Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (PS4).
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a well deserved and cult manga series that has fans all over the world. Suffice it to say that the crazy adventures of the Joestar family over the last 30 years have left a deep mark in pop culture and have influenced the appearance of many subsequent Shounen and Seinen series. Of course, the brand was adapted from anime and several games, but unfortunately their quality has never been above average. Will the latest JBA production fix it?
Earlier this year, I had the chance to play great Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PS4), for which the CyberConnect2 development team was also responsible. So I was calm about the quality of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure – unfortunately, I miscalculated. In short, the performance of “Eye of Heaven” is the complete opposite of what I experienced while playing the finale of the series about charismatic ninjas.
The core of the gameplay of both games is similar. In Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure we fight in semi-open arenas, where up to four characters face each other (The available variants are as follows: 2vs2, 1vs1 or 2vs1). The range of created characters is really wide, although each of them is played similarly. We have a weaker attack, which combines in simple combinations, a strong attack, used to quickly break the defense, and unique skills that players are famous for – Jotaro Kujo can stop time for a few seconds, etc. There are also special attacks that we perform by holding L1 and pressing the appropriate button. The defense game is about keeping your guard up and using dodges. Unfortunately, in practice, when playing with artificial intelligence, the fight comes down to fast charging towards the opponent and performing the simplest combination of blows with the occasional use of combined attacks.
There are also horribly designed maps, where it is easy to fall into the abyss while trying to get to the enemy. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when an AI-controlled character fell out of the arena by herself – such cases could happen several times in a row. The duels often looked as if my opponent was running out of order, not knowing what to do with himself. A chaotic camera that likes to get stuck on some element of the surroundings does not help. The gameplay is slow, clunky and terribly stiff. All the above-mentioned problems mean that we are forced to fight with the environment as often as with the opponent. If I were to mention a plus, they would be animations of combined attacks and special techniques, but these also become weary quickly. Watching identical animations several times, sometimes lasting longer than five seconds, in one duel becomes tiring and even more dynamic. In Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (PS4), the combat is not only badly balanced, but also badly designed.
The creators decided not to pamper the fans in terms of the offered modes. The menu is greeted by the following gameplay variants: Free Battle, which I do not need to explain, Network, where we connect with up to three other players in chaotic battles, and Story mode, in which we will get to know a story detached from what manga and anime fans know. In addition, a specific encyclopedia has been added, which explains various terms and issues from the world of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure. That’s it – extremely poor and simple.
I would like to be able to write something nice about the story mode, which is the main course of the game, but the developers have mocked it in this aspect as well. The outline of the story consists in looking for pieces of “sacred corpses” that can neutralize the effects of mysterious anomalies haunting the world. These anomalies usually consist in the fact that someone comes back from the afterlife and attacks our heroes. We are forced to repel the adversaries and restore their free will. Thanks to this mercilessly stupid and unoriginal idea, characters from various eras and parts of the manga meet on the battlefield. I must admit that the long dialogues put me to sleep, because not only did they not convey too much content, but during cutscenes, the character models stood most of the time like mannequins.
The gameplay in the story mode can boast a few diversions. Each fight gives us experience points, which we spend in a special tree, unlocking access to newer and newer effects and skills of our characters. Successive fights are interspersed with short fragments, where we explore the map on which we previously fought. We can easily talk to NPCs, repeat the fight or complete additional missions that consist in winning a duel with the rules imposed from above. The monotony of subsequent fights was supposed to be diversified by mini-games in the form of fighting off zombie waves and participation in a weak variation of poker.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (PS4) is an ugly game, even very much. Technically, this is the level of the early PS3, and some elements remember too well the times of the good (making fire or residual animations during conversations). The creators did not even try to synchronize the movements of the lips with the spoken dialogues – the character can move his lips a few seconds after finishing the speech. Of course, we can forget about any facial expressions. The environment is painfully simple and practically devoid of elements that could be interacted with – just pick up the barrel and throw it at the rival. The only advantage is probably that the game does not lose animation frames.
I was not allowed to properly check the network mode. The game rarely searched for someone, and when I found a rival, the lags eliminated the entire, dubious comfort of the game.
The problem with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (PS4) is that this production offers absolutely nothing that would make it stand out from the crowd of other anime-based games. What’s more, absolutely every element of this title has already been made much better in many games of this type. I have no heart to recommend this game to anyone. Maybe only die-hard fans, but I recommend them to hold off on a solid discount, because the described product does not offer anything interesting and it is difficult for me to find unforced advantages in it. It lacks both the content and the depth to hold anyone down for more than a few hours to complete the weak story mode.