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PS4 Game Review

J-Stars Victory VS+


Format: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
RRP: £49.99
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 26 June 2015

There is a certain enjoyment in smashing together various franchised characters to beat each other to a pulp in a one-on-one fight game. Usually the roster is taken from other fight games, but in the case of J-Stars Victory Vs+ the characters have been sourced from the world of manga and predominantly the world of anime.

There is a lot to like about the game, so much so, that I spent way too much time playing it when I should have been doing this review. It’s not perfect, but it does have the advantage of allowing you to play as one of your favourite anime characters and kick the living daylights out of everybody else.

Review imageEach of the characters has retained their original abilities, but in some cases these have had to be balanced against the demonstrated skill of your opponents, I’m pretty sure, no matter how bendy Luffy might be, that a Soul Reaper, like Ichigo, would make finger sausages out of him, although I’m just as sure that there are Luffy fans out there who would disagree with me. Agree or not the game has done well to retain the feel and fighting style of each character. Yes kids, we are in the land of fan service and none the worse for it.

Each of the battles takes place in a fairly large arena. The character designs, for the most part, are spot on, with variable amounts of detail, which reflects their original anime style. Within the battle arena you are either going man-o-man against a character or fighting in teams of three. There are also limited options for multiplayer.

Review imageYour character can run, although to be honest this does not work as well as it could, as turning while running is difficult so you tend to use this in small spurts. You have the ability to single or double jump, an important skill to get on top of and over buildings, and the various attack styles related to the character. The game, being based on anime, means that the ability to destroy the environment, buildings and such like is paramount and in this case the game does not disappoint as you can literally level the whole place during combat. Fighting gains you experience and points and what do points mean? Well, not exactly prizes, but you do get to unlock other characters and buy upgrades for your boat.

Review imageWhen the game opens up you can play as one of four main characters, Luffy, Ichigo, Toriko or Naruto although their stories are mostly similar. Having chosen your character you’ll find yourself on a not particularly impressive boat intent on attending and winning the J Battle Festival. The world map is very reminiscent of that found in Final Fantasy VII and as the game progresses and you upgrade your boat, it will eventually be able to fly, cross land and ender space. The travelling brings you to the different locations needed to forward the story or to encounter random fights.

Let’s be honest, this is not a deep game, but for some reason it is compelling. Partially this comes from being able to play as a favourite character but also the game has been designed to be played for fun, I mean that the difficulty level is such that you feel that you have worked for your victory without having to feel that it was a chore.

In other words the game is good stupid fun.


Charles Packer

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