When you combine the best characters from the Shonen Jump catalogue into a fighting game, you will have die hard fans like me go crazy. This is what J- Stars Victor VS+ was created for – a game made for fan service. Outside of this circle however, the game may not be so appealing because of it’s target audience but if you haven’t watch Dragon Ball – then there’s something wrong with you.
If you don’t know what Jump is, it’s a catalogue of manga featuring characters such as Naruto, Goku from Dragon Ball and Monkey from One Piece. J-Stars pretty much combines the best (or main) characters from each franchise and pits them against each other. Similar to other Namco games such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai and Naruto Ninja Storm – J-Stars plays from a third person perspective where you can choose from one on one or teams of two characters plus a support.
The fighting while over the top and intense can be quite shallow as it’s mechanics aren’t quite deep. It’s mostly a combination of button smashing and knowing when to block or evade. When your team builds up momentum, you can initiate a Victory Burst where it allows your character to do a signature move. This is pretty much the highlight of the fights but initiating the move (which is a massive cutscene) over and over again can be quite tiresome.
Apart from just the crazy fights, J-Stars has other modes available as well. One of the main ones is the story quests which follows an adventure story. The story didn’t carry any weight mainly because there wasn’t much to it. It’s just a series of fights merged with some story elements and pretty plain dialogue. The best parts from the adventure modes obviously was when new characters like the mischievous Koro-Sensei appear. This of course lends itself into the fan service area.
Players will have to work through the story adventures quite a bit because it’s one of main ways to unlock new characters in the store. When you first start off the game, you only get a handful of playable characters and you’re required to pretty much grind through the story to unlock new characters.
J-Stars is visually well presented with their original voice acting added to the game. While the characters and moves were impressive in 3D form – the game did take some shortcuts due to its multi-platform release as maps and textures were low detailed and often muddy. Its not the first time I’ve seen this move with Japanese releases but I was hoping a little more effort in the individual release.
Fans of the Jump mangas will love this for what it is. It has a decent character list with over the top fighting that will sure wow the fans but for those who didn’t have any exposure to the mangas would probably find nothing here.
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed) and PS Vita
A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.