J-Stars Victory Vs+ - PS3

Release Date:

June 30, 2015

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


J-Stars Victory Vs+ featuring over 50 characters from 32 different manga series from Weekly Shonen Jump. Progress through the JUMP World featuring environments recalling Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and other memorable locations and moments. Enjoy a grand adventure as your favorite heroes and fight in local and online 2-on-2 versus battles or test your skills in Arcade Mode. Strategically use combination attacks and unleash ultimate attacks using the Voltage Gauge system to best your opponent. It's the ultimate dream for every anime fan.

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PlayStation 3


J-Stars Victory Vs+ came to the PlayStation 3 this past June by way of the developers at Bandai Namco Games. This 3D anime inspired brawler is based around the famous Japanese-American JUMP magazine that focuses on various popular anime and mangas. Emulating, to a degree, the frantic fighting style of Mortal Kombat and Smash Brothers, J-Stars brings gamers right into the fray to watch all of their favorite Japanese characters do battle against one another. With fan favorites from DBZ, Naruto, and even One Piece there is a lot to love without even picking up a controller. We picked up a copy for the PS4 to see if the game could live up to its roster of characters.

Jump Superstars was the game that first gave us anime fans a taste of what could be. Superstars was released for the DS and it gave American gamers the chance to take on all of their favorite anime characters in a frantic action packed brawler. Well, that was years ago and for the DS and now we are looking at a Bandai follow up with J-Stars Victory Vs+. This title packs in even more anime characters than Superstars and it does so with the love and craft that only hardcore fans of the shows could emulate. We named a few franchises above but there are even more anime cast members used on the roster than we care to list at this point.

The core of the game involves you and up to three other players fighting one another within a 3D environment. You’ll rely on your characters trademark moves, a hectic combo system, and sheer force of will in order to come ahead of the many enemies that will be coming at you. The action in the game is reminiscent of DBZ Budokai and Smash Brothers both melding into one interesting title. While those two games don’t seem like they’d make much sense together, they still do and the results are actually pretty enjoyable once you start playing.

The primary mode that most gamers will partake in is the Adventure Mode. In Adventure Mode you pick from one of four different fighters and then you head into the J Battle Festival. This is a tournament where you’ll face all sorts of enemies and make allies along the way. It’s a story mode that allows you to unlock fighters but the actual writing is a bit thin. Still, it’s a jam seeing all of our favorite characters interacting and doing their thing without letting the bars of different shows keep them apart. The insanity of certain fight sequences really ratchets up the entertainment factor. We particularly enjoyed seeing Naruto take on some of the characters from Dragonball Z. At the end of the day this is a functional campaign mode that will be primarily played by the solo styled player, but there is more out there to partake in.

You also have a few other modes to play around in once you’ve exhausted the Adventure Mode. You can jump into the Arcade Mode for standard exhibition combat. Play alone against AI or have a couple of buddies join in on the action. You’ll use all of the points you earn in Adventure Mode in order to unlock new roster members for these other modes so there is incentive to go back and keep dipping into the Adventure Mode. This is straight fare and doesn’t require much context. Next up is J-Adventure Mode which brings you down different selections of enemies. This is a single player mode that is split up into four different campaigns. You’ll explore the giant world map, take on a bunch of enemies, and collect all sorts of power up cards for your characters. Finally we have Victory Road which is the advanced fighting mode. In Victory Road you are focused on fulfilling certain objectives during each battle.

While there is plenty to do and plenty to see in J-Stars Victory Vs+ there are still problems that present themselves on a fundamental level. The gameplay itself, the core fighting mechanics, don’t go deep enough in order to fully capitalize on the range of fighters that are available in the game. Sure it’s fun to throw out Naruto’s various Jiutsus or to use Goku’s Kamehameha, but there are too many generic similarities that bring the uniqueness of the game down a bit. Your fighting abilities are largely dedicated into a few key sections: small moves, large moves, super moves, and dodges. You’ll end up button mashing unless you spend time trying to learn a few of the more interesting and specific combos. We really wish there was some way to unlock new movesets to use with our characters in order to keep them fresh as we level up. It would have been nice to dig into some deeper combat techniques but they simply aren’t there.

Our favorite time spent on J-Stars Victory Vs+ was with the multiplayer battles with other humans whether online or offline. Four way fights between our favorite characters, ranging in their fighting stiles, always created manic experiences that were never short on memorable moments. The characters are perfectly modeled after their anime or manga counterparts and the moves look true to the source material. The graphics are okay and the game never lags when the action gets crazy, so you get to see some crazy moves performed in high detail in real time.

Obviously looking at the title’s trailer will reveal that the graphics aren’t up to par with the other PS4 fight game offerings and that’s a double edged blade. On one hand we think the slightly downgraded graphics fit in well with the style, on the other we would have loved to see some more attention to detail in the backgrounds and with the characters.

What you are going to find in J-Stars Victory Vs+ is a fighting game that offers a little bit of everything without perfecting anything. However, there is enough here for any manga fan to get their money’s worth.

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Bandai Namco Games

Release Date:

June 30, 2015

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