J-Stars Victory VS+ Review

by Fernando Lyons


J-Stars Victory Vs is a fighting video game for the Playstation 3, 4, and Vita featuring 50 characters characters from 32 popular Shōnen JUMP anime and manga series.  Finally, anime fans can see Goku from Dragon Ball Z  battle Naruto from Naruto Shippuden, or Ichigo from Bleach take on Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece.  


Don't expect a great amount of gameplay depth or an extensive character moves list with this game.  The control scheme is simplified, and pulling off special moves and combos, usually only involves standing in front of your opponent, and repetitively pressing a single button at the right time.  This game has a few gameplay modes including, J-Adventure (where players explore a map and various opponents to earn in-game cards and power ups), Victory Road (a free battle mode with predetermined objectives), Free-Battle (a two player offline and four player online vs. mode) and Arcade.  Also, there are some cool between-match anime trivia questions (most of which I get wrong), which allow players to obtain some J-Points (if answered correctly) that can be used to purchase additional characters.  Even with these gameplay modes and features, at the end of the day, what this game is, is an arcade style button masher.  


Since I am a anime/manga fan, I found this game quite entertaining and fun.  It was great to see the fighters battle in stages from their anime series.  Many of the original voice actors from the applicable anime series provided the voices for their characters.  The character models and stages accurately reflect their source material, so this game has a very nostalgic feel to it.  After playing it, anime fans may get the urge to go watch some of their favorite anime classics again, or find out more about another series featuring one of the game's characters that they are not familiar with.  Overall, the game's graphics are adequate, and most of the 3D stages are highly destructible, but where the game excels visually, is when the characters power up and perform their Ultimate Attacks.  When Goku throws a Genki Dama (Spirit Bomb), or Yusuke Urameshi shoots the Spirit Gun Bullet at an opponent, its a sight to behold, and worth the time spent playing the game with each character to see.  With such an extensive roster from a large anime/manga library, problems with character balance are to be expected.  Players will find that some characters are significantly overpowered, and some characters just don't match up well against other characters.  Characters with long range projectile attacks seem to have a significant advantage over close range fighters.


If you accept the game for what it is or is not, then there is some enjoyment to be had with it.   If you are a fan of manga and anime, or simple button mashers, then this game is for you.  If you are a fighting game purist/enthusiast, or into games with great depth, good stories, and  high replay value, then you may want to pass on this game.

 Bottom Line:

+Great List of Anime/Manga Characters, Fun, Ultimate Attacks 

-Simple Controls, Repetitive Gameplay, Unbalanced Characters