Title: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Eyes of Heaven

Platform: PS3 (Japan Only), PS4

Reviewed on: PS4

Genre: Brawler

Players: Single Player, Online Versus




Written by Bad Demoman 6th August 2016




















So I believe I may have mentioned previously that I'm a pretty big fan of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. People involved in Skype calls with me probably get pretty tired of my constant gushing over it every time there's a new season, or even a new episode. And so, I was really excited to try out Eyes of Heaven, the new tag team fighting game by CyberConnect2. I figured it'd be pretty good, CyberConnect made the very fun and true to the anime (If a little lacking in anything new in recent years) Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series. So Can CyberConnect2 accurately adapt another series?

If you are watching the JoJo's Anime, or even just catching up on the Manga, then Eyes of Heaven is not for you, and neither is this review unfortunately.


It might be worth noting that CyberConnect2 have dealt with JoJo's before. They made the fighting game from a few years back, All Star Battle, which received reviews ranging from excellent to damning. Many western customers saw it as nowhere near good enough of a fighting game, but as a game for fans of JoJo's, it was excellent, with hundreds of well-done references. Each character really feels exactly as you'd expect that character to play. I worried for a long time that the bad reception of All Star Battle in the West would mean that we wouldn't see any more JoJo's games over here. Eyes Over Heaven has proven that not to be the case, but unfortunately that leaves it in a place to be compared to All Star Battle, and to be honest, my worries of never seeing another JoJo's game have only increased.



























Fair warning, the plot of this game is very difficult to talk about without dipping into spoiler territory. The only spoiler included in this review is for the end of Part 3, where the game picks up, but if you do choose to play Eyes of Heaven be prepared for spoilers for every single part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.


Taking place in an alternate universe of sorts, Eyes of Heaven has the characters travelling across time and space to unite all the JoJos and their friends to fight against a revived Dio. Dio is able to corrupt characters both living and dead, causing them to take up arms against their friends/foes, the JoJos. If I'm honest, I kinda think this is an incredibly lazy plot. One of the awesome things about JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is that Dio never came back after Part 3, and yet his influence was still felt. Bringing Dio back almost belittles why he was such a great villain. At least his revival makes some sense. It's something that could've logically happened in the Manga, it just didn't. Eyes of Heaven also has a habit of making Jotaro the main character, while storing all the other characters in a plot-convenient pocket dimension. He may be the most popular JoJo, from the most popular Part, but he isn't exactly the strongest. It strikes me that surely Giorno could resolve the whole issue in an instant? This kind of power creep makes writing a mashup of all the parts pretty difficult, and it's probably why Araki never revisited certain older JoJos, and why he ended up rebooting.



























Similar to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm, Eyes of Heaven is a fighting game where the camera is positioned behind your characters back, and stages are expansive and wide. Emphasis is on constant and flowing movement. The difference being that matches are usually 2vs2 – A format that readers of my Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution review may remember me not exactly approving of. With two enemies to concentrate on, and some very shaky controls for switching focus, things can get far too hectic and frustrating, very quickly. Especially if you're up against a long range stand like N'Doul or Avdol (who both seem to show up a little too much early on in side missions). Much like almost every other aspect of the game, even Naruto did 2v2 better! Apart from the standard Vs. mode (which is online only, mind), there's only one gameplay mode available - Story Mode. This mode involves a couple of matches against some incredibly dumb AI that are vaguely related to the plot broken up by some exploration stages. The exploration stages strike me as incredibly pointless - they’re all incredibly small and only serve as a way to access the other parts of the game. As much as I’m not usually one to advocate for this kind of thing, it feels like a simple menu would’ve served better.


Eyes of Heaven plays like a watered down Ultimate Ninja Storm. While I'm not the biggest fan of Ninja Storm, it’s simple and good fun - far from the most complex of fighting games, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Naruto has a good variety of strategic options, combos, extremely different characters and even some complicated tech to extend your skill. Eyes of Heaven has one combo per character, with a choice of special to finish it with, and a knockback attack. That's pretty much the depth of your choice. While I recognize it's somewhat a limitation of the series, a lot of characters feel incredibly samey. I can only hear different variations on the stands cry as they punch at rapid speeds so many times before I feel like tuning out, and as it turns out that number is quite small indeed. It feels like a considerable downgrade from All Star Battle, which already had people complaining it was too simplistic!



























Eyes of Heaven has a couple of cool moments for a JoJo's fan, but it's so watered down that you can barely get a taste of them. All Star Battle had enough to entertain a hardcore fan with it's special quirks, such as Joseph having a prediction for every single character's next line, whereas Eyes of Heaven has nowhere near that amount of charm and personality. Eyes of Heaven can't even be recommended to the most convicted of JoJo fanatics. If you can't get enough of JoJo's and really want an interactive experience, get some friends together and play All Star Battle. Or better yet, play the criminally under-rated JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Arcade game. Eyes of Heaven joins an unfortunately long list of underwhelming JoJo's adaptations and spin offs.



Pros:

A couple of cool moments for the hardcore JoJo's fans,

An incredibly large roster of characters.


Cons:

Watered down combat,

Samey characters,

Lazy Plot.


Final Verdict,

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Eyes of Heaven gets a disappointing 5/10.


Written,

Bad Demoman



    
















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