Jojo’s All-Star Battle R: An Underappreciated Anime Fighter

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The Best Fighting Game You Never Played!

Story Highlight
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is one of the best anime fighters out there.
  • It offers a diverse roster, featuring characters across the first eight parts of this manga series.
  • The game excels as a faithful adaptation of the franchise.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is, for the lack of a better word, quite bizarre. Between the many different characters featured in this series, the complex battle system, and the constant evolution throughout each part, there’s a lot to take in as a newcomer to the franchise.

It makes sense, then, that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has not seen a lot of representation in gaming. In fact, there are only a handful of games that have ever been released for this IP, and only two of them can be considered modern titles.

The latest release came in the form of a remaster of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle. Dubbed All-Star Battle R, this remaster launched in 2022, introducing new characters, a rebalanced roster, and much more. While audiences have since moved on from this anime fighter, I continue to hold it in high regard to this day.

Why it matters: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has made a name for itself as a huge part of modern pop culture, but the gaming industry has been less kind to this IP.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
Cyber Connect 2 Nailed The Art Style | Image via Tech4Gamers

A Love Letter To Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

All-Star Battle R is not your typical anime arena fighter. This adaptation is a fighting game through and through, but Cyber Connect 2’s faithfulness to the source material allows the remaster to transcend the typical skill barrier associated with the genre.

Cyber Connect 2’s adaptation is every bit as bizarre as its source material. Once you boot up All-Star Battle R, expect the typical Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure shenanigans we have all come to love over the years.

Play as Part 2 Joseph Joestar, and you’ll be able to pull out a Tommy Gun mid-battle. Pick Part 7 Johnny Joestar, and you’ll find yourself riding a massive horse in a 1v1 fighting game. If this isn’t bizarre enough, you can always freeze time and pull out a giant road roller out of nowhere.

However, these examples only scratch the surface of everything on offer. Every exaggerated pose in the game is a one-to-one recreation from the manga, Cyber Connect 2’s art style is immaculate, and the roster is so large that lab monsters can lose themselves in practice mode for days on end.

Players are even presented with the choice between “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and Like hell I will!” when going through the menu, referencing Jotaro’s iconic face-off against Darby from Part 3.

All-Star Battle R is a true love letter to the franchise, and it’s a shame that it doesn’t get enough recognition in an era where studios release mediocre arena fighters one after another.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
The Roster Is Large, And The Characters Are Nuanced | Image via Tech4Gamers

A Great Fighting Game

Translating any single Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure part to a game is a daunting task in itself. It’s no small feat, then, that Cyber Connect 2 offers characters all the way from Part 1 to Part 8 in this remaster.

Keep in mind that this is the same studio that pioneered arena fighters like Naruto Storm. With barely any background in fighting games, what the team achieved in 2013 was nothing short of incredible.

The remaster adds even further depth to the combat. Between the assists, flash cancels, unique character mechanics, and a combo system incentivizing experimentation, there’s much to learn and master in All-Star Battle R.

Staying true to the source material, characters can fit into one of several archetypes and gain unique mechanics based on their roles. Hamon-based characters can charge meters, stand users have an advantage at range, and Part 7’s characters can ride horses… bizarre, right?

But there’s more. Certain characters have vampiric properties, others fit into typical roles like zoners or rekka characters, and Cyber Connect 2 even introduces unique meter gimmicks to capture the complexity of stands like Six Pistols.

One of the more bizarre examples of such a mechanic is seen with Pucci, who can evolve the green baby from Part 6 through a separate meter that must be charged to activate C-Moon mid-battle. C-Moon can further evolve into Maiden Heaven, turning Pucci into the unstoppable final boss he is meant to be.

Make no mistake, All-Star Battle R is a true fighter with competitive potential. Despite the many clashing ideas and mechanics, the title offers a combat system viable for professional competition, which is already much more than I can say for any other arena fighter.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
All-Star Battle R Allows You To Unleash All Kinds Of Special Moves | Image via Tech4Gamers

The Big Caveat

With all the praise so far, your next line is probably, “What’s the catch?” Unfortunately, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure would not be complete without something going completely wrong in the most ridiculous way possible.

For Cyber Connect 2, a delay-based netcode and atrocious online experience don’t take long to rain on All-Star Battle R’s parade. Unless the game is played in nearly optimal conditions, pulling off complex combos or having an enjoyable time is more or less impossible.

Despite all its strengths, All-Star Battle R’s potential is wasted by a shoddy online component, its charming gameplay quickly leaving behind frustration and disappointment.

Fire up the game today, and you probably won’t even find a match as you attempt to navigate the wasteland that is All-Star Battle R’s online component. Once you do get in a match, however, you’ll be at the netcode’s mercy.

Despite this major red flag, I still recommend All-Star Battle R to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fans. This is arguably the most authentic gaming experience based on the IP, with the likes of Eyes of Heaven paling in comparison.

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