I am an Anime fanatic. There are so many different series that I can’t get enough of so when I heard about “J-Stars Victory VS.+” I couldn’t be more excited. The concept is simple, take all your favorite “Shonen Jump” characters and pit them against each other in a two vs two 3D style fighting game.
Did you ever wonder who would win a fight between Goku and Naruto? Maybe not, but now you can fight it out and see in “J-Stars Victory VS.+” and that is pretty exciting. Not everyone is in the game but there are a few characters from all the major series such as “Dragonball Z,” “Naurto,” “One Piece,” and “Yu Yu Hakusho.”
“J-Stars Victory VS.+” is a celebration of all things Anime/Manga. It has characters spanning over 40 years from a diverse selection of series. Graphically it looks like an anime show brought to life, everything is beautifully cell shaded and looks like it is hand drawn and the voices are in Japanese with English subtitles which can be off-putting but good for devout anime fans. The most interesting part of “J-Stars Victory VS.+” is the story mode called J-Adventure which can still be disappointing. I would have liked to see a “best of” containing the major story arcs from each series but what it does have is a mash-up story where there is a parallel universe which explains why each of the characters can be together on the same screen. You can choose from a few different stories, they are all relatively the same but told from different point of views. The story can get repetitive.
You would think the story would be told in big animated cut scenes but besides the opening there aren’t any, the story is told in still frames with text and voice acting which isn’t a great presentation considering how graphically intense the source material is. Each of the story arcs are pretty substantial, lasting about 6 hours each so there is a good amount of content.
The J-adventure isn’t just fighting, it has some light RPG elements where you can use a ship to explore, collect items and recruit other fighters. It’s not super deep but it does let you meet some of the more obscure characters. The combat in “J-Stars Victory Vs.+” is very simple. You pick two characters out of 40 available. The fighting arena is a wide open 3D environment, where you are free to roam around and jump high. You use light and heavy attacks and special moves to build up your victory meter to win.
As you move around and do special moves it uses up your stamina but it can be refilled by charging up or by attacking. If you have enough energy you can summon in non-playable characters to jump in for a big super move. If you are used to playing fighting games you might not feel at home with “J-Stars Victory Vs.+”, the fighting can be a bit awkward because of the amount of movement available. Sometimes it’s hard to hit your opponent if they are running around or in the air, and the lock-on system isn’t always accurate. The worst thing is a lot of the bigger special attacks are slow moving so it’s easy for your opponent to move and dodge which requires you to be more strategic and deliberate with your movement to land big combos.
J-Adventure isn’t the only game mode available. There is an Arcade mode which skips the story and has you fight a handful of matches. Another game mode is Victory Road which is a series of challenges with certain conditions that change the way you play. There is also a Free Battle and Online Battle mode but they are straight forward single fights. The bulk of the content is in the J-Adventure mode.
This game it is not for everyone, I love anime and am forgiving of the wonky combat because I get a kick out of seeing all the characters. This game is only for “Shonen Jump” or Anime super fans, it is fun to see all the characters together but it is not a great fighting game. If you like the “DBZ” or “Naruto” games you will like this one but if you are looking a fighting game, skip it.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: PS3, PS4, PS Vita
Rated: T for Teen: Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
Genre: Fighting Developer: Spike Chunsoft