This weeks "Gaming Treasures" focuses on the arcade game "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure".
(Note: For those of you who haven't heard of the manga its based on; here is a quick summary)
- series created by Hirohiko Araki (the man that does not age)
*Taking place in the 3rd book of the series, vol 12 / ch. 14.
Jotaro Kujo is the great grandson of Jonathan Joestar. After getting entangled with some guys at school, which leads to him being put in jail. Jotaro questions if he's losing his mind, after seeing an arm appear aways from his own body; protecting his being. Wanting to test himself, taking a gun, finding out its been deflected, (before his prison visit, to which his mother Holly makes the call).
Later, his grandfather, and guardian / card reader Avdol pay a visit. Which leads to them bringing him out, and opens his mind to the realization; that he no longer fought alone but could use an astral form to protect his spirit.
Which in-game is actually the opening sequence, right after you select Jotaro. And thus begins with the worldwide quest to find an evil villain long forgotten, now arisen once more.
*The stories within the Jojo series take place in the form of generations. This being the 3rd, its not angst ridden, but more of a "stepping stone".
Within JBA, you can take part as hero or villain, depending on either side; the story envelopes your character against any opposition in their tale. Some live, some die, making it a diverse way of storytelling. *in a Metal Gear sort of fashion, you begin to understand just how big the story actually is; once you grow close to an ally.
What makes Jojo stand apart from other fighting games out there, is that its finessed directly from the manga. Although in-game its engrossed with colors abound, a finishing move contains a transparency of black & white.
JBA is actually a set of two games, as follows:
ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 (JoJo no Kimyouna Bouken) - Jojo's Venture
ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 未来への遺産 (JoJo no Kimyouna Bouken) - Jojo's Bizarre Adventure - Heritage for the Future
For anyone who grew up with fighters, this game broadened its design with some neat ideas. Although it played like a traditional fighter, it also brought in a new aesthetic. Within the JBA 3rd gen chapter, the idea of "spirits" emulating as "stands" became a core part of the storyline. Thus they carried influence in this game tenfold. Adding a mix of designs closely resembling SNK's Samurai Shodown (instead of swords, spirits entangled with fists or energy) protecting their wielders chi until it ran out.
- PSX ver
Contained a variety of modes, story, and some exclusive characters (and Super Story Mode)
- Dreamcast ver
Remix port of the PSX, with extra characters.
What made both versions of the game stand out, was that its design came from the CPS3. Anyone who played Darkstalkers, Street Fighter 3, and Marvel vs Capcom played games based off the game arcade setup. Which at the time, with the PSX had some remakes due to limitations in hardware, until they found a way to tweak; with impressive results. Plus the Dreamcast ports contained some extra incentive, slightly better resolution, and could push more memory.
Overall, JBA is a fun experience and a game that anyone that enjoys fun manga should check out. And if you haven't read the manga, you definitely should.