- + Full of energy and wacky combat
- + Plenty of characters and content
- - Won’t appeal to everyone
- - Constant barrage of sound effects
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full written review below…
*J-STARS Victory VS+ was given to Start Replay on PS4 by Bandai Namco UK
I’ve never been a fan of Japanese manga, but when I was tasked with reviewing J-STARS Victory VS+ (the name was intimidating enough), I decided to rise to the challenge and put myself out of my comfort zone. I’m a casual fan of fighting games, but J-STARS is a very different kettle of fish.
From the outside, the colourful style and hoppy theme tunes will be enough for anyone to know immediately whether they will like it or not. For me, once I progressed past the title screen, J-STARS met me with a barrage of heavy sound effects, rattling my senses and leaving me perplexed on how to move forward. My reaction is probably over exaggerated, but for all the wacky, off-beat tones I was being presented with, it was hard to stay focused.
Complete with four story campaigns and a mixture of arcade and online modes, there’s always something different to jump into. While fights present large, open 3D fighting spaces, you’re able to choose amongst a plethora of characters and approach any fight from multiple angles.
Combat comprises of regular, power and arena-based attacks, as well as finishing moves. Everything about this game feels pretty energised and out of control, which is what I’d expect from my sparse time viewing manga, and its appeal will hinge on your love of the source material.
Though there are likely a whole host of popular character within J-STARS, my complete lack of knowledge regarding them means I can’t really tell you specifics. They all look well-designed, the animations are fast and ridiculous, plus the overbearing manga attitude means this game is always on a sugar rush. It’s literally as though the developer pumped their code with energy drinks and then let it seep into its core. Just residing on the title screen presents a relentlessly fast and blood-pumping theme. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad from the punchy music invading my ears, even navigating the options comes with a brash sound effect.
I think it’s for the best that I keep this short and concise. I’d obviously recommend J-STARS for any anime or manga fan, but for those who are ‘newbies’ in the material, I’d suggest you take a look over trailers on YouTube and make your call from there.
J-STARS is a bold and brash manga fighting game, filled with energy and tons of content. I appreciate the history and its characters, but for me it’s a time killer at best.