All your favorite Shonen Jump characters are invited. Kind of.
There have been a couple of Shonen Jump crossover fighting games now. Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars, Battle Stadium D.O.N and many more. While some of them are great, they are usually more misses than hits. To celebrate the 45 years of Shonen Jump, the company decides to give the crossover franchise another try. The result is the biggest, and best fighting game Jump has ever achieved.
The game features 52 characters from a wide range of 23 different Jump titles. While not all of the characters are playable, they can still be selected as support characters during battles. The gameplay is unique from traditional fighting game, as the game is not played in traditional 2D platforms, but expanded 3D worlds. Meaning that while playing locally with friends, the game actually requires split screens as players are free to roam the game. This might requires some getting used to at first, but it quickly becoming a pleasant experience that separates J-Stars Victory Vs. away from other fighting games.
It’s always great to see your favorite characters pit against each others. J-Star Victory Vs. also gives the characters their very own unique moves, and you can easily recreate classic moments from the anime with these characters. It’s also fun playing an average human character like Ryo-San from Kochikame, and have him fight super powerful characters like Goku. The joke characters always have some funny moves as well, and it’s definitely worth a try. Some characters even have the ability to transform, and it a chance to spice up the already fun gameplay.
My biggest complain with the game is the story mode. The J-Adventures Mode is the single player story mode where you have a chance to enjoy the story that put these characters together, and watch your crew grows bigger as the adventure continues. The story is actually quite fun, and it’s always exciting to see which character is going to show up next. However, other than collecting the J-Points to unlock items or characters, the J-Adventures Mode doesn’t really have a stronger motive for it to be played. At first, I thought the characters that joined the crew will automatically be added to the roster of fighters you can select in Free Battle, but it isn’t the case. Even if the character joined you, you still have to purchase them with your J-Points for them to show up in the Free Battle mode. This makes the sole purpose of playing the story mode to collect J-Points, and nothing else. While it’s not right to compare, it makes me miss Super Smash Bros. Brawl where you can unlock new characters with many different methods, and one of them is by playing the story mode.
There’s also a strange restriction on buying new characters as well. Doesn’t matter how many points you have, you can only buy certain amount of characters/items at one time. You have to wait for a while until the restriction refreshes. It’s unknown what the condition to refresh the restriction is, but the whole idea is just silly. Players mainly get this game becasue they want to see their favorite characters fighting each others, and we should be able to do so as soon as possible.
It’s also a disappointment that the game lacks some of the major players in the Shonen Jump history, and they focus on some of the more obscure characters such as Yamada Taro from Chin’yūki series. On the top of my head, the game is already missing characters such as Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh and any characters from Death Note. The game has the voice actors from the respective anime series to voice the characters, so the lack of some of the important Shonen Jump series might be due to some licensing issues. But still, the game is supposed be the biggest Jump Stars all gathering together, and it’s a shame that some of the biggest ones are missing from the event.
Overall, while J-Star Victory Vs. might be a good game, it’s hardly the best Shonen Jump game we deserved. It’s an unique gameplay experience here and there, but it failed to exceed our expectations. The strange unlock system puts a hold on the gameplay value, and the lack of some major players is a real shame. It’s still a great game though, and it’s something all Shonen Jump fans will enjoy.