JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Version Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Version Box Art
System: PS3*, Xbox 360
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: August 21, 2012
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p ESRB
A Game Without Extras
by Angelo D'Argenio

Fighting games are experiencing a kind of second renaissance these days. Long lost IPs are being resurrected, the lost art of the 2D fighter has been revived, and the tournament scene is now bigger than ever. With the recent announcement of a brand new JoJo's Bizarre Adventure game by NAMCO Bandai, it's only natural that Capcom would resurrect their classic JoJo's Bizarre Adventure 2D fighter for the HD generation. That's exactly what JoJo's Bizzare Adventure HD is, a faithful port of the old classic. Now, HD remakes generally come with lots of bells, whistles, and extra content, but JoJo HD unfortunately falls a little short in this area. The game is as fun as it ever was, but you aren't getting much more than the exact game you played over a decade ago.

For those of you who don't know, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a popular manga series that's spawned several anime and game adaptations. The third story arc, Stardust Crusaders, is the focus of JoJo HD. In the JoJo's universe, characters are able to manifest ghostly versions of their inner power called "Stands." Stands can take any form, from a weapon to a replication of a powerful ancestor.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Version Screenshot

This is what makes JoJo's bizarre adventure so much fun. The game uses a four-button system that incorporates Stands into basic combat. The buttons are Light, Medium, Heavy, and Stand. Light, Medium, and Heavy throw out attacks of the respective strengths, while Stand does several different things depending on the character you are playing.

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This is what makes JoJo's bizarre adventure so much fun. The game uses a four-button system that incorporates Stands into basic combat. The buttons are Light, Medium, Heavy, and Stand. Light, Medium, and Heavy throw out attacks of the respective strengths, while Stand does several different things depending on the character you are playing.

Characters with active Stands summon their Stands to fight alongside them when you press the S button. Normally, attacks don't chain into each other in JoJo's, much like Street Fighter. However, when your stand is activated, you can chain light into medium into heavy, Marvel vs. Capcom style. Your character can fight totally independent of their active Stand, similar to how characters can fight alongside their Personas in the new Persona 4 Arena. Characters with weapon Stands also get similar benefits, but their Stands instead activate a weapon, which changes the character's move-set around. Characters with passive Stands can't activate a Stand at all. Instead, their stand button activates a fourth, even more powerful attack.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Version Screenshot

Unfortunately, you wouldn't learn any of this just by playing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD. While the game comes with a How to Play section, it barely goes into the games deeper mechanics. Not only that, but the entire How to Play section doesn't include any interactive tutorials. The whole thing is done through splash screens that don't even go into as much depth as the original JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manual did.

This is unacceptable when you consider the steps other HD remakes have taken to introduce new players to the game. Third Strike Online came with a full tutorial and challenge mode that delved fairly deeply into the game's systems. Other downloadable games have taken huge leaps forward in terms of tutorials. Skullgirls has one of the best tutorial modes to have ever graced a fighting game, period. Retail releases are also stepping up their game, with Persona 4 Arena sporting one of the most in-depth tutorial and challenge modes we have seen in a fighter to date. Frankly, JoJo HD is more than a few steps behind when it comes down to getting new players integrated. It's unlikely that you will be able to get into high-level play if you weren't a Jojo's fan back in the days of the Dreamcast.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Version Screenshot

Of course, the biggest addition to JoJo's HD is netplay, which is a staple for all modern-day video games. Unfortunately, the netplay in Jojo HD isn't really pulling its weight. Even local connections seem to introduce impressive button delay into the mix, and this is a game with some pretty strict combo timing. Not only that, but the servers are actually rather barren, even shortly after its launch. With so many other fighting games out there, it just doesn't seem like JoJo HD has enough support to really build a community. Scheduling matches with your friends works fine, but getting into random matches is a pain. This also makes it hard to climb the leaderboards, which is one of the most attractive features for fighting game players who are yearning to prove that they are better than everyone else.


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