JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is probably the best thing to come out of Japan since the Super Famicom. If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s a fun, completely over-the-top manga series created by Hirohiko Araki, a man who literally doesn’t age. JoJo’s is a series that spans multiple decades, mostly revolving around buff men posing at each other until one of them dies.
While that may sound, well, bizarre, I can safely say that it’s the greatest thing ever. One of the best parts about the JoJo’s franchise is that it has seen many video games over the years, and they are all fantastic. Even the most recent release of All Star Battle, which had somewhat sub-par fighting, was still an amazing game that I would go back to every few weeks to play.
Thankfully, the newest release in the JoJo’s franchise is just as good as its predecessors, if not better!
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is a multi-character brawler that takes place across all eight arcs of JoJo’s. It was developed by CyberConnect2, (All Star Battle, the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games) and published by Bandai Namco. Eyes of Heaven is the ultimate JoJo’s fanservice game, boasting a cast of 50 total playable characters, by far the largest roster to date.
Eyes of Heaven tells a completely new ‘what if’ story, which begins at the end of the Stardust Crusaders arc. Jean Pierre Polnareff (called Jean Pierre in the west due to copyright issues) neglects to get on a plane and return to France, instead bumps into his dead companions–who, for one reason or another, want to kill him.
From there the player travels through time on a wacky adventure, fighting friends, allies, and enemies alike. You must bolster your numbers before you go and fight the Noble One, a villain whose followers treat him like a god. While the story is very silly and at times makes little sense, it’s also extremely entertaining to play through.
The biggest highlight of Eyes of Heaven is its attention to detail. It feels like the developers who worked on it really have a love for the series, and they made sure to remember the smaller details, and even add in sections that are just pure fan service.
A good example of this is a story mode sequence that features Jotaro Kujo running into a man named Darby, a gambler-turned-villain that Jotaro had beaten during the Stardust Crusaders arc of the manga. Instead of Jotaro just beating the man to a pulp, he sits down and plays a game of poker with Darby to win a bet. It’s these sort of small things that make Eyes of Heaven so enjoyable to play.
As I mentioned earlier, the game has 50 playable characters, each with their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Since the game covers everything from part 1 to 8, you can see how character powers evolve and change as well. They are all properly represented in the game to boot: Vampires, Hamon users, Stand users, and Spin users all exist within Eyes of Heaven, and each have their own style of play.
Oh, and there’s Stroheim, the super Nazi general who’s also half robot. I don’t know where he fits on that scale, but he’s there to show you that German science is the greatest in the world.
Eyes of Heaven also contains a massive amount of unlockable content, such as various costumes and voice lines. Each can be earned, found, or bought with in-game currency gained by winning battles. If you’re a perfectionist like I am, you will be grinding out those JoJo dollars to buy every little piece of content you can get your hands on.
Honestly, I could gush about how great of a JoJo’s game Eyes of Heaven is for hours, but there are definitely some downsides to the game too. If I wasn’t a fan of the series, I feel like this game’s combat would turn me off instantly. Battles usually take place in two versus two fights. You select which character you will play, and your AI ally controls the other. You then fight in an open map against your opponents.
As I finished the game’s story mode, it rarely felt like I was doing anything more than mashing buttons, and while I did figure out how to do better combos later on, it never felt like they were necessary. Brawlers are fun, but I’ve yet to play one that didn’t feel like a button mash fest. I simply couldn’t recommend this game to you if you aren’t already a fan of the series.
However, if you are a fan of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, then Eyes of Heaven is the game for you. Sure the gameplay may not be the best, but there are already plenty of solid fighting games on the PlayStation 4. This is the only JoJo’s game, and I have to say, it’s the best one yet.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 using a digital copy provided by Bandai Namco. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 8
- Visually appealing–while it may not look like a current-gen game, the art style of JoJo’s has been perfectly brought to life in 3D.
- The game is stuffed with content: unlockable costumes, poses, voice lines–all can be found or bought within the game.
- A new ‘what if’ story that was extremely enjoyable to play through.
- Playing poker with Darby is probably the best example of good fanservice in a video game I’ve ever seen.
- Brawlers aren’t really known for their tight gameplay, and Eyes of Heaven continues this trend. It’s not awful, but it’s not great.
- Foo Fighters was not playable.