JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (PlayStation 4) Review

By Renan Fontes 27.08.2016

Review for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven on PlayStation 4

Following the rocky launch of 2013's All Star Battle, it was unsure if the JoJo series would get another entry so soon. Needless to say, it was a bit of a surprise when Bandai Namco announced a sequel in the form of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven. Instead of building off the design choices from the previous title, Eyes of Heaven sought to make itself a complete reimagining, forgoing traditional fighting for arena brawling. Vastly different from its predecessor, does Eyes of Heaven justify its radical style shift, or is it just another bizarre and misguided attempt at bringing the manga to life?

While not necessarily a bad thing, most fighters based off of pre-existing anime and manga tend to fall into the same routine of telling an abridged version of their plot, in exchange for producing an original story. There's an undeniable charm to reliving pivotal moments in a series' history, but, more times than not, the story modes leave out too many details and lack a high enough production value to make those retellings worthwhile.

In an attempt to distance itself further from All Star Battle, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven opts for an original story penned by series creator Hirohiko Araki instead of doing a simple story recap. For a fighter, it's a bit odd to have the main selling point be its single player content. There's an online mode to satiate any battle tendencies, but the lack of a local multiplayer comes off as very concerning at first. Eyes of Heaven never quite manages to justify its lack of local fighting, but given just how full of content the story mode is, the mindset behind it can at least be understood.

Screenshot for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven on PlayStation 4

It all takes place seconds after the end of the third story arc (Stardust Crusaders), where the heroes should be off going home and celebrating their bittersweet victory over British vampire DIO, and yet, they are instead thrust into an adventure through time to discover why their fallen comrades have come back to haunt them.

The plot takes every opportunity to bring in characters and recreate moments from the series' history, while also making the most of its unique premise and setting up scenarios that wouldn't be able to happen otherwise. It's very much something written for the fans, but that's not to say newcomers can't enjoy it. At its core, Eyes of Heaven is a story about a family trying to lift a curse off of them. It follows eight generations of Joestars as they fight against a cruel destiny. Some of the more intricate aspects of this might be lost without context, but it's a newcomer friendly experience just the same.

Screenshot for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven on PlayStation 4

This title plays more like Power Stone than it does, say, a Street Fighter game, offering an arena-like playground for battles. Each stage has its own gimmicks and hazards to avoid, but they rarely ever break the flow of combat. Each character has their own set of moves that can be chained together for combos, but there's a welcome level of precision needed to pull off stellar moves.

The single player spices up the combat by giving each character their own skill tree that they can put points into from levelling up; something that up gives access to new moves that can be customized for battle. It's not entirely necessary for a fighter, but it gives some added depth and life to the single player mode. Additionally, the level system adds a great deal of replay value as well, given the length of the single player. It's not short, but it's not too long either, so there's a level of fun in trying different missions with different character and levelling them up to go through their skill trees.

Screenshot for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven on PlayStation 4

Eyes of Heaven also features a shop where new costumes and poses can be bought for each character. There's a huge amount of content to purchase, making sure there's plenty of lasting appeal, and with each costume and pose deriving right from the manga itself, it's a shop filled with even the smallest of references.

Despite the heavy focus on single player, the online is still very much playable and enjoyable. The connection is stable, and matches don't typically take too long to be found. It's a shame that local isn't available, but there's enough content to justify its exclusion. It's not as good a fighting game as its predecessor, but it's a far better JoJo game.

Screenshot for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Eyes of Heaven is a dream come true, filled with nods to even the most obscure of references. It's a love letter to a decades long franchise that never forgets to cater fully to its audience. Compared to other competitive fighters, it might come off as a bit lacking, but more casual fans of the genre and those unfamiliar with the series will still be able to enjoy the more simplistic mechanics. This really doesn't require anything more than an open mind and a love of fun, and while that might not make for the best game ever, it certainly does make for one worth playing.

Developer

CyberConnect2

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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