R should be very exciting indeed.
The truth is, even those who aren’t are likely to get a lot of fun out of it, though. Upon its original launch some nine years ago, this was an entertaining – though perhaps a little scrappy – fighting game. And it still is. With its three attack button system, it allows players to easily string their own combos together, while Street Fighter-style motions can be used to instigate a range of special attacks. An Easy Beat option is also included, facilitating flashy combos which can be produced by simply tapping the light attack button.
But all these moves that make JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle more accessible than other fighting games don’t compromise depth. And this remaster tweaks the combat and adds new features to make it even deeper. Things like highly damaging Great Heat Attacks make a return, as well as stage-based Gimmicks that add some unpredictability to fights. But in addition there are now new manoeuvres such as jump dashes and assist attacks, opening up your options.
When it comes to modes, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R will particularly please those who enjoy a single player challenge. The original game’s story and campaign modes have essentially been combined into a single All-Star Battle mode. It may sound like a raw deal, but it’s actually for the better, as the campaign mode was a bit duff. Now you simply have one mode that’s more rewarding. You’ll engage in battles while unravelling the story, often with unique rules and modifiers. And as you go, you’ll unlock a range of extras while also earning gold. This gold can then be used to purchase more museum-style content, as well as character customisations. There are secret objectives to complete, too.
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Outside of All-Star Battle mode, the rest of what’s on offer is typical of the genre. Arcade mode allows you to take part in a series of battles, a tournament, or face off against an endless stream of opponents. Versus, on the other hand, lets you set up bespoke fights either against another local player or the CPU. A practice mode also makes the cut, but it’s a shame there isn’t much else to help players learn the ropes.
Where JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is most likely to disappoint is in its online offerings. Both ranked and unranked matches are available, but the title doesn’t have rollback netcode. Still, in our limited time playing online we’ve not encountered any major issues, but results may vary.
Playing the PS5 version for review, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R looks surprisingly good for a title nearly a decade old. The fact that its visuals are comic book-styled surely helps. When the camera gets in close, some flaws are put on display though, and there’s no attempt to make use of unique PS5 features such as Activity Cards and DualSense support.
For JoJo fans, this remaster is likely to be very welcome indeed. It takes a solid fighting game that arrived towards the end of the PS3’s life and not only enhances it, but also expands upon it. The result is a game that looks a bit dated visually, but still has a hell of a lot to offer, especially for those happy to simply play against the CPU or another local player. Ultimately, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R may not quite have the pizzazz to compete with the modern fighting game elite, but it certainly puts on a good show.