Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure HD
As far as battles fought with summoned deities go, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been considered the grandfather of the subgenre. But given that it’s as esoteric as it is obscure, the choice made by Capcom to give it an HD makeover isn’t exactly cause for a global rejoice among fighting gamers, especially when it’s well after the release of Persona 4 Arena.
Just how the hell do I play this game???
As a Capcom fighter that was originally dispensed at the tail end of the ‘90s, Jojo is an honest brawler that demands a lot of time, attention, and effort to even begin coming close to getting comfortable. In a word, if the only fighters in your repertoire consists of today’s fighting games you’re more than likely to be met with a lot of difficulty in your attempts to adapt. For starters, getting combo happy is not an accessible high, this is a title that primarily deals with strict links – combos that require properly timed button presses in order to make things happen.
What will also throw newbies in a loop is the fact that the cast is very diverse, and the depths are just as fathomless as how their individual capabilities are greatly dictated by their Stands. Despite the Stands’ division amongst the active and passive categories, each are unique enough to define their own play style. Hardcore veterans will indeed be overjoyed by how the mechanics remain intact while novices may have to do a little more thinking before committing to purchase.
Compared to other HD remakes, Jojo is perhaps the most neglected in attention to detail. The “high definition” graphics overhaul is not as spectacular as advertised as it comes off as a smudged painting and the option to turn on pixelation results in overly sharp visuals. It’s advisable to designate all eye adjustments to the former but there’s no denying that efforts towards procuring a middle ground could’ve been accomplished. The modes are overly concise and simple; beginners will be disappointed in the bareboned tutorial as it’s merely still images accompanied by text. The basics are glossed over but it’s still easy to forget the material in contrast to an interactive tutorial/mission mode, commonplace in today’s fighters. Coupled with the in-game movelist missing a few details, beginners will have to rely more on net research in order to maximize their game.
Sadly, Jojo HD doesn’t reinvent its Story Mode, a feature that definitely hasn’t aged well over the years. The re-release opts for the Dreamcast version’s straightforward narrative as opposed to the PS1’s more extensive ‘Super Story Mode’. Additionally, despite enduring it, there are no galleries to unlock, not even pages from the manga thus there is little motivation or education on why and how the Jojo franchise is still renowned decades later.
If you think the disappointments stop there, the online netcode is random and unreliable. Often times, lag will be experienced and the lack thereof maintains a noticeable slowdown in gameplay. For a link heavy game, this is truly damning and it’s no wonder why the hardcore Jojo community shrugs it off as it only means that they won’t be hanging up the hat with GGPO anytime soon so no love lost in going back onto their PCs.
With its languid touch-ups and its terribly timed revival, Capcom definitely exposed itself as not caring one bit about the re-releasing of one of its most honorable classics, instead made for the sake of fishing for Andrew Jacksons. The gameplay is still respectable but if anything this is just a platform for Jojo fans to play side-by-side and time spent trying to make such an occasion happen is best left overseas. For a title that many cult followers have demanded others to acknowledge, the disregarding scrutiny on Capcom’s part does more harm than good for the cause.