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Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: Action/Fighting

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

ETA: Q4 2002

 

 

 

 

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure 5

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The distinctive designs of Japanese Manga are not an unfamiliar sight in the videogame industry, having graced past titles such as Final Fantasy 7 or Xenogears.

While JoJo's Bizarre adventure appeals to the same visual style, its sensibilities are beyond skin deep: JoJo's is based upon an actual comic book series of the same name. Manga fans rejoice.

 

Rather than using polygons, JoJo's mimics the look of Manga by adopting cel-shaded graphics, a technique made popular by Jet Set Radio and the Klonoa series. Developer Capcom utilises a technology called "Artistoon" to translate the designs of cartoonist Hirohiko Araki into the digital medium. Although other games have "cashed in" on the cel-shading phenomenon, JoJo's endeavour seems less superficial since it orients the game firmly in its comic-book roots.

 

The bulk of gameplay involves pure action in the form of hand-to-hand fighting. Different characters are available at certain levels of the game, with each character displaying a distinct fighting style.

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Special attacks are granted by the presence of "Stands", psychic avatars that dwell within living creatures. Additionally, Stands allow certain detection abilities, the power to transform inorganic matter to organic matter. They can also be summoned in combat but if the Stand dies, the Stand User also dies.

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Combined with puzzle-solving set pieces, cutscenes and you have a standard action approach dressed in  slick visuals. At a glance, the action never ventures beyond its cel-shaded veneer.

Its popularity as a comic series and subsequent fan following serves it well in Japan, but given its ordinary design, JoJo's success in other parts of the world becomes questionable. For those unfamiliar with its Manga heritage, a solid gameplay ethic, not comic-book homage will become the order of the day. How many of us actually embark on this bizarre adventure remains to be seen.

- Justin Liew

(September 17, 2002)

 

 

 

 

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