Every now then gamers are treated to mash-ups bringing together their favorite characters from various franchises. J-Stars Victory VS+ is one such game. J-Stars brings together characters from many Shonen Jump titles, pitting them against each other in 2v2 matches. While these matches can be fun to play, the game does have its faults, which can at times hinder the experience.

J-Stars Victory VS+ is a 2v2 fighting game taking place in 3D arenas. Players aim to knockdown their opponents three times in order to obtain a win. Along with the main fighters, players can also call in a support character to assist them in  battle. Players can choose from 52 characters from various Shonen Jump franchises, including Bleach and One Piece. 39 of the characters are playable, with 13 of them being support characters.

While the huge roster does amount to a fair bit of fan service, it is also one of the game’s weaknesses. While a number of the characters were fun to play as, many of the characters felt bland. This often happens in games with this many playable characters, and J-Stars is no exception. The game features only a few stages to battle in, based on famous areas from various Shonen Jump series. The small number of arenas feels lacking compared to the number of characters, though they can be fun to battle in.

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The actual fighting in J-Stars works well. The fighting is fun, and can get a bit fast paced. While the game does not feature the depth of other fighting games such as Injustice or BlazBlue, there are a few different mechanics at play here. It helps to learn when to evade, how to execute air combos, and when to launch your special attacks. The game does teach the basics on how the mechanics work, but there is a period of self discovery.

J-Stars looks bright and colorful, with the game’s art style helping to retain some of the character’s original looks. The game does not boast the best visuals, but it did not show any kind of graphical problems, though the camera would get lost when moving in crowded areas at high speed. The game’s audio featured voices from the original Japanese versions of the anime that the game is based off of, which is a plus for those who prefer the Japanese cast over the dubbed voices. There were, however, times when the noise or dialogue would cut out, especially during the character’s Ultimate attacks.

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J-Stars features a variety of modes for players to jump into. These range from a story mode, an arcade mode, and more. While I enjoyed most of the game’s modes, the story mode had me a little disappointed. It felt tacked on, and was predictable and boring. When playing single player, I just stuck to the game’s other modes, such as the Arcade and Victory Road modes. Story mode is not a necessity when it comes to fighters, but if there is one, it should feel a little more polished than it feels in J-Stars.

J-Stars Victory VS+ is a fighting game, and allows more than one player to face off with each other. The game supports both split-screen and online play, and is much more enjoyable with another human. There are a few issues, however. When playing in the split-screen mode, the screen was cluttered, and made things a little difficult to see. Rather than one large Victory Gauge across the screen, both players are given a separate gauge, causing the screen to feel packed.

Online play fares a bit better than split-screen, though there is one big problem: lag. When playing, I would notice lag spikes, with the game playing smooth one round only to suffer from lag the next. This even occurred when playing multiple rounds in the same lobby, with one match to work perfectly only for the next to have severe lag. J-Stars online play is incredibly enjoyable, but only if the game does not have severe lag.

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Overall, J-Stars Victory VS+ is an enjoyable yet flawed experience. The game is fun to play, though it is sometimes brought down by the various issues that come up. If you are looking for some simple yet fun fighting, you might enjoy J-Stars. If you want something a bit more mechanical, then this title might not be what you are looking for.

  • John Curiel

    If they had just put in the English dubs, this game could’ve been better.

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