When we are growing up reading comics or manga, we always talk to our peers or our self wondering who is better? Who is stronger? Who is smarter or so on. So J Stars Victory Vs came by and knock manga and anime fans alike to this crossover game featuring the most popular (and obsure) manga characters from Jump Comics.
As this is the 45th anniversary of Jump Comics, they decided to come up with a fighting game and they have fans vote through a website asking who they want to see in the game. Of course the big guns are there like One Piece, Dragonball Z, Naruto, Bleach and so on. The classic characters like Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya, Dr Slump and Yu Yu Hakusho are a nice touch for nostalgic but there are also lesser known series like Lucky Man and Yamada Taro which people wonder why such characters are included.
There are all together 52 characters from 32 series in the game. 39 are playable while the remaining 13 acted as support characters. So do everyone play differently? As a matter of fact, yes! Some are faster like Arale or Hi-Ei who can do faster combos while slower characters like Goku, Toriko and Kenshiro take more time to master their combos.
The game consists of several modes-J Adventures which is basically story mode. Victory mode which is Arcade mode, Free battle where you can battle with a friend or cpu, J Custom where you place cards to create different attributes or advantages during battle, J Point Store where you buy new characters and items, Online mode and Gallery mode.
The story mode is where you pick one of the four main characters-Luffy from One Piece, Naruto from Naruto Shippuden, Toriko from Toriko series and Ichigo from Bleach. Once selected, you will navigate on a ship and go around the map finding new characters and quests to continue the story. Most of the time, you will reach a place and battle with a cpu team or accepting a side quest to gain points in order to get new characters or items.
The fighting system take a while to understand. First it is not button mashing and you are confirmed to a square arena to battle. If you rush into battle, chances are you will be defeated quickly as the cpu tend to do a lot of damage in the early minutes. The trick is actually playing defense and counter. This can be done with listening to a beep signal before the cpu begin it's attack. You then press R1 and the direction of the left analog stick to avoid it. If you master well, you won't even get a scratch when the battle ended.
But the fighting system also has flaws. One, the camera angle tend to go too close and sometime you can't see yourself or your opponents especially if you are facing a wall or being surrounded. Next, when a opponent suffered damages and get up, there is like a five second invulnerability that surround it and your combo can't continue. This means you have to fall back and wait for the opponent to end it's invulnerability which can cost some precious time as there is a time limit in every battle. Every character have 3 special attacks which can be activated by pressing the circle button plus analog or R1 button like Super Smash Brothers. But sometime you can accidentally press the Up left analog and circle button causing a special attack which you do not wish to perform and this can be disaster if an opponent take advantage of it.
All characters have a stamina bar and you can recharge it with R1 and X button together. But the problem is R1 is also the guard button and if you press too fast, your character remind in a guard position. The victory burst is basically your ultimate attack and you perform it when the victory volt gauge actually move to the left or right and it signal the R3 button to appear. When that happen, your character will have a short time to activate their ultimate attack like Goku's Spirit Bomb but some characters will get additional power ups like Seiya's Sagittarius armor and the ability to use the golden arrow before the time run out.
However some characters like Bleach's Ichigo who use his Final Getsuka Tenshou will lose a life or Yusuke from Yuyu Hakusho if he get defeated during the cpu's victory burst mode will become Majin Yusuke but will lose a life once his time limit run out. Goku and Kenshiro although fun to use but surpisngly I find myself laughing away whenever Bobobo or Gintoki used their attacks and their combos are much easily to perform than the usual popular characters.
I didn't play much on Victory Road as it is basically selected a team of three and battle with other random characters. I didn't try the online battle due to my bad Internet connection. The J point shop was a bit complicated as you don't buy characters based on the point system but rather the Friendship gauge on the right hand corner of the screen. The higher the gauge, you will be awarded with tickets and together with the right amount of points, you then can buy your characters that can be used during Victory Road or Free Battle. This make things more harder to get since you will be wondering whether you are awarded with the tickets or not.
If you are a fan of your favourite Jump characters, this game is for you but if you want a good or at least an interesting fighting game, this might hold you back a bit. I get it what Bandai Namco is trying to do with the licences but if only the fighting system isn't that annoying, it could be a great game.
-Every characters is unique and sometime funny in their execution of special attacks.
-Interaction between different series is interesting.
-Camera Angle is bad especially close up.
-Buying characters is annoying.
-Story mode felt like a chore and wish could be more faster.
-No option menu to change difficult setting or controller.
-Last Boss is not really a last boss.
Final Verdict: 7/10 (If you are a fan of Jump Comics) 6/10 (If you know nuts about all these characters and the fighting system is annoying)