JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven Review
For those who read manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure should need no introduction. The stylishly bizarre series has been around for ages, it started in 1986, and is still being published to this day (and it’s really quite a fun read). It’s also had a number of video game spinoffs that performed to varying degrees of success. It’s an idea that is just so ridiculously unique, and it feels like a great fit for a fighting game. Each arc has the various characters squaring off against one another, making use of what are known as Stands. These Stands have all sorts of bizarre abilities and are also named after various popular artists and songs. The distinct nature of each character and the overall premise makes it seem like a great fit for a fighting game, but the latest title, Eyes of Heaven, stumbles a fair bit in its execution. There’s a lot to like about this game if you’re a fan of the series, but for those looking to kick the crap out of their friends, you may want to look elsewhere.
Coming hot off the heels of the well-received All Star Battle, Eyes of Heaven aims to shake up the formula. Adopting a 3D arena perspective, players can battle across various rooftops and open streets, helping keep the combat varied. It doesn’t work quite well in this case though, as it is awkward to control, and the camera does it no favours as well. At times, I found it was really hard to keep shifting focus and maneuver at the same time, especially when the game threw double battles my way. The combat works well enough to help offset this, to a point. Various mechanics such as unique dual attacks help keep the combat exciting, but it suffers from very, very poor hit detection.
“The multiplayer modes feel basic, the story is underwhelming, and there isn’t much reason to play through it, aside from seeing the tale to its conclusion.”
At more than one point, I found that I was whiffing attacks completely, and I know it wasn’t the work of an enemy stand. I’d be standing naught but inches from my foe, and miss completely. This only got worse as I found the CPU had no issues landing similar attacks at the same range. When the combat works, it comes ridiculously close to surpassing All Star Battle at capturing that unique atmosphere about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure that people love. Yet when it falters, it’s glaringly apparent that this game could have used a bit more time in the oven. For a series so focused on its fighting, you’d think the main aspect of a fighting game centered on it would make sure this part works the best, would you not?
The story is entertaining, to a point. It focuses heavily on Jotaro, the protagonist from Part 3, but the overall story boils down to a time-travel focused “what if” scenario that has the game drawing from all 8 parts to help set the story in motion. It’s definitely meant for dedicated fans of the series, as the story features an entirely original story supervised by Hirohiko Araki, the creator of the series. The story is massive in scope, but it feels ultimately unrewarding to play through, especially for a series with such well-crafted stories that stand on their own. Each part/series of JoJo stands out for its own reason, but Eyes Over Heaven feels incredibly underwhelming in this regard. It focuses heavily on the primary protagonists from Part 3, which is recognized as one of the more popular arcs. My major problem with this is that the other parts feature characters that are even better than those in this third part, and it just feels like lost potential.
Between the fighting that isn’t quite realized and the story that feels like something that could have been found on DeviantArt, I have a hard time recommending JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven. It’s from a series that I enjoy immensely, it’s a concept that should work well, but it just falters in the actual execution. For fans of the manga and anime, they would likely enjoy Eyes of Heaven much, much more, but even as a fan myself, I can’t help but feel annoyed by how close this game comes to being a legitimate treat. The multiplayer modes feel basic, the story is underwhelming, and there isn’t much reason to play through it, aside from seeing the tale to its conclusion. The problem is, will you want to go that far?
***A PS4 review code was provided by the publisher***
- Faithful to source material
- Large Roster
- Imbalanced Combat
- Story is a bit underwhelming
- Combat can be unresponsive
- Lost potential
- Camera can be nauseating