JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R Review

Richard Walker

Right off the bat, I have to admit that my knowledge of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is limited. It goes about as far as knowing that it concerns a hero named Jonathan Joestar (aka JoJo); a scheming, profoundly evil interloper named Dio Brando; a weird fella well versed in Hamon energy named Baron Zeppeli; and, it's most definitely bizarre. A remake of the 2013 fighter for PS3, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, this new version arrives with an 'R' suffix, which presumably stands for 'Remastered'. In that regard, this enhanced edition looks about as close to Hirohiko Araki's long-running series as it's possible to get, and, if you're a newcomer to the manga, which has been around since 1987, you might find the whole thing rather confusing. That doesn't really matter, though, because JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is a robust, full-featured, and hugely entertaining fighting game.

Classic JoJo pose, that.

Those more familiar with JoJo and his exploits will find themselves incredibly well served here, with over fifty playable characters to choose from, encompassing JoJo, his friends, his enemies, and numerous relatives and descendants – like Joseph Joestar, Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Joshi Higashikata, Giorno Giovanna, Jolyne Cujoh, and Jotaro Kujo – spanning every one of the anime's story arcs. A generous suite of modes, including the All-Star Battle of the title, enables you to fight your way through JoJo's generations-encompassing saga, the aforementioned mode forming the crux of the game's solo offerings, with over 100 bouts of varying difficulty, each given its own illustrated comic book panel. You can use gold currency, earned upon completing matches, to purchase one-time use support abilities, which can be activated to help you overcome the more difficult All-Star Battle chapters, so you never feel truly stuck.

All-Star Battle is a neat single-player mode, then, although it gives little sense of JoJo's story or the narrative arcs it covers, beyond the characters who feature. Challenge Mode and Endless Mode offer immediate Arcade gratification, while the Versus and Practice Modes offer a place to sharpen your skills. Online, however, the experience is marred by dodgy netcode, resulting in occasional mid-match dips – given that this is a remaster, it's a shame developer CyberConnect2 didn't take some additional time to shore up its network and make the game more viable online. Still, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle failed to set the competitive circuit alight when it originally launched nine years ago, and it's unlikely to do so this time around, too, presumably due to its relative simplicity.

Nonetheless, All-Star Battle R is a fine revamp of what was a relatively niche fighting game, giving it a second chance at finding a broader audience. The whole thing has been thoughtfully put together, with clear tutorials and a glossary of all the lore and jargon that gives you some semblance of what it's all about. The fighting system itself is enormously intuitive, too, three face buttons mapped to light, middle, and high attacks, while one is a dedicated evasion button used to sidestep your opponent's advances. Each character also has their own style, whether it's Jonathan Joestar and Zeppeli's Hamon breathing technique, Dio's vampirism, or the 'Stand' and the Mounted special moves of numerous other characters.

As well as being able to string together combos, an 'Easy Beat' option can be toggled on or off, enabling casual players to easily unleash a flurry of light strikes, punctuated by a finisher, by jabbing a single button, while an entirely new tag-team 'Assist' enables you to call in an ally with a press of R2/the right trigger, interrupting your opponent while providing support. Hit stops and dash jumps lend further layers to All-Star Battle's battle mechanics, while a speedy tempo, supported by a smooth 60-frames-per-second, make CC2's game feel fresh and modern. The vibrant art style lends verve and energy to proceedings, each character given their authentic look from the anime series, complete with their Japanese VO performers, signature catchphrases, and poses. Fans will undoubtedly get a kick out of seeing their favourite heroes and villains from different JoJo eras butting heads. Stage gimmicks and Dramatic Finish moves only add to the freneticism, and, as such, it's hard not to get swept up in it all.

The assist moves are brand new.

Despite a poor online offering, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R still more than placates fans with strong single-player and local versus features, as well as a raft of customisation options. A handful of meaningful additions to the game's fighting system, meanwhile, bring CC2's game up to date, and, although it might lack the depth and intricacy of a Street Fighter or King of Fighters game, it has its own ample charms that will appeal to fans of the anime and fighting game aficionados alike. And, if nothing else, it's made a casual JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fan out of me.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star...

As a vibrant and energetic revamp of a nine-year-old fighting game, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R succeeds in breathing new life into something quite niche, with meaningful tweaks to its fighting system, new features, and more, giving it a well deserved second chance.

Form widget

Upbeat, up-tempo tunes aplenty, and all of the original Japanese VO artists from the anime. You'll be hard-pushed to complain here.


All-Star Battle's vibrant remastered visuals pop and fizz with energy and colour, doing a fine job in replicating the popular anime series.


A simplistic fighting system makes All-Star Battle wonderfully accessible, while special moves, styles, and skills inject a layer of complexity. Lovely stuff.


There's a more than adequate selection of solo and local modes to play through, and hundreds of customisation options, but poor online netcode lets the side down.


Completing All-Star Battle mode takes up the lion's share of the list, while there are a few for heading online and performing certain moves. It's fine.

Game navigation