Nostalgia plays a significant role in the purchase of HD remakes, and must be so in the case of Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. With little story explanation and a meandering plot line, the bizarreness of JoJo’s adventure is passed on to you. Thankfully, being a 2D-fighter, you aren’t taxed with careful story considerations, instead, you can experience the fighting mechanics and revel in the Japanese-ness of the game.
Originally released in arcades, then in 1999 on the PlayStation and Dreamcast consoles, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a fighting game based on the original manga of the same name in Japan. If you aren’t familiar with the story, don’t worry, neither was I, and in reality, I still am not. The entirety of the adventure revolves around the powerful Joestar family. You see, the Joestars have the ability to project their spiritual energy into corporeal entity called a Stand. An evil force named Dio wants to destroy the Joestar family and absorb the Stands into himself. To do so, he places a curse upon Holly Kujo, daughter of the famous Joseph Joestar and the mother of the main protagonist: Jotaro Kujo. For this review, I played through the story mode as Jotaro.
The fighting mechanics in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure feel deep. Your character has his/her own set of moves, separate of those of your Stand. You even have some ability to work in tandem with your Stand to create even more moves to employ against your enemies. I was particularly impressed with how much strategy was involved in the usage of Stands. Each Stand has a life bar that can be reset by resting your Stand. So, I found myself watching both mine and my opponent’s Stand gauge during fights in order to balance between pushing my Stand to the limit and giving it time to recharge during the fight. Having your Stand “crash” isn’t the end of the world, but it certainly puts you at a distinct disadvantage.
The aspect I enjoyed the most in the game is how very Japanese the game feels. Between the art style and animation, I had the sense of being in a Japanese arcade. The game just gives you a unique perspective on the universe it was built.
Unfortunately, that’s where the uniqueness of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure wears off. Unless you were a huge fan of the original game or absolutely must have every Capcom 2D fighter, I honestly do not believe there is enough content to justify its purchase. I will say the up-rezzed graphics look solid in 1080p without sacrificing the game’s original art, but that – along with the decent mechanics – do not really make up for the muddled story, terrible sound and the price point.
You can purchase JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. now on the PlayStation Network for $19.99 or on Xbox Live Arcade for 1600 Microsoft Points.