J-Stars Victory VS+ is a brawler that takes some of Shonen Jump’s biggest anime characters and battles them against each other in what can only be described as explosive fan-service battles. This game was released to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Shonen Jump.
On launch of the game you are greeted with a stylish cell shaded in-game introduction with all the characters in the midst of explosive battle and some quite comical moments along with an uplifting theme song called “Fighting Stars” by Hironobu Kageyama who is famous for musical compositions for the Dragon Ball and other series – this was a nice way to rev you up to start playing through.
You are then presented by quite a large menu of options for the game such as J-Adventure, Victory Road, Arcade, Free Battle and options of where to customise characters and spend points earned during the game.
The only thing I have dabbled in so far is J-Adventure and the Arcade Mode.
Arcade mode was the first thing I set eyes on – as I just wanted to pick up the controller and start button mashing to see what it was all about. Once in you get to select your main character, CPU back up character and support character. In my case I choose Luffy as I’m a mad One Piece fan, Ichigo from Bleach as my CPU and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z for support. After this you get a selection of star rated battles to enter – depending on your level of skill which are named: technique, brave and strong – you also unlock further challenges as you progress in the Arcade mode.
From entering the first battle the environment is free roam as you have quite a big scale arena to fight on, from what I’ve experienced you can pretty much break anything in sight – even building structures. Due to the characters battling on a big arena space – using lock on with your L1 button will be your favourite tool – which will link to your opponent and then hit R2 to dash in his direction and start thrashing out those special moves. Calling for support with the L4 button also gets you out of some sticky situations.
The second mode I quickly dabbled in was J-Adventure which brings a bit more of a story element to the game. In this instance I played as Luffy from One Piece – which starts off with some dialogue from Nami and Luffy situated in Alabasta and then sets onto a map mode where you basically cruise around on your ship – get more dialogue with characters and enter battle sequences. This I found was a nice touch and unique to the character, which would be especially beneficial for nostalgia factor if you haven’t seen that series for quite some time.
J-Stars Victory VS+ to me brought me back to the Powerstone games on the Dreamcast, not too complicated, free roam exploration, destructive and a hell of a lot of fun. It would be a great game to play with mates on a games night. The amount of characters you can select and the original Japanese voice cast gave me a real kick. Super moves you can pull off just by Pressing R3 (once your gauge is full) are jaw droppingly gorgeous. My only gripe is that the game didn’t have a 4 player split screen mode. I’d say if you’re a massive fan of Shonen Jump or anime characters in general, pick it up – it will give you a thrill. If you’re thinking this is going to be the greatest fighter since sliced cheese with a lot of depth – I’d say maybe this isn’t your game.